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Enact By-Laws Against Pornography - Call

Dar es Salaam - Local authorities have been challenged to enact by-laws prohibiting the sale of pornographic magazines and videos.

Mr Alfred Fuime, the chief documentalist with the Women Information Centre (WIC), which is under the ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children's Affairs, said in Dar es Salaam that such magazines and video were a major source of moral decay in society.

He was opening a seminar on censorship of information materials.

The one-day training seminar attracted more than 60 participants, including librarians, lawyers, printers and students from higher learning institutions.

Mr Fuime said without controlling their circulation, children would continue buying magazines and watching videos that corrupted them.

He said in order to save the community, such magazines and video tapes should not be allowed into or kept at homes, libraries and schools.

"Local councils should enact bylaws that would ban the sale of magazines depicting violence or sexual matters...this will save children from being corrupted and preserve African culture," he stated.

Mr Fuime added that some parents had been contributing to the misbehaviour of their children by buying such magazines and keeping them at home.

"The time has come for parents to consider not keeping magazines or videotapes that can easily spoil their children...this should be done as a matter of urgency," he stressed.

For his part, Dr Frank Wema from the University of Dar es Salaam urged librarians, teachers and society in general to be on the lookout for illegal magazines and strive to keep them away from children.

"Be it at school or homes, parents, guardians and teachers should not show children any information or pictures depicting violence or acts of a sexual nature," he said.