Archive for Politics

PRESIDENT MAGUFULI CITES SUCCESSES, WHILE ACTIVISTS CRY FOUL

by Ben Taylor

President Magufuli marked his first two years in office by celebrating ten key achievements. The Director General of Tanzania Information Services and Chief government spokesman, Hassan Abbasi, listed these as:

•Restoration of discipline among public servants resulting in an increase of productivity in service delivery.

•Control of government expenditure and enhancemant of value for money in all state funded projects. This included the removal of 32,000 names from the government payroll who were either ghost workers or public servants holding fake academic certificates, saving a total of TShs 378 billion.

•The anti-corruption war, including the establishment of an anti-graft
court, the dismissal of dishonest public officials and the arrest of the alleged masterminds behind the Escrow case.

•Increased control on the protection of natural resources such as minerals, including the signing of three mineral laws and changes which laid reforms in the extractive industry.

•Cost cutting measures that saw fewer foreign trips by government officials and cuts in the budgets for unnecessary workshops.

•Moving the government capital to Dodoma; Mr Abbasi described this as “a dream for a long time, at the beginning no one expected it would
be possible, but the dream has become true.”

•Reduced dependency on donors when it comes to implementing
development projects. He said this was made possible by an increase of government revenue collection of around 50%.

•Bringing social services closer to the people including provision of free education, implementation of water projects across the country, and increased budget for higher education loans.

•Initiation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), starting with domestic funding, and the revival of Air Tanzania.

•The industrialisation drive which, according to Dr Abbasi, has revived 17 factories and “created a conducive environment that has attracted over 3,000 investors who are building factories all over the country.”

More detail on several of these points can be found elsewhere in this issue, including on mining (energy and minerals section), Air Tanzania (transport), and donor dependency (economics).

Assassination attempt

Tundu Lissu is greeted in hospital by fellow Chadema member Edward Lowassa.

This list of achievements was released two months after prominent Chadema MP, Tundu Lissu, suffered an assassination attempt in Dodoma. His vehicle was followed as he returned home from parliament in the early afternoon of 7th September 2017. Having reached his home, he remained in the car while his driver stepped out to investigate, whereupon unknown assailants fired a hail of bullets into the Landcruiser.

Sixteen bullets hit the politician, mostly in his lower abdomen and legs, but miraculously he escaped with his life. He was rushed to Dodoma General Hospital, where he spent several hours on the operating table before being flown to Nairobi. At the time of writing, around four months later, he is still recovering in Nairobi, making good progress, and reportedly about to fly to Belgium for further treatment.

Nobody has been arrested for the shooting. Lissu’s Chadema colleagues have called on the government to request assistance from the US, to bolster the investigation, but the Minister of Home Affairs, Mwigulu Nchemba rejected the suggestion.

Lissu gave an interview to the (UK) Financial Times from his hospital bed in Nairob, in which he said he believes he was the target of an assassination attempt. He added that in his opinion this is evidence of a campaign to “turn the country into a dictatorship”.

Government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said Lissu’s allegations were misplaced. “If anyone, including Mr Lissu, has any further evidence let him share it with investigators,” he said. “Tanzania is known for its unmatched peaceful and democratic political processes which are conducted according to the laws.”

In addition to his role as an MP and legal affairs spokesman for Chadema, Tundu Lissu is also president of the Tanganyika Law Society. He has been outspoken on a number of issues for several years, including criticising foreign mining interests for not paying a fair amount of tax, and taking issue with the government’s actions on gold mining, Air Tanzania and other matters. On the morning of his shooting Lissu was involved in an argument with the President over a report on mining issues.

Wider criticisms
Since President Magufuli came to office in 2015, there have been a growing number of people expressing concern with his approach to democracy and human rights.

Lissu himself was arrested six times during 2017, and charged with sedition after criticising the President. Zitto Kabwe, who represents ACT Wazalendo, has also been arrested several times (see also economics section, this issue), as have other Chadema MPs and leaders including Halima Mdee and party leader Freeman Mbowe. On one occasion, Godbless Lema of Chadema was arrested for speaking seven minutes longer than his allotted time at a rally. Ester Bulaya, another Chadema MP, was arrested for planning a meeting outside her constituency.

Political rallies and meetings have been banned since 2016, except within an elected politician’s constituency or during official election campaign periods. A forthcoming new law – the Political Parties Bill – has been reported by the Citizen newspaper as set to give this ban, which is currently a directive from the President, permanent legal force.

Four newspapers have been suspended and many others threatened with suspension. Several people have been arrested for expressing opinions online. In December, a student of the University of Dar es Salaam who used social media to post photos of cracks in newly constructed accommodation blocks was arrested by the police.

By-election violence
Local council by-elections in 43 wards in November 2017 were marked by what the Citizen newspaper described as “an unprecedented wave of senseless political violence”, leaving dozens of people injured, some seriously. The ruling party, CCM, and the main opposition party, Chadema, traded accusations.

Following the conclusion of the elections, the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) published a report on the violence. The report outlined the flaws in the by-elections, including improper use of security organs, abductions by unidentified people, arrests and torture of opposition leaders and forceful removal of opposition agents from polling stations.

Acting executive director of LHRC, Anna Henga, said the flaws set a bad precedent for future elections and if left unchallenged they would lead to a breach of the peace. “We will witness growing revenge and political hate among people in the community, which could disrupt peace and security in the country,” she noted.

National Electoral Commission (NEC) director Ramadhan Kailima denied that agents had been chased from polling stations, noting that restrictions were done in accordance with the law and regulations.

Five TV stations were later determined by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to have broadcast clips from the LHRC report launch in coverage that was “seditious, unbalanced and unethical.” The TV stations have been fined.

Of the 43 contested wards, CCM were victorious in all but one, with the other seat won by Chadema.

Kibiti killings
While the police have claimed victory in Kibiti, to the south of Dar es Salaam, where there has been a wave of killings of local government leaders (see TA 118), concerns remain that the problem may be more entrenched and complex than first thought.

A journalist with the Mwananchi newspaper, Azory Gwanda, who had been reporting on the issue, disappeared in November from his home in Kibiti.

Unidentified dead bodies
In what is probably an unrelated development, a number of dead bodies have washed ashore on Coco Beach in Dar es Salaam, including 17 in a two-week spell in September 2017, according to traders and fishermen working at the beach. The bodies are reported to have been found wrapped in polythene bags, some with rocks tied to the body or with their wrists bound together with rope.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Mwigulu Nchemba, said the government was still investigating, but he suspected the bodies were those of illegal immigrants who had died during their journeys. “The illegal migrants, who include Ethiopians, Somalis and other nationals, are transported like goods… they are squeezed in lorry trailers, as a consequence of which some suffocate and die. Since they transport them illegally, they tend to dump them after dying and proceed with their journeys,” he explained.

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UK AID BOOST

DfID Country Director, Ms Elizabeth Arthy (left), who accompanied the visiting British Minister of State for Africa, Mr Stewart Rory and High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms Sarah Cooke, at the State House in August with President Magufuli (photo State House)

UK minister of State for Africa, Rory Stewart, visited Tanzania in August 2017, to see how the UK is helping to improve education and health services, and boost jobs and prosperity in Tanzania. As part of his trip, the Minister announced $450 million in funding for development in Tanzania.

Speaking after a meeting with President Magufuli at State House in Dar es Salaam, the minister said “I am very excited to be in Tanzania and to witness the great strides that the country is making in education, providing access to clean water, fighting crime and stamping out corruption. As a key investor and development partner, the UK is committed to supporting the Government of Tanzania to boost economic growth and investment; improve the quality of basic services; and fight organized crime and corruption.”

The minister also visited various projects supported by the UK government, including a primary school and a nearby health facility in Dar es Salaam, the Port of Dar es Salaam and Songas Power Plant. He also met with business and civil society leaders and enjoyed a nyama choma lunch with young Tanzanians.

Dr Magufuli thanked the minister for visiting Tanzania, requesting him to send his regards to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May, for the support the UK had been extending to the country for development projects.

The president said while “a few people” in the country may be complaining about the ongoing reforms which include a ramped-up anti-corruption drive and tax evasion crackdown, coupled with heavy cuts to government spending, ordinary Tanzanians are now reaping the benefits of these measures. “We must nurture a culture of paying taxes for our development rather that depending on our development partners,” he added.

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FOURTEEN SOLDIERS KILLED IN DRC

President Magufuli expressed grief and shock when 14 Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) peacekeepers died in December while on duty in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 44 others were injured during the attack.

“I have been saddened and shocked by the reports of the death of the Tanzanian soldiers who were killed while in their peacekeeping mission in DRC,” said the President.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, condemned the attack. “I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at Thursday night’s attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” he said. “I offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and to the Government and people of Tanzania. I wish a speedy recovery to all those injured,” he added.

The UN said in a statement that the attack is the worst on UN peacekeepers in the Organisation’s recent history, another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop contributing countries in the service of global peace.

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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT BLOCKED

Tanzania’s Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) has blocked Human Rights Watch (HRW) from launching a report on abuses against migrant Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and United Arab Emirates. Dr Willium Kindekete of COSTECH said the commission decided to ban the report because the researchers did not follow procedures.

He said HRW officials who were to launch the report have some immigration issues. “Their visas do not identify them as researchers, but just visitors; so they aren’t allowed to work in the country,” said Dr Kindekete.

HRW researcher on Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa, Rothna Begum, said she had followed the correct procedures – including getting agreement for the launch from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour – but received information of the ban one hour before the scheduled launch. She noted that something must have happened behind the scenes leading to the ban. She added that the real focus of the research was to give a chance to the government to find a way forward in helping domestic workers from Tanzania abused in Oman and UAE.

She said HRW interviewed 87 people including Tanzanian officials, trade unionists, recruitment agents and 50 Tanzanian female domestic workers who worked in Oman and the UAE. “All the respondents said their employers and agents confiscated their passports. Many worked long hours (up to 21 hours a day) without rest. They said they were paid less than promised or not at all, forced to eat spoiled or left-over food, shouted at and insulted daily and physically and sexually abused.”

The report, “Working Like a Robot’: Abuse of Tanzanian Domestic Workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates” was released by Human Rights Watch on their website. It found that Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) face excessive working hours, unpaid salaries, and physical and sexual abuse. Abusive visa-sponsorship rules in those countries and gaps in Tanzania’s policies leave the women exposed to exploitation, according to the report.

There are thousands of Tanzanian domestic workers in the Middle East. While some have decent working conditions, many others face abuse, said Human Rights Watch.

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ENERGY & MINERALS

by Roger Nellist

Tanzanian mining – some progress
2017 was a particularly dramatic year for Tanzania’s mining sector. The mineral sands export scandal resulted in the sackings of senior government personnel and far-reaching changes in the governing legislation and administrative machinery for management of the country’s mineral resources. In our feature article, TA118 presented the background to the saga and highlighted the radical responses initiated personally by President Magufuli.

Whilst things now seem to be settling down on the gold mining front, in recent months the President’s crusade against proven and presumed malpractise in the mining sector has turned to the country’s tanzanite and diamond operations.

Important agreement reached with Barrick Gold (Acacia)
On 19 October at a ceremony presided over by President Magufulu in State House, and after three months of intensive high-level negotiations between the government and Barrick Gold Corporation, the two parties signed a framework agreement which in the words of Barrick’s chairman (John Thornton) signals “… a modern, 21st century partnership that should ensure Acacia’s operations generate sustainable benefits and mutual prosperity for the people of Tanzania, as well as for the owners of Barrick and Acacia”. (Barrick – a Canadian multinational based in Toronto – is the world’s largest gold producer and is the parent company of Acacia Mining plc whose Tanzanian gold mining operations triggered the crisis last year. Tanzania is the African continent’s fourth-largest gold producer and Acacia is its largest miner).

Although there are still important details to be negotiated between the two sides, it is expected that the agreement will put an end to the acrimonious state of affairs that has existed between Tanzania and Acacia over the last year. It is understood that the main principles agreed are: (a) the net profits (‘economic benefits’) generated by Acacia’s operations will be shared with Tanzania on a 50/50 basis from now on; (b) additionally, the government will take a 16% stake in the venture (with a new company being established in Mwanza to reflect the new shareholding arrangement, under which Tanzanians will also be appointed to the Board); (c) all income of the company will be banked in Tanzania, no longer abroad, and any disputes will be settled in Tanzania, not internationally; and (d) significantly it has also been agreed that a smelting plant will be built in Tanzania so that the gold, copper and silver produced by Acacia can be processed in the country, obviating the need to export the raw materials. These terms are a big departure for Tanzania and are expected to create more jobs and revenues and generally boost the domestic value-addition from the country’s substantial gold mining operations.

Two other important matters have also been agreed in principle, with the details yet to be worked out. First, arrangements will be established to ensure that the local communities surrounding the gold mines benefit more from the mining operations, and that the mine workers will be much better treated (in terms of contracts, housing, health and social services and the like). Second, Acacia will make a “good faith” payment of US$300 million to the government whilst experts from the two sides continue to haggle over the enormous amount (US$190 billion) that Tanzania has demanded by way of unpaid taxes, fines and interest.

This deal (which was to be approved by the Acacia Board and shareholders) has been acclaimed as especially good news for Tanzania. At the televised signing event the Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi (who led the government negotiating team with Barrick), clarified that – with the 50/50 profit split, 16% government shareholding and the other payments to be made by the company – Tanzania’s overall share should amount to about 70%. President Magufuli said “Now that we are all shareholders, we can sit down over a cup of coffee and amicably resolve any outstanding issues”. The deal means that, as a shareholder, the Tanzanian government will be involved in key decisions governing the gold operations (such as investment, employment and training of Tanzanians, procurement of goods and services, and marketing). There appeared to be investor relief too, as Acacia’s London-listed share values rose 16 percent on news of the agreement.

Nevertheless, there continues to be fall-out from the 2017 saga. In the autumn, because of the original ban imposed on the export of gold and copper concentrates, Acacia scaled back production at one of its three gold mines (Bulyanhulu) and retrenched about 2,000 workers. This led to fears of serious impacts on their families and the local economy and worries from banks that many of the mineworkers would default on the personal loans that had been extended to them.

Then, a day after signature of the framework agreement, a senior representative of Acacia said his company did not have $300 million with which to pay the upfront “good faith” sum. That prompted Barrick to announce that it would meet part of the bill. Finally, in the first week of November Acacia’s top two executives – Chief Executive Officer (Brad Gordon) and Chief Finance Officer (Andrew Wray) – resigned and the Board announced their replacements. It was unclear whether their departures were directly related to the October framework agreement with government, but commentators hinted that the two had been excluded from the negotiations that Barrick had conducted effectively on Acacia’s behalf.

More widely, a few experts were predicting in September that no Tanzanian mining venture would be economic after the recent changes in the mining tax laws, and in early October, two weeks before the Barrick agreement, a government spokesman denied that Tanzania was moving to nationalise mining operations. He said: “The laws are not intended to lay the ground for nationalisation but seek to ensure sovereign ownership of natural resources … in conformity with international principles. … The government will continue attracting and protecting investors in the mining and other sectors so long as they adhere to the law and regulations”.

Diamonds and Tanzanite
In July 2017 the Bunge Speaker appointed two parliamentary teams to probe alleged malpractice in Tanzania’s diamond and tanzanite mining operations. Reporting to the Prime Minister and President in early September both teams were very critical of the country’s mineral sector regulatory bodies (especially the Ministry of Energy & Minerals, where the last three Ministers were singled out for having supervised the gemstone industry poorly); they pointed to the likelihood of substantial tax losses whilst also questioning missing revenues in that Ministry’s accounts.

The diamond probe identified huge differences in diamond production statistics kept by different organs of government and, startlingly, asserted that “…. one high-level government leader was given a gift of diamonds with a current value of $200 million”. Amid public and parliamentary controversy, that leader was not named.

Decrying the secrecy surrounding tanzanite mining, the other probe team suggested that only 20% of Tanzania’s tanzanite production passes through official channels (the remainder disappears through smuggling) and that government gets only about 5% from the likely global sales and other disposals of that gemstone, which is uniquely produced in Tanzania.

As with gold earlier, government responded robustly. In early September London-listed Petra Diamonds (which owns 75% of Williamson Diamond Ltd) temporarily suspended diamond mining at its Shinyanga Williamson mine after a parcel of diamonds destined for export to Antwerp had been seized by government on 31 August at Dar’s international airport and some of the company’s key staff had been detained for questioning by the authorities. It was alleged that the diamonds had been deliberately under-valued by half (with a declared preliminary value of some $15 million instead of nearly $30 million established through a government re-valuation of the stones) as a result of possible collusion between mine workers and dishonest officials. Petra’s share price fell by 28% on news of the seizure but the company maintained that it had sought and been granted all relevant export documentation, and even published copies of the government’s certificates on its web-site.

On tanzanite, in mid-September whilst on a visit to the north, President Magufuli ordered the military to build a wall around the tanzanite mining areas at Mirerani (close to Mt Kilimanjaro), allowing only one way in and out of the mine, and to install enhanced electronic security equipment, so that smuggling of the precious stones can be stopped and the government can secure its proper share of their worth. Mirerani is the only known tanzanite mine in the world. Magufuli also instructed the Bank of Tanzania to start buying stocks of tanzanite to boost its reserves.

It is understood that following the conclusion of the gold framework agreement with Barrick, the President ordered government officials to commence talks with diamond and tanzanite miners with a view to reaching similar agreements.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

Israel
Relations between Tanzania and Israel have become much warmer during the last two years following a surge of tourists from Israel and the visit of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to Uganda. Planes full of Israeli tourists now arrive regularly at Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar airports. However, as this edition of TA goes to press the surprising decision of President Trump that the USA will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could have serious consequences for relations between the two countries.

Trade and diplomatic relations between Tanzania and Israel were first established in 1963 but were severed in 1973 following the Arab-Israeli war, while diplomatic relations were re-established in 1995. Israel has been operating until recently from its embassy in Kenya in its dealings with Tanzania. The number of tourists visiting Tanzania has risen from 3,007 five years ago to 14,754 in 2015. The Israeli Ambassador said Tanzania was now among African countries that Israel has been looking to for business and diplomatic cooperation.

Relations were strengthened further when President Magufuli expressed his intention to open an embassy in Tel Aviv in a letter addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and hoped that the establishment of an embassy in Dar would make it easier to process visas and help to boost trade between the two countries.

Turkey and Portugal: rail contract
A joint venture between one Turkish and four Portuguese firms has won a tender for construction of 205 km of Tanzania’s new standard gauge railway, part of the 1,216 km stretch that will eventually link Dar es Salaam with the rest of the country as well as with Rwanda and Burundi. The two firms beat 39 other bidders to win the tender after meeting both technical and financial criteria for implementation of the project, which will take 2½ years. The line will run parallel to the existing central railway line built by the Germans 120 years ago. This consortium will be responsible for the stretch linking Dar es Salaam with Morogoro.

Oil exploration
Tanzania has entered into an agreement with Uganda to help in the search for oil in Uganda’s Eyasi Wembere Basin and Lake Tanganyika. This puts in doubt Tanzania’s previous agreement with Democratic Republic of Congo signed a year ago to work on joint oil exploration in Lake Tanganyika.

Charm offensive
President Abdel Al Sisi of Egypt recently visited Tanzania as part of a four-state tour of Africa. His objective was to drum up support for Egypt’s position on the use of water in the Nile Basin prior to a meeting of the countries through which the Nile flows. Tanzania recently ratified a Nile basin common framework agreement that Egypt opposes as it lobbies for its own renegotiated and updated Common Framework agreement.

President Al Sisi pledged support for the Nile Basin countries in return for favourable sharing terms of the Nile waters which he said were a matter of life and death for his people. The Nile Basin countries dispute Egypt’s historic share of the Nile’s waters.

Fears over Kenya dam proposals
A 10-year plan to build several dams on the river Mara and its tributaries could pose a threat to the rich animal and plant life of the Serengeti ecosystem. The river Mara flows from Kenya into Tanzania and is the only permanent source of water for Masaai Mara and Serengeti reserves and the herds of wildebeest and other wildlife that migrate between the two countries. Conservationists are concerned that the dams will reduce or even eliminate flows in the river at some times of year and lead to environmental problems, and could spark a diplomatic row between the two countries unless the East African community agreement is invoked in support of sections of the proposed project. Experts say that international efforts are needed soon to save the Serengeti as Kenya stands to reap all the economic benefits from the dams while Tanzania could remain saddled with environmental problems.

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CONSTITUTION

by Enos Bukuku

Government resists mounting pressure to kickstart Katiba process The appointment in April 2017 of Prof Palamagamba Kabudi as Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister was seen by many to be a catalyst to restart the process of making a new constitution. This expectation was enhanced further when he indicated soon after his appointment that a resumption would take place soon.

At the time of writing, however, there has been no progress at all. There remains a growing concern of human rights abuses in Tanzania which has led to criticism that a new constitution should be high on the priority list. CCM MP Lazaro Nyalandu resigned both as an MP and a member of the party on 30th October, citing these alleged human rights abuses and a lack of separation of powers amongst the three pillars of the state: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. It is understood that he plans to join Chadema.

The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) has demanded that preparations for a new constitution should start now. Similar appeals to the government have been made by the Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) and representatives of over 80 civil society organisations.

Opinion survey on constitution by Twaweza

Meanwhile, a recent survey by Twaweza suggests that two thirds of Tanzanians want a new constitution.

Despite these appeals, on 9th November Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa reaffirmed the government’s previous stance on this issue, in that it is not high on their list of priorities. In response to questions put to him in Parliament he replied that “after satisfying ourselves that the provision of social services has reached the ideal standards, especially in the rural areas, that is when we will resume the exercise of completing the new constitution-making process”.

One factor is cost. It would cost several billion shillings to continue with the constitution review process, whereas the government would rather allocate those funds for what they consider to be more important projects.

How long it will take to bring social services to “ideal standards” is anyone’s guess and open to very wide interpretation. Some of the more cynical political commentators would say that it is merely a way to avoid the issue. Once again, it looks as though we will have to wait a very long time for any change to the status quo.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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