“Nauli”, on the back of a (brown) envelope

Aspiring CCM presidential candidate, Ambassador Amina Salum Ally, was quoted in Habari Leo yesterday on the role of money in securing the signatures of party members in the regions:

“What surprises me is the practice of being asked for money in order to sign nomination forms. I’ve been in the party more than 30 years and this pains me greatly. In the past you did not have to pay but now without money you won’t get the signatures.“*

And from two weeks ago, in Mwananchi:

The task of the former Prime Minister, Frederick Sumaye, of collecting signatures on his nomination forms almost met with trouble after party members wanted to tear up the forms with their names on, claiming that they hadn’t been given “nauli” [bus fare] to go to the CCM office for this exercise.**

Continue reading

Fact-checking the falling shilling: How is Tanzania doing compared with her neighbours?

exchange rates trends Jan-Jun 2015 v2Tanzania’s Finance Minister, Saada Mkuya, said earlier this week that there was nothing the government could do to stop the value of the shilling from sliding against the dollar. The Citizen reported her as saying that all major currencies in Africa are in freefall, thanks to the stronger dollar.

I have looked at the numbers to see whether this claim is correct. Specifically, I have looked at how five different currencies – including the Tanzanian shilling – have lost value against the US dollar since January 2015. The other four currencies are the Kenyan and Ugandan shillings, Zambian Kwacha and Mozambican Metical. Continue reading

How many registered voters does Tanzania need for the elections to have legitimacy?

voter registration East Africa since 1995Tanzania’s Biometric Voter Registration process is now proceeding at full pace. It had previously been delayed for several months while waiting for voter registration kits, which meant it was impossible to conduct the constitutional referendum as scheduled at the end of April (as predicted here). Now, there are concerns that the process is happening too fast, not giving people enough time for everyone to register:

“The machines are just too few,” complained one resident of Geita. “This situation will cause more chaos because there are very many people remaining yet there are only two days left.” And according to the Daily News, people in Arusha “have now resorted to spending nights at the registration centres in order to beat the jam”.

This led me to think: what proportion of the voting age population needs to be registered in order for an election to be considered legitimate? Continue reading

Hard at work in green and gold: Kinana’s politics of image

UPDATE 22/6/15 – I couldn’t resist adding one more photo:

Sengerema 1


 

Dodoma 1

Bricklaying, pipe-setting, plastering, bricklaying, tree-planting, working the field, bricklaying, door-fitting, carpentry, bricklaying, water carrying, ditch digging, bricklaying, wiring, cement mixing, brick making, painting, road repairs, bricklaying.

Judging by the set of photos below, CCM General Secretary, Abdulrahman Kinana, has been busy. Whether it’s a new health centre, school classroom or CCM office building, it looks like almost every construction project in the country has benefited from his handy-work.  Continue reading

Brigadier General, Judge, Reverend, and President? Is Augustino Ramadhani the chosen one?

RaiaMwema, 4/2/15 - "Is it Augustino Ramadhani?"

RaiaMwema, 4/2/15 – “Is it Augustino Ramadhani?”

The suggestion on the RaiaMwema front page back in February that CCM could be lining up retired Chief Justice, Augustino Ramadhani for the presidency came out of the blue. It seemed to be based on nothing more than the logic that having had a Muslim president (President Kikwete), it’s the turn of a Christian, and having had two consecutive presidents from the mainland (Kikwete and Mkapa), it’s the turn of a Zanzibari. There aren’t many Zanzibari Christians – possibly as few as 25,000 – and Augustino Ramadhani fits the bill. Continue reading

Tanzania’s draft extractive industries laws say a lot about transparency. Highlights and initial thoughts

UPDATE 17/6/15: From the published parliamentary timetable, it appears that the government intends to pass these three bills under a certificate of urgency. The current parliamentary session has been extended until July 8, 2015, for this purpose. I have amended this post accordingly. I have also added some information relating to which of the bills are set to apply to Zanzibar, and which to Mainland Tanzania only.

Set to become a thing of the past? (Source: The Citizen, 7/11/14)

Set to become a thing of the past? (Source: The Citizen, 7/11/14)

A long-awaited series of bills governing the extractive industries sector in Tanzania has just been published: The Petroleum Bill, The Oil and Gas Revenue Management Bill, and The Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency and Accountability Bill. All three are due to be presented to parliament shortly – just a few months before the elections.

I will leave it to others to examine the bills in detail – there is a lot here, over 200 pages in all. But what do these laws say about transparency in the sector? I have collated some highlights. Continue reading

Dar will not become a “middle income country” in 2015, but will Tanzania?

Daily News fp 120615Dar closer to don middle-income country tag soon,” said the government-owned Daily News on the front page, citing the budget speech by Tanzania’s Minister of Finance, Saada Mkuya Salim.

Let’s leave aside the oddly phrased headline (including the implication that “Dar” is about to become a country).

Instead, is Tanzania really on track to soon become a middle-income country? Continue reading