We are firmly committed to human rights, reaffirms VP

TANZANIA yesterday reaffirmed her firm commitment to implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights without compromising the national security.

The country’s stance came as the world was celebrating the 2016 Human Rights Day, under the theme: "Stand up for someone's rights today.

” The international community observes the Day yearly on December 10, commemorating the day UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

“We, in Tanzania, promise to implement this treaty by the United Nations (UN), but cautiously, lest the national security be compromised,” Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, said when she officiated at the National Integrity Day and International Human Rights Day.

Seven government institutions responsible for supervising integrity, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, National Audit Office of Tanzania, Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, Ethics Secretariat and Public Service Management and Good Governance, organised the event that also marked a month long campaign against corruption and instilling integrity among public servants.

UN Resident Coordinator Alvaro Rodriguez commended Tanzania for her reflection of human rights issues during the day's commemoration.

“I call upon you to stand for the rights of someone else,” he told the crowd at the Mnazi Mmoja grounds where the national celebrations were held. Chairman of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRGG), Bahame Nyanduga, said Tanzania has been a good defender of human rights even beyond the country's borders.

The country has gained great respect because of its principles on rights and equality, accountability and integrity in the public service sector, he said, arguing that for the country to realise this year’s theme for the day, emphasis was put on integrity, accountability, good governance and fight against corruption.

The UN has decried widespread disrespect for basic human rights, globally, with extremist movements subjecting hapless people to horrific violence and sufferings.

“We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. In the street, at school, at work, in public transport, in the voting booth, on social media ...” insists the UN, appealing to individuals to step forward and defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, a woman, a child, indigenous people, a minority group or anyone at the risk of discrimination or violence.

Meanwhile, ISSA YUSSUF reports from Zanzibar that President Ali Mohamed Shein yesterday graced the day, directing all public leaders to declare their assets and debts as the law requires

. “All leaders must honestly fill the personal assets and debts declaration forms and submit them to the respective body,” said Dr Shein in a speech at the event at Victoria Garden, Stone Town, warning those dodging the exercise in the Islands.

He threatened stern disciplinary action against all officials defying the legal requirement, saying the Zanzibar Public Leaders Code of Ethics and Ethics Commission was introduced this year to promote moral codes and respect of Human Rights in public offices.

The law, among others, requires national leaders, including the Vice-Presidents, ministers, principal secretaries, local government leaders, all executives and senior leaders in all parastatal organisations to declare their assets and debts.

“We still have moral decay, economic crimes, lack of accountability and corruption in the country ... concerted efforts are required to address these challenges,”Dr Shein said, asking the Director of Public Prosecution office, Judiciary, Zanzibar Anticorruption and Economic Crime Authority and law enforcers to work together to ensure justice prevails in the islands.

The Minister of constitution, Legal Affairs, Public Service and Good Governance, Mr Haroun Ali Suleiman, said at the event that attracted lawyers, civil servants, journalists and citizens that his ministry is committed to improve morality, fight corruption and respect human rights.

The Head of the UN Sub-Office in Zanzibar, Ms Anna Senga, commended President Shein for his efforts to promote Human Rights in the Islands, quoting the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s statement on the day, “Wherever we are, each of us can make a difference for human rights ... in our neighbourhoods, in school, at work, on social media, at home and even in sporting arenas across the world.”

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