Showing posts with label accountability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accountability. Show all posts

7 Dec 2012

Presentation: The Media and Democracy in Tanzania

This is a copy of the presentation made yesterday by Ben Taylor of Daraja at a public seminar organised by the Britain-Tanzania Society (BTS) and the Centre for African Studies at SOAS:

9 Oct 2012

Dr Nchimbi's committee report - a quick first read

Minister Nchimbi receiving the report, via
And now the report from Dr Nchimbi's committee is also out (and see also this downloadable version). This is the report commissioned by Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nchimbi, into the killing of journalist Daud Mwangosi in Nyololo, Mufindi, on September 2nd. It follows the publication earlier today of a hard-hitting report into the same event by the Media Council of Tanzania and Tanzania Editors' Forum.

It has been prepared by a team of five: Retired Judge Steven Ihema (chair), Pili Mtambalike of MCT, Colonel Wema Wilson Wekwe (a munitions expert), Theophil Makunga (of Mwananchi Communications) and the Deputy Police Commissioner, Issaya Juma Mngulu.

The story it tells and the conclusions it reaches are very different from the MCT-TEF report. Some excerpts:

"The decision of Chadema to insist on congregating illegitimately in the Nyololo area, taking into account the text message from Dr Slaa, Secretary of Chadema which said "IGP I'm waiting for your call. Inform your police that they should prepare enough bullets, enough bombs. You will have a feast of killings and finally celebrations, prepare yourselves to go to court in the Hague. It's better that we die than these abuses": This message that indicates the spilling of blood is evidence enough of breaking the peace. Chadema is the souce of the unrest and breach of the peace in the village of Nyololo on September 2nd, 2012." *

Independent report on killing of Mwangosi is out

Report cover
The first report into the killing of journalist Daud Mwangosi in Mufindi on September 2nd is now out.

This not the report commissioned by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nchimbi (which is also due to be published today). And it is not the report being prepared by the police. 

Instead, it comes from two leading media institutions - the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) and Tanzania Editors' Forum (TEF) - produced by their three-person team of John Mireny (MCT), Hawra Shamte (Mwananchi / TEF) and Simon Berege (Tumaini University, Iringa). Although produced by the media industry, the report can be reasonably considered to be more independent than either of the official reports.

A first read through the report (which is available in both English and Swahili) makes it clear that the report is hard-hitting. It appears to be thorough and well analysed. And it is highly critical of the police, particularly Regional Police Commander (RPC) Michael Kamuhanda.

18 Sep 2012

Kwanza Jamii - evidence of impact

By Daraja's Monitoring and Research Officer, Eric Kalunga

Daraja’s  Kwanza Jamii programe’s main goal is to have local print media play an effective role in promoting responsive and accountable local government in rural areas of Tanzania. The Kwanza Jamii newspapers in Njombe and Iringa demonstrate an effective, sustainable and scalable business model for local print media that can then be applied elsewhere by other parties hoping for similar outcomes - like more effective delivery of education, road and health services.

As a model, the newspaper demonstrates that local print media can create pressure, thus encouraging  responsive local government. Over the past two years there have been several cases that have demonstrated this: from a bad situation at Njombe Bus stand that we covered and relevant authorities moved swiftly to improve the situation; to an article about lack of education on HIV/AIDS in Ikondo village located in Njombe district which led to that education being provided there; to a story on access to the capitation grant for secondary schools after which district officials publicly appeared to be upset but secretly confirmed the inadequacy of the grant. These examples are testament to the idea that local media can provide the missing link between poor service provision and government action.

14 Sep 2012

Mwangosi killed, a policeman charged. What next?

"Our pens and cameras are more than their bullets and bombs." Picture from HabariLeo
So finally a policeman has been charged with the murder of Daud Mwangosi. Given the apparent strength of the evidence, and the pressure that the media has put on the government - both through its coverage and its protests - this latest development should not be a surprise. There was no way out.

But we're left with an unsatisfactory half-resolution. There are still lots of unanswered questions.

One policeman may have pulled the trigger on the tear-gas gun that killed Mwangosi, but what about the others who were apparently beating him badly even before the fatal shot was fired? Are they going to be held to account as well or will they be allowed to escape punishment for their disproportionate and unprofessional actions?

What about the Regional Police Commander, who was at the scene, could see what was happening, and did nothing to stop it?

30 Mar 2012

"We can't change things" - research on citizens' attitudes to local governance

"We can't change things". This was what focus group participants told us when we conducted a study into citizens' attitudes towards local governance in Njombe, Ludewa and Makete. They were talking particularly about corruption, and expressing the idea that though they don't like corruption, they don't feel there's anything they can do about it. The corrupt go unpunished, the poor feel even more powerless, creating more space for corruption to continue - a vicious circle.

I presented a draft report of this study to the REPOA Annual Research Workshop in Dar es Salaam this week, on behalf of Frank Kaduma and Kapongola Nganyanyuka, the study's main authors. The presentation is enclosed below, and the full draft report can be found here.

19 Mar 2012

Tunaadhimisha wiki ya maji bila maji!

Na Richard Lucas

Tupo kwenye kuadhimisha wiki ya maji kitaifa ambapo kitaifa maadhimisho haya yanafanyika mkoani Iringa. Kauli mbiu ya mwaka huu ni Maji Safi ya Kunywa kwa Uhakika wa Chakula. Kwa miaka mingi serikali imekuwa ikifanya jitihada mbalimbali kuhakikisha wananchi tunapata maji safi na salama. Maadhimisho ya wiki ya maji ni mojawapo ya jitihada, ambapo kwangu mimi naona inalenga kutoa elimu na fursa kwa wadau mbalimbali weweze kujadili namna ya kuboresha huduma hii hasa kwa maeneo ya vijijini ambapo imendeelea kuwa ndoto. Swali ni kuwa, kwetu sisi wananchi maadhimisho ya maji yanapaswa kutusaidia nini?

20 Feb 2012

Why did Maji Matone fail? 3. Citizens' engagement, risk and apathy?

"If you're scared as well, let's just leave it."
This is the third post in a series exploring possible reasons why Maji Matone hasn't worked. The first post looked at the challenge of making the technology fit the context, specifically rural Tanzania. And the second looked at some specific challenges related to rural water supply. A final post will try to summarise what we've learnt from the experience. 

Why did Maji Matone fail? 3. Citizens' engagement, risk and apathy?

When Madeleine Bunting of the (UK) Guardian interviewed the head of Twaweza, Rakesh Rajani, she reported his concerns that in Tanzania
"there is still a deferential culture towards the government, and people don't have that sense of agency that something could – and should – be changed. That sense of entitlement that government services can and should work, is what Rajani is trying to provoke. It is basic to the way western democracies work, so it's hard to appreciate how its absence shapes a political culture. But Rajani hopes this is finally changing, and that a new generation will use the contemporary technologies of communication to transform how countries are governed and public services delivered."
Our Maji Matone programme, delivered with Twaweza as our main partners, represents both the hope and the fear expressed in that passage. The hope - that new communications technologies can transform the relationship between citizens and their government - is exactly what Maji Matone was trying to deliver. The fear - that widespread apathy and a low sense of entitlement undermine political accountability - is one possible reason why the programme failed. Perhaps we didn't get many messages because people felt that there was no point, that nothing would change as a result?

10 Feb 2012

Guest Post: Wabunge kufadhili miradi kunadumaza maendeleo

Richard Lucas
Guest post from Richard Lucas, Programme Manager of Daraja's Maji Matone programme

Wabunge kufadhili miradi kunadumaza maendeleo 

Imekuwa jambo la kawaida kwa wananchi kuwaomba viongozi wao, hasa wabunge wawasaidie kugharamia miradi ya maendeleo. Mazoea haya yametufanya tusahau majukumu halisi ya wawakilishi wetu na pengine jukumu letu la kuwawajibisha pale wanapokwenda kinyume na wajibu wao.

Wabunge wamesahau majukumu yao ya msingi, badala yake wanajitwika majukumu ya serikali. Hali hii pia inasababisha wananchi tusahau vigezo muhimu vya kuchagua viongozi na kutumbukia kwenye mkumbo wa kuchagua viongozi matajiri-ambao nao wanaitumia fursa hiyo vilivyo kuimarisha utajiri wao pamoja na kuulinda.

6 Feb 2012

Simon Kelner visits Daraja

Simon Kelner with Kwanza Jamii Managing Editor, Simon Mkina,
and Igombola Village Executive Officer, Brighton Mdoya

Daraja was honoured last week to play host to an illustrious visitor from the UK - Simon Kelner. Until a few months ago, Simon was the editor of The Independent newspaper, famed for his enthusiasm for innovation, whether in poster-style front pages or as the driving force behind the Independent's new sister paper, the i. He continues to write a regular column for the paper. But his main role now is as Chief Executive of The Journalism Foundationa new independent charitable foundation which promotes, develops and sustains free and independent journalism throughout the world, set up and provided with core funding by the proprietor of the Independent, Evgeny Lebedev. It was in this capacity that Simon was visiting Daraja, to learn more about our Kwanza Jamii newspapers, and to discuss ideas for how his foundation can support our work.

23 Nov 2011

Guest Post - How Do We Make Dar Es Salaam More Open?

Daraja was asked last week if we would be willing to host a guest post on this blog, from Jeff Jesse, a Tanzanian student leader who is also consulting with the World Bank, on the subject of the Mapping Tandale project. And since we've found ourselves in the middle of a series of posts on Open Government, it seems a very appropriate time to share this experience. 

But let me get out of the way and hand over to Jeff.

How Do We Make Dar Es Salaam More Open? 

Tandale, mapped. Via
In August, I helped out with a very cool process.  Using GPS devices and some free software, in just two weeks a group of about 25 Ardhi University urban planning students, community members and trainers from Nairobi managed to create and publish a map online of Tandale Ward, an unplanned area here in Dar Es Salaam which did not have any existing map.

17 Nov 2011

Consulting on open government - time to send your ideas

Submit your ideas on open government at
As those of you who follow Daraja closely will know, I spent Tuesday this week at a meeting convened by the Tanzania Open Government Partnership (OGP) Task Force - see here and here for some background on the OGP from this blog, or here (pdf) for a presentation to the Cabinet on the subject. The meeting was to consult civil society and other stakeholders on the Action Plan that Tanzania will take next month to the OGP secretariat at a meeting in Brazil.

The political leadership behind this initiative is impressive, both within and beyond Tanzania. Presidents Obama and Roussef (of Brazil) are driving things internationally, with support from Tanzania's own Rakesh Rajani of Twaweza, representing civil society, and several countries are really pushing ambitious plans - the UK government, for example, says it wants to be "the most open and transparent government in the world".

15 Nov 2011

Proposed contents of Tanzania's Open Government Action Plan

As presented as a first draft to stakeholders consultation meeting by the Tanzania OGP Task Force, Nov 15, 2011. I will post a translation here later.


  • Kuweka utaratibu wa kufanya madawti ya malalamiko yaliyoanzishwa ktk Wizara na Mamlaka za Serikali za Mitaa yafanye kazi
  • Kubaini na kuimarisha matumizi ya masanduku ya maoni yaliyopo ktk vituo vya kutolea huduma na kuweka utaratibu madhubuti wa kutambua yanavyofanya kazi
  • Kupitia upya majukumu ya Bodi na Kamati za Vituo vya utoaji wa huduma ktk sekta za afya, elimu na maji ili kuzifanya zitekeleze majukumu yake ipasavyo
  • Kuweka utaratibu ili kuhakikisha kuwa taarifa za mapato na matumizi zinabandikwa ktk mbao za matangazo ngazi za Halmashauri, kata, vijiji, mitaa na vituo vya kutolea huduma ktk sekta za elimu, afya, maji

14 Nov 2011

The politics of water supply are coming to the boil

Mohammed Dewji helps out. Photo from
This blog has long argued that the major challenges in the water sector are more political than technical. We have also highlighted the fact that the political nature of the challenges has not been matched by political attention. Water supply was largely ignored in the 2010 election campaigns, for example, not featuring in the major campaign promises of any of the big three parties' presidential candidates nor gaining much attention in election media coverage (here and here).

Now, four separate developments in the past few weeks point to a change in the politics of water supply in Tanzania. So what are the new developments, and what is the change that they point to?

11 Nov 2011

Violence in Ludewa caused by dissatisfaction with the Water Sector Development Programme

The following email was distributed last week to the Wanabidii email group, with a very interesting perspective on some of the challenges facing the Water Sector Development Programme. I can't guarantee all the precise details of the story told, though I do have independent confirmation of the basic facts.

I felt that the email deserves to be seen by a wider audience, particularly those with an interest in Tanzania's water sector, as it sheds some additional urgency on the challenges highlighted on this blog recently.

25 Oct 2011

"Undertaking" Tanzania's Water Sector Development Programme?

Screenshot from WaterAid video
I spent two days last week at the annual Joint Water Sector Review meeting - the so-called "highlight" of the annual calendar of "dialogue". This was the sixth such meeting to be held - and I have the "distinction" of having attended all of them. But as you can probably guess from the profusion of "inverted commas" in this paragraph, I'm having serious doubts about the whole exercise. Before I come to that, though, let me give you some background.

Around 250 people from the Ministry of Water, other related government ministries and agencies, the "development partners" and civil society all attended, in the workshop factory that is Ubungo Plaza. All the main stakeholders were there. Apart from water consumers that is, who are only represented in the sense that everyone consumes water. And those consumers (or perhaps I should call them citizens) weren't represented by their official representatives either - no MPs or local councillors attend, with the exception of the Ministers officiating at the formal opening and closing sessions. We civil society folks had to take on that role.

6 Oct 2011

Open government in Tanzania - what are the priorities?

Tz govt commitment to the
OGP (click to enlarge)
The recent news that the Tanzanian government has committed to joining the Open Government Partnership is a positive move by the government. It deserves civil society and media support. The specific commitment - to prepare an Action Plan on open government by March 2012 - is challenging, but achievable if work starts now. 

This has got me thinking. What actions could the government take that would have a positive impact on open government immediately? I've come up with some options, and would love to know what you think.

27 Sep 2011

Tanzania and the Open Government Partnership: What does it all mean?

Photo from the US State Department
Over in the US last week, Rakesh Rajani, the Head of one of Daraja's main partner organisations, Twaweza, shared a platform with someone who you might possibly have heard of, a certain Barack Obama. The Brazillian president, Dilma Rousseff, was also there, as were the Presidents of Mexico and South Africa, Felipe Calderon and Jacob Zuma. The Tanzanian government was also represented, though not in this picture. In case you don't know him, Rakesh is on the far right.

23 Sep 2011

Mchuchuma-Liganga: huge Chinese investment in Ludewa on the horizon

Parliamentarians at the Liganga site. Picture from Zitto Kabwe
Wednesday this week saw the signing of a major agreement for Tanzania between the National Development Corporation (NDC) and the Chinese company Sichuan Hongda. The agreement sets up a new company, Tanzania China International Mineral Resources Limited (TCIMR), to build a coal mine, iron ore mine, coal-fired power plant and steel works at the Liganga (iron ore) and nearby Mchuhuma (coal) in Ludewa district, just to the south of Njombe. The MPs Zitto Kabwe (the Parastatal Organisation Accounts Committee chair) and Deo Filikunjombe (the PAOC vice-chair and Ludewa MP) were present at the signing.

The CitizenThe GuardianDaily News and Mwananchi, all made this their front page lead on Thursday. Twitter also had some information, (mostly from @ZittoKabwe), though not all of it matches the newspaper articles, and Jamii Forums predictably also injected a note of scepticism.

21 Sep 2011

Corruption in literature - some great reads

The great MG Vassanji, author of many of the best East African novels, was in Tanzania recently, and has shared his thoughts on Tanzania in a fascinating piece published in the Canadian magazine Macleans - "Tanzania: land of constant complaints."

I'm not sure he has it quite right with the headline, since apathy, low expectations and just getting on with things are more my experience. An SNV study, for example, elicited a very different thought from a respondent: "What do we expect from our government? It is like the rain: if it does not rain we try to survive, when it rains we are grateful."

Otherwise, as Pernille argues, Vassanji has captured a changing Tanzania very well. And I can't argue with his litany of challenges facing Tanzania or his simply stated analysis "the problem is governance and corruption."

But this post is not supposed to be about Vassanji's article. It's supposed to be about great fiction on the theme of corruption, inspired in part by Transparency International's recent blogpost on the best movies featuring corruption.