It is the most important Christian festival and the one celebrated with the greatest joy. Easter is the day in which Christ’s suffering and death that brought salvation to all who believe. The Holy Week that ends today started on Palm Sunday. So far, the week has been peaceful with no serious incidents that involve reckless driving or other vices stemming from bad behaviour. Preparations for today’s Easter ball are over.
But the preparations have not been all that smooth. Greedy business people have hiked the prices of everything that goes with the festival, including the prices of goats, sheep, chicken and ducks. The price of meat goes so high that some consumers bowed out. Urban residents who prefer to spend the holidays in their rural home villages have already reported an escalation of bus fares especially on the routes that link major cities.
It is high time respective authorities moved in to control the price madness to save holiday-makers from further rip-off by unscrupulous business people. Experience shows that most people overspend during holidays and plunge into a long spell of virtual poverty in the coming days. It would be remiss not to point out here that road accidents increase sharply during the festive season because of drunken driving or even dare-devil use of roads and streets.
Suddenly, over drinking becomes fashionable and the result is careless driving, drunken brawls and fist fights. So, those who drink with complete abandon to mark the day and end up spending the night sleeping in the trenches must be stark raving mad. Easter should see peaceful celebrations that are graced by reunions of family members and friends.
Furthermore, Easter Sunday should not be a special day on which the police log the longest list of detainees or the day detention centres fill too full. The Police Force should strengthen its patrols on roads and streets and elsewhere. It is imperative to mention here that right-thinking Tanzanians are downright tired and incensed by the spate of road carnage. Government leaders, including President Jakaya Kikwete, have spoken bitterly about the chain of grim accidents in this country.
So, the presence of law enforcers today should also cover festival sights such as beaches, dance halls, bars and restaurants. A close eye should be kept on boda boda motorcyclists. Their cheap juggernauts have suddenly become the leading killers on our roads. We also call upon religious leaders to rail against unruly behaviour. They should agitate for greater respect for the laws of the land, the tenets of society and the cannons of the Church during the festival. We wish everyone a happy Easter Sunday.