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Kindly be informed that Policy Forum offices will be closed from Monday November 5th to Thursday  8th December for our Annual Retreat 2016.

The office will be opened and resume its regular activities and operations on Tuesday,13th December 2016.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause.

We encourage you all to send us any pressing/urgent matters to the PF Secretariat Office via +255 782 317434. All other matters will be addressed when our offices re-open on 13 December, 2016

Mafinga member of Parliament, Hon. Cosato Chumi, has called upon actors to collaborate in addressing challenges that are faced by Local Government Authorities (LGAs). Opening a training workshop on the roles and responsibilities of Councilors held on the 22nd to 26th November 2016, he said that the government cannot address all these challenges alone and it needs efforts from non-state actors such as civil society organisations (CSOs).

Hon. Chumi thanked Policy Forum for coordinating trainings on Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) to councilors in various parts of Tanzania. Hon. Jamhuri David William, District Commissioner in Mafinga admitted that previously, councilors were trained by PO-RALG on their roles and responsibilities but due to scarce resources most of these trainings have not taken place leaving most councilors unaware of their roles. He further urged councilors to practice what they learned during the training so that they can efficiently and effectively perform their oversight functions in serving their communities.

During the training, councilors pointed out that one of the challenges that they face when performing their oversight role is that they do not have access to SAM related documents such as the Strategic Plan, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Hon. Zakaria Vang’ota, Mafinga Council Chairperson, said that access to the budget documents is a big challenge in most Councils. “These budget documents are confidential, we are told,” said Hon. Vang’ota. He called upon the government to make these documents accessible and simplify them so that they can be easily understood by the councilors.

Stakeholders have called on the Central Government to honor and implement the Decentralization by Devolution (D by D) principle which empowers Local government Authorities (LGAs) to raise own sources and make allocations based on the prioritized needs of the society, to effectively implement the development plans. This call was made during the Policy Forum breakfast debate titled “Local Governance Oversight Challenges: Anecdotes from the ground” held on 28th October 2016.

Presenting on the LGAs role in revenue collection, Greysmo Mutashobya a member from PF’s Local Government Working Group explained that D by D is not properly implemented since the 5th phase government took the helm because of lack of political will, financial constraints and political interference.

Mutashobya pointed out that one way of raising own source revenue is through property tax collection which helps to identify the properties to be taxed, widens the tax base and improves service delivery.

Mutashobya highlighted other challenges faced by Local Government Authorities (LGAs) as being the current set up mostly centralizing some revenue collection hence denying LGAs potential opportunities to raise own sources for implementing their 5 years development plan, corruption, outsourcing revenue collection and low utilization of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFD).

“The formula for all shared revenue should be reviewed to include a clear provision of resource share by percentage between LGAs and Central Government for the sake of transparency. The Money that is set aside for youtth and women does not account fully for other groups like people with disabilities, children and marginalized groups,” Mutashobya emphasized.

The discussant of the debate Mr. Sebastian Kitiku, from the Service Delivery Department at the President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) said that the government understands these challenges and they are doing their best to address them through collaborating with various stakeholders.

Choni Gikene, Former Director of Tanga City Council said that currently, LGAs face a challenge of getting too many directives from the central government.  This limits LGAs ability to perform an oversight duties therefore a strengthened D by D will help to resolve this.

Among other recommendations, participants asked the government to review the D by D policy paper of 1998 to reflect the current situation and realities of today and take onboard the national and international visions of Sustainable Development Goals, Five Year Development Plan II, Private Public Partnerships and Tanzania Development Vision 2025.

 

 

On November 8, 2016, Policy Forum (PF) and Officials from President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) agreed to have a long term partnership and work together to strengthen local governance in the country. The consensus was reached during the meeting organized by PF in Dodoma Region.

Giving a brief account of the relationship between PF and PO-RALG, Sebastian Kitiku, the head of social services delivery at PO-RALG said that, Policy Forum Members had initially agreed during their quarterly meeting held on 28th October 2016 to collaborate with PO-RALG in producing popular versions of three local government documents namely:  Local Government Development Grant Guide,  M and E System and Annual Assessment Tool. These documents will facilitate Local government Authorities (LGAs) Officials to perform their functions properly.

Kitiku noted that “this was the beginning of a great relationship between Policy Forum and PO-RALG which has steered constructive methods to  strengthen the both parts for the great good of the public”.

During the presentation, Anna Stainsby-Programme Officer at the Policy Forum, highlighted the objective of PF study which was motivated by the desire to understand the use of the PO-RALG circular No. B.25/307/10 of 2nd November 2012 with a title  Mamlaka za Serikali za Mitaa Kutoa Taarifa Mbalimbali kwa Wawakilishi wa Asasi zisizo za Kiserikali (AZAKI).  

The circular was issued after Policy Forum had organized its members and started discussion with the Prime Minister’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government (now the President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government) to issue a Circular that require LGA officials to make available a set of documents to CSOs.

During the meeting, CSOs requested for PO-RALG’s assistance in strengthening the Circular’s ability to access information. In many cases most CSOs fail to access  information from the LGAs due to bureaucracy and absence of particular law to facilitate access to information.

 

 

 

 

Members of the Standing Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee have commended the work of Policy Forum’s Local Government Working Group members in preparing a booklet that will help sensitize citizens on the constitutional review process  entitled: “Mwelekeo wa Katiba Mpya Tanzania: Tulikotoka, Tulipo na Tuendako”. The appreciation was expressed during the launch of the publication that took place on the 6th of November 2016 at the African Dreams Hotel in Dodoma.

Israel Ilunde, the chairperson of the Policy Forum’s Local Government Working Group, highlighted some proposals in the booklet which include a schedule that should see the culmination of the process ending in the year 2020 and the establishment of a national level meeting for all stakeholders to collect their views on the constitution.

Najma Mkaza, Vice Chairperson of the Committee, assured participants that the President takes the constitution as a priority despite being misrepresented by the media when he addressed them at the beginning of November. She went to further commend the recommendations of PF that are mentioned in the booklet as practical.

Taska Mbogo (Special Seat-Katavi) reminded participants of the roundtable that most citizens in the country are unaware of the constitutional process and therefore called upon Policy Forum to provide more awareness on the issue.

Hebron Mwakagenda, the Vice Chairperson of the Policy Forum, encouraged MPs to continue to push for the constitution and that their efforts will ultimately bear fruit and stakeholders will eventually see the stalled process moving forward.

Semkae Kilonzo, Coordinator of the Policy Forum, said that apart from the constitutional issues, Policy Forum also does advocacy in other policy areas such as producing analysis on budget at both the national and local level when asked by Members of Parliament what the network is doing in terms of monitoring the implementation of Tanzanian policies.

“Our working groups constantly monitor the implementation of policies and you will see from the policy briefs provided that we just recently examined whether the education and health budgets have adequate allocations. Before that, we looked at the Free Education for All policy to determine if it is viable. Our briefs are purposefully abridged for busy MPs and policy makers to digest and use.”  

The Guest of Honor, Hon. Mohammed Omary Mchengerwa invited CSOs to work together with the Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee in future constitutional processes that will follow.

To read the book click here

 

 

 

Kindly be informed that Policy Forum offices will be closed from Monday November 7th to Friday 11th November for our Policy Week Engagement in Dodoma.

The office will be opened and resume its regular activities and operations on Monday ,14th November 2016.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause.

We encourage you all to send us any pressing/urgent matters to the PF Secretariat Office by end day today (Friday) by email (info@policyforum.or.tz), phone (2780200). All other matters will be addressed when our offices re-open on 14 November.

Members of the Policy Forum Local Government Working Group have produced a TV spot with a theme on the freedom of information, aiming at sensitizing citizens to demand information and the government to provide information. The spot is currently being broadcasted on ITV and TBC during the pre and mid news. To see the advert please click on the following link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3tSyOXY5xo&feature=youtu.be

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

CIVIL SOCIETY CONVENES NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY

Effectively and efficient use of natural resources for public benefit

On October 26 and 27, 2016, HakiRasilimali Coalition in collaboration with its members: HakiMadini, Interfaith Standing Committee, Policy Forum, ONGEA and Governance Humbly Links will organize a national conference on extractive Industry to be held at Blue Pearl Ubungo Plaza Hotel, Dar es Salaam. A two day conference will commence at 8:00am.

The conference aims to broadening information sharing to build awareness and provide lessons on advocacy strategies in mining, oil and gas economies.

Specifically, the conference will focus on emphasizing efficient use of natural resources for the benefit of the public.

Objectives of the conference are:

  • To scrutinise the current extractive land access practices and the impacts on community rights and livelihoods
  • To understand transparency and accountability initiatives in the extractive sector
  • To assess the link between corporate social responsibility and local economic development in extractive sector
  • To review policy and practices in Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) formalization and development.
  • To stimulate collaboration and alliance building within Civil Society, Communities and ASM in the region.

The tradition of jointly organizing National Extractive Conferences started in 2011 whereby HakiRasilimali members led by the Interfaith Standing Committee in collaboration with other CSOs organized an alternative Mining Indaba conference alongside an official conference organized by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals in Arusha Tanzania.

In 2012, HakiRasilimali members led by HakiMadini, Policy Forum and Interfaith Committee organized the first conference for communities impacted by both solid minerals and oil extraction activities in Tanzania as well as artisanal and small miners.

Participants of the 2016 National Conference on Extractive Industry are civil society organizations, faith based organizations, representatives from mining communities, media, mining companies, small scale miners from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, government representative from various agencies, like-minded social actors from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya and Development organizations.

For more information, contact Racheal Chagonja by email coordinator@hakirasilimali.or.tz  or telephone number 0745 655 655

_______________________

Racheal Chagonja

HakiRasilimali Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

Stakeholders have called upon the government to work more closely with faith based organizations to tackle corruption.

Speaking at the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held on 30th September 2016 entitled “Salvation of Tanzania: The role of Faith-based Communities in Tackling Corruption,” Dr. Alfred Sebahene of the St. John's University of Tanzania, said it is high time that measures and actions to curb petty and grand corruption were strengthened  as a national agenda with clear monitoring and evaluation tools such as the five-year development plan which will incorporate collaboration with faith based communities as a strategy.

“Although religion remains a sensitive topic, one which has recently generated significant wariness in government circles, lessons from Botswana and Ghana inform that we need to have coherent policy choices that strategically involve faith leaders,” he said, claiming that faith organisations are the largest and best-organised civil institutions equipped to tackle contemporary social and moral challenges.

Sebahene’s view was backed by Dennis Allan from Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) who illustrated how faith based organisations in Tanzania have been involved in advocacy for transparency in the extractive industries, referring to an alliance of religious organisations known as the Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and the Integrity of Creation with the support of Christian Aid and the Norwegian Church Aid which carried out and produced a study – “the golden opportunity” - looking at the tax policy and practice in the Tanzanian mining sector.

In 2012, the same organisaion conducted an advocacy campaign around a report entitled: “The One Billion Dollar Question: How Tanzania can Stop Losing So Much Tax Revenue,” which analyses Tanzania's tax policies and how much revenue the country is losing from tax evasion, capital flight and tax incentives.

Moreover, Allan also shared his experience on a research which was conducted by the Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and the Integrity of Creation which revealed that small-scale miners were more willing to share their issues with faith-based leaders, this shows the relevance of faith-based organizations.

Grace Masalakulangwa from the Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and the Integrity of Creation said that corruption is an issue of moral failure, the remedy being moral transformation and the people to let faith based organisations continue to influence their moral standings.

Corruption is pervasive throughout Tanzanian society and is a serious problem across all sectors of the economy. Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Index revealed that Tanzania was ranked among the twenty countries in Africa with the worst corruption and also placed 117th out of 168 countries. In recent years, the Tegeta Escrow Account (TEA) scandal has come to epitomize corruption in Tanzania and was by far the most important public policy issue of 2014 that exposed weaknesses of the country's formal institutions.

 

Policy Forum (PF) is conducting a study to probe its radio programmes on Social Accountability in Lindi and Mtwara regions from 18th to 22nd September, 2016. The programmes were aired since 2015 in three radio stations namely Info Radio FM (Mtwara), Mashujaa FM (Lindi) and Safari FM (Mtwara).

The study is based on qualitative analysis through the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) that will enable PF to establish if the programs enhanced awareness, understanding and shared obligation in governance and accountability within the targeted communities of Lindi and Mtwara Regions as well as make recommendations for future programming.

A total of 64 male and female respondents based in urban and rural areas in both regions are involved as a study sample. The respondents include the ones who participated in the radio programmes by sending SMS or calling and those who had an opportunity of listening to the programs but did not participate by calling in.

Opening the FGD, a moderator Walter Raphael asked the respondents to discuss openly without fear and promised confidentiality of their responses. Contributing in the discussion, one respondent urged the government officials and local leaders to involve the citizens when making decisions regarding development sectors especially investment projects to avoid social and political confrontations in the future.

Responding on how Mtwara Region has benefited from the extractive industry, one of the respondents expounded that “we now have good roads, electricity and our small businesses have grown, we can easily travel to Dar and back in one day’’. The respondents cited negative effects such as loss of cultural values due to an interaction with people from different cultural aspects.

The respondents commended on PF Social Accountability programs aired on the local radio stations for providing civic engagement programs which enhances accountability and transparency.

PF introduced Social Accountability in Lindi and Mtwara to help improve the capacity of Tanzanian communities in Southern Tanzania, their local councillors and civil society organisations to oversee the executive’s collection and use of revenues from extractive industries.

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