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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hongera Sana Dakta Jacqueline Halima Mgumia!





Friday, December 1, 2017

Herufi M: Namwogopa Mnangagwa Kuliko Mugabe

Namwogopa Mnangagwa Kuliko Mugabe

Chambi Chachage

Sijui kama kuna ukweli wowote kuwa kama jina lako la ukoo linaanziwa na herufi 'M' basi kuna uwezekano mkubwa wa kuwa Rais. Lakini ninapotazama ramani ya Afrika naona kumekuwa na Marais wengi wenye aina hiyo ya majina: Mandela, Mbeki, Mwinyi, Mkapa, Magufuli. Lakini lao nataka kuongelea Marais wawili waliopokezana vijiti kwa mbinde: Mugabe na Mnangagwa.

Hawa walikuwa Makamaradi. Nasikia eti  bado ni Makomredi. Walipigana pamoja kwenye vita vya ukombozi vya Chimurenga ya Pili. Pia walishirikiana katika mauaji ya kimbari ya Gukurahundi.

Ndiyo maana halikuwa jambo la ajabu pale ambapo mmoja wao alipoonekana kama mrithi wa mwenzake katika kiti cha Urais. Lakini kutokana na mazingira ya kutatanisha, urithi huo ilibidi upatikane kwa mapinduzi ya kijeshi ya aina yake. Mapinduzi hewa.

Leo mrithi huyo ajulikanaye kwa jina la utani la Mamba ambalo nalo linaanza na herufi 'M' ameripotiwa kuwa ameteua Mawaziri wakiwamo Makomredi wale wale wa Chimurenga na Gukurahundi. Hili linanikumbusha uchambuzi huu wa majuzi wa Profesa nguli:


Japo sitaki kumnanga mtu, napotafakari tunapoelekea kisiasa nadiriki kusema namwogopa sana Mnangagwa kuliko Mugabe. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

How Much Transparency in Fighting Corruption?

How Much Transparency is Needed in Fighting Corruption?

Dastan Kweka 

Twaweza released another installment of `Sauti za Wananchi` findings this week - this time focusing on corruption. What stands out is that citizens “report experiencing less corruption in their regular interactions with government (and other) institutions”, compared to 2014. This is happening after multiple incidents of newspapers suspension, and recent withdrawal from Open Government Partnership (OGP) - all seen as continuation of efforts to restrict civic space. Notably, withdrawal from OGP caused uproar, and many wondered how a government committed to fighting corruption would decide to distance itself from an initiative meant to achieve the same objective. This piece explores the thinking that seem to guide the fifth phase government's conception of accountability, and which may be informing its approach in the fight against corruption. 


In the brief that summarizes the findings, Twaweza notes that the fifth phase government has “brought a new approach” to fighting corruption, and mentions the establishment of anti-corruption court, and swift action in response to allegations of corruption as examples. Moreover, the brief notes that the (new) approach has attracted both “praise and criticism”. On criticism, the brief states;

“However, critics point to the lack of respect for (due) process and the rights of the accused, and to the apparent amnesty being given to former presidents for any involvement they may have had in past scandals. Further, the government is also doing other things that are likely to weaken anti-corruption efforts in the long term such as reducing space for media and public debate and removing Tanzania from the Open Government Partnership.”
 
The excerpt above suggests that transparency, and guaranteeing space for public debate, are key in fighting corruption. This is a conventional view. Evidence shows that transparency per se isn't sufficient. The fourth phase government, under President Kikwete, took significant steps to enhance transparency, as symbolized by the adoption of Open Government Partnership (OGP) as well as Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Other transparency (and accountability!) initiatives included African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) and even Publish What You Pay (PWYP). Government support for these initiatives was predicated on the belief that transparency was key in enhancing accountability. 

However, in spite of such multiple initiatives, accountability remained low. In terms of corruption, for instance, Transparency International`s corruption perception index rating for Tanzania remained almost stagnant - hovering around 30 to 35 (100 is not corrupt), between 2012 and 2015. In this period, Tanzania failed to improve its scores on the index “by a statistically significant amount.” Perhaps the irony of the limits of transparency in delivering accountability was well captured in Policy Forums Governance Review report (2012), which was titled `Transparency with Impunity`?

Corruption is an accountability issue. Scholars of accountability have differentiated between two dominant forms - horizontal, and vertical accountability. Horizontal accountability refers to the “capacity of state institutions to check abuses by other public agencies and branches of the government, or the requirement for agencies to report sideways.” Parliament and Judiciary are key institutions in this category, and are envisaged to work in a manner that checks the executive. However, vertical accountability is “the means through which citizens, mass media and civil society seeks to enforce standards of good performance on officials.” Actors under this form of accountability rely on public disclosures to be able to influence change. This explains the essence of Twaweza`s concern over space for media and country`s withdrawal from Open Government Partnership.
 
The current regime's approach to accountability, including the fight against corruption, seems to focus on enhancing horizontal accountability, while curtailing its vertical variant. This is, in part, due to the current regimes need to build its own power base, and a (historical) weak link between transparency and accountability. Vertical accountability depends  on the capacity of civil society to network, organize and influence public opinion. This is difficult in the context characterized by low public awareness, even of major corruption cases, as Twaweza has shown in its brief. Moreover, while the parliament, under the fourth phase government, led the demand for accountability (bunge lenye meno), the current fight is being led by the executive. The (executive) push for horizontal form of accountability is in line with the regime`s illiberal tendencies, which are made possible by the current constitution.


Effective and sustainable anti-corruption initiatives require a convergence of horizontal and vertical accountability efforts. But, as Tanzania`s experience has shown, when the horizontal `arm` is weak, the vertical can do little to bring about change. Therefore, if one had to make some concessions, it would be worth compromising on the latter, especially when things seem to work.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

How bad is President Magufuli's Populism?


How Bad is President Magufuli's Populism?

Dastan  Kweka


Many journalists and analysts have ascribed a populism label to President Magufuli's actions - or inactions, over the last two years. However, few have bothered to define the concept, and often, commentators have written from a negative point of view. But, is populism always bad?

Nic Cheeseman is notable for having written a thought-provoking piece about Magufuli's populism, in which he alluded to his conception of the term. He writes:

“The problem with populism is that leaders rarely follow due process. Instead, they build reputations that are explicitly based on their willingness to break down institutional barriers in order to achieve their goals. Magufuli’s approach exemplifies this tendency.”

The author writes elsewhere in the same piece that, “The main problem with populism is that the early gains secured by leaders like Magufuli are rarely sustained.”
So, according to Cheeseman, failure or unwillingness to follow due process is a character of populist leaders. It is a view shared by Francis Fukuyama, who suggests that there are 3 main factors associated with the term i.e. (a) selection of policies that are popular in the short term but not sustainable in the long run, (b) a discourse that defines people/citizens in a restrictive way, for instance, on the basis of ethnic affiliation, and, (c) a focus on building a cult of personality. Moreover, Fukuyama anchors his analysis on the character or behavior considered to be normal to a 'modern state' (possibly as opposed to 'primordial' state). He (Fukuyama) argues that the modern state is, in treatment of its citizens, expected to uphold rule of law as well as democratic accountability.

Cas Mudde defines populism “as an ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogenous and antagonistic groups” – “the pure people” and the “corrupt elite.” Unlike Cheeseman, whose article gives an impression that populism is totally bad, Mudde points to its positive side, which is the idea that it brings to the limelight issues that matter to the majority, but that may not necessarily please the elite. And that its downside is that, it “is a monist and moralist ideology” that “rejects the legitimacy of political opponents.”
So, how bad is President Magufuli`s populism? The clue may lie in the actions he has taken, and examples that his critics have singled out. This takes me back to Cheeseman's article. He writes that;

“Many of his most celebrated acts, such as dismissing corrupt or ineffective government employees, did not follow due process. Instead, institutional rules for reviewing performance and removing staff were ignored in favour of presidential directives.”

It is important to remember that President Magufuli came to power when actions against the corrupt or irresponsible were rare, and when they happened, an exception. Therefore, “institutional rules for reviewing performance and removing staff” were in place, but their application was lax. For instance, instead of being fired for having committed a gross misconduct, an official would be re-assigned. Restoration of (institutional) discipline was key and a signal that the times have changed, had to come from the very top. 

Unfortunately, this has had to happen across the entire government. In addition, these actions have not culminated into replacement of regular procedures. Isn't a temporary 'outside'  intervention justified? What the sackings do is that they raise the cost of complacency – which is something needed to compel office holders to take action or be shown the door.
How about restrictions on political activity? Restriction, and harassment, does not seem to originate from (outright) rejection of opposition's legitimacy. Instead, it stems from a sense of political vulnerability, embodied in a relatively narrow victory that brought him to power. On this aspect, rules have (continuously) been ignored, since at least Mkapa's era. A question remains whether treatment will be different after 2020, if he will be serving his final term. Moreover, a sense of dissatisfaction, which has been attributed to the austerity policy, may be an equalizer. An upcoming by-election offers an opportunity to check the extent to which complaints over difficult living conditions may have undercut the President's popularity.
Reforms in extractive industries show a clear focus on strengthening the enforcement of existing rules and formulation of new ones. The recent appointment of Professor Luoga – a seasoned tax expert – as the next Governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) also points in the same direction. It remains to be seen whether the involvement of the Presidency will decline, once a settlement has been achieved.

The ability of the current regime to sustain 'popular' policies such as tuition-free education and large investment in infrastructure will depend on the nature of the financing (debt or internal sources) and overall performance of the economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) rates the risk of 'debt distress' for Tanzania as low.

Although elites have been bruised by a crackdown on corruption and inefficiency, the 'masses' have not always had a good day. For instance, while unplanned settlements were demolished in Dar es Salaam, the President urged a 'human face' in Mwanza, because they voted for him. Many will recall controversial government response to the earthquake in Kagera, especially the decision to bar direct support to (poor) victims, and rerouting donations to rehabilitate government institutions. Some analysts have even wondered whether this is, really, a regime that cares about the poor. 
The few examples above show that Magufuli's populism isn't a typical case of pure masses, against the corrupt elite, or a total focus on ignoring rules, and pursuing unsustainable policies. He has worked to address institutional weaknesses, in some sections, while taking advantage of systemic (read constitutional) gaps that allow him to consolidate power. His approach is characterized by many contradictions and, informed by diverse incentives. This understanding may help explain why “criticisms do not seem to have much effect on the citizenry who continue to support and defend” him. Many still believe that he means well for the country. May it be the case.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Initiating Local Content in Agriculture?

Localizing (Local) Content in Agriculture or Locating One's Name in It?

Dastan Kweka



Local content in extractive industries (oil and gas) seems to have become a buzzword less than a decade since Tanzania discovered significant quantities of natural gas. While there is work to do to improve regulation - and consultation - there is, also, a room to explore linkages with other sectors, especially agriculture. Nevertheless, assuming that local content is non-existent in other sectors (read agriculture), just because there is no sector-specific policy, amounts to starting off on the wrong foot.

The Natural Gas Policy (2013) defines local content as; “added value brought to Tanzanians through activities of the natural gas industry.” The policy adds, “These may be measured and undertaken through employment and training of local workforce; investments in developing supplies and services locally; and procuring supplies of services locally.” 

Moreover, the Local Content Policy (2014) defines local content as:

“The added value brought to the country in the activities of the oil and gas industry in the United Republic of Tanzania through the participation and development of local Tanzanians and local businesses through national labour, technology, goods, services, capital and research capability.”

Although both definitions are relatively narrow – confined to oil/natural gas, the (natural gas) policy recognizes the importance of establishing linkages with 'other strategic sectors', such as agriculture – a sector that employs more than 67 percent of the population and accounts for one-third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

Other actors have, notably, recognized the importance of going beyond linkages. For instance, the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACCT) and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (STIPRO) - are already calling for a sector specific local-content policy. In advancing its agenda, the ACT position paper observes that: 

“The development of local content policy in many countries has advanced mainly in the oil and gas sector, and less so in the agricultural sector. However, for Tanzania whose economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, and where the government is making deliberate attempts to attract foreign investment into the sector, it is important to have a local content policy that will ensure that foreign investment results in a broad-based agricultural growth. This is especially considering the fact that close to 80% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods.”

Indeed, Tanzania is making deliberate attempts to attract Foreign Directive Investments (FDIs) and has continued to perform relatively well. See the map below:


FDIs are, generally, built on the promise of (maximizing) local content benefits i.e. jobs, business opportunities, skills transfer and capacity building etc. Take the example of  the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) on jobs: 

“The SAGCOT Investment Blueprint, states that the GoT [Government of Tanzania] seeks to attract US$2.1 billion of new agribusiness investment over the next 20 years in order to bring at least 350,000 additional hectares into commercial production incorporating Tanzanian smallholders into internationally competitive supply chains. Much of this will be expanded smallholder production. In the process, the SAGCOT Program aims to create at least 420,000 new jobs and lift more than 2 million people out of poverty.”

And in terms of technology transfer, SAGCOT's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Geoffrey Kirenga, notes:

“We observed with satisfaction, for example, that smallholder farmers are very receptive to new technologies. Our efforts to give them appropriate support have enabled potato, soya and dairy farmers to enjoy a significant increase in productivity.”

The promise of (cheap) labour – a basic form of local content - features constantly in SAGCOT presentations on opportunities for investors in the corridor, and the project's blueprint is explicit on opportunities for suppliers. It is, therefore, surprising that SAGCOT's Head of Policy, Neema Lugangira, who describes herself as a local content expert, is bragging about “initiating” local content in agriculture (or within the corridor). Can efforts to ensure there is a “robust local content in place”, as she claims, amount to initiation? 

Corporate investment in agriculture is risky, and, smallholder farmers – often a weaker party in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) configuration, end up with fewer benefits (if any) than anticipated. The famous BioShape case in Kilwa district is a case in point. In light of this situation, we should ask the 'champions' and 'initiators', whose local content are you advocating? Maybe the answer is in SAGCOT's 2016 report, especially a statement from the chairman of its Board, Salum Shamte, as excerpted below:

“Our investment in new opportunities broke ground on a significant expansion of investment by many of our partners. To mention a few, we are proud of Asas Dairies Unilever, YARA, Seed-Co, Syngenta, Mtanga Farms, Kilombero Plantation Ltd., and Silverlands. We have also seen increased investment by many of our SME partners such as Darsh Industries, Litenga Holdings, Rafael Group, Beula Seeds and many others. We are also very encouraged by the response of smallholder farmers. Many of them have demonstrated willingness to learn and work together. Associations and cooperatives are learning new ways to work efficiently and increase production and productivity.”

So, while new (business) 'partners' are investing or going for expansion, smallholder farmers are being taught 'new ways of work', as SAGCOT seeks to achieve “responsible commercialization of agriculture.” 

It is important to highlight the issue of (and potential for improving) local content in agriculture. And if done well, names will be earned! But ignoring facts, and exaggerating one's role, is not a better way to do it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Poetry Evening with Irish Poet at Soma Book Cafe


Uteuzi wa Gavana na Njozi ya Rais kuhusu Benki Kuu

Uteuzi wa Gavana na Njozi ya Rais kuhusu Benki Kuu


Chambi Chachage

Uteuzi wa 'kushtukiza' wa Profesa Florens Luoga kuwa Gavana Mteule wa Benki Kuu ya Tanzania (BOT) umeibua mjadala mkali nchini. Wapo wanaoona kuwa uamuzi huo ni wa ghafla na ni ishara kwamba Gavana wa sasa, Professa Benno Ndulu, ametumbuliwa. 

Pia wapo wanaoona kuwa kumteua Mwanasheria badala ya Mchumi kama ilivyozoeleka ni tatizo. Hali kadhalika wapo wanaoukubali uteuzi huo japo hawakubaliana na ulivyofanyika.

Uchambuzi ufuatao umejikita katika hoja ya kwamba Rais amechanganya majukumu ya BOT na Mamlaka ya Mapato Tanzania (TRA) ambayo alishamteua Profesa Luoga kuwa Mwenyekiti wa Bodi yake. Hoja hii, inayoshadadiwa na wachumi na wanamabenki, inatokana na uelewa wa Benki Kuu kama chombo kilichojikita zaidi katika sera pana za kiuchumi na kifedha.

Hivyo, kwa mujibu wa hoja hii, viatu vya ugavana havimtoshi Profesa wa Sheria za Kodi. Hata kifungu cha sheria kinachoonesha kwamba Gavana anaweza kuwa mwanasheria hakitoshi kutuliza mtima wa wabobezi hawa wa sekta ya kiuchumi na kibenki. Pia maelezo haya ya Rais John Magufuli hayatoshi kukidhi kiu yao:


Ni rahisi kutafsiri maneno hayo ya Rais kama ishara kwamba malengo ya uteuzi huo ni kuchanganya masuala ya TRA na ya BOT. Lakini katika hotuba hiyo hiyo Rais anatoa maelezo haya:


Swali la kujiuliza ni: Je, nani hasa anapaswa kutekeleza hiyo sheria anayoizungumia Rais? BOT? TRA? Jibu lipo katika kipengele cha  'Usimamizi wa Benki' cha tovuti ya BOT ambacho kimeipachika Sheria ya Fedha za Kigeni ya Mwaka 1992 inayoitaja Benki Kuu ya Tanzania kama mhusika muhimu katika udhibiti huo kisheria.

Lakini ili kupata muktadha zaidi wa kihistoria wa kwa nini Rais ameamua kumteua Mwanasheria aliyebobea katika udhibiti wa fedha, kwa mujibu wa wasifu wake uliopo mtandaoni, hebu tuirejee hotuba yake ya mwaka 2016 katika Jubilee ya Miaka 50 ya BOT:

"Hivi sasa Benki Kuu ya Tanzania ina jukumu kubwa moja nalo ni kudhibiti mfumuko wa bei na kujenga mfumo thabiti wa fedha kwa ajili ya ukuaji endelevu wa uchumi wa taifa letu. Benki Kuu, na hata taasisi zingine za fedha, hazijihusishi moja kwa moja kwenye masuala ya ukuzaji uchumi. Lakini ukiangalia historia katika nchi zilizoendelea, kama Marekani, Uingereza, Japani, Korea Kusini utaona Benki Kuu zilitoa mchango mkubwa katika shughuli za uchumi hususan kwenye kilimo, miundombindu, viwanda na kadhalika. Ingefaa basi nieleweke kuwa ninaposema Benki Kuu kushiriki kwenye shughuli za kiuchumi sina maana ni lazima Benki Kuu ishiriki moja kwa moja. Benki Kuu inaweza kubuni mkakati na kutengeneza mazingira mazuri yanayoweza kuwezesha taasisi za kifedha nchini kama mabenki binafsi na [mifuko] ya hifadhi ya jamii kuona umuhimu wa kushiriki katika shughuli za kiuchumi." 

Wigo wa BOT kwa maono ya Rais pia unaonekana katika nukuu hii:

"Maendeleo ya sayansi na teknolojia yameleta mageuzi makubwa kwenye sekta ya fedha, ikiwemo huduma za kielektroniki kama vile mashine za kutoa fedha, ATM, na huduma za kibenki kwa ajili ya simu za viganjani, kwa mfano TIGO-Pesa, M-Pesa na kadhalika. Matumaini yangu..Benki Kuu mmejipanga vizuri katika kuhakikisha kunakuwa na usalama wa huduma hizo. Lakini...pia si usalama tu, lakini pia Serikali ni lazima ipate mapato yake stahiki. Ninafahamu katika transaction iliyofanyika kwenye mwezi wa tatu, kwenye fedha zilizotumwa katika nchi hii kwa kutumia mitandao ya simu, transaction iliyofanyika, kwa rekodi niliyonayo, ilikuwa na thamani ya trilioni 5.5. TSh. Je, Serikali imefaidika na nini na transaction hiyo? Kwa hiyo Benki Kuu mnatakiwa mjipange vizuri  katika masuala haya. Bila hivyo, Serikali haitapata fedha lakini patakuwa na business ambazo Benki Kuu haizijui na kuiletea hasara kubwa - na kuleta matatizo mengine makubwa ya kiuchumi. Kwa mfano, Benki Kuu mkishirikiana vizuri na TCRA ambapo hata ule mtambo wa Revenue Assurance bado haujafungwa mpaka leo, ambapo hata wale wanaohusika na simu sana sana wana-declare kwamba kila siku ni hasara. Kujua mapato yanayopatikana kule ni lazima wao waseme. Benki Kuu mnatakiwa mjipange....Bila hivyo, tutaendelea sisi kuwa wasindikizaji wakati Benki Kuu ndicho chombo kikubwa ambacho tunakitegemea. Na ninaposema Benki Kuu maana yake na Hazina lazima mjipange. Katibu Mkuu wa Hazina unafahamu mchezo ambao umekuwa ukifanyika kule ambao umetufanya sisi hata tushindwe kuingia ndani ya East African Community kwa umoja wetu kwa sababu ya hilo suala tumechelewa, katika masuala ya revenue assurance, kwamba palikuwa na utapeli wa ajabu."

Uteuzi wa Mwanasheria Nguli wa Biashara za Kimataifa pia inawezekana umelenga kutekeleza hili suala alilolisitiza Rais:

"Suala lingine ni kuhusu usimamizi wa vyombo vingine vya fedha, mfano, maduka ya kuuza fedha za kigeni, Bureau de Change. Ni vyema BOT ikaimarisha usimamizi wake. Ni lazima tujue kila fedha inayobadilishwa kule - uhalali wake na matumizi yake. Ili zisije zikatumika hizi Bureau de Change kama eneo lingine la kutoroshea fedha na kufanya uchumi wa nchi yetu uharibike. Ili hizi Bureau de Change pia zisitumike kuingizia fedha za madawa ya kulevya na fedha zingine ambazo si halali. BOT ni lazima mjipange vizuri."

Njozi ya Rais Magufuli, walau kwa kupima na maneno yafuatayo katika hotuba hiyo kwa BOT, ni kuhakikisha nadharia za kiuchumi zinatekelezeka katika uhalisia wa maisha ya kawaida ya Mtanzania:

"BOT ni lazima mjipange vizuri. Tunapozungumzia juu ya inflation kwamba iko single digit, imetoka asilimia 30 - 28 hadi asilimia 5.2, ni kitu kizuri, tunashangalia. Kwa ninyi wasomi wa BOT na baadhi ya wataalamu wengine tunaelewa maana yake. Lakini ni kweli hii inflation ya kutoka asilimia 30 mpaka 5.2 imekuwa reflected kwa wananchi wa kawaida? Je, ukizungumza kwa mwananchi wa kawaida kule kijijini kwenu, Profesa, ukasema sasa inflation imetoka asilimia 30 mpaka 5.2, imekuwa reflected kwa maisha yake? Hilo ndilo suala la kujiuliza. Hii inflation kwamba imerudi kwenye single digit iwe reflected kwa wananchi maskini! Na hapo ndipo tutakuwa tumejibu hoja za wananchi tunaowaongoza. Bila hivyo tutabaki na data zinazokaa kwenye matakwimu mazuri, tunashangilia inflation imeshuka from 30 to 5.2 lakini in the reality wananchi wanaona inflation kama imepanda kwa asilimia 70. Ni lazima iwe reflected hata kwenye bidhaa wanazozinunua. Kwamba kwenye miaka ya 90 inflation ilikuwa 30 percent na sasa hivi tunazungumzia is 5.2 percent, je, bidhaa wananchi wa kawaida walizokuwa wakizinunua mwaka 90 uki-compare na bidhaa wanazozinunua sasa hivi zina-reflect  hiyo calculation ambayo tunaitumia sisi wanauchumi kwamba kuna inflation imerudi kwenye single digit?"

Hivyo, hoja kuu ya Rais inaonekana ni hitaji la kuwa na uwezo wa kujenga  mifumo ya kisheria na kiutaratibu ya kulinda maslahi ya nchi katika ulimwengu unaohitaji sheria na akili. Na, kwake, BOT inaonekana ni sehemu muhimu ya kusimika hilo ikishirikiana na TRA na taasisi zingine. Na hata sheria inalitambua hilo, ndiyo maana kisheria Gavana wa BOT ni mjumbe wa Bodi ya TRA

Mwanamuziki mmoja wa enzi za 'Zilipendwa' aliwahi kuimba: "naelewa mazoea yana taabu." Pengine uwoga uliotukumba kutokana na uteuzi wa Profu Luoga unatokana na mazoea tu. 

Mabadiliko tuliyoyalilia sana mwaka 2015 si ndiyo haya 'jomoni'

Can Being Bayesian Save Us from Inconsistency?

Can Being Bayesian Save Tanzanians From Internal Inconsistency?

Chambi Chachage

I read with great interest Constantine Manda's (@msisiri) response to my blog post on the recent results from the Pew Surveys. Thanks to the ABCs of Bayesian Analysis that I picked up from Casper Troskie at the University of Cape Town (UCT, I managed to follow the argument and model. And I agree that we need to be Bayesian.

What I found particularly intriguing is the way Manda supports one of his "take aways" therein i.e. that the results "on Tanzania of the Pew Research survey are largely internally consistent and highly correlated." He virtually compares everything but shies away from doing so in regard to the main crux of the argument in my article that is actually drawn from Pew's own take on two key indicators:

"Attitudes about the functioning of democracy are closely tied to publics' trust in their national government. People who are satisfied with how democracy works in their country also tend to say they trust the national government to do what is right for their country"  - Pew

What I really expected is to see Manda actually correlating the fact that 41 percent of us said  we "somewhat" do "trust the national government to do what is right for our country" yet 79 percent of us said we are "satisfied with the way democracy is working in" our "country." By doing so, he would have proved - at least to the layman econometrician in me - the internal consistency and high correlations for the two (interrelated) indicators. Instead, he first restates what Pew said about figures from these (dual) indicators:

"When respondents were asked about the trust they have that their governments will do what is right for their countries, Tanzania, solely sits at the top of the heap with 89 percent of respondents reporting that they either trust their government a lot or somewhat trust them to do what is right for Tanzania. Of course, almost half of these 89 percent of respondents only “somewhat” trust our serikali to do what is right for our country. However, 48 percent of Tanzanian respondents trust their government “a lot” to do what is right for our nchi, and this is second only to Ghana where 51 percent of their respondents trust their own government a lot" - Manda

Then Manda reiterates the economic rationalization from Pew:

"There is an economic explanation behind all of these views. For instance, respondents from countries whose economies are the fastest growing tend to report trusting their governments more than respondents from slower-growing economies. Interestingly for Tanzania, our respondents trust their government more than would be predicted from this relationship between economic growth and trust in government. And in fact, this over-prediction is highest among all countries in the sample.... Further, among those who say the economic situation in our country is good, 94 percent of them trust our government to do what is right for our country" - Manda

But, as Manda is aware, my main query is not on that relationship, which as we all know, has been a bone of contentions as the debate on whether the consistent growth of our economy at an average rate of 6 to 7 percent over the decade or so has been trickling down to the majority of Tanzanians. Even some seemingly pro-regime and respected economists, such as Marc Wuyts and Blandina Kilama, aptly argue that what we have been having is "jobless growth."

I am confident that, as someone who is well versed in Mathematical Statistics, Manda can help me grasp how it is high correlating and internally consistent that 79 percent of Tanzanians said we are "satisfied" with the way democracy is working yet only 48 percent of us say we trust our government "a lot" to do what is right for our country. There was this moment when, well, I felt he would do so:

"He [Chambi Chachage] also questions what people mean when they say they “somewhat” trust their government and points to possible contradictions in respondents’ views across different sets of questions that are conceptually related" - Manda

Apart from these two (connected) indicators, I expected Manda to also correlates the "53 percent of...Tanzanians" who "hold the view that representative democracy is good" with the  39 percent who say "a system in which a strong leader can make decisions without interference from parliament or the courts" is "total[ly] good." This would help me know for sure that what we are satisfied with is representative/parliamentary democracy and not something else.

An astute an analyst as Manda would clearly see that my issue is not with Pew per se let alone the current regime determined to spur economic growth but on us, analysts, and probably we, Tanzanians, who seems to be capable of upholding contradictory stances on the same thing. Some say it is pragmatism - the ability to say "yes" and "no" simultaneously or "I know" and "I don't know" concurrently.

I wonder what Bayes would call that. Inconsistency? Hypocrisy?

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