Thursday, June 23, 2011
Another 'Daily News' journo scoops major award
A 'DAILY NEWS journalist, Mr Masembe Tambwe, has emerged the first prize winner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee World Refugee Day journalism award for 2011.
Mr Tambwe was awarded a laptop and certificate in recognition for his outstanding work in journalism as related to refugee's protection and assistance.
The colourful event, held in Dar es Salaam on Monday, went hand in hand with the commemoration of the World Refugee Day annually marked on June 20.
This is the year's third major award scooped by a 'Daily News' staff writer, after another 'Daily News' journalist, Mr Orton Kiishweko, early this year won the Journalist of the year award offered by the Tanzania Media Council.
Mr Kiishweko preceded another 'Daily News' scribe Abdallah Msuya who scooped the Best National Overall worker of the Year Award presented by the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA)
''This is indeed a privilege and honour to have won the award and receive the recognition.
''I would like to thank UNHCR for the award but mostly for the press mission I was in May this week where we got first hand experience on what it means to be a refugee as well as being familarised with the UN organ's operations,'' Mr Tambwe said after the ceremony.
The United Nations Media Communication Manager, Ms Hoyce Temu who was in the panel of judges said that they received numerous and well written articles and that choosing the top three winning ones was difficult task.
The Head of the Law Department of the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr Khoti Kamanga said that it was pleasing to finally see journalists being interested in giving a voice to refugees and urged them to continue with the cause.
The UNHCR Country Representative, Mr Oluseyi Bajulaiye congratulated the winner of the award and encouraged the media fraternity to nurture interest in refugee issues as well as educate the public on the same.
The winning article published in mid April was entitled ''UNHCR: Treat refugee information with caution'' targeted the media and cautioned it to cross check with the proper authorities prior to publishing articles about refugees for fear of plunging the nation into xenophobia.
There have been numerous reports in past months that the management of Katavi National Park had claimed that over 70 per cent of poaching activities were carried out by Burundian refugees who allegedly used modern military weapons to kill wild animals and made away with the national trophies.
Meanwhile a newly naturalized Tanzanian, Ms Grace Samson, made a passionate plea to the government and the media to sensitize Tanzanians to give them due recognition.
''Like any Tanzanian we should be treated with dignity without discrimination, xenophobia; stigmatization, marginalization and that we are not second class citizens,'' she pleaded.
''We people who are here today must not forget that in principle no person under the sun is immune to become a refugee considering numerous natural calamities and man made disastrous events currently facing our world,'' she cautioned.
In 2007, the government whilst seeking solution to the refugee issue in the country voluntarily repatriated over 360,000 Burundians, 66,000 Congolese refugees and offered naturalisation to 162,000 former Burundian refugees.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Alberic Kacou said that Tanzania needed to be applauded for its generosity of supporting and receiving people in their moment of extreme vulnerability.
Ms Kacou quoting the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban ki Moon, said that the burden of helping the world's forcibly displaced people was starkly uneven and that poor countries host vastly more displaced people than wealthier ones and this needed to change.
''While anti-refugee sentiment is heard loudest in industrialised countries, developing nations host 80 per cent of the world's refugees. This situation demands an equitable solution,'' he said.
He asked as the world celebrated the World Refugee Day, people everywhere should spare a thought for the millions of children, women and men who had been forced from their homes, who are at risk of their lives and who in some cases want nothing more than to return home or to start afresh.
SOURCE : DAILY NEWS ONLINE