Source: Tanzania Daily News
Hai — IGNORANCE of the law is the main cause of gender based violence escalation in Hai District, a lawyer has said.

The Programme Officer (Legal Aid) with Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange and Consultancy Organisation (KWIECO), Mr Morise Venance, said that is the main impediment for people to access justice.

Mr Venance was speaking here recently at a function to introduce to public a new centre that will be used by the NGO's officers to give free legal service to the public in the district. He said many evils are committed in society because the casualties of such crimes do not know their basic rights.

Mr Venance said children are mostly affected, especially those with some sorts of disabilities who are kept indoors by their parents or guardians hence lack essential services provided by the Government and some institutions such as KWIECO.

"There are a lot of problems in Kilimanjaro Region in regard to human rights and the main cause is ignorance of the law. Brutal acts are committed because casualties don't have a clue of their basic rights, from those of children to inheritance," said Mr Venance.

The lawyer said some societies have remained conservative by holding to male chauvinism, effects of which are girls' denial to inherit land and other properties; early marriages and pregnancies and wife inheritances.

The KWIECO officer said male chauvinism also is a threat to women and children who would otherwise volunteer information about untoward behaviour within the society. However he was optimistic that opening a KWIECO office at Hai will help immensely reduce gender based violence and land disputes because the public will get free legal services and slowly will come out of their shell.

Rundugai Ward Executive Officer (WEO), Mr Ndeshi Mushi said violence incidents in his ward are very common and that the main challenge is for people to shy away from reporting them to the relevant authorities.

He said the area is notorious for acts such as rape, child marriages, early pregnancies, widow inheritance, stabbing and burning of children and casualties and their close associates keep mum.

He was hopeful that KWIECO office will help open up the citizens about their rights and lead to harmonious life in the society that is composed of farmers and herders.

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