Justice Warioba: “Of the almost 38,000 citizens who gave their views on the Union, 19,000 expressed an opinion on the form of the Union. The breakdown of these statistics show that on the mainland, 13% supported One Government, 24% supported Two Governments and 61% supported Three Governments. In Zanzibar, 34% supported Two Governments and 60% supported a contract-based Union, and 0.1% (25 people) supported One Government.”
President Kikwete: “There are those who claim the Commission’s statistics don’t show the truth. They say that the information of the Commission shows that 351,664 Tanzanian gave their views to the Commission. Of them, 47,820 citizens (13.6%) were unhappy with the form of the Union and raised the issue. 303,844 citizens (86.4%) didn’t see the form of the Union as a problem, which is why they didn’t raise the issue at all. So people are asking how today 13.6% of all Tanzanians who gave their views has become the majority of Tanzanians!”
They’re talking about the same data. How many people gave their views to the Constitutional Review Commission? How many people discussed the Union question? How many supported which form of the Union?
Warioba is saying that of the 19,000 people who commented on the union question during the public consultations, 61% said they preferred the three government option (Zanzibar, Tanganyika, Tanzania). Kikwete says that since only 13.6% of the people who gave their views to the commission bothered to comment on the union question, it seems the vast majority are happy with the current two-government status quo (Zanzibar, Tanzania).
At face value, both interpretations appear to have some logic, some validity, even though they reach opposite conclusions from the same data.
In one sense, as Chambi Chachage has pointed out, both interpretations are questionable, since both depend entirely on a self-selecting sample – those who gave their views to the commission – rather than a randomly sampled survey.
But as this blog has covered previously, there have been some attempts to carry out the kind of statistically valid survey that would help understand whether the Commission’s controversial proposal has popular support – notably from Afrobarometer and Twaweza’s Sauti za Wananchi surveys.
According to this data, back in 2012, before the Commission had published the first draft, 47% on mainland Tanzania supported no change to the current Two Government system, while 29% supported either more autonomy for Zanzibar or a full Three Government arrangement.
And in 2013, after the first draft had been published, this situation was reversed: 26% said they support the current system, while 51% said they wanted wither more autonomy for Zanzibar or the Three Government system.
But when asked, in 2013, the same question in another way, 51% supported Three Governments, 48% were against:
In other words, according to the best data we have, the people are as divided as the politicians.
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The original Swahili for the above quotations:
Warioba: “Kati ya wananchi karibu 38,000 waliotoa maoni kuhusu Muungano, wananchi 19,000 walitoa maoni kuhusu muundo wa Muungano. Mchanganuo wa takwimu hizi unaonyesha kuwa wananchi waliotoa maoni kuhusu muundo wa Muungano kwa upande wa Tanzania Bara, 13% walipendelea Serikali Moja, 24% walipendekeza Serikali Mbili na 61% walipendekeza Serikali Tatu. Kwa upande wa Zanzibar, 34% walipendekeza Serikali mbili na 60% walipendekeza Muungano wa Mkataba, na 0.1% (watu 25) walipendekeza Serikali Moja.”
President Kikwete: “wapo wanaodai kuwa takwimu za Tume hazionyeshi ukweli huo. Wanasema kuwa taarifa ya Tume imeonesha kuwa Watanzania waliotoa maoni yao kwa Tume kwa mdomo na maandishi walikuwa 351,664. Kati yao ni wananchi 47,820 au sawa na asilimia 13.6 ndiyo waliokerwa na muundo wa Muungano hivyo wakauzungumzia. Wananchi 303,844 au sawa na asilimia 86.4 muundo wa Muungano kwao halikuwa tatizo, ndiyo maana hawakuuzungumzia kabisa. Wanahoji kuwa iweje leo asilimia 13.6 ya Watanzania wote waliotoa maoni wageuke kuwa ndiyo Watanzania walio wengi!”