Today marks 100 days since the disappearance of Azory Gwanda, a correspondent with Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL). His family, friends and colleagues have been going through a very trying moment since the fateful evening when he vanished with yet unknown people, reportedly in a white Toyota Land Cruiser. Each passing day, we have been hoping for Azory’s return home, safe and sound. That hope is not lost.
This is despite the fact that we have not had any comfort in the darkness still shrouding his whereabouts. We trust in the authorities that they have what it takes to fight this kind of abuse, which is increasingly giving our good nation a bad name.
From various global accounts regarding the disappeared, there are always similarities. What relatives, friends and colleagues go through is always tough. The same applies to those who are made to disappear. They go through hell on earth.
The world agrees on the fact that making someone disappear is a ferocious act of violence. Various studies have shown that the goal of the abductors is to spread fear as people keep asking themselves – will I be next? Is it my friend’s turn? Is my son, parent, spouse next?
This is a form of human rights abuse. But, as a free society, a society that values dignity and human life, we must never let our dear ones fade into darkness. This is our call to all peace loving people. This is the way to defeat this form of terror by never giving up, by never losing hope.
We know that the government, which was put in office by the people, common people, is doing all in its power to ensure that Azory Gwanda returns home – safe and sound. We continue calling on the authorities to redouble their efforts. This is not only for Azory, but for all those who have disappeared without a trace.
As we mark 100 days since the disappearance of Azory, we urge authorities to think deeper and come up with security measures aimed at preventing the further disappearance of people, particularly journalists, who often find themselves exposed to retrogressive elements in society.
Sense of urgency key
One of the basic ingredients of development is having a sense of urgency. The general definition of the phrase ‘sense of urgency’ is acting with the realisation that efficiency is vital to success. In business, this expression refers to the ability of leaders to make decisions and drive activities in the organisation to meet important windows of opportunity in the industry. Why are we talking about ‘sense of urgency’ today? This is all about puzzling delays to fast-track the clearing of the 70 new rapid transit buses offloaded at the Port close to 10 days ago. The reason given is that the clearing agent has not completed the process. This is despite the fact that the Tanzania Ports Authority recently indicated it shouldn’t take more than 48 hours to clear cargo when all the paperwork is in order. Meanwhile, commuters all the way from Mbezi Luis to the city centre are daily struggling with crippling shortages of buses, turning the process to board a ‘mwendokasi’ into ‘survival of the fittest’. The antidote for this lackadaisical approach to business is competition. If competitors deliver solutions when customers want them, and you do not, you are out; if you drag your feet and arrive late to the marketplace, you end up with excess inventory.