Archive for Politics

VIOLENCE IN KIBITI

by Ben Taylor

There are some signs that the police may have turned a corner in addressing the spate of violence that has afflicted Kibiti and neighbouring districts of Coast Region in recent months.

In February three people, including a police officer, were killed by a group of bandits at a farm and forestry levies collection centre at Jaribu Mpakani. In April, eight police officers who were deployed there from Morogoro Region to bolster security were ambushed and killed as they were returning to their base from patrol.

In mid-June, a local leader and two villagers in Nyamisati village, Kibiti District, were abducted and shot at by unknown gunmen. Two weeks later, the chairman and executive officer of Mangwi Village were killed in cold blood by armed men, according to sources in the area. The killers also shot and blinded the chairman of a sub-village. And a former CCM ward chairperson was shot dead outside his home in Nyambunda village.

The total number of those killed in the area since 2014 has risen to over 40 people, according to The Citizen newspaper. The list includes local government leaders, local CCM leaders, police officers and civilians. Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba recently informed Parliament in Dodoma of plans to establish a special police zone in Kibiti in a bid to deal with the crisis head on.

The recently-appointed Inspector General of Police, Simon Sirro, cited the restoration of peace and tranquillity in Coast Region as his number one priority, and sought to reassure residents of the affected districts that the violence will soon be brought to an end.

Policing activities in the area have stepped up, and the police claimed significant victories after each of two recent shootouts. In late June, a police patrol car was reportedly ambushed, and in the exchange of fire that followed, four of the six attackers were killed by the police. Then, in early August, the police raided a forest camp, killing 13 suspects in the confrontation.

In a statement, Mr Sirro said the police had arrested one of the suspects, who led them to the camp that the suspects had been using as a hideout. “We made efforts to try and rush them to Muhimbili National Hospital for treatment but they died on the way from the gunshot wounds,” he said.

He also said the police recovered some weapons and other items from the camp – including five sub-machine guns, 2 anti-riot guns, a pair of police uniform, one magazine and 153 rounds of ammunition as well as hand grenades and two motorcycles – adding that investigations showed that the weapons had been used in various criminal incidents, including some of those mentioned above.

Following this, Kibiti District Authorities called upon whose ward and village executives who had fled because of the violence to quickly return to their stations of duty so as to keep serving residents. He said that for now the district’s defence and security had been stepped up, so it was District councillors applauded the efforts of the government and the defence and security services for restoring peace and security in the district. (The Citizen, The Guardian, Daily News)

Comments

CLAMPDOWN ON FAKE ACADEMIC CERTIFICATES

by Ben Taylor

President John Magufuli announced the firing of nearly 10,000 civil servants after receiving a report on public servants’ academic certificates. The following day, the full list of those accused of possessing fake certificates was published.

The Minister of State for Public Service Management, Angela Kairuki, noted that from a total of 435,000 civil servants who had their certificates verified, 9,932 were found to possess forged certificates.

The evaluation was commissioned by the President’s Office Public Service Management and Good Governance, and conducted by a 15-member team. It was a follow-up exercise after an earlier nationwide crackdown on “ghost workers” that struck 19,706 non-existent employees off the public payroll.

The exercise considered Form IV and VI academic certificates as well as teachers with certificates and diploma qualifications. It did not look at elected representatives or holders of positions directly appointed by the President, such as District Commissioners, as the law does not require such officials to hold academic qualifications beyond the ability to read and write.

Some civil servants were found to possess certificates that did not match those issued by academic institutions, while others were found to be using certificates issued to other people.

The President ordered all those whose names are in the document to voluntarily leave their jobs within two weeks or otherwise face seven-year jail terms. He also ordered any salary payments for them to be suspended.

Some of those whose names appeared on the “list of shame” have maintained their innocence, claiming possession of genuine credentials. They have said they are considering an appeal against the dossier.

Further, several commentators noted that dismissing such a large number of civil servants at the same time could have a significant negative impact on public services and public administration, particularly as there was already an estimated shortage of around 50,000 public servants in health, education and justice sectors.

“We should expect quite a disruption on social service delivery due to lost expertise and experience,” said Prof Gaudens Mpangala of Ruaha Catholic University.

“It is sad to say but the government has approached the issue of fake certificates in the civil service the same way as the anti-corruption crusade. Selective justice is at play. And the people are right to ask why should some people in the same government be forgiven while others are made accountable,” he said.

Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba of the Legal and Human Right Centre said to avoid the disruption of social services and to ensure justice is done to all those concerned President Magufuli should have pardoned all who were found with forged certificates and should focus his attention instead on preventing use of fake certificates among future recruits. “The war on fake certificates should be forward looking. A system should be put in place to ensure no one would be employed if they use forged certificates,” she said.

The Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) said they intend to file a case against the controversial Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda, over alleged use of fake academic certificates. TLS President Tundu Lissu said that claims had been circulating widely that Makonda is using another person’s certificate and his real name is Daudi Bashite.

Comments

CUF’S ONGOING TRAVAILS

by Ben Taylor

The power struggle within the opposition party, the Civic United Front (CUF), shows no signs of letting up, with several dramatic incidents having taken place over the past few months. The dispute pits a predominantly mainland faction of the party aligned with former Presidential candidate, Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, against a Zanzibar-dominated faction aligned with the former Vice President of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad.

The crisis in CUF began last year after Prof Lipumba, who had resigned as chairman ahead of the 2015 General Election, decided to rescind on his resignation. During an extraordinary national congress that had been called to elect his successor in August, Prof Lipumba dramatically forced his way in to the meeting. That did not prevent delegates voting to confirm his resignation. However, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, dismissed the decision by the Supreme Governing Council to expel him from the party, in a ruling that gave the professor a major boost in his bid for the CUF chairmanship.

In late April a press conference, arranged by members of the Seifaligned group in Dar es Salaam, was raided by four masked men wielding weapons, including a pistol. Several people were injured, including journalists and one of the attackers who was arrested when the police arrived. Members of the Lipumba-aligned faction admitted they had sent the people who interrupted the meeting.

In July, Professor Lipumba, empowered by Judge Mutungi’s decision, expelled eight of the party’s special seats MPs from the party, thus stripping them of their seats in parliament, and appointed eight new MPs to the positions. The changes were upheld by the Speaker, Job Ndugai.
Mr Hamad issued a press statement accusing the office of the Registrar of Political Parties, the Office of the Speaker and the Police of working to weaken the party by backing Prof Lipumba. He said the axed MPs are going to High Court to challenge the decision by Prof Lipumba, and will ask the court to declare them legitimate CUF members and therefore legitimate members of parliament.

Prof Lipumba accused Mr Hamad of abandoning office and his responsibilities.

Comments

FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

Foreign relations and the ‘economic war’
Ever since independence in 1961 Tanzania has enjoyed warm and friendly relations with most countries around the world. The formidable leadership of the first president (Nyerere) and his determined fight against colonialism in Africa kept him constantly in the news but there were many up and owns. Relations were broken off for a period time between Britain and Tanzania over what was then Southern Rhodesia (and later Zimbabwe) over its progress towards independence and his relations with East and West Germany because of their diverging policies.

Friction also arose over the different policies of the Communist governments in Eastern Europe and the capitalist governments in much of the rest of Europe. Nyerere had little enthusiasm for Western capitalism and tried hard to establish good relations with the then communist world. Above all he wanted Tanzania to be self-reliant and pursued this policy through, amongst other things, his forced ‘villagisation’ programme. He showed no hesitation in nationalising huge swathes of foreign owned enterprises including all the banks usually without payment of compensation.

His actions resulted in the gradual collapse of the sisal industry which had been one of the main elements of the country’s exports at that time although other factors played a part in this. A policy on tourism, which, in later years, became a major source of income for the country, was not on his priority list.

However, his great charm and the very warm relations he established with the newly emerging China and the Scandinavian countries have persisted to this day and helped to alleviate the economic situation.

By the end of his term the economy was in crisis while Nyerere concentrated on the hugely time-consuming tasks of liberating the rest of Africa, entering into a Union with revolutionary Zanzibar and on social development, particularly in education, at home. Many considered Tanzania’s economy to have become a virtual ‘basket case’ but the foundations had been laid for a socially more equitable state.

His two successors as president (Mwinyi and Mkapa) concentrated on revival of the economy and foreign capital investment began to flow again. Mwinyi and Mkapa realised that Europe and America were where the money was and efforts were made to attract some of it to Tanzania. Relations with the West became warmer again.

Then president Magufuli arrived on the scene and began a radical transformation of the economy. He calls it the ‘Economic War’’ The latest developments on this are outlined in other parts of this issue.

The arrival of the spectacularly successful new world in China has made it possible for Tanzania and other developing countries to obtain huge investment without the strict restrictions placed on other foreign direct investment. His policy of putting ‘Tanzania First’ has some features in common those of President Trump in America and his ‘America First’ policy.

Thus, Tanzania is entering a period of economic change, the eventual results of which are very difficult to determine as foreign investors wonder what their future might be and whether Tanzania still welcomes such investment.

Lake Nyasa/Lake Malawi
The boundary dispute between Malawi and Tanzania over the ownership of this lake continues. The Malawian government has threatened to escalate the dispute by taking it to the International Court of Justice in The Hague as several attempts to find a resolution have failed.

An issue of particular concern to Malawi as that the lake’s geographical space represents about a third of Malawi’s total space. Malawi argues that its economic life, culture, folklore and sentiment as a nation are linked to the lake and that therefore much is at stake. Tanzania however points to the large number of Tanzanian fishermen and their ancestral burial places in the Lake.

Malawi and Tanzania both have a common interest in the form of a massive reservoir of the most valuable natural resource – fresh water. There is talk also of hydrocarbon deposits but at the very least, the lake is filled with fish.

A longer version of this article appeared first in ‘The Conversation’ by Gbenga Oduntan, Associate Professor in International Commercial Law at the University of Kent, UK – Editor.

Zambia and Kenya
When, in mid-August, Zambia agreed to supply Kenya with 100,000 tons of maize, to relieve its serious shortages, plans were made to supply it by road. But Tanzania said no. It could not agree to these large loads passing over Tanzanian roads. However, before the dispute could become more serious, it was agreed between Zambia and Tanzania to provide a special lane on their TAZARA railway line. These commodities were to be shipped by rail to Dar es Salaam and then on to Mombasa by sea. Zambia also agreed to cut the time spent in the issuing of permits to 24 hours rather than the normal seven days. Zambia and Kenya also agreed reduce the trade turn-around time.

Congo
President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo paid a three-day state visit to Tanzania in September with the emphasis on improving trade links with Tanzania. The two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct joint oil exploration on Lake Tanganyika. The leaders agreed that they would fast-track the construction of the standard gauge railway linking Congo with the Dar es Salaam port. Tanzania said it would allocate dedicated inland container terminals at Ruvu for cargo destined to go to Congo.

President Magufuli said that the two countries had cemented their trade, security and economic ties. President Kabila said that it was the first time since he became president that he had visited Tanzania to discuss trade. All his previous visits had concentrated on security. President Magufuli said that traffic through the Dar port was growing at the rate of 10.6% annually and that trade volumes between the two countries had increased from TSh 23 million in 2009 to TSh 396 million in 2016.

Some observers questioned the timing of this state visit as President Kabila was originally persuaded to step down as president in December 2016 at the end of his constitutionally mandated two-term limit in a deal mediated by the Catholic Church. There was a clear commitment to hold elections by the end of 2017 and that President Kabila would not be a candidate or try to amend the constitution. But these commitments seem to have been largely ignored and it is not known what the future holds.

Mauritius
Tanzania and Mauritius have committed themselves to promoting themselves jointly as twin tourist destinations. Mauritius national carrier Air Mauritius launched flights to Tanzania two years ago. The two countries have also signed special contracts with three consulting agencies from Europe and America to develop a marketing strategy for Germany, the USA and UK designed to penetrate world tourist markets. Mauritius recorded 2 million tourist arrivals in 2016 while Tanzania received 1.1 million. Tanzania is also targeting European travel markets, plus China, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and the Gulf states and promises more aggressive tourism marketing in the future.

‘Feza schools’ and Turkey
After the violent failed coup d’etat aimed at removing Turkish President Erdogan in late 2016 a massive purge began against anyone suspected of having been involved. Tanzania, which has warm relations with Turkey, has been the subject of allegations of involvement by 10 Feza schools which have been established in Tanzania. Turkey has targeted businesses associated with a Muslim cleric involved with these schools and has accused them of funding terrorist activities. Turkey’s ambassador to Tanzania has called for deregistration of the 10 schools as well as other businesses alleged to be funding the opposition against the Turkish president. However, Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga has explained that the 10 schools in Tanzania, which are run under the Ishik Medical and Educational Foundation, like other businesses in the country, had been vetted before being registered to operate in the country.

Comments

CONSTITUTION

by Enos Bukuku

“The People’s Opinion”
I had hoped to be able to write about developments in the constitution making process, which has stalled for approximately two years. In early April, the Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, declared that the process would resume. Since then, however, there have not been any statements from him or President Magufuli as to when this important issue will be put back on the political agenda.

CCM Publicity Secretary, Humphrey Polepole, who was a member of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) which prepared the first draft constitution (known as the “Warioba draft”), has expressed his desire that the process should revert to Warioba draft, and therefore scrap the final draft constitution which caused such deep and irreconcilable divisions amongst those involved in the process. He calls the Warioba draft “the People’s Opinion”. The final version, “the proposed constitution”, was created by the Constituent Assembly (CA), which comprised a vast majority of CCM politicians, and made substantial changes to the Warioba draft, many of which are seen to be unpopular. By implication, the final draft may well be considered “CCM’s opinion”, or perhaps the opinion of the previous CCM government.

The legal process for the formation of a new constitution, which outlines very clear timescales and procedures, does not provide for the CA’s work to be ignored. The next step, according to the legal requirements, is for the final draft constitution to be put to a national referendum for whether it should be approved. If Mr Polepole’s wish is to be granted, then there will need to be a change in the legal procedures, which will not be a quick process.

Certainly, the nation is eager to hear Prof Kabudi’s plans. There is no expectation that we will have a new constitution any time soon. For this to change, the President must be the one to initiate the momentum.

At a time when many are complaining that the fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals are being trodden on, this is when a robust and reliable constitution is needed. There have been various human rights interest groups who have voiced their concerns over the way in which the government is exercising its power. This is supposed to be the people’s constitution – so the people, not just politicians, need to speak up (if they feel they are able to). The likely alternative is the status quo.

Comments

WAR ON DRUGS TAKES WORRYING TWIST

by Ben Taylor

Makonda presents his list of names

At the start of February, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda, embarked on a high-profile anti-drugs campaign. Makonda has long been a controversial figure. He held prominent roles in the CCM Youth Wing and was accused of disrupting a public meeting in 2014 at which Justice Warioba was due to speak about the constitutional review process. He has something in common with Magufuli, being active and highly visible, keeping people on their toes, and willing on occasion to disregard the niceties of due process.

Makonda released a list of 97 names of people he claimed were involved in illegal drug use and trade, and demanded that they report to the police. The list included the official leader of the opposition in parliament, Freeman Mbowe, wealthy Pentecostal pastor, Bishop Josephat Gwajima, celebrities such as the film actress and socialite, Wema Sepetu, musician and DJ, Vanessa Mdee, and hip-hop artist, Khalid Mohammed (“T.I.D.”). It also included Yusuf Manji, one of Tanzania’s wealthiest and most influential businessmen, the CEO of Quality Group and Chairman of Young Africans Football Club, and several police officers and prominent business leaders. Makonda also named several sites around Dar as hotspots for illicit drug trade, including the Slipway resort and the Dar Yacht Club.

In response, twelve police officers were suspended pending investigations, and the nation was treated to a daily saga of arrests and court appearances, covered by both the serious media and celebrity-obsessed tabloids. Sepetu switched her allegiance from CCM to Chadema. Bishop Gwajima brought a church choir to sing outside the police station while he was interviewed inside. Mbowe was granted a temporary injunction by the High Court barring the police from arresting him, though they were still allowed to investigate and question him. Manji threatened to sue Makonda for defamation, and found himself in further difficulties when the investigations on drugs discovered a number of Indian nationals working for Quality Group without proper permits. He spent several days in custody of the Immigration Department, including some time in hospital.

Makonda’s approach drew strong criticism, led by opposition politicians but also drawing sympathy and support from some within the ruling party. Bishop Gwajima fought back, bringing up long-standing allegations that Makonda has fake academic certificates and that Paul Makonda is not even his real name. Similar accusations have cost many public servants their jobs under President Magufuli.

Nape Nnauye, Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, said his ministry supported the efforts by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner to “clean up” the region, but insisted that the authorities should employ wisdom in dealing with suspects. “This matter has sparked public debate especially on how the artistes have been handled. … I believe there are other ways which are more practical in dealing with this complex matter.”

Several politicians and media commentators called on the President to rein Makonda in. But though he did respond to some of the concerns – for example by appointing a long-serving police officer to fill the vacant post of Commissioner General for the Drug Control Commission – he gave his backing to Makonda, saying the war on drugs was so important that it should not matter whose relation somebody might be: “even if you find my wife is involved, arrest her.”

In mid-March the tussle between Makonda, Gwajima and then Nnauye turned sour. A rumour began circulating that Clouds, a TV and radio station, had come into possession of a video (of unknown provenance) in which a woman accused Bishop Gwajima of being the father of her child, and of abusing his position to extract sexual favours. Makonda paid a late-night visit to Clouds, accompanied by armed security officers, demanding that they broadcast the video. The visit was captured on the station’s CCTV cameras, and shared widely on social media. An outcry followed: the media saw this as a brazen attack on media freedom and was forthright in its criticism. The Tanzania Editors’ Forum and Union of Tanzanian Press Clubs named Makonda “enemy of the media number one”, and agreed to implement a media blackout.

As Minister for Information, Nape Nnauye set up a small team to investigate what had taken place, while President Magufuli jumped to Makonda’s defence. Nnauye’s committee reported back, with strident criticism of Makonda’s actions. Nnauye thanked them for their work, but in an apparently reconciliatory call for clemency spoke about how “we must recognise that everyone makes mistakes.” However, the following morning, Nnauye was sacked from the cabinet. The official statement announcing this decision did not mention him by name, simply stating that a new Minister, Harrison Mwakyembe, had been appointed.

Nnauye arranged a press conference for 2pm that afternoon. But as he stepped out of his vehicle in the car park of St Peter’s Catholic Church in Oyster Bay, he was surrounded by a large number of journalists and others. An unknown man – later reported by some newspapers to be an intelligence officer – stepped up and tried to force him back into his vehicle. When Nnauye resisted, the man drew a pistol and waved it around, but fortunately calm heads intervened and the situation was resolved without anyone getting hurt.

Nnauye was understandably upset. “I come here and stand up, someone has a gun, tells me get back in the car. Who gave you that authority? You are paid by our taxes, by our sweat, and then you come with your stupidity and tell me to get back in the car. How? … As I said before, there is a price to be paid when standing up for people’s rights, and I am ready to pay that price.” He added, “I don’t see why the security forces are panicking, I don’t see why people are panicking. Nape is small compared to this country, our country is huge compared to Nape. Let’s not get stressed about Nape, let’s get stressed about where our Tanzania is going. That is bigger than anything else.”

The following day, while formally appointing the new Minister and other new officials, President Magufuli referred to the incident, and in particular to how the media had reported it: “Just look at today’s newspapers: all the pictures, the headlines are about someone who made one mistake, as if the act has been done by the government or with government support. … I tell media owners: be careful, watch it! If you think you have that kind of freedom … not to that extent.” He pointed out that the media had played a key role in inciting the Rwandan genocide.

At the time of writing, Home Affairs Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, has promised to look into the events in St Peter’s car park, and the new Minister of Information has promised to listen to all sides in the Clouds-Makonda case. Makonda remains in post and continues to pursue his campaign against drug users and dealers, though with a lower profile and perhaps more cautious approach.

Comments (1)

POLITICS & MISCELLANY

CCM reforms and disciplinary measures

The CCM National Congress approved a series of changes to the party’s constitution. The major changes include a reduction of members of the party’s top organs, a reduction of party meeting frequencies and the abolition of unconstitutional posts. The party’s National Executive Committee now has 163 members, down from 388, and the Central Committee has reduced from 34 to 24 members. Other reforms include prohibition of multi-leadership posts within the party.

Addressing the party congress, the party chairman, President Magufuli, said the reforms aimed at boosting efficiency and reducing dependence on financiers. “This is a big party, we have 8.5 million members, we have resources and many sources of income, there is no need for us to continue begging,” he said.

At the same series of meetings, the party’s National Executive Committee stripped 18 senior figures of their party membership, including former Minister Sophia Simba. This move was interpreted widely as a purge of key supporters of Edward Lowassa who had remained in the party after his defection from CCM to Chadema in the run up to the 2015 election. Others, including Central Committee member, Emmanuel Nchimbi, were given “strong warnings”, or “forgiven”, as in the case of the party’s chairman for Dodoma Region, Adam Kimbisa.

In July 2015, Simba, Nchimbi, and Kimbisa as members of CCM’s central committee publicly opposed the decision of the party’s central committee to remove Lowassa from a shortlist of presidential candidates, saying they disagreed with the manner in which the presidential hopefuls were short-listed. (Daily News, The Guardian)

New scrutiny of foreign nationals’ immigration status
A government notice issued in February “invited” all employers and non-citizens working in Tanzania to participate in a formal verification exercise. The notice, issued by the Labour Commissioner in the Prime Minister’s Office, gave all non-Tanzanians currently working in the country 30 days to submit their work permits to the nearest labour office for verification purposes.

In April, the Immigration Department then launched an electronic verification system for use in scrutinising and approving residential permit applications by foreigners coming to live or work in the country. “The system is simple, and offers the opportunity for employers and foreigners already with resident permits to verify their documents and confirm that they have been issued by relevant authorities,” said the department’s Commissioner General, Dr Anna Makalala.

This follows the publication in late 2016 of new regulations governing the employment of non-citizens in Tanzania. The regulations, provide some clarifications on the procedures, timelines and document checklists for processing each type of work permit, including grounds for exemptions.
(Further detail on the new regulations is available from FB Attorneys: http:// fbattorneys.com/legal-update-15-march-2017/) (The Citizen, The Guardian)

Power struggle at Tanganyika Law Society

Tundu Lissu, a senior MP for the opposition party, Chadema, was elected as President of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS). This followed a power struggle in which senior government ministers threatened to deregister the society if it elected a politician to a leadership role. In the week before his election, Mr Lissu was arrested twice and charged with sedition at a Dar es Salaam court before being released on bail.

According to some TLS members, the government threats against TLS backfired, motivating the society’s members to back Lissu in order to protect their professional independence. Mr Lissu said his victory had nothing to do with his political party, Chadema, and promised to serve all lawyers impartially. (The Guardian)

Ban on alcohol sold in sachets
A ban on selling alcohol in small plastic sachets – known as “viroba”
– came into force in March. Many shops were left with large stocks that they are unable to sell, and customers were forced either to stop drinking or to shift to comparatively more expensive bottled liquor. The cheapest viroba drinks retailed at TSh 500, the cheapest bottles cost around TSh 3,500. Manufacturers asked for more time to adjust to bottling technology.

The Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, said the fondness for viroba was killing large numbers of young Tanzanians, including students, since different brands were available in plastic sachets at virtually every street corner, even close to primary schools.

Banditry in Coast Region
There is widespread concern at a recent wave of killings of local government leaders and police officers in Coast Region. In the most deadly incident, eight officers were shot dead by an armed gang in mid-April.

Commissioner of Police for Training and Operation, Nsato Mssanzya told journalists that the police had launched a manhunt in response, had discovered the criminals’ temporary hideout and in an exchange of gunfire had killed four bandits. He added that there was no evidence to link the ongoing incidents with terrorism, but rather that it seemed a small group of criminals was causing fear in the area.

Home Affairs Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, said the government has increased the number of police officers and facilities in Kibiti District in Coast Region as part of establishing a special police zone.

It was also reported that political parties were having difficulty persuading qualified candidates to stand for village leadership roles in the region, as several village leaders have also been killed in recent months. (Daily News, The Citizen)

Call for Maji-Maji compensation
The Minister of Defence and National Service, Hussein Mwinyi, said the government is preparing to ask the German government to compensate those who were affected by the Maji Maji war. He was initially responding to questions in parliament, and followed this up in an interview with German media outlet, Deutsche Welle. German soldiers are accused of crimes including forced starvation following the tribal revolt known as Maji Maji between 1905 and 1907.

“Compensation is what we are looking for and there are a few other examples in the African region of countries who have asked for this,” said the Minister. He added that the idea was “to compensate those who lost their lives and of course there are some surviving victims of the war. But those who lost their lives, they have people who could benefit from it.” (Deutsche Welle)

Comments

FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

President Magufuli spent his first very active few months in charge after his election dealing with major matters at home. Now the tireless president has begun taking time to deal with foreign relations, particularly foreign financial relations. The results are already beginning to be seen.

China
He has begun by ‘looking East’ for trade especially to China and Turkey. Major issues of interest to Tanzania have been centred on the standard gauge railway, the proposed new port in Bagamoyo and the establishment of up to 700 factories in Tanzania in three years. China has risen from the sixth largest foreign investor in 2011 to second place after the UK more recently.

Mozambique
Mozambique recently expelled about 200 Tanzanians who are alleged to have been living in the country illegally. The Ministry of Home Affairs was said to be verifying claims of abuse against these people including allegations of beatings and rape. The passports of some deportees were seized. The crackdown was conducted in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado where some 3,000 Tanzanians are said to be living.

Morocco
Following the King of Morocco’s recent tour of Africa, including Tanzania, Morocco has continued its efforts to be re-admitted to the African Union. The country already has the backing of a simple majority of African states following its mobilisation of 28 countries – 52% of the of the AU membership. Morocco withdrew from the Organisation of African unity (OAU) – the precursor to the African Union (AU) – in 1984 when the OAU admitted Western Sahara, a disputed region on the Atlantic coastline between Morocco to the north, Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south. Morocco’s claim to this phosphate-rich territory in 1975 followed the withdrawal of Spain which had colonised the Western Sahara for many years. Conflict between the different parties was apparently settled in 1990 when it was said that the people of the former Spanish colony would have a referendum over their right to self-determination. But Morocco argued that the Western Sahara is an integral part of its kingdom while the Polisario Front had been campaigning for the territory’s independence. Morocco has repeatedly failed to hold the proposed referendum.

In a recent letter from the King to the current Chairman of the AU, Chadian President Idriss Deby he wrote: “We need to take the path of lucidity and courage, which our elders, the first pan Africans, had privileged. … That is why, on the question of the Sahara, institutional Africa can no longer endure the burdens of a historical error and a cumbersome legacy. Since this so-called state is not a member of the UN, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the League of Arab States nor any other sub-regional, regional or international institution, is not the present situation in clear contradiction with international legality?”

Rwanda and the Swahili language
Rwanda is planning to introduce the Swahili language in its school curriculum by next year as part of plans to adopt it as an official language. At present Swahili is taught as an optional subject at primary and high school levels but French is declining in importance.

Turkey and Portugal
A joint venture between a Turkish and a Portuguese company has won the tender for construction of 205km of the proposed new Standard gauge railway. This is part of the 1,200km stretch that will eventually link Dar es Salaam with the rest of the country as well as with Rwanda and Burundi, is to be constructed at a total cost of US $1.2 billion. Tanzania is hoping to secure soft loans from development partners and financial institutions for implementation of the plan. The Turkish/Portuguese firms which were selected beat 39 other bidders for this project which will take 2½ years to build. It had been widely expected that Chinese firms would obtain the contract, but Turkey’s forceful President Erdogan visited Tanzania recently and things changed. According to The East African, the Turkish president used the opportunity of his visit to Tanzania to ask for a loan from Turkey’s state-owned Export Credit Bank to help finance part of the new rail line.

Israel
Tanzania’s long-standing support for the people of Palestine and coolness towards Israel is changing. President Magufuli, following the opening last year in Israel of a visa processing centre to boost tourism from Tanzania, has now stated his intention to open an embassy in Tel Aviv. Israeli tourist charters are already landing regularly at Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar airports.

Uganda
The latest VIP to come to Dar es Salaam on a state visit has been President Museveni of Uganda. In an official statement in Kampala following the visit, President Museveni confirmed that the major oil pipeline for Uganda oil would be constructed in Tanzania rather than Kenya and that agreement had been reached on the route (Hoima to Tanga) – and costs ($3.5 billion). People in Kampala were talking about the ‘Museveni magic.’ It is hoped that Ugandan oil will be produced by about 2020.

Comments

CONSTITUTION

by Enos Bukuku

Signs the constitutional review process is to be revived?
A few months ago, it appeared that President Magufuli had abandoned any plans for the government to imminently revive the process of creating a new constitution. However, he recently appointed two former Constitution Review Commission (CRC) members, Humphrey Polepole and Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, to senior positions. Mr Polepole will act as CCM Publicity Secretary, whilst Prof Kabudi will take over from Harrison Mwakyembe (see Politics section, this issue) as Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs. Prof Kabudi is considered an experienced authority on legal and constitutional matters.

In his address to Parliament in early April 2017, Prof Kabudi stated that the government is reviewing all its laws relating to the constitution before continuing with the process. “I am new to the ministry, but the government had other priorities when it came into power. The process will now resume from where it ended,” he stated.

However, “where it ended” was that it only remained for the controversial proposed constitution to receive the approval of the public through a national referendum. Many politicians have pointed out the fact that this process is not provided for in the 2017/2018 government budget. The Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) has expressed its concern about this. Moreover, and setting budget issues aside, there are still difficult political issues to overcome if a new constitution is to be created.

At a recent General Meeting of the Tanzania Constitution Forum, Gaudence Mpangala, a senior lecturer at Ruaha University College, commented that 2017 and 2018 are the right times to finalise the constitution process. He pointed out that 2019 will involve local government elections and then in 2020 the national elections.

The draft constitution which was produced by the CRC contained many recommendations which were rejected by the Constitution Assembly (CA). The CA chose to reject the proposed three-tier government and stick with the current government structure. It also chose not to limit the tenure of MPs in circumstances where due to illness, incompetence or incarceration they could be removed from office. Former President Kikwete’s criticism of the CRC’s draft constitution appears to have resulted in the sections he had criticised being omitted from the final draft. One must therefore ask whether Prof Kabudi and company will have enough freedom and autonomy to find a solution without Presidential interference with the contents of the constitution, especially if there are elements within it which limit presidential powers.

This concern is heightened by the criticism the government has been facing for restricting freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. There are some who consider that the President has too much power and/or acts above the law. Whether there is any merit to these complaints, the perception that the people have about their government is of great importance, especially where fundamental human rights are involved. Presidential powers and citizens’ rights are therefore likely to become hot topics if the review process is revived, and indeed even if it is not.

Comments

ONE YEAR INTO MAGUFULI’S PRESIDENCY

by Ben Taylor

Since coming to office, the pace of President Magufuli’s activity has surprised many observers. In government, the phrase – HapaKaziTu! (Work and nothing else!) – rapidly evolved from a campaign slogan into a philosophy for governance. Whether it comes to economic policy and taxation, public services and public administration, corruption or the media, business as usual is no more.

The president’s early actions against corruption, tax avoidance and waste drew praise and popularity from many quarters. With the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, he led concerted efforts to clamp down on corruption and raise revenues at Dar es Salaam port, and with the Minister of Education, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, to stop abuse of the higher education and student loans systems. Tight restrictions on foreign travel for public officials and on the use of hotels and conference centres for government meetings were introduced, and the President took a high-profile decision to replace expensive public celebrations of Independence Day in December 2015 with a national exercise to cleanup public spaces. Campaign promises to put an end to school fees and to reduce the basic rate of tax were acted upon. And over 300 public officials have been fired, suspended or reassigned, under the slogan of “tumbua majipu” – “piercing the boils”. Those who have been lost their positions include the heads of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Dar es Salaam City Council, and the Chief Secretary (the country’s most senior civil servant). (For further details, see previous issues of TA). This is coupled with a campaign to root out so-called “ghost workers” – civil servants on the government payroll but who do not in reality exist. Over 16,000 “ghost workers” have reportedly been removed from the payroll.

“What would Magufuli do?” asked Twitter users around the world, celebrating the new president’s parsimonious approach to public spending, and comparing him very favourably with other heads of state. Forbes Africa magazine named him on their shortlist of five for Person of the Year (though he eventually lost out to South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela).

More recently, the president has announced that the long-standing intention to shift the site of government from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma would now be fast-tracked. The initial decision was made by President Julius Nyerere in 1973, but had thus far translated into little beyond the relocation of parliament twenty years ago. President Magufuli announced the move would happen before the end of his first five-year term, and Prime Minister Majaliwa swiftly followed this up with a tighter timetable: that he would move by September, to be followed soon after by all other ministers.

Further, he has purchased three new aircraft for the struggling national airline, Air Tanzania, and suspended the import of sugar and coal in an effort to support local producers.

An opinion poll survey published by Twaweza in September 2016 found the president had the approval of 96% of Tanzanian citizens on the mainland, higher than any approval rating for any African head of state ever reported by Afrobarometer, an Africa-wide opinion polling initiative. The same survey found high levels of support for the president’s actions against corrupt public officials, against ghost workers, and for the removal of school fees. The president has positioned himself as being on the side of the ordinary citizen, taking on big business, corruption and waste, and his actions and slogans have captured the public imagination.

At the same time, however, other aspects of President Magufuli’s style of leadership have increasingly drawn criticism – most particularly his attitudes to business, to the civil service, and to democracy.

Investors in the tourist industry have complained that removal of VAT exemptions for many tourism-related goods and services will have a negative impact on their businesses and on the economy as a whole. Importers have argued that heavy-handed enforcement of tax regulations – including moves to charge import duties on goods in transit – will lead to a drop in revenues as transporters take their business away from Dar es Salaam to ports in Kenya, Mozambique or South Africa. Debates about whether or not tourist numbers, hotel bookings, port and transit volumes and tax revenues have declined continue to rage.

A disagreement over Tanzania’s largest cement factory – see also the economics and business section in this issue – is illustrative of these complaints. Ahmed Salim, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence, told Quartz, an online magazine, that the situation “paints an unfavourable and unpredictable outlook for investors looking at the Tanzanian market.” Coupled with a perception that businesses are being subjected to sudden changes in tax policy, investors are reportedly concerned.

Other observers are concerned that the new HapaKaziTu! culture in the civil service has spilled over into a climate of fear. Coupled with tight controls on expenditure and increased scrutiny of their past and present actions – see also the education section in this issue – this has left many civil servants reportedly feeling untrusted and undervalued, and afraid to make decisions.

The Shadow Minister for Public Service Management and Good Governance, Ruth Mollel, herself a former Permanent Secretary, warned the government that its disregard of the rule of law would backfire. “This country cannot be governed through personal opinions and decisions while there are laws set to be adhered to,” she said. “We have been witnessing cases of civil servants being fired and demoted without being given the opportunity to be heard, and this has created fear and demoralised the majority of the workers.” Trade Unions, including the Tanzania Teachers Union and the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA), have also questioned the apparent lack of adherence to proper disciplinary procedures.

Finally, a third set of complaints relate to democracy and human rights. In December, Maxence Melo, one of the founders and owners of Jamii Forums, a popular online discussion forum, was arrested. He was later charged with two counts of obstructing police investigations under the Cybercrimes Act – for refusing to reveal the names of whistle-blowers using the site – and one count of operating a website that does not use the “dot-tz” top level domain.

This was the latest in a series of moves that leave the media, opposition politicians and human rights’ activists feeling vulnerable. A number of journalists and politicians have been arrested and/or charged with sedition. Live TV and radio broadcasts of proceedings in parliament – previously very popular – have been stopped. The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) has raised the question of whether public officials dismissed for wrongdoing were given a fair opportunity to defend themselves. Since the 2015 elections, several arrests have been made under the Cybercrime Act for insulting the president on social media.

In June, the President announced a ban on political rallies, on the grounds that the elections were over and the government and the public needed to stay focussed on delivering development. The ban was later extended to cover indoor party meetings. Leaders of the opposition parties, Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo, denounced the move as unconstitutional, and Chadema planned a nationwide “day of defiance” on September 1st, under the banner Umoja wa Kipinga Udikteta Tanzania (UKUTA) – Alliance Against Dictatorship in Tanzania. The police announced that the protests did not have permission, and for a few days in late August the rhetoric on both sides grew increasingly aggressive. Tensions were raised further by the murder of four police officers in a probably unconnected incident in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. “If anyone complains about human rights, send them to me,” said the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda, while directing the police to show no mercy in response. A confrontation was avoided when Chadema postponed the planned demonstrations.

More recently, the enactment in November of the Media Services Act has attracted criticisms that the government is clamping down on freedom of the press. Among other controversial provisions, the bill introduces a requirement for all media to publish or broadcast news “as the government may direct,” along with a system of government-controlled accreditation for individual journalists. The opposition argued in parliament that this enables the government to screen journalists so that only those who report favourably are allowed to continue.

“This bill is a clear and present danger to the independence of Tanzania’s media, to our collective struggle against corruption and to our young democracy,” wrote Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director of Twaweza. “Passing it without fundamental changes will cast a long shadow over all the good that President Magufuli’s anti-corruption efforts have achieved.”

President Magufuli has shaken up Tanzania in his first year in office. His supporters would argue that taking on such ingrained problems cannot be done without upsetting some people, and that his opponents are determined to oppose him whatever he does. His critics point to a growing list of concerns.

President Magufuli is set to remain in office until at least 2020. Maintaining this level of activity for that length of time will not be easy. He has already shown, however, that he is up for a challenge.

Comments