Category Archives: media

Has Tanzania passed “peak freedom”? Or is the latest Freedom House rating a temporary blip?

Tz Freedom House 2015Tanzania’s freedom rating has dropped. The latest annual report by Freedom House on political rights and civil liberties around the world showed that Tanzania’s score dropped from 3.0 to 3.5. It’s may sound like only a small change, but the scale of these ratings only goes from 1 to 7. (1 is the most free, 7 is the least.) More significantly, it is the first time Tanzania’s rating has dropped for over 20 years.

This chart shows Tanzania’s rating for each year since 1994, just as multi-party democracy was being reintroduced. Continue reading

Collected reactions to Twaweza / Sauti za Wananchi opinion poll findings

Two weeks ago, my colleagues and I at Twaweza launched our latest political opinion poll for Tanzania – including the perhaps surprising headline finding that at the start of the campaign period, CCM presidential candidate, John Magufuli had a strong lead over the Chadema / Ukawa candidate, Edward Lowassa. In case anyone hasn’t seen the poll findings (where have you been?), support for Magufuli was found to be 65%, while support for Lowassa was 25%, and Magufuli had a lead across all groups – urban, rural, male, female, all ages, all education levels:

I must also remind readers that this data comes from a nationally representative sample of 1,848 respondents from all regions of mainland Tanzania. It is not a prediction of the election results: a lot can happen between the time the data was collected and election day at the end of the month. The only poll that really counts in the one that takes place on October 25th. However, my main purpose here is simply to gather together a variety of media reactions to this poll and others published around the same time (e.g. Ipsos, TADIP). Continue reading

Where will the election be close? Mwananchi’s analysis, mapped

Mwananchi 26/9/15, via millardayo.com

Mwananchi 26/9/15, via millardayo.com

Mwananchi newspaper has published an excellent analysis of the “34 constituencies” where the competition is close for the upcoming elections in Tanzania. In fact, they only listed 32, but the analysis, which is mostly written by on-the-ground journalists in those areas, is well worth reading.

In particular, it highlights how in many constituencies, local issues, local politicians and local dynamics are what will decide the election results, as much as national politics.

I have uploaded it all into the map below. By clicking one of the constituencies marked in red, an English translation of Mwananchi’s analysis is displayed. Continue reading

Discussing Tanzania’s elections – my presentation to the APPG-Tz and the Britain Tanzania Society

coverI was lucky enough to be invited to speak last week in the Houses of Parliament, about Tanzania’s forthcoming elections. The meeting was organised by the UK parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Tanzania and the Britain-Tanzania Society.

Also speaking was Aikande Kwayu, who has posted a summary of her excellent talk online. In the same spirit, my full set of slides is at the end of this post. But first, here are my notes:

Part 1 – Context – the big trends / issues that will affect the election Continue reading

Lowassa’s move to Chadema / Ukawa, in the cartoonists’ eyes

It’s been a busy few weeks in Tanzanian politicians – not least for the cartoonists. Here’s what I have gathered since my last collection, again grouped by theme:

1. The waiting game – will he, won’t he?

From before Lowassa officially joined Chadema and Ukawa:

Continue reading

Magufuli vs Lowassa – the online evidence

Nipashe cartoon 310715

Nipashe, 31/7/15

The two main contenders for the presidency in Tanzania’s forthcoming elections are now known. CCM chose John Magufuli as their nominee in mid July, after which Edward Lowassa switched sides and will run for president on the Chadema (and thus also UKAWA) ticket.

Bosses in parties have tried to stage-manage the nomination process to generate maximum publicity for their party and candidate. And in one sense they have both succeeded: the newspapers gave blanket coverage first to CCM and Magufuli, and then to Lowassa and Chadema/UKAWA.

But in this internet era, we can begin to compare how well the two campaigns have captured the interest of people online. Continue reading