What do Tanzanians really think of the three governments idea?

From The Citizen 18/3/2014

From The Citizen 18/3/2014

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.

Here’s the key chart once again:the union question

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:

three govts key

In other words, according to the best data we have, the people are as divided as the politicians.

– – – – –

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!”

6 thoughts on “What do Tanzanians really think of the three governments idea?

  1. Majaliwa

    Asante kaka kwa makala nzuri. Swali langu kwako ni je, kwavile tume haikutumwa kuulizia mambo ya muungano (nadhani rais aliwakataza kisheria) the fact that 13.9% (19,000) walitoa maoni sio significant? Pia hoja ya Rais kweli inamashiko ukizingatia kwamba wananchi hawakukaribishwa watoe maoni juu ya muungano(yaani wengi hawakuligusia kwasababu walijua tume haitathmini muungano!). Naomba insights zako hapo.

  2. mtega

    Asante Majaliwa kwa swali lako.

    I honestly don’t know enough about the Commission’s data to reach firm conclusions, and I don’t think anyone else does either. It wasn’t collected through a rigorous research process with proper sampling procedures to avoid bias, so it should be treated with caution, whether you like Warioba’s interpretation or Kikwete’s. Arguably the Commission should have set up a credible opinion poll survey alongside the gathering of opinions at public meetings. They didn’t do that, so we have to turn to other sources.

  3. Azaveli Lwaitama

    The issue here is that it does NOT follow that if one does not express a view on the appropriate Union then one is happy with the status quo. It may be that one is not well informed about the state of affairs of the current situation regarding the Union and one is not in a position to offer an opinion. It may also be the case that the unhappiness with state of the Union is not accorded priority in a given person’s matters that need to be changed. It is strange logic for the President of Tanzania to argue that “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!” They did not offer an opinion unsolicited but how does he translate that into not having an opinion, negative or positive, if asked to offer one? I think the three-tier Union structure will prepare Tanganyikan Tanzanians and Zanzibari Tanzania to learn to cooperate as separate but equal comrades in the East African Federation where six countries i.e. Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, will be equal partners. Eventually the Tanzania national identity will be remain a relic of the past we will all be East African citizens!!!
    Mwalimu Azaveli Lwaitama
    Member, Vision East Africa Forum
    Bukoba, Tanzania

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