Monday, March 27, 2017

Poetry Night at Soma:For Better or Verse-31/03/2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Caine Prize for African Writing in Dar es Salaam

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Exhibition: Mlango wa Navushiku

The Politics of Good Cops and Bad Cops in Tanzania

The Politics of Good Cops and Bad Cops in Tanzania

Chambi Chachage

The presidential honeymoon is effectively over in Tanzania. A chorus from seemingly disparate quarters is now questioning the President for protecting a public official who appears to trump the rule of law. Yet the Presidency is holding its ground on the matter.

We are referring to a recent incident in which the Regional Commissioner(RC) of Dar es Salaam is apparently seen on CCTV storming into the offices of Clouds Media Group with armed policemen at night. Our purpose, however, is not to address the ''hullabaloo over this RC and allegations on his school certificates. The Citizen  has aptly contextualized it in its Tuesday's editorial
Our focus is on how the politics of populism plays out through a tactic that is analogous to the 'good cop, bad cop' technique in detective movies. In such a scenario, one cop appears tough on the interrogated person while another cop seems soft. As a result, the person may obliviously open up to the seemingly sympathetic cop. 

In those situations the cops work as a team. What we don't know is whether in Tanzanian politics, the President and his appointees work jointly when issuing contradictory orders. All that we know is that one of the directives ends up being cheered and another jeered.
Take, for example, the case of the Minister responsible for Justice and Constitutional Affairs who issued what The Citizen refers to as "his controversial 'no birth certificate, no marriage' order". It didn't take more than a day for his boss to rescind the order. "When I heard this yesterday", the President is quoted in The Citizen as saying, "I was shocked... I was shocked, honestly I was shocked."

Yours Truly applauded. So did many other Tanzanians. Yet the Minister has not resigned. More significantly, what do such contradictory directives tell us about the communication strategy of the Cabinet. Why should the President only hear about it the other 'yesterday' i.e.  'just after the fact' like the rest of us out here? 

Could it be that one party is playing the ''good cop at the expense of the other party? Or the center is not holding hence the decentralized parts are moving in their own directions? Either way, what effects does all this have on the integrity and legitimacy of the Presidency?
It may be way too soon to assert that there is a crisis of legitimacy in the country. However, the way the President and the Minister responsible for Information will jointly - or separately - handle the case of the Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam may give us a glimpse of what to expect. Probably unaware that his boss was publicly defending the Commissioner elsewhere, the Minister issued a strong statement on the incident and formed a probe team.

Now the Minister surely knows what the President said. What will this young Minister do? Yesterday he tweeted: "No longer at Ease!"

Who will be a 'good cop' this time if and when 'Things Fall Apart'?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mdahalo wa Kitaifa kuhusu Lugha ya Kufundishia

Karibuni katika Mdahalo (Debate) wa Kitaifa utakaofanyika Nkrumah siku ya Jumapili tangu saa 8 mchana hadi saa 12 jioni.

Kwa muda mrefu sasa, tumekuwa tukiandika, tukijadiliana na kulumbana kuhusu matumizi ya lugha ya Kiswahili. Iwe katika kuitumia kama lugha ya kufundishia, au kutolea hotuba katika mikutano au hata mawasiliano rasmi katika maofisi ya Serikali na Mashirika yake n.k.

Katika mijadala hiyo kuna wanaosema kuwa, tutumie Kiswahili na kuna wanaosema tuachane na Kiswahili tutumie Kiingereza.

Siku ya Jumapili tarehe 19, ni mara ya kwanza ambapo pande mbili zinazokinzana zitakutana ili kubishana kwa HOJA.
Ukumbi wa Nkrumah umekuwa na sifa ya kuwa na mijadala yenye kuleta tija na mabadiliko mioyoni au vichwani mwa watu, wawe viongozi au waongozwaji. Karibu ili ushiriki katika utamaduni huu wa Nkrumah na utoe mchango wako, kwa hoja za kitaaluma.

Kwa wale ambao mtashindwa, Mdahalo huo utarushwa mubashara na Vyombo vyetu vya habari vya TBC, ITV, Azam TV, Star TV, na Clouds, ikiwa ni pamoja na radio zake.




Prof. Aldin K. Mutembei (PhD) 
Taasisi ya Taaluma za Kiswahili 
Kampasi ya Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere 
Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Youth Accountability and Integrity in East Africa

Youth Accountability in the East African Community 

Kamala Dickson


Youth in the East African Community (EAC) constitute more than 63% of the population. Therefore they are the largest portion of the active population and significant stakeholders in the integration process. Article 120(c) of The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community captures how integral we are as it states that, ‘The Partner states undertake to closely cooperate amongst themselves in the field of social welfare with respect to the development and adaptation of a Common approach towards the disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including…the Youth.’ 

Integration is an aspirational process and progressive goal. It is the youth who will ultimately realize and enjoy its fruits. As such, it is important that the youth take part in crafting and mainstreaming the integration agenda. We have a key role to play in ensuring the integration process is strengthened and comprehended so as it to make it  sustainable reality. To that end there are a number of ongoing youth initiatives such as the East African Community Youth Ambassadors Platform (EAC-YAP). On its part, the African Youth Charter, recognizes efforts made by state parties and civil societies to address the economic, social, educational, cultural and spiritual needs of youth. Citizens, especially youth, are very impressed by this integration process.

Essentially, the future of the EAC depends on youth. So, any attempt to fast-track the process of integration  without a proactive and assertive sensitization and educative campaign of its tremendous advantages to the public, especially the youth could endanger it and even lead to another collapse of the community in the near future. This is because the current crop of young people, which will certainly be in charge of our national agenda then, would not have been ingrained with the notion of integration. 

Since 2012 the EAC's Nyerere Centre for Peace Research (NCPR) has been organizing the annual EAC University Students Debate on Regional Integration. The aim of the debate is to provide a platform to promote dialogue among university students across East Africa and thus motivate them to advocate for regional integration initiatives. After the 3rd annual debate, a team of Youth Ambassadors were appointed from the Partner States. Our responsibility has been to advocate for EAC Integration by conducting sensitizing, educating and engaging our peers at the national level. As a Youth Ambassador of Tanzania, I would like to share my thoughts about the role and prospects of African youth.

Youth Movement in Africa 

When the African Union's (AU) Head of States and Governments met in Banjul, Gambia, from 1-2 July 2006, one of the significant outcomes of the meeting was to endorse the African Youth Charter (AYC). According to AU, the Charter is both a political and legal document, serving as the strategic framework that gives direction for youth empowerment and development, not only at the continental level but also at regional and national levels. It also "aims to strengthen, reinforce and consolidate efforts to empower us through meaningful youth participation and equal partnership in driving Africa’s development agenda." Hence it refers to "the rights, freedoms and duties of youth in Africa". Moreover, the charter laid down the foundation for the Youth Division of African Union Commission. This is how it describes our movement:

Youth Movement in the East African Community

Although constituting 63% of the total population, youth in EAC remain voiceless and less engaged in decision-making bodies and development agenda even on matters that should be championed by youth. All over East Africa, youth are still demanding for their rights of being included in development and decision-making bodies based as it is the case with gender and people with disability. In the case of Tanzania, the youth formed a movement to demand a body or platform in which will have the power to demand for our rights. In  2015 the Parliament passed a bill which became a law for establishing the Youth Council of Tanzania. However, until today there is less efforts on its establishment on the ground. Burundi has a slightly similar experience as Tanzania. Although they have established a youth platform, it is not constitutional. Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have established Youth councils. The efforts made in every member state to constitute youth bodies also needs to be replicated at the regional level, that is, through youth representation in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and other governance bodies in the East African Community(EAC).

It is interesting to note that in 2016 the Aga Khan University launched its East Africa Youth Survey Report. Their findings indicates that, in the case of integrity, "21-58% believed it doesn’t matter how one makes money as long as one does not end up in jail; 30-58% admire those who make money through hook or crook; 8-45%% believe corruption is profitable; 73-75% are afraid to stand up for what is right for fear of retribution; Only 10-44% of the youth would readily take or give a bribe. Only 27-42% strongly believe that it is important to pay taxes." 

This report also had this say about this crisis of integrity: "Up to 45% of the youth believe corruption is profitable and up to 58% would do anything to make money. Only 40% would pay taxes on earned income and up to 73% are afraid to stand up for the truth for fear of retribution. With the exception of Rwanda, corruption in the public sector, and indeed across all sectors of society has reached a crisis proportion. The government of Uganda recognizes that corruption poses a major challenge to good governance. In Tanzania President Magufuli campaigned on a platform of integrity and the restoration of the ethos of hard work. In Kenya President Kenyatta said corruption was a national security threat and costs Kenyans about 250,000 jobs every year...."

Transparency International's (TI) reports also place Rwanda ahead of other countries EAC in the war against corruption. Tanzania has also made substantial progress in this war in the first year of the fifth phase government. In order replicate these apparent success stories, it is important for this war to be coordinated, not only at the national level, but also at the regional level through EALA etc.

EALA should thus come up with a strong strategy on how to fight corruption collectively by focusing on youth as the future fabric of society.  If we need steady and sustainable development, we should put much  efforts as a community. Constitutionalism and the rule of law should be the core angle in which EALA should deal with corruption. The EAC should now start formulating of joint army that can help to remove leaders in power if they are not respecting the Constitution. But citizens should also be sensitized on being responsible by fully engaging in the constitution-making process and hold accountable leaders who hold power unconstitutionally. Our EAC should not only respect economic agreements among member states but also human rights and the rule of law in which every citizen has the same chance to contribute in governance.

 We have recently observed how one person with coercive power can violate the constitution and creates chaos that has made EAC become a pool of refugees again with a negative impact on the  environment and health in the region. The EAC should learn from ECOWAS in terms of constitutional respect and leadership exchange. The process of integration must be rooted in the people like our motto of “one people one destiny”. For it is only when people are empowered to appreciate the advantages of a customs union, common market, monetary union and lastly political federation that we can confidently assert that the community will survive. This is the community Mwalimu Nyerere and other Pan-African champions of African Unity and Freedom dreamt about.

Recognizing that Article 50 of the EAC Treaty on Election of Members to EAL provides that the "National Assembly of each Partner State shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that Partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each Partner State may determine.", Rwanda has managed to allocate one slot for youth. Hence Rwandese youths are well represented in EALA. Uganda is doing so. A call to my country, Tanzania, where the members of parliament will soon elect members of EALA, is that we should remember that the current parliament has a lot of youth. It is the case because we are many in the country and hence the need for a form of representation which reflects our demography. This should equally apply to EALA where among nine members from every country, one should be youth. My call to the current Speaker of the Tanzanian Parliament, Hon. Job Ndugai, is to address this matter.

I would also like to thank all outgoing EALA for their tremendous work. Their effort on their mission will remain a mark to be honored and implemented amongst youth. Hon. Speaker Dan Kidega who was a real brother and friend to the youth community in EAC but also former Secretary General to EAC, Ambassador Richard Sezibera, for his initiative to ensure that all young people should take responsibility in leadership and governance bodies in EAC. Ms. Barbara Kaboha at the NPRC for support. Outgoing Tanzania's members of EALA: Hon. Makongoro Nyerere, Hon. Shyrose Bhanji, Hon. Adam Kimbisa, Hon. Angela Kizigha, Hon. Bernard Murunya,  Hon. Abdullah Mwinyi, Hon. Dr. Nderakindo Kessy, Hon. Issa Tasilima and Hon. Maryam Ussi Yahya. It is about time to pass the leadership baton to more youth of East Africa.

We can surely build our East African youth for the future of EAC.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Samir Amin's Lecture on Social Progress in Africa

Launch of ‘Her-Story Book’

Public Forum on Women & Girls Leadership in Tanzania & Launch of ‘Her-Story Book’ organized by Women Fund Tanzania (WFT) and Women Coalition on Constitution/Election and Leadership.

• Promoting Public Dialogue, Reflections and building consensus on how to move forward in increasing and strengthening women and girls’ leadership in the country.

• Launching of the ‘Her-Story Book’ (both in English & Swahili versions)

Venue:  National Museum of Tanzania

Date: Friday, 10 March 2017

Time: 9AM - 2PM

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Is Chairman Magufuli Revolutionizing CCM?

As President Magufuli starts his four-day official tour in Pwani, Lindi and Mtwara after appointing Former First Lady, Salma Kikwete, to be a Member of Parliament (MP) - and as the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is about to deliberate on what it refers to as "mageuzi makubwa yanayofanyika ndani ya chama chetu" i.e. 'the ongoing great transformation in our party' - we may all wish to recall the 'prophetic' comments below from a political scientist and investigative journalist in Tanzania, respectively:

It is worth noting that Lowassa’s defection and Magufuli’s succession have had profound after-effects on both CCM and the opposition. Magufuli is an anomaly in that, as a de facto nominee resulting from two factions cancelling each other out, he came to power without his own power base. Meanwhile, those aligned with Lowassa—politicians, party members and financiers—are now labelled traitors and are lying low. Magufuli now has the upper hand and has seized the opportunity to pursue—whether out of genuine conviction or as a political strategy given his lack of a personal network—a relentless anti-corruption campaign. This has seemingly helped neutralize potential opponents within CCM. Indeed, the party had come to operate on the principle that rival factions were all implicated in corruption of one form or another such that they were incapable of holding each other to account (Gray, 2015). Magufuli, by contrast, is seemingly unafraid to burn bridges by firing or prosecuting allegedly corrupt officials and politicians, actions that have seemingly helped cow otherwise vocal opponents into silence. In this way, Magufuli claims he is en route to cleanse a corrupted CCM in order to restore it to the Nyerere ideal. 
The analysis in this paper would suggest, however, that this is an unrealistic objective. Tanzania’s economy is such that CCM can no longer hope to recentralize power, although there is renewed talk of started party-owned businesses in order to address its perennial lack of adequate resources. Even so, at least in public Magufuli continues to vilify and seemingly alienate a class of commercial elites who previously supported the party, either directly or through its individual candidates. Meanwhile, the party organization remains weak and in need of substantial investment of energy and resources—a point emphasised by the outgoing party chairman and former President Jakaya Kikwete when handing over the chairmanship to Magufuli. These two factors—the lack of a credible plan for generating party income and the party’s organizational slack—both suggest CCM might be in trouble. Perhaps it is no wonder—authoritarian tendencies aside—that Magufuli is actively repressing the opposition, whether it be by banning political meetings or by prosecuting individual opposition politicians. Even with a severely weakened opposition, it only seems like a matter of time, though, before Magufuli will have to learn either to tolerate some degree of mtandao (network) politics—perhaps after ensuring he has consolidated his own support base—or else face opposition from opponents from within his party amidst severe organizational decay. The third possible alternative is a continued and exacerbated authoritarian crackdown, which it is not clear he has the ability to pull off. For now, Magufuli is still enjoying a honeymoon period with many rank and file voters who initially responded positively to a series of populist (and some more substantive) gestures. But if that begins to wane, as it is already showing signs of doing, he will face a reckoning.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Growing Up with the Arusha Declaration

The Arusha Declaration at Fifty: A Return to its Praxis?

Chambi Chachage
It had been thirty years since the Arusha Declaration on Socialism and Self-Reliance was a primary subject of national and international symposia. After its proclamation in 1967, it became both an ideological and intellectual ritual to commemorate the Declaration after each decade. Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who was instrumental in its formulation initiated this practice in 1977 when he issued ‘The Arusha Declaration –Ten Years After, a publication that received much scholarly attention to the extent that it was republished in several academic journals. Scholars from the University of Dar es Salaam and other institutions also gathered in Arusha and London on the eve of 1987 to reflect, critically, on twenty years of its implementation. In 1997 and 2007, however, such gatherings were conspicuous by their absence. What has happened since then to make 2017 as a year of convening such reflective commemoratives of the virtually discarded Declaration in Arusha, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Edinburgh?

In this paper, I attempt to address that question of ‘why now’ as I reflect on my own journey of making sense of the history of the Arusha Declaration. My starting point is Mwalimu Nyerere’s prediction, or rather a ‘deathbed wish’, about its future. After acknowledging his mistakes in implementing it to Ikaweba Bunting in 1998, he affirmed that he thinks that the country will return to its values and basic principles. My paper is thus divided into four sections that reflect on the extent to which Tanzania has returned or is returning to those values and principles ideologically, politically, legally and socioeconomically, respectively. In practice these arenas of engagement are entangled; however, for theoretical clarity, I hereby disentangle them. 

Ideological (Re)Turn
I was born a year after the commemoration of ten years of the Arusha Declaration. As I came to learn later, the country was at a critical juncture. It was at war to ouster Dictator Idi Amin from Uganda. The East African Community had collapsed. Some regions had experienced draught and plague of locust whereas production in other areas dwindled. Productivity in the industrial sector had also hit a record low. Hence the economy that had shown some signs of improvement was on the brink of a crisis.

As such, I was raised at a time when the government was attempting to come up with a workable economic recovery programme. The only childhood memory I have of the difficult economic conditions is having to eat a slippery cornmeal from a yellow flour known as ‘yanga’ in Kiswahili that the country received as food aid. Oblivious to me was that fact that the ruling party and the government were going through an intense struggle over the tenets of the Arusha Declaration. In hindsight, one sees that this obliviousness was partly due to what we were taught in nursery and primary schools.
The songs we sung in school were carefully chosen to inculcate the values and principles of the Arusha Declaration. For example, we committed to memory a popular poem on a dying father whose final words to his sons is about the importance of farming together. Although my primary school was in an urban area, it also had a school farm for collective farming. However, in contrast to the primary school in my grandmother’s village, we did not spend half a day or so tilling the land collectively.

It is thus interesting to observe – and indeed participate –  online in collective recollections of the late 1980s and early 1990s with my generation. We were the last cohort of Tanzanian schoolchildren to read 9 volumes of a textbook on Kiswahili entitled ‘Tujifunze Lugha Yetu’ i.e. ‘Let us Learn our Language’. Published in 1971 and republished between 1980 and 1982, these volumes contained chapters that were primarily concerned with ensuring that we understand and embrace the Declaration. 

For instance, chapter 11 of volume 9 is entitled ‘Mji wa Arusha’ i.e. ‘The Town of Arusha’. Out of more than 20 regions in the country, the Ministry of Education opted for this particular one because of the Declaration. This is how its second paragraph describes it:

Kwa wanasiasa mashuhuri duniani jina la Arusha lawakumbusha mahali ilipotangazwa siasa ya Ujamaa na Kujitegemea iliyo lengo la maendeleo ya Watanzania. Siasa hii ilikubaliwa na kupitishwa katika kikao cha Mkutano wa [Tanzania African National Union] TANU uliofanyika mwaka 1967. Katika kikao hiki Watanzania wameamua kukomesha kila aina ya unyonyaji, ukabaila na ubepari na kusisitiza usawa wa binadamu [For prominent politicians the name Arusha reminds them of where the political ideology of Socialism and Self-Reliance, which is the target of the development of Tanzanians, was declared. This ideology was embraced and approved by TANU's General Assembly that was held in 1967. In this Assembly Tanzanians decided to stop all forms of exploitation, feudalism and capitalism hence upholding human equality.]

The same volume also contains a chapter on ‘Usawa wa Binadamu’ i.e. ‘Human Equality.’ Interestingly, chapter 22 of Volume 5 is entitled ‘Azimio la Arusha’ and it concludes with a poetic dialogue between a brother and a sister in which one of them asks what the Declaration is all about and the other explains its role in ending exploitation. It is important to note that we read these impressionist materials between the tender age of 7 and 13, so, one can imagine their ideological imprint on our minds. 

Incidentally, I completed my primary school education in 1991 – the year of the Zanzibar Declaration that delivered a coup de grâce to the Arusha Declaration. By allowing political leaders to accumulate private wealth while in public service, the new resolution was an assault on the principle of equality. As I started my secondary education in 1992, the country returned to multiparty politics and soon ‘Civics’ replaced ‘Politics’ as a core subject in both primary and secondary school. This change, as Hilda Mushi recalled on 22 February 2017 at the Nyerere Resource Centre’s commemoration of fifty years of the Arusha Declaration in Dar es Salaam, shifted our attentions from it. We stopped learning about it in school and started focusing on the discourses of governance from the likes of Plato and David Ricardo.

Little did I know then that the country was on a neoliberal turn that did not only cause the change in our curriculum but also in how we access social services such as education. We started asking our parents for school fees even though I went to a public school. As one of our teachers, Peter Mashanga, led a massive protest in 1995, I hardly understood the shift from the Arusha Declaration that had promoted free social services to the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) that imposed user fees. This is the context that led Nyerere to utter these words about a trip he made in the US:

Twenty years since then, the conditions have not improved significantly. As we shall see in the socioeconomic below, the steady growth of the economy at an average rate of 7 percent for over a decade has not trickled down to the majority of the people. It is thus not surprising that there is nostalgia about the aborted promises of the Arusha Declaration. Young people are starting to ask questions about its whereabouts. Intellectuals across the left-right divide are also going back to the drawing board to reflect on it. When one such intellectual, Honest Ngowi, searched for “Arusha Declaration” in Google Scholar on 9 June 2007 he got a total of 2,930 hits. Today, on 24 February 2017, the hits are 5,920 with inverted commas and 16,600 without them. 
Another intellectual, Issa Shivji, has been instrumental in renewing the debate on the Arusha Declaration. I had the privilege of working with him in reprinting 2000 copies of the Declaration in 2010 when he was the Mwalimu Professorial Chair of Pan-African Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam. These copies were distributed to participants of the second annual Nyerere Intellectual Festival Week. More significantly, copies were also sent to students at Makongo, Perfect Vision, Manzese, Azania, Tambaza and Jangwani secondary schools and uploaded on the World Wide Web. The generous support from HakiElimu, a leading civic organization advocating for educational rights, in reprinting it is a testament to its recent relevance.

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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