I am delighted to be able to share with you a new site that I have developed for the elections in Tanzania next month: UchaguziTz.co.tz.
It is intended primarily to encourage people to think about issues and policies. At the moment, therefore, it is largely made up of charts, maps and analyses of some of the key election issues. Some of it will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, but most of the content is new, not least a series of interactive maps showing election results from 2005 and 2010 on mainland Tanzania. Continue reading →
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 →
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.“*
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.**
Tanzania’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 →
Tanzania’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 →
In her budget speech to parliament yesterday, Minister of Finance, Saada Mkuya Salim, gave some positive figures on access to electricity in Tanzania. Between 2011 and 2014, she said, access to electricity increased from 7% to 36% (see page 44).
The figure made it onto the front page of Mwananchi newspaper.
Numbers that don’t sound plausible are worth checking out, especially when presented by politicians. So I decided to check the sources. Continue reading →