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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.

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.

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