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Pindi Chana

Picture: Dr. Pindi Chana of the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) talking with the press after the debate

Addressing gender inequality at both local and national levels will require the effective intervention of stakeholders in all sectors, it has been stressed. The call was made by Prof. Marjorie, a member of TGNP Mtandao, during the monthly Policy Forum 'Breakfast Debate' held on 26th August 2016 at British Council Auditorium.

Prof. Marjorie gave the example of a policy bias towards the promotion of largescale investments in agriculture, tourism, mining; set against the lack of any strong support for small-scale producers in many regions of the country.  A large portion of the latter are women who depend on family economic activities to a greater extent than men, and who are especially vulnerable given the interaction of patriarchal and corporate globalization structures and systems.

Prof. Marjorie cited an analysis conducted by TGNP Mtandao on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Five Year Development Plan (2016/17-2020/21) which shows that FYDP II puts greater priority on economic growth, but is generally 'gender blind'.  The study calls for women (as the most affected group), and also for like-minded male government leaders and politicians - regardless of party affiliation - to work together with advocacy civil society organizations and networks at all levels, including TGNP Mtandao and members of the Feminist Activist Coalition (FemAct).  The objectives are to track progress, and to advocate implementation of (the SDGs and GEWE) desired strategies of FYDP II and budget.

Gender equality is a basic human right; a fundamental value for social justice, and not just a means for economic growth or prosperity, insisted Prof. Marjorie.

Dr. Pindi Chana, an Advocate at Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) and a contributor to the debate, said that it is crucial that the existing avenues - such as planning process - are always used in addressing gender issues and all other related issues.

Dr. Rose Mwaipopo, Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, the second speaker at the debate, urged actors to advocate for the FYDP II to adopt gender related indicators so that it can be tracked and measured.

Conclusively, Rennie Gondwe, a representative from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children said that the government is creating initiatives to address gender issues in the country, in addition to 'The Women and Gender Development Policy (2000)' which is already in place.

For the powerpoint slides delivered at the debate, click here

 

 

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have been urged to collaborate with other stakeholders including CSOs and the media and the general public so as to make their audit reports be more meaningful. The call was made recently at a meeting hosted by the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) in Arusha Tanzania.

The meeting organised for the Working Group on the Value and Benefits of SAIs, met to deliberate on how SAIs in the member countries could be more effective in exercising their powers and how this effectiveness by SAIs can contribute to improved governance and accountability and more broadly improved service delivery to citizens.

SAIs, for example, can provide room for other stakeholders to participate in the audit process by letting them identifying possible areas for auditing. Although there is still hesitation amongst auditors in terms of creating room for other stakeholders to engage with them, it was interesting to hear from the CAG of Tanzania his positive views on engagement with CSOs based on the existing collaboration between his office and Policy Forum.

The members of the working group, however, observed that many SAIs, due to financially being depend on the government, had limited independence and in a way this influenced their way of auditing or producing reports. Experience shared pointed that this financial dependency however does not seem to compromise the quality of their audit reports.

Most of the participants emphasized the need for SAIs to publish their reports in a form that other actors including the media and citizens can find these reports useful and help in ensuring that the findings are discussed widely. These reports should be given to citizens with the understanding that these citizens can do what these SAIs cannot do.

On Sustainable Development Goals and how SAIs can maximize the value of their work, everyone agreed that SDGs require the attention of SAIs in order to monitor progress. The relevance of the SAIs will be enhanced if they take into account SDGs programmes. The discussion, however, centred on what to audit and what to leave out. There are so many social programmes under the SDGs and as such a clear criteria need to be developed to determine the issues that require auditing. It was pointed out that some regions have already developed papers on this subject and therefore a need for crosschecking to avoid duplication of work. The INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) is also starting a programme on SAIs and SDGs.

Also discussed was assessing and monitoring the performance of SAIs through the development of a single, global Performance Measurement Framework which provides the SAIs with voluntary assessment tools of their performance against the International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions and other established international good practices for auditing. Participants agreed that SAI PMF is an important input for the working programme. The framework should however be able to consider differences at country level. Members were encouraged to take note of the SAI PMF high level strategy.

Participants discussed the need to have a framework regarding quality control including the existence of a specia unit for this. There was a general agreement that if SAIs fail on quality, then there are consequences including the reputation of their work.

 

 

 

On the occasion of the 36th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC Summit), we the undersigned members of the Coalition for an Effective SADC Tribunal, are raising serious concerns over state parties insistence in denying access to justice to the citizenry of this region as per the revised SADC Tribunal Protocol. The Protocol strips the Tribunal of its jurisdiction to hear complaints from individual citizens of SADC. This is inspite of the guaranteed right for people’s participation in the SADC Declaration and Treaty under Article 23.

SADC remains an important sub-regional community though still characterized by varying atrocities and human rights violations with impunity, human and drug trafficking, violence against women and children, migration, mineral exploitation, election rigging and other concerns which the SADC Heads of State and Government committed to address in line with SADC Protocols. However therevised SADC Tribunal Protocol is in conflict with the SADC Declaration and Treaty and undermines human rights protection in the region. It further, limits citizens, civil society organizations and other non-states actors’accessto the Tribunal by only granting this access to state parties.

The SADC Tribunal was designed to be a fair impartial court where citizens could hold their governments accountable and seek redress for the violation of rights and the current Protocol threatens these important rights. Therefore we once again call on member states that have signed the revised SADC Tribunal Protocol to refrain from ratifying the revised Protocol as it violates and runs counter to the spirit and principles of the SADC Treaty, including the protection of human rights, rule of law, democracy and public participation.In addition, the revised Protocol, by removing a forum for access to justice in the region, may be responsible for aggravating human rightsviolations in the SADC region. We further call on those who have not signed to refrain from signing and to advocate for an inclusive Tribunal that will serve the needs of the people of SADC.

Signed by Members of the Coalition for an Effective SADC Tribunal:

 

  • Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia,(Angola)
  • Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute, ( South Africa)
  • Centre For Human Rights-Pretoria, (South Africa)
  • Centro de Estudos Moçambicanos e Internacionais, (Mozambique)
  • Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (Malawi),
  • Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, (South Africa)
  • Citizen Engagement Platform Seychelles, (Seychelles)
  • CIVICUS, (South Africa)
  • Lawyers for Human Rights-Swaziland, (Swaziland)
  • Malawi Law Society, (Malawi)
  • Human Rights Institute of South Africa, (South Africa)
  • Institute For Democracy and Leadership, (Swaziland)
  • South African Litigation Centre (South Africa)
  • Southern African Christian Initiative (Namibia)
  • SADC-CNGO (Botswana)
  • Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (Zimbabwe)

After nearly Eight months into the new Magufuli administration, stakeholders in Tanzania met at the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held on the 29th of July 2016 to discuss and reflect on the role of civil society in enhancing governance and human rights in the current political context.

CSOs at the event expressed concern that the new administration was creating a climate of fear and intimidation towards civic actors and urged government to restore the enabling environment for them to operate as watchdogs, who had an important role in holding governments accountable and ensuring duty-bearers perform their responsibilities to the people they serve.

Speaking at the debate, Paul Mikongoti, Programme Officer - Research from Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) in fact noted that the prime responsibility and duty of the state is to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms (through the adoption of appropriate legislative, judicial and administrative measures).

Further, he urged unity amongst all stakeholders pleading for them to come together to ensure that good governance and human rights are upheld.

Participants were reminded, however, that at times civil society misses the opportunity to show their relevance during governance crises and in fighting for accountability. Brian Cooksey, an Independent Researcher who delivered a presentation entitled “Escrow: Lessons for Tanzanian Institutions”, said CSOs reaction to the Tegeta Escrow Account (TEA) scandal was muted at best. Given the enormity of the issue and the importance of accountability in the civil society governance discourse, this was a missed opportunity for CSOs whereby apart from a Policy Forum statement signed by a number of NGOs, there was no sustained attempt by them to mobilize popular support around the Escrow/IPTL issue.

In other politically-charged governance and accountability matters, nonetheless, CSOs have shown their ability to find space to manoeuvre.  Mikongoti mentioned various interventions of human rights which LHRC had done in 2015 and one of them being engaging in the Constitutional Review Process despite the outcome resulting in the government stalling the process.

Beatrice Mkani, from Sikika, an organisation that works to ensure quality health services by strengthening health systems and public financial management showcased how they use the Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) tool to enhance accountability.

“SAM entails a broad range of actions and mechanisms that citizens, communities, independent media and civil society organizations can use to hold public officials accountable. SIKIKA adopted SAM in order to reinforce accountability in health resources management and provide space/opportunities for citizens to participate in public resources management,” she said adding: “SAM has been useful to Sikika in improving effectiveness of councilors in the districts they work (in terms of requesting documents as per standing order, monitor health services).”

Policy Forum (PF) has launched its sixth Tanzania Governance Review that looks at the quality of governance in the country and covers major events and trends in aspects including management of state finances by central and local government, the efficiency and effectiveness of state-provided services, public procurement, tax collection and exemptions and the performance of internal and external accountability processes.

Entitled “Tanzania Governance Review 2014: The year of ‘Escrow,” and launched during the PF breakfast debate held on the 29th of July, 2016, the review focuses on grand and political corruption involving the Tegeta Escrow Account (TEA) scandal which was by far the most important public policy issue of 2014 that exposed weaknesses of the country's formal institutions and the failure of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) process set up to draft and endorse a new constitution prior to a referendum before the end of president Kikwete’s second term. The review process stalled after party politics replaced an inclusive approach.

The review also covers the performance of the executive, parliament, the judicial system, PCCB and the CAG. It looks at the regulatory framework, examines media and civil society responses and summarises the donor community’s reaction of withholding aid disbursements pending the satisfactory resolution of the Escrow saga.

To read the review click on the following link: http://www.policyforum-tz.org/sites/default/files/TGR2014OnlineVersion.pdf  

 

     

    Kiteto councilors committed themselves to demand for explanations, justifications and clarifications from their authorities in the course of executing their roles in serving the Tanzanian citizens. This was said by Kiteto councilors during a training on their roles and responsibilities in social accountability monitoring (SAM) conducted by the Policy Forum Local Government Working Group to 31 councilors in Kiteto on 18th-23rd July 2016.

    During the training councilors pointed out that, the challenge they face is that they do not have access to strategic documents in the SAM processes such as the Strategic Plan, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework. When they were given the Local Government Financial Memorandum councilors admitted that they had never seen the document and after going through it they said the document is very useful in executing their financial roles and they dedicated themselves to use the document in future.

    Councilors also revealed that, in practice the budget process at the local level is not implemented as required for example it is not usually the case that the budget is shared with them during the council committee after it has come from the District Consultative Committee (DCC) normally what happens is vice versa.

    Emmanuel John Papian, an MP of Kiteto during the training insisted to councilors that they should be accountable in serving their citizens and that it is crucial that they attend the village meetings because this is the space where most of the decisions which concerns the citizens are made.

    Policy Forum held a meeting with performance auditors of the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) on the 13th of July as part of their audit planning to identify possible areas to focus future audits. Of particular focus in their detailed discussions with Policy Forum was the theme of resource mobilisation including both non-tax and tax revenues.

    PF explained why the focus on both non-tax and tax revenues should be a priority in NAOT’s Performance Audit Strategy. This includes its importance in the country’s development agenda such as the need to graduate from aid by enhancing domestic resource mobilisation capabilities and having predictable sources of revenue, reducing harmful tax exemptions that create loss of revenues badly needed for service delivery, making revenues from the extractive industries work for the people of Tanzania and addressing inequality through the reduction of regressive tax policies that hurt the most disadvantaged.

    In outlining challenges related to issues of raising non-tax and tax revenues in Tanzania, PF mentioned demoralised local authorities that raise certain revenues from taxes, levies and fees but receive less-than-expected disbursements from the central level, tax incentives granted for the purpose of securing Foreign Direct Investment but not informed by evidence and limited capacity within the tax authorities amongst others.    

    The NAOT expressed appreciation of the value of this new approach of consulting with CSOs as through PF’s expertise, issues previously left out of their performance audit priorities list have been highlighted and gaps to work on noted. NAOT stated that the information obtained will help them in planning future audits.

    The consultation came at a critical stage as the agency moves towards achieving its aspirations to advance public and civic actors’ participation in the audit process so that citizens are able to hold duty-bearers accountable.

    Apart from consultations at the audit planning stage, equally important is the audit reporting phase. Audit results detailing how effectively custodians of public resources have executed funds have to be made public including the value of the audit institution’s work in bringing integrity to government.

    Much has thus been done by NAOT in this regard and 2016 has seen the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) publish the third consecutive “Citizen Report” popular version of the audit reports for financial year 2013/14 and Policy Forum was invited for the Dar es Salaam launch of the booklet earlier this month. Of particular interest from NAOT was how CSOs use both the published full audit and simplified reports and Policy Forum outlined that the secretariat uses their materials in its Social Accountability Monitoring trainings for civic actors at the subnational level who then use them to press for local authorities to implement audit recommendations. For next year’s launch, they have invited CSOs to make formal presentations on the impact of the reports in their work.  

    For several years now Policy Forum has been interacting with the National Audit Office of Tanzania to determine ways it can contribute to advancing public participation in the audit process. 

     

    There are concerns that Tanzania’s lucrative extractive industry is not generating adequate revenues and not contributing significantly to the reduction of poverty and that the country could slide into another “resource curse” a phenomenon so common in many African resource-rich countries. This was said by Dr. Martin Kijazi, a consultant at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) at the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held on the 24th of June 2016.

    Presenting a research report conducted by Oxfam entitled: “The Weak Link: The Role of Local Institutions in Accountable Natural Resource Management,” Dr. Kijazi lamented that despite the mining sector seeing rapid growth, its contribution to GDP has grown relatively slowly.

    “The extractive sector in Tanzania has seen unsatisfactory contribution to the economy with analysts bemoaning the excessive generosity to investors, who are often protected by ‘fiscal stabilization’ clauses in mining agreements which have resulted in limited government revenue despite industry’s perceived profits increase,” he said.

    For Tanzania’s extractive revenues to benefit the poor, he counseled, there has to be a responsive and accountable revenue collection, equitable budget process and expenditure in sectors that will transform the rural economy such as agriculture, health and education.

    The second presenter at the debate was Silas Olan’g from Natural Resource Governance Institute who presented on “The Political Economy Distribution of Extractive Resource Revenue Distribution” who said that there was huge problem with the disclosure of information about shared revenues up to the local level and that because the revenue sharing mechanism is complex, this risked hindering beneficiaries from verifying the correct payments due.
     
    “If any step of the process or factor in the formula is opaque, calculation of “right share” is impossible and the lack of transparency at the upstream level (company payments) affects transparency at the lower levels, “ he stressed, also advising that the quality of monitoring revenues at the local level depends on the overall local financial management and supervision capacity of the local authorities.

    Mr. Olan’g said that there was rationale for extractive revenues sharing with local authorities which included the need to compensate local communities for the negative impacts of extraction, mitigate or prevent violent conflict, to respond to local claims for benefits based on the ideas of local ownership and to promote regional income equality between resource and non-resource rich regions.

    He recommended that for revenue sharing with subnational authorities to be legitimate and successful, there needed to be a national debate to reach consensus on the rationale (ultimate policy objective) of revenue allocation, a shared understanding of the revenue sharing formula amongst the public (perception of non-producing regions of receiving a fair treatment is as important as the ultimate distribution of revenues) and a legislation that does not contain ambiguities and avoids discretional allocations, applies equally to all sub-national governments and is enforceable by each beneficiary.

    Hon. Upendo Peneza (MP),  the discussant during the debate, pointed out that in the mining sector there are some funds that goe to the people as service levy (0.3% of annual company turnover) so it is very crucial for LGA officials to be given the capacity to handle these funds to be used to benefit the people. She lastly strongly urged CSOs to keep doing the good work that they do in the extractive sector which according to her, the organisations are a good source of information on natural resources especially for policy makers.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    An African Civil Society Call to Governments at UNCTAD 14: Governments at the 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) must rise up to the fundamental challenge of equitable development in and for Africa within the global order. This intergovernmental forum, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in July 2016, must clearly call for global economic institutions to bolster initiatives by Africa’s peoples and their governments towards Africa’s structural economic transformation. Read more

    The Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition a loose coalition of NGOs interested in tax justice in collaboration with Tax Justice Network - Africa will launch the Stop the Bleeding Campaign to stop illicit financial flows (IFFS) from Tanzania by unveiling two reports on Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) and the Tanzania study on East Africa tax incentives. The launch will be held on the 18th of June 2016 in Dodoma, Tanzania.

    The campaign is partly driven by the findings presented in the report by the African High Level Commission which was led by President Thabo Mbeki in early 2015. The report indicates that Africa loses an average of 50 billion US dollars annually as a result of IFFs.

    The aim of the launch is to drive Tanzania civil society organisations, with the support from other partners including international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), towards curbing IFFs from Tanzania.

    Two important reports will be released at this event:

    The first is a report on East Africa Tax Incentives. This will give estimates of how much revenue East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) are losing by providing tax incentives, whereby the revenue losses from providing such incentives were around US $ 1.5 billion and possibly up to US$ 2 billion a year, for just four East African countries. The large estimated annual losses were documented in Tanzania.

    The report calls for East African governments to review the tax incentives they are granting with a view to abolishing all unproductive incentives. Any incentives that are determined to be effective should be targeted at achieving specific social and economic objectives that benefit east african citizens.
     
    The second is a report on Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) conducted by Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition which calls for the government to review all of its treaties because most of the provisions in these DTAs restrict the government’s power to tax.

    The coalition, however, commends the positive steps taken by the Tanzanian government to reduce tax incentives especially those related to VAT by formulating in 2015 the new law to reduce tax exemptions.

    For more information on the campaign please contact Nicholas Lekule, Manager of Policy Analysis at Policy Forum via policy1@policyforum.or.tz 

     

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