UTPC strives to build capacity of Press Clubs in the country even further in phases under a special plan to enable them to exhibit development strides they have made so far
The brilliant idea was hatched during a recent two – day consultative meeting between Sida and UTPC, held at UTPC premises in Mwanza City.
In his contribution to the aforesaid plan, a Sida official, Mr. Stephen Chimalo said in doing so it would be better if more training was organized for both out coming and in coming Press Club office – bearers for an effective management to be in place.
Ms. Grace Mary Bange, also from Sida, emphasized that the cherished special plan should reflect not only the Press Clubs’ level of maturity, but also an implementation time frame.
“UTPC should see to it that a comprehensive data base or network, easily compiled capable of providing various information from the Press Clubs to the UTPC and vice versa so as to utilize time to the maximum”, she noted.
For his side, UTPC President, Mr. Deogratias Nsokolo said besides UTPC’s efforts to ensure that the Press Clubs kept growing and fulfilled its obligations efficiently, there was still need to review office bearers’ present three – year tenure for cherished achievements to be registered.
Dwelling on the same issue, UTPC Vice President, Ms. Jane Mihanji said Press Clubs’ leaders had been capacitated a great deal, since Press Clubs project was started and mentioned communication break – down between out coming and in coming office – bearers as a compounding challenge.
Also high on the agenda was an establishment of a Journalists Trade Union and Mr. Nsokolo said since the majority of journalism practitioners were mere freelancers, whose rightful wages are unpredictable and highly uncertain, media owners capitalized on that loophole to do whatever they wanted.
Ms. Jane clarified that the defunct Tanzania Union of Journalists (TUJ) was deregistered by the government because of mismanagement and wrangling among its leaders.
For his side, UTPC Executive Director, Mr. Abubakar Karsan said TUJ’s death had taught his organization a couple of lessons including the truth that it had a weak Constitution, no clear vision and that its members constituted employed journalists only, making difficult for it to advocate for the freelancers.
At this juncture, Mr. Chimalo wanted to know what could the new Trade Union’s income sources be if the Press Clubs members currently fail to pay both membership fees and annual subscriptions and how much preparedness is UTPC to ensure that it effectively oversees Trade Union members who are supposed to be those in the payroll only, in accordance with law?
Mr. Karsan assured the curious Sida official that the new Trade Union will certainly be able to survive considering that the law provides that any journalist, including a freelancer who earns a living is eligible to become a member.
In addition, he clarified, UTPC and the new Trade Union are two different entities registered with different laws and, therefore, UTPC is unlikely to fail to oversee the said Trade Union during its three years of its existence.
Responding to Mr. Chimalo’s another question as what else has UTPC done so far in relation to the establishment of the new Trade Union, Mr. Karsan said a new Constitution is was already in place and that other improvements were well underway