NOTES ON CURRENT ISSUES

Investigations by Central Committee of C.C.M. into Mismanagement of Public Corporations.
Most of Tanzania’s economic problems are created by forces beyond her control but her situation has been made worse by mismanagement in some of the public corporations (the so called parastatals). The previous edition of the Bulletin (No. 11) referred to the difficulties of the National Milling Corporation and also to the efforts being made to improve levels of management.

In January a special meeting of the C.C.M. National Executive Committee was called to consider the problems caused by poor distribution of scarce essential goods and also the operations of parastatals which have been losing money. The meetings produced dramatic results:

The Chairman and General Manager of the Tanzanian Investment Bank were dismissed and two prominent businessmen detained as a result of the sale of a ship which had become the Bank’s property after the break up of the East African Shipping Line. The ship was sold for Tanzanian shillings although the Bank still has to pay some of the ship’s debts in foreign currency.

The Minister for Communications and Transport and the General Manager of Air Tanzania both lost their posts as a result of the Corporation’s attempt to establish an international service with a leased Boeing 720 which turned out to require repairs and spares which ATC could not afford. Leasing substitute aircraft to meet commitment lost the Airline more money. The international operation has now been ended.

At the beginning of February fifteen directors of the Pyrethrum Board were suspended when it was revealed that the Board had spent so much on its own administration that it had been unable to purchase pyrethrum flowers from growers since last November. In 1979/80 administrative costs were sh 16/60 a kilo against the market price of sh 15/44 a kilo for crude pyrethrum extract.

Speaking at the Celebrations for the fourth anniversary of C.C.M. Julius Nyerere announced that the hire of private cars to Government Departments was under investigation.

Is C.C.M. meeting its objectives?
In an address to mark the 1Oth anniversary of the University of Dar es Salaam Julius Nyerere spoke of his worry about the effectiveness of C.C.M. in maintaining democracy in Tanzania (29/8/80):

“We claim to be building a Democratic One-Party State. Our Constitution and that claim are based upon the theory that C.C.M. is a mass movement controlled by its members and responsive to their needs and aspirations. It is supreme because it is intended to be the people’s voice in directing government and in controlling the power of government as expressed through the organs of government – the Administration, the Courts, the Police, the Jails, and the Army. The Party is thus intended to be the people’s spokesman, the people’s method of organising themselves for voluntary co-operative activities, and the people’s protection against the arrogance and possible tyranny of government machinery and personnel.

How successful is C.C.M. in fulfilling those stated objectives? We have a government consisting of C.C.M. Members; is the Party really channelling the people’s views to that Government as well as speaking for the Government to the people? Do the people really feel that the Party is their own instrument, which can be moved by them and used for their purposes? How close is the Party to the general masses of the People of Tanzania?

At many levels we have given to one person two jobs at the same time: in the Party and in the Government. The President of the country is Chairman of C.C.M., the Regional Secretary of the Party is also Regional Commissioner; and since the establishment of urban and village governments we have made the town or village Party Chairman into the Chairman of the local council and hence into the head of the local government at that level. And every time these two jobs are combined, that of the Government tends to overshadow that of the Party. So that in practice all of these people have become government persons first, and only secondly the spokesmen of the people’s ideas, aspirations and complaints. They are so busy implementing government policy and defending government actions that they have little time to do purely Party work and to act upon – or even listen to – the proposals or complaints of the people. But the responsibilities of Government continue to be very attractive to Party leaders, and very often when they talk about Party supremacy a lot of Party leaders are in fact saying that all of them should have two jobs – and that the job in the Government should be the major one.

Giving functions of Government and of Party to one person is not a total explanation of the problem, and indeed some of the reasons for introducing this system remain valid. But we need to look at this whole question again, for the separation of the Party and people, and therefore a separation between our principle of One Party Democracy and the facts, will mean the death of the Party. without a live C. C.M., governed by the people themselves, we shall- under our existing constitution – be governed by bureaucrats, University Graduates, and a few demagogues, and not by the people themselves or their representatives”

Nyerere referred again indirectly to the position of the Party and his fear of its divorce from the people in a speech at Dodoma on the 4th. Anniversary of the C.C.M. (5/2/81):

“Our problem is mainly centred on the distribution of what we have. We do not distribute it equitably. You will remember recently we convened a meeting of the (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) national executive committee in Dar es Salaam to discuss this matter of equitable distribution. We discovered that there were people who had licences in their pockets but had no shops. They go to a certain place and take a large quantity of soap but then we do not know where they take the soap to. They have no shop nor do they take the soap to anyone else’s shop. So that soap disappears … So we decided not to give anyone a licence until we have ascertained that they own a shop or a place where they take the goods to sell. But what happened in the past was this: A person came in wearing a suit and we issued him with a licence. Where would he take the goods to? We discussed this problem. And I think we have begun (tackling) this issue by denying licences to those who have no shops…

Then there was another group that emerged. These were those who had no government licences. They are issued with documents known as permits. So-and-so would come to me and say: Mwalimu I want you to help me. Help you in what? I want you to give me a permit to buy soap. Why should I give you a permit to go and buy soap? And such people have approached me: I’m not joking and that is the precise reason why I’m explaining this (laughter) … So you give him a permit and he takes the soap home and sells it from there and so when you go to the shop, you find no soap, and the one with a licence , to sell soap has none to sell … So you go to him and ask for soap. He says: Which soap do you want? I say: Bath soap. Then he says: There is soap but not at the government price. So what are your prices? He says: Soap is available at party prices (laughter)…

We resolved to remove such malpractices which put the party in disrepute … we agreed to resolve the issue by refraining from such practices (of issuing permits) … and we agreed, secondly, that party and government officials must supervise the distribution of commodities …”

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