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Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition (TTJC) has produced a tax documentary based on the analysis of  Value Added Tax (VAT) and Tax Administration (TA) bills presented during the CSOs engagement with Members of Parliament in 2014. The VAT  and TA bills have already been passed and assented by the President. The documentary was aired on two TV stations which are ITV and Star TV.

Click on the following link to view the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK0sI35NRlY

Policy Forum in collaboration with PSAM conducted a three days workshop aiming to develop a collective learning agenda on SAM by drawing from trainers experiences in training and applying the PSAM approach. The workshop was held on 22nd to 23rd September at Royal Village Hotel, Dodoma Tanzania.

The workshop drew together current and potential SAM trainers from Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and together aimed, among other thing to have improved collective understanding of what has been learnt so far in the application so far in applicability of the PSAM approach through training, localization and application of the approach.

Also the workshop aimed at the end to have an improved understanding of the challenges trainers face within the social accountability field and how to address them.  And also to have insights into the ways training and application can be strengthening to improve interventions.

As the wayforwad, the workshop at the end will compel evidence from the participants that tests the applicability of the PSAM approach by assessing if the demand side actors gain a better understanding of public resource management as a system and whether from the supply side will act on this demand. Also weather the approach have the explanatory power that is whether the change in supply side was caused by a better understanding of the determination of service delivery problems

Civic actors have called upon the government to enhance "local-local" content so that the gas economy benefits the host communities. This call was made by Prof. Honest Prosper Ngowi, a Mzumbe University lecturer during the Policy Forum breakfast debate held on the 28th of August 2015 at the British Council Auditorium entitled: “Tanzania’s Gas Economy: Examining Local and National Perspectives.”

Prof. Ngowi referred to a study conducted by Policy Forum to identify gas service levy revenue issues in local council budgets in Kilwa and Mtwara district councils, noting that the Local Government Finance Act (LGFA) of 1982 is the main law that governs revenues in LGAs and requires that service levy shall be 0.3% of the turnover net of the value added tax and the excise duty of companies. It is still not clear, however, where the 0.3% should be paid. For instance, Pan African Energy Tanzania has been paying its service levy to Ilala District Council where it is registered but the Ministry (MEM) advised it to start paying it to Kilwa District Council from 2012.

Prof. Ngowi recommended that diversification of revenues should be conducted and that investment should also be done in other sectors such as roads, dams, irrigation infrastructure or social infrastructure in the form of water.

Because gas reserves in Kilwa are estimated to last for only about 20 to 25 years meaning the revenues from these sources will eventually dry up, he said the ability to these local councils to finance expenditure from this revenue source will be limited. He therefore recommended that the councils think seriously how to fill the revenue gaps well before resources dry up.

Mr. Brian Cooksey, an Independent Researcher the second presenter of the debate provided the national perspective of the Tanzanian gas economy, he accentuated that enthusiasm over the recent discoveries has to be moderated with some realism, there are a lot of hurdles that need to be overcome before East Africa can reap the benefits of its large gas  discoveries, he concluded.

The Commission of Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) has pledged to further enhance its interactions with civil society organisations so as to improve on extending the socio-economic rights so as to see the effective delivery of public service to the people of Tanzania. This vow was made by the Chairman of the commission Hon. Bahame Tom Nyanduga during a meeting with Policy Forum members.

“That is why we as the commission, from the start of this year, have attended numerous civil society events and increased our visibility in the media. We want to communicate to civil society and the public that we can work together to enhance human rights,” said Hon. Nyanduga.

The Chairman also expressed keenness for CHRAGG to continue to receive sensitisation on the Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) approach used by Policy Forum as described by the network’s Coordinator, Semkae Kilonzo, who emphasised that it involved the right for citizens to acquire justifications and explanation for the utilisation of public funds from those assigned (duty-bearers) with the task of managing them.

Policy Forum and CHRAGG have been collaborating with CHRAGG since 2013, organising joint interventions such as appearing together at the Tanzania Chapter of the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (APNAC) 10th Annual General Meeting in June 2013 and preparing a joint presentation, co-publishing a booklet on good governance aimed at sensitizing both leaders and the community on the subject.

PF also collaborated with CHRAGG by conducting an orientation training to CHRAGG staff and management on Social Accountability Monitoring that was held in Dodoma in June 2014. This not only enabled CHRAGG staff to obtain baseline knowledge of the importance of Social Accountability Monitoring in good governance and service delivery and how it links to local level work of CHRAGG and other government institutions, but also to gain an understanding of the importance of working with civil society.

The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) is an independent government department established as the national focal point institution for the promotion and protection of human rights as well as being watchdog on the observance of The Principles of Good Governance in Tanzania. It was established under the Constitution of The United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, and became operational on 1st July 2001 after the coming into force of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance Act No. 7 of 2001, as amended from time to time.

Policy Forum was this week invited to a stakeholders meeting to validate a report which looks at the Tanzania Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector (WASH) strengths and gaps for WaterAid Tanzania (WAT) to reflect on as they plan their new strategy. The meeting also aimed to offer an opportunity to gain insights on stakeholders’ plans with respect to key areas highlighted in the report and to solicit feedback and suggestions from partners on where they think WAT can add most value in the sector in the next five years.

The following are the key issues observed at the event:

1. Institutions, policies and stakeholders: There is more money, more players, more programmes and better organisation in the WASH sector now than in the past but there is lack of integration of sanitation and hygiene in national water policies hindering prioritization of sanitation and hygiene implementation across all levels, with much effect at village levels. It was also noted that budgeting tends to be input rather than output based and WASH funding is influenced heavily by short term political considerations. WASH stakeholders are numerous but there is little strategic dialogue among all key players on gaps, bottlenecks and impediments to WASH delivery.

2. WASH Sector performance, planning and sustainability: Tanzania will not meet either the water or sanitation MDG targets. The situation is worse in rural than urban areas and despite increased investments in water sector, Tanzania is not doing well in WASH, as more people (absolute numbers) still lack basic WASH services. Funding for water supply has not kept pace with population growth even though emphasis of investments is inclined towards water supply as opposed to sanitation.

3. WASH social context: Vulnerability is mainly driven by disability, exclusion and climate change.  Up to 13.2% of Tanzanians have one form of disability or the other. WASH is equally important to the children and the elderly who face different sets of risks which require targeted responses. Their periods of life are identified as particularly important: for example, the first 1,000 days of a child’s life or the transition from home to school, or from work to retirement all need elevated levels of water supply and sanitation.

4. Wash and climate change: Climate determines the economy of Tanzania and the livelihoods of people and WASH in particular are dependent on the climate.  Around 60% of the Tanzanian GDP is associated with climate sensitive activities, including agriculture, forestry, energy and tourism. Climate variability is already a major economic burden for Tanzania

WaterAid is a Policy Forum member organisation and the two have worked together in budget analysis and advocacy as well as governance reviews.

Related stories:

The Problem of Sustainable Water Accessibility: Is it an issue of technology or accountability?

 

PRESS STATEMENT
for immediate release
[please share with your civil society and media networks, and email to SADC heads of state]

Issued by: The Coalition for an Effective SADC Tribunal
Date: 14 August 2015

On the eve of the SADC Heads of State Summit on Sunday 16th August the Coalition for an effective SADC Tribunal calls on heads of state to uphold the rule of law and human rights in the region by reinstating the SADC Tribunal.

In August 2014, contrary to the SADC Treaty of which Article 23 provides that decisions concerning the community and any affected persons or citizens must be made in consultation with them, the SADC Heads of State adopted a new Protocol on the SADC Tribunal, without any consultation. The SADC did not act in accordance with its own Treaty’s amendment procedures. As such the suspension lacks legality, “inter alia” because the SADC Treaty does not allow for suspension.

The new Protocol removes access to the Tribunal by individuals and legal persons, and removes its human rights mandate. To date the Protocol has been signed by nine member states, but will enter into force thirty days after ten countries have ratified it. It is not yet clear as to whether any country has actually ratified the Protocol through their national parliaments.

The Coalition for an effective SADC Tribunal is committed to championing efforts and advocacy to reinstate the Tribunal as it affects every single citizen and person in the region. The reinstatement would provide legal recourse to people seeking justice once they have exhausted existing legal remedies at the national level.

The disbandment of the old Tribunal and the adoption of the new Protocol effectively disregards the independence of the judiciary, separation of powers and the rule of law. It also impacts negatively on human rights and business confidence across the region.

We urge each SADC head of state to consider the merits of the SADC Tribunal in its original form and the positive impact it will have in the region - socially, economically and in terms of international best practice.

Coalition partners supporting this call include:
Policy Forum - Tanzania
Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) - South Africa
Council of Churches – Swaziland
Centre for Mozambican and International Studies (CEMO) - Mozambique
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) - South Africa
Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) - Lesotho
Association for Justice Peace and Democracy (AJPD) - Angola
Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA - Regional
Tanganyika Law Society - Tanzania
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria - South Africa
SADC Lawyers’ Association - Regional
Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) - Regional
SADC CNGO Forum - Regional
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition - Zimbabwe
Citizen Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) - Seychelles
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) - Malawi
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) - Regional
African Centre for Justice Innovation - Regional
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) - Global

For more information please contact:
Muluka Miti-Drummond <mulukam@salc.org.za>
Dorothy Brislin <dorothyb@osisa.org>

“In many countries today, there are huge expectations from extractive revenues which can ultimately lead to overspending and debt among other things. Therefore it is important to have a law in place that manages these risks and challenges so as to meet the desired goals.”

This was said by Mark Evans, Africa Economic Analyst at Natural Resource Governance Institute  during the Policy Forum breakfast debate held on the 31st of July 2015 at the British Council Auditorium entitled “The Oil and Gas Revenue Management Act: What does it mean for government spending?”

Mr. Evans said that in order to meet the target expectations it is crucial to ensure the adopted fiscal rules are implemented such as the recurrent expenditure growth being limited to nominal GDP growth and if revenues from oil and gas are greater than 3% of GDP, the funds should be kept in the Revenue Saving Account (RSA) of the Oil and Gas Fund and if the revenues fall below 3% of GDP the funds should be transferred to the budget (Budget Consolidated Fund).

Evans said that the government should ensure careful spending and saving of oil and gas revenues whereby 60% of spending should be on strategic development expenditure. He also emphasized on the transparency and accountability provisions which enhance compliance with the law.

Mr. Saruni, a representative from the Ministry of Finance who was the discussant at the event, asserted that these resources from extractives are exhaustible and if they are not handled well they may not benefit us or future generations. Therefore it was important to have a law in place that will manage them and he assured participants that the President of Tanzania was to soon sign the Oil and Gas Revenue Management Act to guarantee national benefits.

He ended by saying that the law demands transparency by requiring oil and gas companies to publish their financial reports quarterly and the same is to be audited and submitted to the parliament. 

Soon thereafter, on the 4th August 2015 the President of Tanzania signed the Petroleum Act 2015, The Tanzania Extractive Industries (Transparency and Accountability) Act, 2015 as well as the Oil and Gas Revenues Management Act, 2015. To read more click on the following link: http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php/local-news/47976-jk-ceremoniously-signs-petroleum-bills

Nancy Kaizilege has been named Chairperson of Policy Forum and Paul Daniels as Vice Chairperson. Ms. Kaizilege is Secretary General of United Nations Association Tanzania (UNA - Tanzania), an  organization that aims at promoting public awareness, engagement and understanding of the activities of the United Nations in Tanzania. Mr. Daniels is the Care International Tanzania Country Director, an organisation working to enhance gender equality and climate change adaptation in the rural environment of Tanzania.

Nancy has over ten years of experience in stakeholder relations through her work with the United Nations Association of Tanzania dating back to 2003. In this time, among other things, she was the first official Tanzania youth representative to the United Nations General Assembly and also worked on youth projects with UNICEF in Muyovozi, Mtabila I and II and Lugufu camps in Western Tanzania.

“Ms. Kaizilege's experience working with the traditionally marginalised including youth make her a valued advisor to Policy Forum and its member organisations," said Semkae Kilonzo, the Coordinator of the network. "We are excited to have her perspective on the Board of Directors, and look forward to her inputs as we strive to enhance informed civil society participation in decisions that determine how policies affect ordinary Tanzanians, particularly the most disadvantaged,” he added.

Nancy holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree in International Business. She is also completing her final research paper to attain a postgraduate diploma in the Management of Foreign Relations from the Mozambique/Tanzania Centre for Foreign Relations.

Ms. Kaizilege succeeds Israel Ilunde of  Youth Partnership Countrywide (YPC) who at the end of his term stepped down at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. Policy Forum would like to extend its appreciation for the leadership provided by Israel Ilunde. His grassroots experience helped the network in identifying priorities and achieving its strategic objectives.

New commitments on financing for development are being negotiated in July in Addis Ababa at the Third Financing for Development Conference (FfD3). Tax and domestic resource mobilization have been placed in a central role in the negotiations. In order to increase domestic revenue, illicit financial flows and harmful tax practices have to be tackled.

In February 2015 President Kikwete adopted the African Union High Level Panel (HLP) report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. Among the various commitments are robust regulations, increased resources, capacity and transparency and curbing harmful tax incentives to foreign investors.The HLP report estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa loses more than 50 billion dollars annually (average of 2001-2012). This is more than the combined total of foreign direct investment (FDI) and net official development assistance (ODA), which these economies received in the same period.

The budget proposal for 2015/2016 does not take into account the revenue losses that are caused by various factors such as illicit capital flight as well as tax evasion and avoidance. For example Global Financial Integrity has estimated that Tanzania lost 2.5 billion euros in 2002-2011 only due to trade and transfer mispricing by multinational companies.

The 2015/16 budget is pegged at Tshs 22.48 trillion from Sh19.8 trillion for the year 2014/15: an increase of 15%. This move by the government is welcome and commendable. The biggest challenge with the endeavor, however, is whether the government will be able to collect these revenues adequately.

Recognizing this challenge and the adverse effects of these critical issues in Tanzania, we encourage the Government to support the following positions at the FfD3 conference in Addis Ababa:

- Support the establishment of an intergovernmental tax body that is tasked with addressing global tax policy, rather than the current Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) led process that does not equally include all countries, including Tanzania. The decision about the tax body should be made during the High Level Meeting in Addis Ababa and not be postponed to a later moment, because otherwise countries are going into the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York in September without significant progress.

- End harmful tax incentives nationally, regionally and globally. Multinational companies are receiving too extensive tax exemptions and not paying their fair share of tax while citizens are bearing a disproportionate tax burden due to an over reliance on consumption taxes in revenue collection such as Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Restrain from further developing Economic Free Zones.

- End harmful tax treaties that limit the ability of Tanzania to raise revenue to fund quality public service delivery. Tax treaties are intended to prevent multinational companies and individuals from paying tax twice in two countries, but instead exploitation of these treaties with poor terms for “source countries” are leading to Tanzania potentially losing revenues.

- Increase the transparencyof the international and national tax systems. In order to regulate, monitor and increase the accountability of tax systems, multinational companies should be obliged to disclose their financial accounts annually. Tanzania should also promote country by country reporting of all Multinational companies. Up to date information about national revenue income should be available to the public at relevant public authorities. Additionally, the government should establish public register of beneficial ownership of companies operating in the country.

- Increase the resources of revenue authorities to oversee and collect revenue from multinational companies.

- Review regressive tax policies, such as indirect taxes, to address inequalities.  Taxation reform should mobilize additional and sufficient resources to comply with States’ obligations to commit the maximum available resources to fulfilling human rights.

 

Presented by

PF Budget Working Group & Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition
 

On the 25th of June, 2015, Policy Forum participated in the public launch of the “Stop The Bleeding” Campaign in Nairobi aimed at curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa. The Campaign, driven by African civil society organisations with support from international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), aims at appraising the findings and recommendations of the Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa  for a strengthened Africa response and facilitating consultation among key African CSOs to strengthen independent efforts to curb IFFs at national, sub-regional and continental levels.

The launch began with CSOs convening on the 24th of June, 2015 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi where presentations on problematizing IFFs in the African context made. Participants heard about the implications for the Financing for Development (FfD), took stock of CSO engagement to-date including what was working and the gaps, and experiences in engaging key constituencies like gender groups and labour movements. The CSOs agreed on a call to action which comprises of the following:

Global/International community

- The international community should  cooperate in the recovery and repatriation of illicit financial flows out of Africa, as recommended in the Mbeki Report on Illicit Financial Flows

- The international community should support and make available resources necessary for the establishment and operation of a new intergovernmental body on international cooperation in tax matters.

African Union and Other Institutions

- African governments through the African Union must call for and push for the establishing of a new intergovernmental body on international cooperation in tax matters with responsibility for setting rules/norms.

- African governments through the African Union and its agencies should promote national and regional value chains to maximize their benefits from the current global trading and tax system

Sub-Regional

- African governments through the regional economic communities should collaborate  to set common standards and minimize the  effect of tax wars within the African continent

National Level

- African governments should implement the recommendations of the AU/UNECA High Level Panel Report on IFFs

- African governments should adopt  a full range of progressive taxation measures as a primary means of funding national development goals and reducing inequality

- African governments should  minimize tax expenditure by significantly reducing  tax incentives and exemptions

- African governments should  review  bilateral taxation treaties with developed countries to ensure that they are  getting their fair share of revenue

- African governments should assess and track the tax burden on poor men and women; and ensuring fiscal policies are gender sensitive

- African governments should  building domestic production capacity, ownership and service provision in trade infrastructure development

The launch event on the 25th of June involved a series of press junkets, general public assemble at Uhuru Park for entertainment and solidarity speeches followed by a public procession. The launch was organised by an Interim Working Group (IWG) of the African IFF Campaign Platform made up of six Pan-African organisations namely Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A), Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Af), Africa Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and Trust Africa supported and joined by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ).

Following this campaign launch, a side event will be held on the margins of the upcoming 3rd Financing for Development Conference (FfD3) in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The purpose of the side event would be to introduce the Africa IFF campaign, re-emphasis the importance of taking forward the recommendations contained in the “Mbeki HLP report”, and highlight some of the joint plans that CSOs and other African institutions such as the African Union and UNECA have been undertaking to push for the implementation of the “Mbeki HLP report”. The side event will target African delegations, CSOs, African institutions and agencies present at the FfD3 conference. The side event will feature a panel session comprised of representatives from the African Union Commission, Africa Group delegation, UNECA and civil society.

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