8 Mar 2011

Low tech advocacy: Njombe bus stand closed by protesters

We don't like to overwhelm our supporters with too many posts in quick succession on this blog, but the coincidence of International Women's Day and the protests at Njombe bus stand give us good reason to make an exception.

Neither the Speaker of Parliament (the local MP) Anna Makinda, nor the Municipal Director George Mkindo, nor the Minister of Information, Culture and Sport, Emmanuel Nchimbi, passing through town en route from his constituency in Songea, were able to persuade the protesters to open the bus stand. We have no pictures of their efforts unfortunately, but we have plenty that illustrate the protest as well as the reasons behind it - so we'll let the pictures and the protesters signs do the talking. We will follow this up with some analysis at a later date.

Protesters at the blocked entrance
Low-tech barricades blocking the stand 
And the blocked exit
Inconvenience and risk on the roads as a result
The protesters' complaint: no maintenance of the bus stand
Both vehicles and traders pay daily charges to use the stand
"the stand is filthy, rubbish dumps are better"
"We're tired of being messed around. Every day, 20,000 shillings"
"Leaders, you only care for your stomachs"