The cartoon above highlights that we are rapidly running out of time for the official education process. But the bigger obstacle seems likely to be the voter registration process. Is there still enough time for Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) to complete biometric voter registration by April 30, 2015?
Using some figures shared by NEC and quoted in the media, I have done some rough calculations. It’s not possible to be precise, and there are several assumptions involved, so I cannot give a firm conclusion. But I think it gives a useful indication of the challenge.
The Britain-Tanzania Society and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) are organising what promises to be a fascinating seminar on the proposed new constitution for Tanzania, in London. The text below is taken from the event flyer, and key details are as follows:
Saturday 28 February 2015 – 2.00-5.00pm
In the Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Co-organised by the Britain-Tanzania Society (BTS) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Tanzania’s more internationally-minded political thinkers watched Scotland’s Independence Referendum last week with much interest. The question on everyone’s lips was this: what does the decision made by Scottish voters to remain part of the United Kingdom mean for Zanzibar and the United Republic?
It is a reasonable question, because the similarities between Scotland’s relationship with England / the UK and Zanzibar’s relationship with Tanzania mainland are strong. The two smaller, once-independent nations both have understandable resentment towards the bigger, dominant partner in their unions. Constitutional oddities mean neither England nor Mainland Tanzania have their own parliament, while Scotland has a parliament and Zanzibar has a “revolutionary council”. There are oil and gas revenues to argue over in both cases, and endless disputes about who is subsidising who. And Britain’s relationship with the European Union is not that different from Tanzania’s uncertainty about the East African Community.
But though the question may be valid, the answers have been very mixed. Continue reading →
It is arguably the key question facing Tanzanian politics in the short term: does CCM have the numbers? Can they ignore the opposition, and force their will upon the next draft of Tanzania’s constitution?
The constitutional review process limps onwards, amid widespread scepticism. Ukawa (the coalition of Chadema, CUF and NCCR, the leading opposition parties) has withdrawn its members from the Constituent Assembly (CA), complaining that President Kikwete and CCM were not listening to their concerns, most particularly on the two-government / three-government issue. This leaves a chamber dominated by CCM members, plus most of “the 201” – those appointed by the President to the assembly – and just a couple of others.
Without Ukawa, there is little doubt that CCM can write the next draft of the constitution however they want. More tricky, however, is whether they can pass it. Continue reading →
Cartoonists work in metaphors, and today there is a clear theme in the Tanzanian press.
It’s all about the Constituent Assembly, preparing another draft of what may become Tanzania’s next constitution, and doing so without the participation of the leading opposition parties and several others.
And at the same time, it’s all about transport.
On the wrong track, off the rails, (or an accident waiting to happen) says King Kinya in The Citizen:
Some charts from Twaweza’s latest Sauti za Wananchi brief this week, asking Tanzanians about their views of the second draft new constitution – the one that’s supposed to be under discussion by the Constituent Assembly in Dodoma at the moment.
This survey was conducted in parallel with a similar survey on Zanzibar, Wasemavyo Wazanzibari, run by the International Law and Policy institute (ILPI).
The survey did ask about the hot topic of the moment – the Union between Tanzania mainland / Tanganyika and Zanzibar – but I will focus instead on some of the other issues raised in the draft. Because we should not forget that these are also important. Continue reading →
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?