Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chadema must read the writings on the wall-Stakeholders

The decision by Chadema’s central Committee (CC) to strip its three stalwarts of their duties except their party’s membership has met criticism and objection from various stakeholders in political circles, some warning the party to read the writings of the wall. Those who spoke to the Guardian on Sunday newspaper yesterday said unless the party puts its house in order it will meet the same ordeal that NCCR-Mageuzi and Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) encountered after the first multiparty general elections in 1995. While NCCR-Mageuzi became the major opposition party after the 1995 elections the party did not survive as it collapsed in early 2000 after a leadership conflict emerged between camps led by the then its Chairman Augustine Mrema and Secretary General Mabere Marando. Mrema is now leading TLP as its Chairman while Marando defected to Chadema where he is serving as an advisor in legal affairs to the party. The same problem engulfed TLP later on and currently the party seems not to be existing as its members are no longer united. Renowned political analyst and senior lecturer of the political science has predicted that, Chadema’s move is likely to weaken party’s political movements in the country. Speaking in a telephone interview last week in Dar es Salaam, Dr. Benson Bana of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said that, Chadema as a party was supposed to conduct an in-depth investigation and find out the truth on the allegations leveled against their leaders. He said the party’s central committee members would not have reached to such a strong decision bearing in mind the fact that among the culprits, the deputy secretary general for Tanzania mainland Zitto Kabwe is a popular politician who in recent years has contributed a lot to the well being of his party. However, he noted that, steps taken by the party’s central committee are mere game of chance which in his predictions would cause a negative perception afterwards to other members who might have not become happy with their party’s decision. However, he said conflicts among the members themselves within the party is a normal thing and which cannot be avoided, but the only thing to think about the matter was democracy of settling issues, added that striping their posts was not a solution. He also noted that, the decision might have been planned either to kill the political philosophy of the three leaders whom he described were the core centre irrespective of their position within the party’s leadership and entire jurisdiction. Another political analyst, Dr. Azaveli Lwaitama said in a telephone interview that, “ the decision by Chadema of striping its leaders should not sound a new phenomenon in the political arena in the country”. He said that although it was too early to rule out the allegations against their leaders, but fear of intimidation might arise among members themselves bearing the fact that, not all members of the party’s central committee had a common decision to uphold with the move as stipulated in their constitution. 

Dr. Benson Bana, senior lecturer political science of the University of Dar es Salaam.

He said as the Chadema party was coming up with strong opposition ideas against their rivals the ruling CCM party, then it had shown strong commitments in dealing with national issues. In view of this, he s aid the arising conflicts within the party should not be a prerequisite of making such a harsh decision. Dr. Lwaitama, former UDSM senior lecturer is on the view of the fact that, the well-known of the young politician Zitto Kabwe might have some grudge with other fellow members whom he said might not be in trust with him and take him as a traitor. However, he gave an example during the time when the father of the nation, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was fighting for the freedom of Tanganyikans in late 1950s, he experienced strong opposition from fellow Africans such as the late Zuberi Mtemvu who formed a strong resistance with his party in a bid to snatch powers of the sovereignty. He also noted the former TANU secretary General the late Oscar Kambona who went against Mwalimu’s wish when he introduced the idea of establishing a socialist state and eventually fled the country and lived in exile for over 30 years in Europe. All these he said are political struggles and politics is about the battle, he said adding that, for Chadema party they should have calmed down themselves and settle their issues silently without exposing out their clues as political disputes are normal thing in any democratic country. “It is not surprising to see what has happened as in any party, there are so many problems emanating and are solved silently”, he said and gave an example of the ruling party which is engulfed with numerous problems but do not expose them openly, but rather are solved amicably. Last week most newspapers bore headlines on the precedence of their front pages the Chadema’s decision to strip its leaders of all their leadership positions after a lengthy meeting on Friday night by the opposition party’s Central Committee meeting. These are the  Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe, a member of central committee Dr. Kitila Mkumbo and Arusha Chairman Samson Mwigamba. Their announcement was officially confirmed by the party’s lawyer Mr Tundu Lissu at a hushed press conference which was also attended by national chairman Freeman Mbowe and Secretary General Wilbrod Slaa. The move blamed on an alleged plot by Zitto and close confidants to wreck the party,  which immediately drew widespread debate across the country and on the social media networks,  is likely to test the opposition party’s unity and strength in the days to come, especially in the light of  the next general elections which are  about two years away. It has also left Zitto whose political career has been on the rise since joining the opposition ranks in unfamiliar deep waters of party politics, with some of his confidants and supporters uncertain of his next course of action.  The Kigoma North MP has recently been on cross hairs of some party bigwigs and yesterday declined to say much on the announcement, that for the first time dealt him a major setback in his self-declared interest to lead Chadema and run for the country’s presidency. Efforts to reach the three comments yesterday proved futile although their party has given them  fourteen days to explain in writing why they should not be expelled away from party’s membership.

Monday, November 18, 2013

IPI concerned over media profession, promises to empower journalists in Tanzania

THE International Press Institute (IPI) has promised to provide short courses on media trainings so as to empower the emerging professionals of the media industry in the country.  The IPS’s call was echoed yesterday in Dar es Salaam during talks between its top most Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie and officials of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT). During talks which lasted for one hour and half, the IPI official promised Tanzanian media industry together with other things that, they would provide short media trainings to journalists in the country in order to keep them abreast with the awareness of media ethics for their profession. The IPI official paid a one day courtesy visit in the country and held some talks with the MCT officials also on matters related with the media freedom of expression as this is a core issue of the organization’s mission.  Before jetting in the country, the visiting IPI official was in a special press freedom mission in Ethiopia with a view to monitor how the media in that country is being treated by the government, and had decided to come to Tanzania to deliberate the same issues affecting media industry in the country.  “Our personal interest is to develop our network into getting closer with practicing journalists in the world” she said adding that, one way is to empower them for development and another is to help tackle issues affecting their entire operation. However, she noted that, in Africa IPI have few chapters She said that her organization was particularly concerned with what has emerged in media industry in the country whereby lots of information about violation of human rights and the freedom of press has been collected by her organization from Tanzania. It is for this reasons which has made her to come and hold talks and see what is currently happening in the country in terms of media deteriorating and how to deal with the matter, says an official from MCT.  During the talks, the MCT side was led by its Regulations and Standards Manager Pili Mtambalike who also used the opportunity to narrate various key obstacles facing Tanzania’s media fraternity and mentioned one of them being lack of a comprehensive media bill that provide freedom of accessing information.   

Acting Executive Director of the Tanzania Media Council (M,CT) Pili Mtabalike hands over the designed draft of freedom of expression to the visiting CEO of the International Press Institute (IPI),Alison Bethel McKenzie (standing right in red jacket) after the two had had held some talks on the media situation in the country. The short ceremony was held at MCT offices at Mwenge in Dar es Salaam.

Pili noted that, there are bad and outdated media laws which are still oppressive and do not give freedom of expression to media professionals in the country, thus are undermining the entire profession. She narrated to her guest of various incidences such as killings and torture of media professionals which have occurred in recent years and said that, are oppressive to the media industry in the country.  She also reminded her visitor who tomorrow (today) expects to visit Zanzibar on a similar mission that, the amendments of the media laws in Tanzania has been a subject of debate ever since the issue was tabled in Parliament over eight years ago. In view of this, the MCT has been struggling very hard in order to let the media bill discussed in Parliament, and was happy to say that, this time around they might get hope following the decision passed in recent Parliamentary debate sessions of having it tabled during the next session. However, she said the media bill which had been persistently being postponed in Parliament and the call of the government that it would be amended in next sessions, has been too annoying in then past.  Following frequent adjournments of the bill in Parliament, the media industry has not been working freely as under the current situation, the media is not open and transparent to uncover issues. Despite of this, the IPI official has promised to help the MCT solve the situation. “We want the media to be vibrant and be able to question the concerned people so that we could easily carry the job smoothly to ensure good governance”, she said adding that, the industry need people who can help to analyze and get effective media law. IPI is the global network for a free media and professionals. The organization which is based in Vienna, Austria has the capacity to counter threats to press freedom internationally. The firm has undertaken extensive spectrum of activities and constantly strives to maintain and expand its reputation as the world’s leading press freedom organization.

CCM cadre flouts the government over brutal killings

THE ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has strongly condemned the government over its failure to curb with the increased brutal killings of the innocent people which are occasionally taking place in the country. The call was made on Saturday last week in Dar es Salaam by Deputy CCM Secretary General (Tanzania Mainland), Mwigulu Mchemba during the funeral ceremony whereby thousands of Dar es Salaam residents turned up to pay their last respect to the late Dr. Sengondo Mvungi (61) which took place at Karemjee grounds in the city. Dr.Mvungi died early this week at Milpark Hospital in South Africa where he was admitted after sustaining a head injuries from an attack at his home in Kibamba about 18 kilometers away from the city of Dar es Salaam on 2nd November 2013. He said that the government should fight against such killings and take effective measures as a means to control the vice and added that, if effective measures are not taken immediately, people will lose faith with their government which has been in the forefront to make sure that peace and stability prevails in the country. Mchemba who is a member of parliament for Iramba East was delivering a condolence message to the mourners on behalf of the CCM Secretary General. The occasion which was aired live by Independent Television (ITV) station, was preceded by a requiem mass and attended by highly ranking government officials who were led by Vice President Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal. Others in attendance were Primer Mizengo Pinda and Former President Benjamini William Mkapa. Also among the few dignitaries were former OAU Secretary General, Dr. Salim Ahamed Salim, retired Prime Ministers Joseph Warioba, Cleopa Msuya and Fredrick Sumaye. Other attendees were a famous businessmen and IPP Chairman Dr. Reginald Mengi and leaders of the opposition parties. A requiem mass was conducted by Father Amosi Nyoni who in his message noted three important things as related with the lives of human beings in the earth and said that, “death is a direct way to heaven for which everybody is responsible as this is the only way a person can meet the Almighty God in heaven. He also noted that people should not forget their responsibilities while living because death is ahead of them, in view of this he has argued the people to get ready with the journey to heaven. However, he quoted a word of God in Bible (John 17:4) which says that before Jesus Christ died He bid a farewell to his followers that he has accomplished his mission.
Former Tanzania's Prime Minister Joseph Sinde Warioba speaking during the last paying respect ceremony of the departed fellow member of the Constitution Review Commission Dr. Sengondo Mvungi in Dar es Salaam last Saturday.

So, with these words Father Nyoni asked the mourners to get ready as death will come upon them at any time without their knowledge and therefore they shouldn’t do things in half way instead they should keep on praying for the lord God. He has therefore, asked the people to love one another and shouldn’t have hatred among them. On his part, the Vice President relayed the government’s message on behalf of President Dr. Jakaya Kikwete who is currently attending a commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka and said that, “The president was deeply grieved upon hearing the death of Dr.Mvungi whom he appointed to be a member of Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). In his message Kikwete noted that Tanzania has lost a highly imminent person who is experienced in legal affairs, good governance and human rights especially at this time when the country is in the process of amending its constitution. He has also asked the people in the country to be calm at this pensive mood when the security forces are investigating the matter as related to the attack of the late Dr. Mvungi which has resulted his untimely death. Speaking on behalf of CRC members, Judge Warioba assured mourners that the directives which had been issued by the late Dr.Mvungi to his commission will be followed at this time when the country is undergoing a process of getting a new constitution adding that the constitutional process should be conducted in peaceful way.  He described the late Dr. Mvungi for being not only a father of his family but also a friend and a teacher of this nation when it comes to legal matters. However, he has noted that various publications which the late Dr. Mvungi complied should be used as references as they are the most relevant materials which are educative in legal industry in the country. The Chairman of the NCCR Mageuzi, James Mbatia quered on the continued brutal killings of the famous academicians in the country. He recalled two passed happenings of the same brutal killings which happened in different time. He said that in 2002, Dr. Eliuther Kapinga was killed in a mysterious condition in a grisly incident which happened in Dar es Salaam and had left many peace lovers mouth opened. He further said that in 2010, a similar incident occurred to professor Juan Mwaikusa who was killed leaving many questions which have never got answers. The chairman of the Civil United Front (CUF) Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba described the late Mvungi as a role model especially when it comes to violation of human rights which he was fighting against, and also in areas of constitution making process. Therefore, an economic Professor has asked those who will be engaged in the constitutional making process to emulate his foot-steps into attaining a comprehensive constitution which would help a common man in Tanzanian society.

DECI members yet to be refunded, BOT claims of DPP appeal

AT Least over 400,000 members of the defunct Development Entrepreneurship for Community Initiative (DECI) are yet to be refunded with their money which they had sown as seeds in the company before it seized its operation. The company’s dissolution was ordered by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam three months ago after the firm’s leaders were convicted of an offense of operating a pyramid scheme contrary to Section 911 8(2) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act number 5 of 2006 when brought before the court.  The leaders were alleged to have conducted an illegal pyramid scheme whereby they solicited money from people and promised huge returns in the form of interest on money sown. The scheme was made operational in the country on different dates between 2007 up to when the police impounded their premises in March 2009 at their headquarter offices located at Mabibo area in Dar es Salaam. Among orders given by the magistrate in his ruling included a directive to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to refund members of the public who owed the company over Sh. 92bn/- after they had sown seeds with the company before it seized its operation. The court’s order followed a verdict given by Resident Magistrate Stuart Sanga in mid August this year after four officials of the organization were convicted to pay a fine of 21m/- each or go to serve a custodian sentence of six years in default of paying the fine.  This was after the court had allegedly found them guilty of operating against the country’s financial regulations. In his judgment, he also directed the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to confiscate all accounts at various banks opened for the institution and seize all other assets owned by the company. According to the magistrate, the BoT should find ways of refunding frustrated members who had their money sown as seeds upon verification of required receipts. 

An aerial view of the twin tower buildings of the Bank of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.

However, a follow up was made by this paper following the matter with a view to find out how far has the BoT gone in the execution of the court’s order and found out that, no single payment is already settled to members as ordered by the court. When contacted for comments, the BoT’s Deputy Governor Lila Mkila said that immediately after the judgment on the DECI case, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) preferred a notice of appeal to High Court. He further noted that, following this notice which was filed on 23rd August, unless the appeal is determined otherwise the BoT cannot execute the order. Mkila responded after this paper had earlier sent a request of information to the Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania with a view to see how the BoT has executed the court’s order for the interest of DECI members. In addition to his response, Mkila also noted that, the BoT has in place various tools to ensure that the financial system remains safe and sound in the country. He further noted that, the BoT carries out periodic off-site and on site examinations of the institutions to enforce compliance on the provisions of the Acts and Regulations set. Mkila said when asked by this paper to clarify what strategic measures or stringent conditions which have so far been imposed by the BoT in order to ensure that other financial institutions do not break further financial regulations just like what DECI had committed. This he said included strict adherence to other two provisions namely the Banking and Financial Institutions Acrt 2006 and the Banking and Financial Institutions Regulations 2008. DECI was a financial institution which was initially established with a view to provide credit facilities and undoubtedly violated the rules of its basic operation for which it was registered, and embarked on a pyramid scheme. According to media reports, by May 14, 2009, at least half a million people had sunk billions of shillings into the scheme, some having borrowed from banks, rickety family budgets and savings and credit cooperative societies for the purpose.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Government outlines its income and expenditure data in the first quarter of the 2013/14 financial year

THE Government has spent a total of Sh. 3.08 trillion which is equivalent to the 98 percent of the total target of Sh. 3.59 trillion in the first quarter of the 2013/14 financial year starting from July up to September 30th, the Parliament has been informed. Either in the same trading period, the government has collected a total of Sh. 3.80 trillion equivalent to 85.7 percent of the total estimated Sh. 3.85 trillion. Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda told parliamentarians last week in Dodoam when closing their 13th session that, among the expenditures incurred, Sh. 3.05 billion are for the recurrent expenditures while Sh. 747.9 billion is for the development projects.  The premier clarified that, during the period under review, the major portion of the money spend on development issues were targeted mostly in areas which are economic viable an d with high productivity such like the construction of major roads and other infrastructures to facilitate economic  development. 

Tanzania's Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda

He categorized the use of this money in various sectors of the national development such as Sh. 182.5 for the normal development use, Sh. 229.2 billion for the education sector, Sh. 159.9 for energy sector, Sh. 119.6 for the agriculture sector and Sh. 51.3 for the water sector. However, he added that, other money has been used to pay salaries for the public servant. Detailing the various challenges the government had incurred in their revenue collection, the Premier noted that is due to the lateness and keep on time to start collections from some various source points. Other challenges he mentioned poor infrastructures which do not provide sustainable transport facilities such as the central railway line, harbor and civil aviation as well as main roads. He said effective infrastructure is important to speed up economic growth and the promotion of employment hence the availability of these services would speed up the country’s economic activities and basic social services.  In view of this, however, he has promised that the government is taking effective measures at the moment in order to curb with the situation to get a solution.