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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 

     

    The government has been called upon to strongly support Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) at the local level so that local authorities and their staff can become more focused on their core mandate of providing essential services to the public as the private sector complements these efforts by helping to reduce the financial and technical resource gap needed for socio-economic development.

    Speaking at the breakfast debate organised by Policy Forum on 27th May 2016 in collaboration with the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT), Prof. Honest Prosper Ngowi, Lecturer at Mzumbe University defined PPP as an arrangement between public and private sector entities whereby the private entities renovate, construct, operate, maintain, manage a facility in whole or in part.

    “It is done so in a manner that ensures the best interests of the public and private sector is taken care of as well as risks and returns considered,” he said, as he presented findings of a study on selected PPP issues in local government authorities in Tanzania. The study covered 5 subnational government authorities: Bagamoyo Town, Dodoma Municipality, Morogoro Municipality, Mtwara Mikindani Municipality and Tandahimba District Council.

    Moreover, Prof. Ngowi pointed out that there are several LGAs which implemented various types of PPP projects even before the PPP Policy (in 2009). Examples of PPPs in LGAs from 2005 include: Arusha Municipal Council (AMC), Morogoro Municipal Council (MMC), Bariadi District Council, Kigoma District Council, Njombe, Kisarawe DC and Dodoma Municipality.

    Prof. Ngowi mentioned some of the challenges faced by local authorities in undertaking PPP projects as being; political interference by central government representatives, dynamics of vested business and political interests, corruption by some local authority staff (e.g. in tendering process, dishonesty/unfaithful businessmen, information asymmetry, outright lack of information/data on key issues, bureaucratic delays, distrust, lack of transparency and inadequate enabling environment).

    Mr. Abraham Byamungu from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) said UNCDF has a unique financial mandate within the UN system, to support public and private sector to provide seed capital, technical expertise and credit enhancements and to provide investment at the local level through performance based grants to local government.

    He stated the major challenge they face as being; lack of required in-house and specialized expertise (in technical, financial, legal, environmental and organizational issues) and lack of financial capacity to meet early stage project development costs).

    The discussant at the debate, Mr. Shomari from the PPP unit of the President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) said that although there have been positive aspects when it came to raising revenue, there have been a number of alarms raised such as the irregular procurement of outsourcing services. He insisted, however, that the ministry continues to work on the guidelines in order to improve the process. These guidelines will hopefully make it easier to smoothly facilitate PPP in a manner that is transparent and competitive resulting in a level-playing field for businesses.

    He concluded by calling for a better module to land management with private public partnerships and increased research on local government to come up with appropriate projects.

    PRESS RELEASE

    For Immediate Release

     

    CSOs elect their representatives to the TEITA Committee

    Tanzanian civil society organisations on Friday 27th May, 2016 elected five representatives to the 3rd Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency and Accountability Committee (TEITA Committee) formally known as Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) which will be operational until May 2018.

    The TEITA Committee brings together government, companies and civil society representatives that oversee the production of reports which allow citizens to follow the value of Tanzania’s natural resources from extraction all the way into government financial accounts for discussion and public debate.

    The elected representatives to serve in the Committee for the next triennium are:

    1. Mr. Amani Mhinda from HakiMadini will represent Conventional NGOs and his alternate is Mr. Donald Kasongi from Governance Links.

    2. Ms. Blandina Sembu from Shirikisho la Vyama vya Walemavu Tanzania (SHIVYAWATA) will represent the Gender and Disability sub-constituency and her alternate is Lilian Liundi from TGNP Mtandao.

    3. Mr. Dennis Mwendwa from Oil, Natural Gas& Environmental Alliance (ONGEA) will represent the Publish What You Pay Coalition and his alternate is Petro Ahham from the Multi-Environmental Society (MESO).

    4. Dr. Camillus Kassala from the Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and Integrity of Creation will represent the Faith-Based Organisations and his alternate is Grace Masalakulangwa also from the Interfaith Standing Committee on Economic Justice and Integrity of Creation.

    5. Ms. Philotea Ruvumbangu from Tanzania Mines, Energy, Construction and Allied workers Union (TAMICO) representing trade unions and her alternate is Mr. Nicomedes Kajungu from National Union of Mine and Energy workers Tanzania (NUMET).

    The above names of the elected CSO representatives to the 3rd TEITA Committee formally known as (TEITI MSG) will be communicated to the Minister responsible for announcement as required by section 5 (4) of the TEITA Act 2015.

    The meeting was coordinated by HAKIRASILIMALI which is a platform that brings together Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working on issues around minerals, oil and gas extraction in Tanzania. In their April Meeting held at Giraffe Hotel in Dar es Salaam CSOs mandated HAKIRASILIMALI to coordinate the election meeting.

    HAKIRASILIMALI secretariat would like to congratulate the newly elected civil society members and wish them the best in their new role.

    For Further Information, Please Contact:

    Racheal Chagonja +255 757 868674 - info@hakimadini.org

    Dennis Mwendwa +255  656 410610  - dmwendwa@ongeatz.org  

    For PDF Version, click here

    A call has been made to the government to meet the demands of free education including capitation grant, financing infrastructures, school feeding porridge program and compensation of school fee secondary education inorder to achieve a balanced budget in the education sector 2016/2017. In addition for this to occur there would also need to be an increase to 30%-40% of development budget for the education sector budget and a perfect match between allocation and actual expenditure in development budget.

    This was said by Mr. Godfrey Boniventura, Research and Policy Analysis Manager from HakiElimu on the 29th of April 2016 at the Policy Forum monthly breakfast debate titled “Achieving a balanced budget in health and education Expectations, Challenges and Opportunity” at the British Council.

    Centering on the health sector budget, Mr. James Mlali discussed the importance of harnessing the demographic dividend towards a middle income economy. As Tanzania already faces a number of challenges including meeting needs for universal access to health services, education, sanitation and power, there needs to be consideration of how rapid population growth will affect the implementation of all new national strategies, an investment in high job creating sectors and the allocation of sufficient funds for family planning services.

    Both Mr. Mlali and Mr. Edward Mbanga (the discussant of the event) mentioned that though the percentage allocated to health sector has improved, it has not yet reached the 15% stated by the Abuja declaration pact. However, Mr. Mbanga seemed optimistic that they are headed in this direction and that health infrastructure will be given priority.Dr. Wilson Kitinya on the other hand stressed that it is important to focus and differentiate between need and allocation as well as allocation and disbursement. He also brought attention to the issue of development vs training in the health sector and called for government to re-consider donor dependency.

    Attendees called for the broadening of the definition of health, a focus on how money is spent and allocated, formalizing other sectors, enhanced revenue collection to finance budget and  a shift of priorities of the nation so as to achieve a balanced budget.

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