Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; scrap this appalling media law


BAK

BAK

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
83,899
Likes
126,132
Points
280
BAK

BAK

JF-Expert Member
Joined Feb 11, 2007
83,899 126,132 280
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; scrap this appalling media law

By Jenerali Ulimwengu
THE EAST AFRICAN

Posted Wednesday, November 30 2016 at 13:28


In Summary

  • Individuals in government will pass draconian laws heavily circumscribing freedoms and rights, curbing freedom of expression and dissent, limiting the rights that are given by the constitution… until they fall from power. Then they start seeing — and feeling — the full weight of their oppression and repression.

  • Scrap this appalling media law

An object lesson in how to do unto your opponents was delivered many years ago in one Central African country that was ruled over by a particularly obnoxious dictator.

The president had been in power for close to 20 years when an old school friend came to him to ask for a favour.

The friend, a prominent architect, came to complain to the president that all the time the latter had been in office, he had not given a single one of those lucrative government contracts to him. The president listened to his old friend, and an idea formed in his mind.

So the dictator gave orders for his friend to be awarded a contract to build a maximum security jail for political prisoners, but he gave special instructions. The prison was to be built with unshuttered windows and vents that allowed for cold draughts to come into the prisoners’ rooms. The vents were to be so built that they led directly to where the beds would be placed.

The idea was that during the colder months of the year, the draughts would work on the political prisoners, causing them to contract pneumonia, and their deaths would be deemed natural. The architect got a fat cheque from his old friend and built a prison so full of holes the wind that came through it could have sailed a boat.

However, just after the president inaugurated the prison amid much fanfare, with praises for his friend’s innovative architectural innovations, the army staged a coup, overthrew the president and sent him to become one of the first inmates of the brand-new jailhouse. Three months later, he died of… pneumonia.

Elsewhere, in the Mediterranean area, a prime minister went to visit institutions in the capital and to listen to the views of those who lived there. In a high school, the students complained of poor meals, lack of books and dilapidated sporting facilities. He told his assistant to remind him in a month’s time.

But when the PM went to a prison and the inmates complained of the same things as the students, he told the assistant to deal with those issues “tomorrow morning.” As they were leaving, the assistant ran up to the boss to express his surprise at the contradictory instructions, and to ask why the chief was favouring convicts over students. The answer he got was simple: “Stupid; at my age, do you see me going to high school in the future?”

Sure enough, six months later, the prime minister was overthrown and put in jail. He survived to come out and become prime minister again, after two years in a rather comfortable guest house. Now, between the two politicians, who was smarter?

The politician in the first story is the more typical kind in our countries. Those who find themselves in power, by means foul or fair, think they can do anything they like without at some stage suffering the consequences of their acts. From time to time, some of them get a taste of their own medicine, but for some reason, the lessons they learn are seldom passed onto others.

Individuals in government will pass draconian laws heavily circumscribing freedoms and rights, curbing freedom of expression and dissent, limiting the rights that are given by the constitution… until they fall from power. Then they start seeing — and feeling — the full weight of their oppression and repression. And they join, without apology, those who have condemned the injustices all along.

In Macbeth, Shakespeare warns us against teaching “bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to haunt the inventor; this even-handed justice commends the ingredients of the poisoned chalice to our own lips.”

But maybe the Bard is not your cup of tea. In which case, I’ll commend to you the injunctions of a young Nazarene man who lived and taught some 2016 years ago, and who went around telling people to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

The Tanzanian parliament has just enacted a really bad media law that will seriously hamper media practice in the country. President John Magufuli has publicly expressed his enthusiasm for this terrible law. Already weak and hardly breathing, the media sees this law as the last nail in its coffin. But it will harm everybody outside the power structures, today and tomorrow.

Jenerali Ulimwengu is chairman of the board of the Raia Mwema newspaper and an advocate of the High Court in Dar es Salaam. E-mail: ulimwengu@jenerali.com
 
N

Nairobian

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
575
Likes
1,201
Points
180
Age
55
N

Nairobian

JF-Expert Member
Joined Dec 11, 2012
575 1,201 180
CCM will never listen. Most of them are yes sir calibre , and would never oppose anything even if it is going to strangle their necks. Let's wait, they are going to be the same victims of this draconian law they passed
 
S

senzighe

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
1,224
Likes
861
Points
280
S

senzighe

JF-Expert Member
Joined Jan 1, 2012
1,224 861 280
CCM will never listen. Most of them are yes sir calibre , and would never oppose anything even if it is going to strangle their necks. Let's wait, they are going to be the same victims of this draconian law they passed


Rubish
 
Hewa mkaa

Hewa mkaa

JF-Expert Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
731
Likes
298
Points
80
Hewa mkaa

Hewa mkaa

JF-Expert Member
Joined Sep 3, 2012
731 298 80
Who knows? If it is God's wish, CCM will lead Tanzania for a billion years.
 

Forum statistics

Threads 1,273,818
Members 490,485
Posts 30,493,010