What have you missed since June?

If you’ve signed up to receive this blog by email (as you can do using the link on the right), then you may well have missed several posts over the past few months. I shifted to a new web-host at the beginning of June, in order to be able to show more interesting charts – particularly interactive charts like these. I tried to bring the site’s email subscribers along with me, but for some reason that I don’t understand, this didn’t happen – sorry!

Having discovered the problem earlier this week, I’ve now corrected this mistake, so you should be receiving the emails again.

And in case you missed something interesting, here are some highlights from the last three months on mtega.com. It’s been a busy few months.  Continue reading

Does the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) apply to Tanzanian NGOs?

IATI cartoon

Twaweza published its first set of IATI data last week. By doing so, Twaweza joined 276 other organisations sharing data on their work in a common standard. And since doing so, I’ve been asked several times why we have done this: isn’t IATI something for official aid agencies like DFID and USAID, and for the bigger international NGOs? Continue reading

Chart of the week #22: Trying to explain the low turnout

Last week, I drew attention to the extremely low turnout figures recorded at the Tanzanian 2010 presidential election. This week, I thought I would look at whether these turnout figures vary between different sections of society.

For this, I have turned again to the 2012 Afrobarometer survey, which asked respondents whether or not they voted in 2010, and if not, why not.

Overall, 81% said they voted. This is much higher than the actual turnout as reported by the National Electoral Commission, which was 43%. And the Afrobarometer methodology explains that the survey included respondents from the age of 15 upwards. Given that only those aged 20 and above in 2012 would have been eligible to vote in 2010, that means a considerable portion of the Afrobarometer sample were not eligible in 2010. Continue reading

Healer kills his child because she had been born in breech position

Tanzania Daima published a story last week about a remarkably unpleasant event that allegedly took place in Mpanda district, in the west of Tanzania. The reaction the story has generated within Tanzania demonstrates that the events described are not a typical / common occurrence. Nevertheless, I think it illustrates some wider interesting points, so I have translated the story in full. And make a few quick points below the translated article.

The original article is legally problematic, in that it potentially prejudices a pending legal case, (as do the Police Commander’s remarks), but that’s not the point I want to make here. Nevertheless, to avoid repeating the problem, I have changed or obscured the names of key participants and other identifying details in the translation.

Healer kills his child because she had been born in breech position

Source: Tanzania Daima, 2/9/2014 

Walter Mguluchuma

A fourteen-month-old baby, Consolata George, has been killed by her father, George Lubanga “Chuiwe”, 27, apparently because she was born in the breech position. Continue reading

The cat man, the politicians and the mind games

Manyaunyau, from Facebook

Manyaunyau, from Facebook

Dr Manyaunyau is a well-known “traditional healer”, based in Dar es Salaam. His name derives from an informal Swahili word for cat – “nyau”, (from the noise it makes) – and he is said to use cats in some very gruesome ways in his work.

And a few days ago he was interviewed for a post on the website of Times Fm radio station (warning: graphic images). “Manyaunyau wants the senior politicians who seek him out to do so openly, explains what he does during elections,” was the headline.

Manyaunyau is more open than some in his profession, not just in interviews like this but also having his own website and facebook page (both have more graphic images. But it would be wrong to assume that this is generally an underground profession; these guys need customers, so they do their marketing.

So what did he say in the interview? Continue reading

Witchcraft in Tanzanian law

The Citizen, 24/8/14

The Citizen, 24/8/14

Witchcraft is a huge issue in Tanzania at the moment. Levels of belief are extremely high, with horrific consequences for two groups in particular: older women (and others) who are accused of being witches and in many cases murdered as a result, and people with albinism who are attacked or murdered for their body parts, which are said to possess supernatural powers. With a general election coming up next year, there are fears that the situation for people with albinism could get even worse. And though it is less obvious, the manipulative actions of people calling themselves witchdoctors – tricking people out of their money through big promises and/or blackmail and fear (as alleged in this case) – are also highly damaging.

I will explore this issue in more depth at a later date, but for the moment, I just want to bring one thing to wider attention: did you know that Tanzania has a Witchcraft Act on the statute books?

It dates from colonial times, 1928 in fact, but was amended as recently as 2009.

I will come to what the law says in a moment, but first, how exactly does it define witchcraft?
Continue reading