Monday, June 26, 2017

Je, Mtoto aliyepewa Mimba Masomoni Arudi Shule?




Friday, June 23, 2017

Mtoto wa Kike na HakiElimu: Kwangu Wapi?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Arusha Declaration: A Pan-African Legacy?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Costs & Casualties of Magufuli’s Mineral War

The Costs and Casualties of Magufuli’s Mineral War

Chambi Chachage

President Magufuli has declared that Tanzania is in economic warfare. This is a protracted struggle to protect our natural resources from plunder. Minerals are at the heart of this battle.

Of course, we have not yet experienced a ‘mineral war’ like the one in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, what Thabit Jacob aptly refers to as the “securitization” of our extractive sector is increasingly at play. It is an indication of the erosion of trust.

After years of luring – and being courted by – investors and our development partners, the investment honeymoon is over. One only needs to read the ninth recommendation of the second presidential committee on copper concentrates earmarked for export to grasp this. “The government”, it recommends, “is to start guarding mining areas and their airstrips to prevent companies from engaging in acts of economic sabotage such as smuggling minerals.” 

By accepting this recommendation wholeheartedly, the Commander-in-Chief is ordering the security forces to take their position. In fact, this is what he said when he received a report from the first presidential committee on the same matter: “Regarding all activities involving minerals in this country, as of today, all our intelligence and security organs must be deployed effectively.”

It is thus a presidential admission or acknowledgement that, as far as the mining sector is concerned, the state had been captured. What caused the institutions that we have been attempting to create failed to capture such illicit outflows? How could this happen when the country was attempting to comply to the demands of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI)?

EITI, as John Jingu noted in his PhD dissertation on ‘State Capture in Tanzania: The Case of the Mining Sector’ in 2013, “is premised on an assumption that transition countries such as Tanzania face a problem of the misappropriation of revenue collected from natural resources by corrupt government officials.” Clare Short, who is renowned for objecting to BAE’s controversial military air traffic control deal with Tanzania, chaired EITI from 2011 to 2016.
Her letter to the then chair of the Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TEITI), Judge Mark Bomani, dated 18 December 2015 underscore both the utility and futility of relying on this initiative. “I am writing to congratulate you on the publication of Tanzania’s 2012/13 and 2013/14 EITI Reports on 27 November”, she notes, “and to confirm that the EITI Board has lifted the suspension of Tanzania from the EITI with immediate effect.” This suspension, Clare Short further notes, “was imposed on 2 September 2015 because Tanzania did not meet the 30 June 2015 deadline for publication of the 2012/13 EITI Report.”

First, there is no way one can know, by simply reading those EITI reports, whether the export-bound shipping containers, such as the Acacia ones that the President grounded at the Dar es Salaam port, contains under-declared minerals. Second, the fact that we need the likes of Clare Short from Britain to remind us to implement the Tanzania Extractive Industries (Transparency and Accountability) Act No. 23 of 2015 indicates that we hardly have a sense of its ownership.

TEITI, as the second edition of ‘The One Billion Dollar Question Revisited: How Much is Tanzania Now Losing in Potential Tax Revenues’ notes, is important in contributing to increasing transparency.” However, this edition further notes, it “lacks teeth,  rarely going beyond identifying financial discrepancies to achieve real accountability and policy change.” For instance, in its maiden report dated 8 February 2011, TEITI showed the following unresolved differences between what African Barrick Gold (ABG), i.e. the current Acacia Mining Plc, reported vis-√†-vis the government: US$740,000 in North Mara Gold Mine Ltd; US$2,115,000 in Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd; US$ 10,143,000 in Pangea Minerals Ltd. In all these cases the Tanzanian government reported more than what the mining companies reported.

Subsequent TEITI reports also indicate that we have been on the losing end.  For instance, the sixth TEITI report issued in November 2015 made this observation: “Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited, Pangea Minerals Limited, North Mara Gold Mine Limited, Shanta Mining Company Limited and Tanzanite One Mining Limited, all companies with [Mineral Development Agreements] MDA’s are not paying corporation taxes as they are still in loss making position. Corporate tax is based on company profits earned and since these companies are not making taxable profits, corporate tax does not arise.” However, there were no significant interventions from responsible entities to reverse this. 

John Jingu’s powerful critique of EITI is particularly illuminating in this regard. About 60 Multinational Mining Companies (MTNCs) and “their home states”, he argues, generally control and direct the EITI process. “As rational actors”, he further asserts, these “drivers of EITI seek to safeguard their interests, and thus it is doubtful whether the interests of a country such as Tanzania can meaningfully benefit from the initiative when even its ability to develop independently policies geared towards serving national interest end up being donor-driven.”

Unfortunately, under the pretext of the otherwise commendable economic warfare, we are narrowing the democratic space that enables us to mobilize against the plunder of our minerals. The tug of war of words between President Magufuli and leading mining rights political activists, Tundu Lissu and Zitto Kabwe, is – as Thabit Jacob puts it – “counterproductive.” What matters is not he who gets all the credits but those who reclaim their mineral rights.
Moreover, the seemingly fusion between the supposedly separate powers of the government i.e. the legislative, executive, and judiciary is worrying. This is particularly troubling when the Speaker of the National Assembly appears, publicly, as receiving  plaudits and directives from the President on how to deal with the loud and maverick parliamentarians from the opposition parties.

Even in the well-intentioned case of making the Parliament amends our unpatriotic mineral laws, the onus is not on the President to request or consult the Speaker publicly. What it required is for the Executive Arm to draft a Bill to amend the laws and let the Legislature Arm do its job. Since the President is also the chair of the ruling party i.e. with the majority of parliamentary seats, there is a ‘political license’ to caucus to make such a Bill pass. In any case, this is what MPs from the opposition camp have been calling for, that is, an Act that requires them to scrutinize mining contracts.

Finally, the muted voices that are calling for extending the presidential tenure to more than ten year is also troubling. Surely the clarion call to support the President’s economic warfare is so exhilarating. It is reminiscence of the popular excitement of 1967 when Mwalimu Julius Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration. But this 2017, so, let us be as critical and cautious enough to know that the (slick) road to dictatorship could be paved with good (populist) intentions. May we let our President live up to this promise of his:

We should win the battle on resource nationalism but not lose the war of democratizing development.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Conference on “The Pan-African Pantheon”

Mjadala kuhusu Miiko ya Uongozi Nchini Tanzania

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kuvuna Viongozi wa Upinzani na Kisa cha Mtu Tajiri

Kuvuna Viongozi wa Upinzani na Kisa cha Mtu Tajiri

Chambi Chachage

Kwa mara nyingine uteuzi alioufanya Rais Magufuli umeibua mjadala mkali. Aliyekuwa Mwenyekiti wa Chama cha ACT Wazalendo, Mama Anna Mghwira, kuteuliwa kuwa Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Kilimanjaro kumepokelewa kwa hisia tofauti: furaha, masikitiko, hasira n.k.

Mama huyo aliyobobea katika taaluma ya theolojia atakuwa anakijua kwa undani kisa ambacho Nabii Nathani alimsimulia Mfalme Daudi. “Palikuwa na watu wawili katika katika mji mmoja”, Nabii alimsimulia Mfalme, “mmoja wao alikuwa tajiri, wa pili maskini.” Hivyo, yule “tajiri alikuwa na kondoo na ng’ombe wengi sana; bali yule maskini hakuwa na kitu, ila mwanakondoo mmoja mdogo, ambaye amemnunua na kumlea; naye akakua pamoja na wanawe; hula sehemu ya posho lake…akawa kwake kama binti.”

Siku moja tajiri akapata ugeni. Lo, badala ya kutumia utajiri wake mkubwa kumkirimu mgeni “alimnyanganya yule maskini mwanakondoo wake.” Mfalme Daudi aliposikia hitimisho hili alikasirika sana na kusisitiza kwamba mtu huyo asiye na huruma anapaswa kumrudisha yule mwanakondoo mara nne.” Nabii Nathani akamjibu Mfalme: “Wewe ndiwe mtu huyo.”

Nimekumbuka kisa hiki usiku huu baada ya kusoma tamko la kumvua uwenyekiti wa ACT Wazalendo Mama Mghwira ambaye alikaribishwa katika chama hicho kichanga, akalelewa katika itikadi zake za Ujamaa wa Kidemokrasia hadi akagombea Urais mwaka 2015. Lepe la usingizi likanipotea ghafla, ikabidi nimwazime Bibi yangu Biblia yake ili ninukuu hicho kisa. 

Hakika ni tamko la kujitutumua mithili ya la Kijana Daudi dhidi ya Jitu Goliath. Kwa wachambuzi wa kisiasa, ni muhimu kuzoea na kukubali kwamba matamko ya vyama hasa vile visivyotaka ugomvi na Dola lazima yajaribu kuwa ya kidiplomasia. Hivyo, kama ilivyo ada, ACT Wazalendo wanatoa matamshi ya kuuma na kupuliza au kukejeli kwa tafsida.

Lakini unaposoma kwa jicho la tatu maneno kama haya yanayoelekezwa kwa Rais Magufuli ndipo unapokikumbuka kisa cha mtu tajiri na mtu maskini: Asichoke na asisite kuja kuvuna na wengine maana tumeonyesha uwezo wa kutengeneza wengi wa aina hiyo.” Unabaki unajiuliza si ni hivi majuzi tu Kiongozi wa ACT Wazalendo, Zitto Kabwe, alihojiwa na gazeti la The Citizen kwa barua pepe na kusema kwamba wao kama “chama kichanga” wako “hatarini” na “kwa kila mwanachama” wanayempoteza “ni pigo kubwa na hasa anapokuwa ni kiongozi”? 

Wakati unatafuta majibu unakutana na ujumbe wa leo wa Kiongozi wa Chama huyo uliokuwa kwenye ukurasa wake wa Facebook ukisema: “Unajua uimara wa vyama kwenye Mitihani kama hii inayotukuta sisi.” Hakika huu ni mtihani mkubwa hasa ukizingatia kwamba mmoja wa waasisi wa chama hicho, Profesa Kitila Mkumbo, amekitosa chama kama yule nahodha aliyejitosa baharini kwenye ile Zilipendwa ya wanamuziki wa Mlimani Park Orchestra. Hicho kilichokuwa kichwa cha chama sasa ni Katibu Mkuu wa Wizara ya Maji.

Ujumbe huo wa Facebook wa Zitto Kabwe pia una maneno haya yanayoashiria kwamba teuzi hizi mbili ni mapigo makubwa: “Wanachama 400,032 wa ACT Wazalendo mliotapakaa nchi nzima msiingie kwenya malumbano na nyumbu.” Wanaofuatilia siasa za vyama vingi nchini wanajua kwamba wanaofananishwa na nyumbu ni wafuasi wa CHADEMA ambako Zitto Kabwe, Kitila Mkumbo – na hata Anna Mgwhira – ndiko walikotokea. “Asili ya kuanzishwa kwetu”, ujumbe huo unasisitiza kuhusu hao mahasimu wao wa kisiasa, “ni kuukataa unyumbu.”

Pamoja na kwamba ujumbe huo umekwishafutwa kwenye Facebook ya mhusika, kwa wachambuzi wa Saikolojia ya Siasa hiyo ni ishara ya taathira ya uteuzi alioufanya Rais Magufuli. Unabomoa nguvu ya chama pekee cha upinzani chenye itikadi mbadala kwa uliberali mamboleo na hivyo kufifisha demokrasia ya vyama vingi. Wapo wanaodai ni hatua ya aina yake na inalenga kuleta ‘mseto’ unaonesha utayari wake wa kufanya kazi na wapinzani. Lakini Wadadisi tunaona maneno yafuatayo ya Rais yanaashiria kwamba lengo lake ni kuwapa nafasi ambazo zitawafanya wawe chini ya mamlaka yake ya kidola:

Demokrasia ya Kibunge inayotenganisha mihimili ya Dola inafanya kazi kwa uthabiti pale ambapo Bunge lenye Meno linaisimamia Serikali kijasiri. Hivyo, Serikali inayopambana na ufisadi kwa dhati inapaswa kuwa tayari kuhakikisha kuna wapinzani mahiri watakaoisakama Bungeni kwa ukweli na uwazi ili itekeleze majukumu yake vilivyo. Na ndiyo maana Wadadisi wa Mambo tuliwahi kudai kama tungekuwa Rais Magufuli, tungesema na kutenda hivi wakati wa kuteua:

Ila Rais wetu hapangiwi. Anashauriwa tu. Na kama Waziri wa Sheria na Katiba, Profesa Palamagamba Kabudi alivyodadavua Bungeni: “Tutunze heshima ya Rais akiwa Mkuu wa Nchi. Tutunze heshima ya Rasi akiwa Amiri Jeshi. Lakini inapokuja kwenye nafasi ya Ukuu wa Serikali, serikali isimamiwe.”
Rais Magufuli katukumbusha kwamba Mama Mghwira alikuwa na dhamiri na utashi wa kuweza kukataa uteuzi. Tunaomfahamu tunajua ilikuwa ni vigumu kukataa. Na ndiyo maana wachambuzi wa siasa kama mgawanyo wa mamlaka na rasilimali tunasisitiza kwamba, kuna mstari mwembamba kati ya hiari na shurti. Je, kweli chama maskini kimeridhia tu kumpoteza Mwenyekiti wake? 

Chama tajiri nacho, je, kinataka kuua Upinzani ili kishike hatamu?

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