Thursday, December 31, 2015

At last the 'Clinton-Symbion-MCC' Truth Comes Out

Both the print and social media are abuzz with 'new' revelations about Symbion, MCC and Clinton in Tanzania. 'Yours Truly' cannot help but recall the passages below in an article on Udadisi that was published on 18 December 2014 and republished in The Citizen on 11 January 2015. It seems 'the truth' is at last coming out.

Well, it all about access to power and information. The then US’ Secretary of the State and a presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, knows this very well. When she visited Ubungo in 2011 this is how she put it: “We believe in partnership, and we believe in competition. You heard Paul say that when MCC put out the bid to build power lines across this country, a lot of companies competed. But two American companies won. We are very proud of that because we, frankly, want more American companies competing for business in Africa. And we are going to take that message back to America, and urge them to get out here and compete for these foreign projects.”

And the Physics I was taught in Azania and Tambaza High School tells me that power is about pressure. Clinton also knows this. Little wonder she thus concluded her Remarks at the Symbion Power Plant in Ubungo: “So, I don't want to put a lot of pressure [on] Symbion and Pike Power, and on the linemen and the government, but this is important for everybody. If you do it right, we are going to go and tell that story across the world.”

Yet the pressure is mounting as the following excerpt from the MCC Statement on Board of Directors’ Discussion of Tanzania at the December 2014 Meeting: “MCC takes seriously all of its country partners’ commitments to combat corruption. At today’s meeting, MCC’s Board expressed continued concern over corruption in Tanzania, including the implications of the recent case involving Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL). The Board noted that Tanzania has experienced a significant decline over the past seven years on the key indicator measuring efforts to control corruption. While the Board voted to allow Tanzania to continue working to develop a compact proposal—given its passage on MCC’s policy scorecards and its strong previous performance as an MCC partner—the Board stated its expectation that the Government of Tanzania must take firm, concrete steps to combat corruption before a compact is approved. Further, the Board voted to continue MCC’s engagement with Tanzania with the understanding that, in accordance with the Tanzanian State House December 9 statement, the Tanzanian government would act promptly and decisively on the late November parliamentary resolutions regarding IPTL. The Board also reaffirmed more broadly that Tanzania must undertake a series of previously agreed upon structural reforms to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the energy sector, and more generally to deal with wider corruption.”

In a way it partly, albeit significantly, echoes Obama’s following remarks at Ubungo: “So Power Africa embraces this [Public-Private Partnership] model. Public and private resources will be matched with projects led by African countries that are taking the lead on reform. In this case, African governments commit to energy reforms. And the U.S. is committing some $7 billion in support, and private sector companies have already committed more than $9 billion. And this is just the beginning -- because we look forward to even more companies joining this effort.”

 But as the soon-to-be outgoing President, Obama was/is probably in a hurry more than Clinton: He thus also remarked: “Now, in order for this to work, then we all have to feel a sense of urgency. One of the things, Mr. President, that I learned around the business roundtable is if we are going to electrify Africa, we’ve got to do it with more speed. We can’t have projects that take, seven, eight, nine years to be approved and to get online.  If we’re going to make this happen, we’ve got to cut through the red tape, and that can only happen with leadership like the leadership that President Kikwete has shown.” 

Isn’t the message clear? Away with ‘Ugly Malaysians?’ Enter ‘America the Beautiful’?
Below are some of recent tweets on the 'new' revelations:

Carson email kwa Clinton: "(you participated in an Embassy organized, MCC supported Symbion event during your visit to Tanzania in June),” 

Email of aide Carson to Hillary: "Our Embassy thinks highly of Symbion’s work" - @RevKishoka @Islam_Dar @JamiiForums ... Emails zinanoga 

@MariaSTsehai @bmachumu @Islam_Dar @JamiiForums Its a puzzle they cant Solve,Symbion=Dowans= Richmond

Now reading: Emails Reveal How Far Clinton Was Willing to Go to Promote Ex-Ambassador's Interests | VICE News 

@ThabitSenior @MariaSTsehai @nyambane2015 @bmachumu It's obvious from this piece that Symbion benefited from indirect Clinton relationship.

"Symbion hired Wilson in June 2009 and paid him $20,000 a month, according to court documents" 

Months after Wilson contacted Clinton abt Symbion, MCC granted it $100 million in contracts to provide power to Tanzania. MCC Chair -Hillary

@MariaSTsehai Another article from Africa Intelligence claimed last week that Symbion has failed to raise money for #Tanzania projects

Fiscal Discipline and the Integrity of our Leaders

Institutional Integrity and the Fiscal Discipline of our Leaders

Chambi Chachage

History has a funny way of repeating itself over and over again. The speedy intervention of President Magufuli on the financial sector has even left some of our leftist intellectuals awed. It is as if the first president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Nyerere, has returned.

 The times have changed. But the challenges are more or less the same. In the beginning of his presidency, Nyerere, like Magufuli, had to deal with pompous leaders who hardly cared about financial responsibility. In an otherwise sympathetic take on 'The Critical Phase In Tanzania 1945-1968', Cranford Pratt had this to say:

"A High Commissioner ignored financial regulations and ordered an official Austin Princess motor-car which he felt the dignity of his office required. A junior Minister spent public funds to rent herself a Jaguar for a holiday weekend while in Britain. A Minister drew a generous daily living allowance while on a foreign trip, even though his expenses were fully met by the host government."
It is important to recall that, unlike Magufuli, Nyerere was heading a country that was openly trying to become egalitarian. Yet it had some leaders who had no problem with inequality. They were bold enough to even defy one of the most strict presidents the country has ever had. Pratt thus recalled how they frustrated his friend:

"The Minister of Regional Administration ignored a Presidential instruction and ordered seventeen Mercedes-Benz for the Regional Commissioners. Ministers sought a gratuity of twenty-five per cent of their total salaries because they had no job security. The issues were often minor, even petty, but they revealed an acquisitiveness that was discouraging to Nyerere. 'Enough! I do not want to see this file again', was his angry, perhaps even desperate minute in regard to one of the minor ministerial abuses of his office."

Being angry or strict, as Nyerere learned very early on, was not and could not be enough to ensure that leaders do not fail to adhere to what Professor Ernest Wamba refers to as the "principle of fidelity" in his definition of corruption. A country cannot simply depend on the good will of a person. Integrity has to be institutional(ized).
Take, for example, the case of the four officials of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) who were recently suspended, 'allegedly', because they defied the presidential order of not travelling abroad without a permit from the Chief Secretary. As a bold attempt at curbing recurrent expenditures, the presidential directive is laudable. But the question lingers: Could they do so if there was a 'decentralized' institutional setup to prevent this in the first place? What if their Director General gave them a go ahead? 

As far as technocracy is concerned, it is thus refreshing to note that the president has appointed a Minister of Finance who is said to be 'Mr. Nonsense' when it comes to fiscal discipline. However, from the point of view of ideology, as we have observed about 'The New Minister of Finance and the Fiduciary Future of Tanzania', it is justified to be wary of 'a World Bank Man'. Nevertheless, if there is anything useful to take from its contradictory institutional legacy, it is this critical stance on the salary increase in 1961, which "added £ 1,100,000 to the government's wage bill", as Pratt captured it:

"[Nyerere] noted that the World Bank report had said that the Tanganyikan government could not expect to raise its revenues by more than £ 1,000,000. He went on to argue that 'if there was a person on the moon and he had taken the World Bank Report...and taken the recommendation of the government and put them side by side, he would say 'this government!' An intelligent mission tells us that they cannot raise their revenue by more than £ 1,000,000 and they are handling all this £ 1,000,000 to their civil service. They must be in serious love with their civil service."
Surely all our civil servants have to, and must, be paid well so that they can perform better and remain in (public) service. This is especially important given that some of them are attracted to the private sector. However, there has to be a balance between the revenues that we collect and the salaries that we pay. Moreover,  their earnings should resonate with those of our main producers.

Recent debates about the salary of the celebrated Director General of the National Housing Corporation (NHC), Nehemiah Mchechu, is instructive in this regard. In responding to accusations that his salary is exorbitant, he asserts that it is lower than the alleged amount of Tsh 36 million. He also argue that he was paid more money in the private sector but opted to accept a lower salary in the public sector for the sake of rebuilding it and serving the country.

Mchechu also reminds those who query his salary about the amount of money he is enabling the government to collect. Elsewhere, in his exclusive interview with TanzaniaInvest.Com, he notes that now, being five years since his appointment, NHC "boasts of a balance sheet of around USD 2 billion." It is quite possible that he is under attack because of his potential of becoming one of the leaders that would aid Magufuli in his quest to fill public coffers. Nonetheless his case of traversing the private and public sectors can help us understand what is at stake in instilling fiscal discipline.
When leaders started being distracted from paying attention to their public responsibilities in the 1960s by engaging in private company directorship and construction of houses for renting, the solution was to institutionalize the separation of leadership and business. As Pratt noted, this came in the form of these prohibitions for middle or senior leaders that were 'adapted in/by' the Arusha Declaration: 

"(1) holding shares in a private company; (2) being a director of a private company; (3) receiving more than one salary; (4) owning one or more houses which are rented to others...."

Lest we trash them as being outdated, let's revisit this recent case:

"[Mchechu] Anasema kuwa kuna baadhi ya vigogo serikalini na watumishi wa shirika hilo waliokuwa wakiendesha ukodishaji wa nyumba kwa mikataba ya kilaghai na NHC kwa kulipatia fedha kidogo wakati wanatoza fedha nyingi kwa wapangaji [Mchechu says that there are some big shots in the government and NHC officials who were renting houses by using dubious contracts with NHC, making it collect little rents while they got a lot of money from tenants]"

Discipline in matters of public finance can thus not be addressed without tackling the thorny issue of 'conflict of interests' among leaders. The fact that the country's policy-cum-ideology continues to be 'market economy', as President Magufuli has reiterated in his recent meeting with the business community, is not an excuse for leaders to conflate private interests and 'public interest'. We need to be assured that our public and their private spheres are separated.

Yes, the public need to be sure beyond any reasonable doubt that a leader of a parliamentary standing committee responsible for public companies, such as the Air Tanzania Company (ATC) Limited, is not using his position to make a quick profit for his private aviation company. We need to be sure that a leader of a similar committee responsible for energy and minerals is not using the information and connections there to benefit his/her own private mining pits or an electric power generating plant. And the list goes on and on.
Critics of the concept of 'conflict of interest' would ask: 'But how can you really be sure?' By ensuring that no such persons hold such positions of leadership in the first place. In this regard, the question is not simply about declaring your 'conflict of interests' and then staying on to safeguard them right there. Rather, it is about having to opt out of something public because of vested personal interests.

Perhaps these critics, who apparently view this concept from a leftist vantage point of 'class analysis', might find Lionel Cliffe's Marxian take on 'Personal or Class Interest: Tanzania's Leadership Condition' in the 1970s below palatable and applicable even today:

"..... Of course, in some countries, while it is not precisely admired, it is nevertheless accepted that political office will lead to business gain. In these circumstances, personal wealth can become a pre-essential as well as a by-product of a political career. In many Commonwealth countries, there is a general feeling that such overt self-interest should not motivate political decisions, and hence the 'declaration of interest' rule. Yet this rule refers to specific, personal interest, and in so far as it is concerned with questions other than the preservation of legality and personal integrity, it assumes that there is likely to be some conflict with the 'public good'. If one think further of the kinds of specific circumstances in which the declaration of interest is likely to occur, one realizes that often the possible deflection of benefits or resources would be against public interest because it offends against the notion of free competition-such as the awarding of tenders, pricing of purchased properties, etc.... To this extent the declaration of interest rule usually precludes the possibility of personal interest dictating the distribution of favours or services. However, where this rule operates, those making the decisions are not precluded from making decision which benefit the broad social categories to which the majority of them might belong. An MP may not take part in a vote on an issue affecting the award of some contract, say, to his company; he is, normally, a party to decision about the level at which his company - and all others - will pay tax...."

Our country cannot afford to easily let off the hook our leaders 'both ways'. While a market economy may continue to make them part and parcel of the 'political-cum-business elite', we can at least ensure they are disciplined enough, fiscally, by separating personal interests from public interests. It can be done, albeit, institutionally.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Shivji: Magufuli na Ujenzi wa Uchumi wa Kitaifa

"Katika mahojiano haya Prof. Shivji anaainisha mwelekeo wa Rais Magufuli, kwa kuchambua hotuba ya Rais kwa wafanyabiashara tarehe 3 Desemba 2015. Hoja ya Prof. Shivji ni kwamba mwelekeo wa Rais ni kuchukua hatua za awali za kujenga uchumi wa kitaifa (national economy), na katika mahojiano haya Prof. Shivji anachambua sifa na masharti ya uchumi wa aina hiyo" -

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Dr. Mpango and the Fiduciary Future of Tanzania

New Finance Minister and the Fiduciary Future of Tanzania

Chambi Chachage

At last we have a new minister of finance. He is none other than Dr. Philip Mpango. After a stint as the acting Commissioner of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) that has collected nearly 1.3 trillion shillings within a month, he seems fit to handle the treasury.

The media and the market must be excited. Why shouldn't they after what transpired in South Africa in the wake of the firing, hiring and rehiring of finance ministers within a week. No wonder Reuters has promptly posted an update entitled 'Former World Bank Economist Mpango named Tanzanian Finance Minister.' 

Probably reminiscing on their encounters at the World Bank and via the then hailed Public Expenditure Review (PER), Rakesh Rajani tweets: "Philip Mpango is a serious, technically sound, no-nonsense choice as Minister of Finance. Huge juggernaut to manage!"
If the Minister of Finance is indeed the 'financial face' of a country then we should expect the 'fiduciary future' of Tanzania to reflect what has been his vision and mission. One can hardly expect that to drastically change given that President Magufuli has reiterated, in his meeting with the 'business community', that the country will continue with its 'ideology-cum-policy' of a "market economy."

What Mpango - which literarily means 'Plan' - is bringing to the table, it seems, would be akin to what happened when President Mkapa was in power. It is more about 'tightening the rope' as far as revenue collection is concerned. But in terms of the underlying ideology/policy, it would be business as usual i.e. 'neoliberalism'.

Unless some mysterious changes occurs, we should expect Dr. Mpango to adhere as close as possible to this brief that captures his vision: "Socio-Economic Transformation for Poverty Reduction: Eight Key Messages for Unlocking Tanzania’s Potential." It is important to note that at that time, i.e. 2012/2013, he was the 'Executive Secretary, President’s Office – Planning Commission'.
On "Message No. 5 – A strong developmental state", he writes:

"The Government of Tanzania will need to maintain a consistent focus on long-term national aspirations, undertake SMART [= Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely] interventions in areas that are not sexy to the private sector, leverage private sector investment and forge joint ventures. Government support is required to create an enabling environment for business and offer incentives for local entrepreneurs to lead growth. One of the important elements in the successful socio-economic transformation of the countries examined has been the central and strategic role of the state in economic growth and structural transformation. The respective states were able to govern and guide development with a decisive ideological orientation, effective institutions and policies underpinned by adequate bureaucratic and organizational capacity and political will. Optimal policy measures related to economic as well as social development were fast-tracked and a lot of effort went into nurturing, encouraging and facilitating private sector participation."
It would thus be foolhardy, especially for our 'new breed' of democratic socialists, to think that the 'neoliberal state' will stop regarding the private sector as the 'engine of development'. When one sees the state house hosting the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) or the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), he/she should know that the future does not belong to the erstwhile 'parastatal' (public company) of the Ujamaa era. To stress this point, let us digress by 'crosschecking' the statement below:

"The Tanzanian Government has recently announced that six private companies will replace the current state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) in power generation and transmission by 2022, to reduce the financeable risk in power purchase agreements and improve tariffs’ structures. The six companies would be established in Tanzania’s Eastern, Northeastern, Northwestern, Central, Southeastern, and South Highland regions to strategically deliver electricity across the country and support development objectives. The transition process from the current integrated model with one parastatal organization alone, to six private companies is part of the electricity generation sub sector unbundling process, which aims at separating the power transmission and distribution segments to ensure competition and cost efficiency" - [December 10, 2015]
Such a 'somewhat privatization' process should not come as a surprise given that one of the 'presidential promises' had to do with 'industrializing Tanzania'. But, as far as the 'post-socialist state' is concerned, this time the 'captains of industry' are mainly expected to come from the private sector. And who else is qualified to assist the president towards that direction more than Dr. Mpango who penned "Message No. 4 – Industrialisation strategies" below?
"Experience from East Asia and Brazil indicate that home-grown, export-oriented industrialisation led by private entrepreneurs (local and foreign) opens up broader opportunities for sustainable growth. In this context, it would seem most logical that Tanzania embarks on industrial development based on specific industries and sectors where Tanzania has latent comparative advantage such as availability of raw materials (crops, livestock and fisheries, forestry resources and minerals) and on promoting industry clustering through Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to produce electronic and electrical goods as well as other manufactured goods that are in high demand in the region. Drawing upon lessons from Southeast Asia, an industrialisation strategy for Tanzania will have to include industry-clustering preceded by a frontal attack on business-unfriendly and inefficient practices and cultures, minimising the frequency and intensity of policy reversals, reviewing labour laws for flexibility, securing land for mass production activities, improving logistics and supply chains for intermediate inputs, and upgrading infrastructure. These are necessary to unlock or attract FDIs and sunset industries from countries like China where firms are in the process of upgrading their business models and processes to move up the value chain and are willing to relocate their labour-intensive activities to countries and regions where labour costs are much lower."
And to do so, Dr. Mpango would surely attempt to implement his "Message No. 6 – A stable and predictable political and macroeconomic framework", which succinctly states that:

"In all countries surveyed, it is crystal clear that successful socio-economic transformation relies on the prudent implementation and adjustment of fiscal (tax and non-tax revenues, domestic and foreign debt, expenditure) and monetary policies (money supply, exchange rates, foreign reserves) as they affect a country’s competitiveness."
Both the World Bank's country representative and the governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) - a former World Bank lead  economist - must be very happy. Yet there are those who feel a sense of déjà vu. As they compare, by way of 'back to the future', Mkapa's 1995-2000 and Magufuli's 2015-2020, they may warily wonder: Can anything good come out of the World Bank?

For me the question would be: After Dr. Mpango applies his "Tanzania Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Review: Some Insights" (from the World Bank) to fill the government coffers, will our dear country "graduate to middle-income status"? In other words, can money end poverty? Or is 'making poverty history' primarily a matter of policy/ideology? 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Azimio la Arusha:Tiba ya Mgongano wa Maslahi?

Madhara ya Azimio la Zanzibar ndiyo hayo hapo juu. Azimio la Arusha lilipokataza watumishi wa umma kutoa huduma binafsi kwa umma liliona mbali. Pengine unabii huu unaanza kutimia:

" But I still think that in the end Tanzania will return to the values and basic principles of the Arusha Declaration (Lakini bado ninadhani mwisho wa siku Tanzania itarejea kwenye maadili na misingi ya Azimio la Arusha" - Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere

Harvey on Anarchy and Authority

".... To begin with, the left is not very good at answering the question of how we build massive infrastructures. How will the left build the Brooklyn bridge, for example? Any society relies on big infrastructures, infrastructures for a whole city—like the water supply, electricity and so on. I think that there is a big reluctance among the left to recognize that therefore we need some different forms of organization. The left is not very good at answering the question of how we build massive infrastructures, for which we need some different forms of organization. There are wings of the state apparatus, even of the neoliberal state apparatus, which are therefore terribly important—the center of disease control, for example. How do we respond to global epidemics such as Ebola and the like? You can’t do it in the anarchist way of DIY-organization. There are many instances where you need some state-like forms of infrastructure. We can’t confront the problem of global warming through decentralized forms of confrontations and activities alone.... I have never been in an anarchist meeting where there was no secret authority structure. There is always this fantasy of everything being horizontal, but I sit there and watch and think: ‘oh god, there is a whole hierarchical structure in here—but it’s covert’.... At some point we have to create organizations which are able to assemble and enforce social change on a broader scale. For example, will Podemos in Spain be able to do that? In a chaotic situation like the economic crisis of the last years, it is important for the left to act. If the left doesn’t make it, then the right-wing is the next option. I think—and I hate to say this—but I think the left has to be more pragmatic in relation to the dynamics going on right now.... For example, it would be interesting if Podemos looked towards organizing forms of democratic confederalism—because in some ways Podemos originated with lots of assembly-type meetings taking place all over Spain, so they are very experienced with the assembly structure. The question is how they connect the assembly-form to some permanent forms of organization concerning their upcoming position as a strong party in Parliament. This also goes back to the question of consolidating power: you have to find ways to do so, because without it the bourgeoisie and corporate capitalism are going to find ways to reassert it and take the power back...." - David Harvey on 'Consolidating Power'

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Majibu ya Magufuli na Kazi ya Wanahabari Wetu

Majibu ya Magufuli na Kazi ya Kikatiba ya Wanahabari

Chambi Chachage

Hatimaye Rais Magufuli amekidhi kiu ya wananchi tuliokuwa tunasubiri kwa hamu atangaze Baraza jipya la Mawaziri. Mjadala mkali kuhusu uteuzi wa baadhi ya 'wale wale' wa 'CCM ni ile ile' unaendelea mitandaoni, runingani na ushorobani. Kujikita katika kujiuliza kwa nini huyu, huyo ama yule yupo au hayupo kunaweza kusababisha tusahau kujadili kwa kina jambo lingine muhimu sana linalohusu haki ya kikatiba lililotokea wakati wa utangazaji huo.

Kwa mara ya kwanza toka ateuliwe kuwa Rais, tumepata fursa ya kumsikiliza akiulizwa maswali ya 'papo kwa hapo' na waandishi wa habari. Tukumbuke kuwa kutokana na sababu za kisiasa, wakati wa kampeni hatukupata fursa ya kumwona Rais Magufuli katika ule Mdahalo wa Wagombea Urais ulioandaliwa na taasisi ya Twaweza na kuendeshwa na mwanamawasiliano Maria Sarungi Tsehai. Pia hatujui kwa nini hatukuweza kumsikiliza akihojiwa na BBC Swahili Dira TV katika vipindi vya mfulululizo vya kuwahoji wagombea viliyoendeshwa na mwanahabari Zuhura Yunus.
Nafasi ambayo angalau tuliipata ni ile ya kusoma mahojiano yake ya kimaandishi na gazeti mojawapo linaloheshimika nchini. Hata fursa hiyo haikukidhi hitaji la tuliotaka kumsikia Magufuli akijibu kwa uwazi maswali magumu ambayo yamekuwa yanawasumbua wadadisi kwa muda. Mmoja wa waasisi wa gazeti hilo alikuwa na haya ya kusema kuhusu mchakato huo wa kujitahidi kumhoji:

"Kwa mfano, gazeti hili lilipata fursa ya kumhoji siku za hivi karibuni, na akaelekeza apelekewe maswali kabla ya siku ya mahojiano. Pamoja na kupeleka maswali kabla ya mahojiano, alishindwa kujibu maswali aliyoyaona kama nyeti. Mojawapo ya maswali yaliyomshinda ni lile lililohusu “uuzaji” wa nyumba za serikali (uuzaji ambao kwa kweli haukuwa uuzaji bali ugawaji). Swali hilo lilimshinda kujibu pamoja na kuwa alikuwa amekwisha kupelekewa maswali kabla ya mahojiano" - Jenerali Ulimwengu (30 Septemba 2015:

Baada ya kurejea historia, ama muktadha na usuli, huo kwa ufupi, tujikite katika tukio la leo kama lilivyorekodiwa katika vyombo vya habari. Hapo tunamwona Rais Magufuli akianza na maneno haya: "Waheshimiwa sana Waandishi wa Habari, nimewaiteni kwa ghafla sana ili kukwepa yale mambo ya 'breaking news'. Kwa hiyo 'breaking news' zina-'break' sasa hivi..." Kisha tunamwona Rais wetu akiongelea jinsi gani ambavyo kumekuwa na 'speculations' (minon'gono/utabiri) kuhusu Baraza la Mawaziri na kukikiri kuwa sisi wanananchi tumesubiri kwa muda mrefu. Pia tunamwona akitambua hitaji letu - ama haki haki yetu - ya kujua/kufahamu.

Maneno hayo ya awali yanadhihirisha kwamba Rais anaelewa fika kuwa kupashana kwa uwazi na ukweli habari za uhakika husaidia kuzima min'ong'ono. Pengine ndiyo maana baada ya kutangaza Baraza lake dogo la Mawaziri, linalomjumuisha Katibu Mwenezi wa CCM, Nape Nnauye, kama Waziri wa Habari n.k., akamalizia  kwa kusema: "Labda kuna maswali kidogo, moja, mbili."

Sasa hapo ndipo tunapoona kile ambacho ama ni uwezo mdogo wa waandishi wetu wa habari kuuliza maswali muhimu au ni umahiri wa Rais 'kupotezea.' Watetezi wa wanahabari wanaamini 'kuuliza si ujinga' kama walivyonena Wahenga wetu. Ila watetezi wa Rais wanaamini kuwa hakuna muda wa kupoteza, hivyo, wanahabari wafanye kazi yao kwanza (homework), maana sasa "hapa kazi tu."

Tuanze na haya maswali na majibu yaliyokuwa kifungua pazia:

Mwanahabari: Katika kutaja hizi Wizara na Mawaziri kuna baadhi ambazo hukutaja na kusema bado hujapata hao mawaziri. Tungependa kujua tatizo ni nini hasa? Wabunge wa Jamhuri ya Muungano kutoka chama chako hawana sifa au nini hasa kimetokea?

Magufuli: Mimi nakushukuru swali lako. Umeniuliza....Mimi nilitegemea ungeniuliza kwa nini sikuteua siku hiyo hiyo nilipoteuliwa. Nimeamua nianze na hawa. Hao waliobaki wanne nao wataingia baadaye. Kwa hiyo subira yavuta heri. Usiwe na haraka.

Jibu hili katika medani ya siasa na stratejia ni zuri sana kwa kuwa halimpi muuliza swali kila kitu kilichopo 'jikoni' au kile kinachoendelea 'nyuma ya pazia.' Lakini kwa kufanya hivyo pia linaweza kuchochea zaidi 'minong'ono (speculations). Kwa mfano, wapo wadadisi wa mambo ambao wanaamini kwamba kuna uwezekano kwamba Rais anataka kufanya kile ambacho Rais Muhammadu Buhari wa Nigeria amefanya, yaani, kusimamia Wizara fulani mwenyewe. Pia wapo wachunguzi wa mambo ambao wanaona hii ni ishara kwamba kuna msuguano wa ndani kwa ndani 'chamani/serikalini' kuhusu nani hasa anatakiwa kuwa Waziri wa Wizara nyeti sana ya fedha (hasa ukizingatia huko ndiko Rais alipoanza nako alipofanya ziara ya kushtukiza na pia ndipo ambako kunalengwa na ule upelelezi wa taasisi ya uchunguzi wa matukio ya kifisadi ya Uingereza ijulikanayo kwa kifupi kama SFO).

 Pia inafanya watu wajiulize iweje kiongozi mwenye uzoefu wa hali ya juu katika kuendesha Wizara ya Ujenzi atumie muda mwingi kumtafuta 'mrithi' wake. Hali kadhalika inafanya watu wahoji ni kwa nini Waziri wa Elimu asubiriwe hivyo ilhali hii ni Desemba 2015 na kuna kazi ya ziada ya kutimiza ahadi ya elimu bure kwa shule za Msingi na Sekondari ifikapo Januari 2016.

Tunapokuja kwenye swali la pili kuhusu Wizara gani zitaungana na TAMISEMI kuhamia Dodoma ambako ndipo yalipo Makao Makuu ya nchi yetu, Rais anatoa jibu hili linalofanana na kile alichokuwa akikisema wakati wa Kampeni: "Kuhusu Dodoma tutatekeleza yaliyopo kwenye ilani ya Chama cha Mapinduzi." Katika aya ya 151 ya ilani hiyo yenye kichwa cha habari cha 'Kuhamia Makao Makuu Dodoma' tunakutana na maneno haya ambayo kwa kiasi kikubwa yanazima min'ongono (ama matamanio) ya Magufuli, Ikulu Kuu na Wizara zote za Serikali kuhamia huko hivi karibuni:

Chama Cha Mapinduzi kinatambua jitihada zilizofanywa na Serikali za kuunganisha mji wa Dodoma na mikoa mingine kwa njia ya barabara zalami. Aidha, baadhi ya majengo ya Serikali yameendelea kujengwa Dodoma likiwemo jengo la Bunge, Benki Kuu, Hazina, Chuo Kikuu cha Dodoma na Shirika la Nyumba la Taifa limejenga nyumba kwa ajili ya makazi ya wananchi. Katika kipindi cha utekelezaji wa Ilani hii ya 2015-2020, Chama Cha Mapinduzi kitaielekeza Serikali kufanya yafuatayo:-

(a) Kutunga Sheria itakayoutambua mji wa Dodoma kuwa Makao Makuu ya nchi;

(b) Kusimamia azma ya Serikali ya kuhakikisha majengo yote ya Wizara za Serikali yanajengwa Dodoma badala ya Dar es Salaam; na

(c) Kuongeza kasi ya kupima viwanja kwa ajili ya makazi, viwanda na taasisi na kuendelea kuiweka miundombinu ikiwemo maji, umeme na barabara.

Pengine swali la tatu kuhusu 'Semina Elekezi' na jibu lake ndilo limekonga sana nyoyo za walio wengi. Hapa tunamwona Rais ambaye ('mpaka sasa') ameonesha nia ya dhati na ujasiri wa wazi wa kudhibiti matumizi mabaya ya fedha za Umma/Serikali akisema bajeti ya semina hizo ("zaidi ya shilingi bilioni 2") zitaelekezwa kwenye shughuli "muhimu zaidi" za kimaendeleo. Itakumbukwa kwamba wafaidika wakuu wa semina hizo zilizoasisiwa na Rais wa Awamu ya Nne hotelini Ngurdoto mjini Arusha, Jakaya Kikwete, walilazimika kuachia ngazi, miaka miwili na ushee tu baada ya 'kupigwa msasa', pale aliyekuwa Waziri Mkuu, Edward Lowassa, alilazimika kujiuzulu kwa kashfa ya Richmond mwaka 2008 na hivyo kupelekea Baraza la Mawaziri kuvunjwa na kuundwa 'upya'.

Swali la Mhariri Manyerere Jackton wa gazeti la Jamhuri kuhusu gharama zilizookolewa kwa kupunguza ukubwa wa baraza nalo lilipelekea Rais ampe 'kazi' ya ziada ya kwenda kupiga mahesabu. Pia lilitupa fursa ya kujua kwamba, kumbe, Magufuli alijiandaa kwa maswali yanayohusu miundo ya mabaraza ya mawaziri kwa kuja na kabrasha lenye takwimu za mabaraza mbalimbali duniani. 

Pamoja na kwamba swali lifuatalo lilitoka 'nje ya mada/tukio', ni dhahiri kwamba tunahitaji kupata jibu hilo na huu sasa ni wakati mwafaka kwa mhusika ama msemaji rasmi kutupasha habari:

Mwanahabari: Mheshimiwa Rais, wakati unaongea na Wafanyabiashara ulitoa siku saba; wale ambao walikuwa wamekwepa kulipa kodi walipe zile hela. Na kumbukumbu zinaonesha siku saba zimetimia, zile hela zimesharejeshwa?

Magufuli: Swali lako nenda kamuulize Kamishna Msaidizi wa TRA
Ukakasi unajitokeza (zaidi) pale wanahabari walipojaribu kuhoji mantiki ya idadi ya manaibu waziri kwa kuzingatia uunganishaji wa wizara na vigezo vilivyotumika kuwarudisha mawaziri kadhaa kutoka kwenye Baraza lililopita. Yafuatayo ni majibu waliyopewa:

Magufuli: Kafanye utafiti kwanza uangalie hiyo Wizara ya Ofisi ya Waziri Mkuu inayoshughulikia sera, Bunge, ajira, vijana, walemavu, tumeunganisha Wizara ngapi... tumeweka Manaibu Waziri wawili. Utapata jibu lake.

Magufuli: Kwanza kwa sababu umekosea hata kupiga hesabu, kafanye hesabu vizuri. Kwa awamu iliyopita Mawaziri waliorudi ni saba sasa umesema kumi. Kwa hiyo, ukirudi huko ukapiga vizuri hesabu zako, utaelewa ni vigezo gani nilivyovitumia.

Ingawa kimahesabu, Waziri kama Profesa Mwijarubi Muhongo hakuwa kwenye Baraza lililopita, kimantiki ni sehemu ya lililowahi kuwa Baraza la Mawaziri la Rais Kikwete kabla ya kulazimika kujiuzulu kutokana na sakata endelevu la akaunti ya Tegeta Escrow. Hivyo, wanahabari wanahitaji kujua kwa nini amerudi. Vivyo hivyo wanastahili kujua kwa nini Dakta Hussein Mwinyi amerudi hasa baada ya zile kadhia ya ulipukaji wa mabomu Mbagala na Gongo la Mboto. Pia wanataka kujua imekuwaje Dakta Harrison Mwakyembe karudi ukizingatia kuna 'utumbuaji majipu' katika Wizara aliyekuwepo kabla, yaani ya Uchukuzi n.k.

Lakini pia ukitumia mantiki ya kwamba hata waliokuwa Manaibu Mawaziri nao walikuwa ni sehemu ya Serikali ya Awamu ya Nne, unajikuta na majina mawili tu ambayo yanaonekana kuwa mageni miongoni mwa Waziri kamili - Nape Nnauye na Dakta Augustine Mahiga. Ila hata wao  wamekuwa sehemu ya tawala zilizopita kwa kushika nyadhifa kubwa kwenye medani za itikadi au intelijensia na diplomasia katika chama au serikali. Ndiyo maana kuna kiu ya kujua ni vigezo gani hasa vimetumika au ni 'suluhu tu ya kichama.'
Cha kushangaza pia ni kwamba wanahabari, wakiwamo wanawake waliouliza maswali leo, hawakuibua swali zito la usawa/uwiano wa kijinsia. Hesabu za haraka haraka zinaonesha kuwa mawaziri kamili wanawake ni watatu tu kati ya mawaziri kamili kumi na tano ambao wamekwishatangazwa. Na hiyo ni sawa na takribani asilimia 20 tu. Na ikitokea, kwa 'bahati iliyoje', mawaziri wanne waliobakia wote wakawa wanawake basi hiyo asilimia itapanda kiasi na kuwa asilimia 36 na ushee. Ila tukiwajumlisha na manaibu wao basi idadi ya wanawake inakuwa ni nane kati ya thelathini, hiyo ikiwa ni takribani asilimia 26. Wale wanne waliosalia nao wakiwa wanawake basi idadi hiyo itakuwa ni kumi na mbili kati ya thelathini na nne, ikiwa ni sawa na asilimia 35 na ushee. Katika jamii ambayo wanawake ni wazalishaji na walishaji wakuu licha ya uwepo wa 'mfumo dume', kaulimbiu ya 'hapa kazi tu' inawahusu na hakika wanastahili kujulishwa ni kwa nini hizo asilimia ziko hivyo.
Wahenga walinena kuwa 'nyota njema huonekana asubuhi' na 'dalili ya mvua ni mawingu'. Kipindi hicho kifupi cha maswali na majibu kati ya Wanahabari na Rais kinaweza kutupa mwelekeo wa huko tuendako. Japo madai ya Katiba mpya yanazidi kusahaulika katika kipindi hiki cha mwamko wa 'Magufulika', tukumbuke kuwa hata hii Katiba ya Mwaka 1977 tuliyonayo inasisitiza kwamba:

"Kila mtu... anayo haki ya kupewa taarifa wakati wote kuhusu matukio mbalimbali muhimu kwa maisha na shughuli za wananchi na pia kuhusu masuala muhimu kwa jamii" - Ibara ya 14 (d)

Lakini pia Ibara ya 14 (b) ya Katiba hiyo tuirekebishayo inasema: 

"Kila mtu... anayo haki ya kutafuta, kupokea na kutoa habari bila ya kujali mipaka ya nchi"

Kupewa taarifa ni haki. Na kutoa habari ni kazi. Hapa hakikazi tu.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) Site

"The new website seeks to help reinvigorate scholar activism in and about Africa, and to involve new communities on the continent and elsewhere in a host of ROAPE activities, projects, conferences and events.  The aim is to develop a new audience for the Review, to generate material for both the website and for the print issue, and to build deeper and sustainable connections with scholars, students, activists and institutions who work in and on Africa. The site holds videos of conferences, interviews with scholars and activists, regular conference reports, a blog, details about ROAPE bursaries, ongoing ROAPE projectsreviews, longer online articles and free access through the publisher Taylor and Francis to our Briefings and Debates. We have a close connection to the French language site Afriques en Lutte who have many years’ experience covering social movements and uprisings in francophone Africa, and will provide coverage of developments and struggles taking place across French speaking Africa, events that are frequently invisible to an increasingly Anglophone world" -

Launching #AfricaBlogging




Uhuru: Tumetoka Mbali

Friday, December 4, 2015

Blogging Tanzania at Africa Blogging

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What Would Magufuli Do about Serious Fraud?

What would Magufuli do about the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) 'Statement of Facts'?

By Chambi Chachage

News about the swift actions of Tanzania's new President, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, have gone viral. From Australia to Zimbabwe, he is hailed as a role model on how a leader can enforce accountability and tackle corruption. Tanzanians are now 'walking tall' in Africa.

At a time when 'Magufuli Euphoria (Maguphoria)' is at its peak, the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has, ironically, presented us with yet another challenge reminiscence of the one it posed during the BAE's Air Traffic Control System (Radar) scandal. In 2008 SFO came up with, among others, the names of the then Minister of Infrastructure and former Attorney General, Andrew John Chenge, and the former Director of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) and former governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BOT), Dr. Idris Rashid, as having benefitted, financially, from the controversial selling of radar to Tanzania. Chenge had to resign after infamously - and indeed arrogantly - claiming that the over $1.5 million that SFO alleged he had received through an offshore Barclays Bank account in Jersey is merely peanuts ("vijisenti").

This time around, the State House in Tanzania is in a seemingly celebratory mood after SFO struck a "plea deal" with the Standard Bank through a British court that would also enable "a $6 million fine plus interest of over $1 million to be paid to the government of Tanzania." But not all is rosy as the statement made by the Chief Permanet Secretary, Ombeni Sefue, indicates. There is more to be done in terms of investigating and, ultimately, prosecuting  through the promised and anticipated special court for grand corruption (ufisadi), those who benefitted directly and indirectly from bribery.

What is so puzzling, however, is the fact that our main 'source of facts' about what happened seems to be the British media. This is particularly troubling given that SFO's Statement of Facts has been  made publicly available online for the past four days or so. It seems some pertinent facts from their 'dossier' have either escaped top investigative journalists, rigorous public officials let alone critical scholars, activists and fiery politicians or were simply bypassed.

Even though in some cases people are not mentioned by names, the document does not mince words about those involved. Carefully crafted, the code its uses to mention some of the people have keys therein to decode them. One does not need to be Shylock Holmes, James Bond or even Johnny English to know those it is referring to. 

For instance, after narrating how "the alleged commission by Standard Bank plc [SB], now called ICBC Standard Bank plc, of an offence of failing to prevent bribery by its former sister company Stanbic BankTanzania Limited [ST] by the actions of ST's then Chief Executive Officer (Bashir Awale) [BA]and/or Head of Corporate and Investment Banking (Shose Sinare) [SS] contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010",  on page 11 SFO states: "A few weeks after the May meeting Minister B sent his son ST Employee Z to ST with a letter of introduction. BA said he would interview him personally, met him in July and then approved his recruitment as a graduate trainee within SS's (Shose Sinare) team. In due course, ST Employee Z played a minor part in this deal."  

But the clue to the identity of this minister is already provided on page 4: "The transaction was announced to the market in February 2013. A few days after this announcement, Mr Kitiliya in his capacity as Head of the Tanzanian Tax Authority was part of the GOT team (together with the Minister of Finance known herein as "Minister B" and other government officials) participating in investor calls about this intended sovereign note placement."

His son's identity and role is also evident on page 6: "The ST deal team also included "ST Employee Z", a graduate trainee and son of Minister B who ultimately signed off on this transaction."

Google is also handy in triangulating this information. The  Curriculum Vitae (CV) of one of a Member of Parliament (MPs) who fits with SFO's description contains this entry on employment history: Stanbic Bank (TZ) as the company name; Investment Banker as his position; and 2012 to 2014 as the duration. MPs champions conspiracy theories must now be feeling vindicated given that he vehemently opposed their attempt to initiate an inquiry into the death of his father so as to know if it had any connection to the diehard Tegeta Escrow Account scandal. 

SFO does not end there, it also ruffles the feathers of key public servants in the ministry that is so dear to the president and his plans of financing development for the poor majority. It is important to recall that after he was sworn in, Magufuli made an impromptu visit to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and stressed its centrality in regard to the collection and management of revenues. One could almost sense the level of trust he had on some public officials there.

In this regard the accusations against "Public Official E" who was the then "Deputy to Public Official X" in MOF on page 8 of SFO's document is a big blow. It introduces him as the "Recipient of the draft Letter of Proposal and mandate documentation from ST and described by SS [Soshe Sinare] in July 2012 as "the key person on this transaction." Elsewhere, on page 3, it thus connects him to the person who withdraw the "almost all of the EGMA US $6 million was withdrawn in cash between 18th and 27th March 2013":

"EGMA's Managing Director, Dr. Fratern Mboya had been Chief Executive Officer of theTanzanian Capital Markets and Securities Authority (a government agency established topromote and regulate securities business in the country) [CSMA] between 1995-2011. One ofDr Mboya's curriculum vitae referees was the then Deputy to the most senior Civil Servant (Treasury), MOF and one of the GOT officials involved in this transaction herein referred to as"Public Official E""

Now one can connect the dots and easily tell who this official is. To be fair, page 10 of SOF's document almost exonerates him when it describes how he 'prudently' dealt with the 'situation' when the Minister whom the late Minister B replaced was still in charge:

"He [Public Official E] apparently raised with SS [Shose Sinare] some objections raised by the technical MOF staff which SS  agreed to address in writing. SS [Shose Sinare] reported that Minister A was keen to see a draft Mandate Letter and close the deal quickly. During the same month SS [Shose Sinare] also "cleared the air" with Minister A, Public Official E and others about some issues which had arisen on the 2011 transaction."

If there is one lesson that we can learn from these "statements of fact" from SFO, then it is this: What we have seen is just a tip of an iceberg. While it is so easy to zero in on the apparent link between EGMA, Bashir Awale, Harry Kitilya (former Commissioner General of Tanzania Revenue Authority(TRA)) and the 'said owner' of the plot that its website says it is located at, i.e. 'Alfa House Plot 25', in simply doing so, that is, at the expense of other facts we may lose sight of the bigger picture. When we conclude what we know on the basis of the British media we easily miss the point, nay, iceberg beneath the weight of evidence that SFO has shared. 

By focusing on one 'Blacklist', we may easily find ourselves with a 'Blindspot' for the 'full list'. If what was referred to as the 'Network' (Mtandao) operated as a 'Cabal', then Magufuli's work of  bursting what he refers to as boils in our 'body politic' is only beginning.

What would Magufuli do? Scratch the surface? Or get to the root?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Shindano la Hadithi Fupi la Andika na Soma

Karibu kwenye ulingo wa kutafakari kuhusu tunapotoka,tulipo,tuendako na namna ambavyo tutafika huko tuendako/Welcome to a platform for reflecting on where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and how we will get there

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