Eddie Sucre

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

MCT unveils media ethics book

Former Attorney General Judge (rtd) Mark Bomani (C) with copy of Guidelines for Teaching Media Ethics, a Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) publication, at annual media ethics symposium in Dsm yesterday.
The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) has unveiled ‘Guidelines for Teaching Media Ethics,’ designed to support local training institutions and journalists in the media industry to abide by professional ethics.

The guidelines were launched by former Attorney General, Judge (rtd) Mark Bomani at a one-day annual media ethics symposium organised by MCT in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
John Mireny MCT's Publication, Research and Documentation Manager said the council produced manuscript to help the industry to fight declining ethics.

While the document will be made available to journalism training institutions, he said the same will be given to newsrooms to be availed to journalists who had not been to journalism training institutions.
Meanwhile Judge Bomani has suggested that one way of reducing the prevalence of crime in Tanzania is to ensure proper custody and use of firearms.

Hed warned against use of such arms by members of the public and security organs, especially the police force to stop people from exercising their basic human rights such as the freedom of expression, belief and assembly and the right to life.

“I don’t think these groups understand their boundaries when it comes to use of firearms,” he said, noting that on several occasions police have opened fire on unarmed crowds.

He said, there are various threats to the peace and security of the country however, key players such as the police force must redefine their scope of power particularly the use of firearms they bear.

Judge Bomani, who has also previously served as Chairperson of MCT Ethics Committee, underlined the intricate part played by the media industry in raising awareness and exposing the extra judicial killings.

“Journalists must work within their professional boundaries…it is media that brings people together and builds unity necessary for the socio-economic development of the nation,” he explained.

Kajubi Mukajanga, MCT secretary general expressed dismay at the recent remarks by the top government leader that according to him, ‘encouraged police brutally’.
According to him ‘journalism is increasingly becoming a dangerous profession in this country….”

He pledged that MCT will continue to work to protect journalists.
Judge Bomani also presented to Mtwara press club, media reflector jackets that will ease their identification while in the field.

MPs cast verbal votes to pass budget

Chadema legislators in the National Assembly in Dodoma yesterday after several days of absence during which they attended the funeral of the party's supporters killed in recent bomb blast at a political
The National Assembly yesterday endorsed the proposed 2013/14 government budget amounting to 18.2 trn/- by direct vote with 235 members supporting it while 35 said no.

Announcing the results, the national assembly clerk said 270 members were in the debating chamber to cast their verbal vote, while 83 others were reported absent.

Finance Minister William Mgimwa when winding up the debate said all pertinent matters pertaining to review of tax on telecommunication services and the decision by the government to scrap Road Toll on motorcycles( Bodaboda) and tricycles( Bajaj) would be explained in the Finance Bill to be tabled in the House either today or

The government also did not bow to the MPs’ pressure that called for dropping the increased Excide duty and levy on petrol and diesel. In that sense, the public should now brace for tough life in the coming financial year.

According to MPs’ observation, the increased excise duty and fuel levy would now hike the price a litre of petrol by 28 per cent, the decision that would have a spill-over effect on almost all goods and services delivered in the country.

During the debate Members of Parliament had asked the government to drop its decision of increasing tax on fuel and instead retain its earlier proposal of introducing excise duty of 1,450/- on Sim cards per month.

They said since there about 18 million registered SIM cards in the country, the government could collect over 300 billion in 2013/2014 fiscal year.

Yesterday evening Opposition Chief Whip Tundu Lissu told reporters that earlier in the morning police barred them from entering the Parliamentary debating chamber on the grounds that they had put on Chadema party attire.

They said apart being prevented from entering the House yesterday they also felt it was not fair to participate in the last stage of budget endorsement since they were denied the chance to contribute to the financial estimates debate.

They said the debate was supposed to end today ( Tuesday) but Speaker Anne Makinda shortened the debate, denying them an opportunity to participate, taking into account that the were in Arusha region to attend the funeral of their party members who died in the recent bombing.

Meanwhile failure of the country’s economic growth to trickle down to the larger section of the public is caused by slow growth of an agriculture sector that employs three-quarters of the Tanzanian population, the government has stated.

Contributing to the speech for the estimates of government revenue and expenditures for 2013/2014 yesterday in Parliament Minister of State in President’s Office (Social Relations and Coordination) Stephen Wasira said it was true that the country’s economy has maintained steady growth for the past few years but such a growth has failed to have positive impact on majority ordinary citizens.

According to the minister, agricultural sector that employs over 75 per cent of the country’s population has been growing at around 4 per cent on average while other sectors that employ a few numbers of citizens have been recording high growth.

Wasira gave examples of sectors that recorded high growth, ranging between 7and 22 per cent as trade and tourism, mining, construction, telecommunication and financial services.

“Unfortunately, these sectors neither employ the majority of the population nor provide adequate markets for products from the most predominant sectors such as agriculture,” he said.

He said to ensure the overall high growth rate is translated into significant poverty reduction the government would direct more financial and human resources to sectors that employ the majority of the population, increase productivity across-board especially in agriculture, improve business environment in both informal and formal sectors and improve social protection programmes such as TASAF to include conditional cash transfers for targeted groups.

The country’s economic growth increased from 6.4 per cent in 2011 to 6.9 per cent last year while Kenya ’s growth increased from 4.4 per cent to 4.7 per cent.
Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda’s growth rates declined from 8.6, 4.2 and 6.7 per cent in 2011 to 7.7, 4.0 and 2.6 per cent, respectively.

According to an analysis conducted by the Institute of Business Insider of the US, based on World Bank estimates, Tanzania is among the twenty countries with the highest projected compounded annual growth rate from 2013 through 2015.

The minister also spoke on the pressing need to safeguard peace and tranquility, saying with the recent isolated cases of tragic violent incidents, including bombings, every individual irrespective of his/ her political ideology is responsible for maintaining the national heritage.

“In absence of peace and tranquility no development activity can be carried out. Peace and tranquility have no political ideologies. This is a heritage that we must safeguard at all cost,” he said.

He said political parties should compete by selling their policies, including building political arguments to win people and not through inciting violence. “Democracy without discipline is chaos”.

Wasira also said the government was losing billions of through public procurement, saying the legislation must be brought to Parliament for review.
He said procurement of public good through tenders are inflated while in actual sense the prices in the local market are ordinary.

'Union split will benefit no one'

Sudan Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Yassir Mohamed Ali
The Sudan Ambassador to Tanzania Dr. Yassir Mohamed Ali says the union predicaments must be resolved by the new constitution for a break-up will not serve good to any party, political or otherwise.

The ambassador revealed this in Dar es Salaam over the weekend in an exclusive interview with this paper saying any separation is a loss to both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.
“God forbid, this will not happen,” he prayed.

“The break-up of Sudan was not good, we were one nation of brothers and sisters yet after the separation about 8million people became foreigners...we let go of 75 percent of oil…it is a loss but we don’t regret it was the price of peace...,” said the diplomat.

The Sudanese envoy cited Tanzania as a symbol of tolerance, peace, love and unity as such the on going talks over thee Union break-up should be viewed with great caution as whichever way the country chooses to go, it will influence the entire region.

He described Tanzania as ‘a peaceful country where any who visits never fills a stranger thanks to hospitality of the people but he warned that should the country divide then it risks creating animosity and hate one for another.

Of recent and past resource based conflict plaguing the continent is due to poor public awareness of government intentions and also cheap political games played by some politicians for self gains.

“Awareness is very important and the people need to see tangible community based results from the discovered resources,” the ambassador noted adding that diversity tolearance is key to unity as well as tolerance and respect to a difference in opinion, look, creed and political affiliations.

In the same accord, Lam Jok Wai Wuor, a former soldier of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in his study “The causes of Sudan’s break up and the Future of South Sudan” attributes the root causes of the breakup of Sudan in 2011 the failure to welcome diversity and tolerance and attempts of the state to impose Arabism and Islamism at the expense of African indigenous cultures.

Sudan, once regarded as the largest country in Africa, broke up into two on July, 9, 2011, after decades of conflict.

The first civil war between the North and the South broke out few months before the independence of Sudan on January 1, 1956 and was settled through peace in 1972. The second Sudanese civil war broke out on May 16, 1983 and lasted until a peace deal was concluded in Naivasha, Kenya on January 9, 2005.

Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, South Sudan was given six years interim period before exercising referendum on whether to separate from the rest of the country or confirm unity on a new basis.

Govt again urged to co-run digital, analogue broadcasts

Kasulu�Urban MP Moses Machali (NCCR Mageuzi)
Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT) has called upon the government to run analogue and digital broadcasting concurrently to accommodate viewers in a major part of the country being denied their fundamental constitutional right of access to information.

The recommendation is in reaction to the response by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa to a question by Kasulu –Urban MP Moses Machali (NCCR Mageuzi) on whether the government will revert to analogue broadcasting to accommodate the millions who just cannot afford the switch.

Machali reported that a majority of media stakeholders proposed that the two technologies be used simultaneously until 2015 which is the deadline for all countries to effect the migration to exclusive digital broadcasting.

In his response Prof Mbarawa made it clear that the government will not go back to analogue broadcasting because the two years ahead of the compulsory switch will be used to fix any ‘hiccups’ in the switch.

Prof Mbarawa further explained that returning to the broadcasting system will only increase operational costs.

He said that digital broadcasting has many positive effects but mentioned only one, clearer pictures.

MOAT also pointed out that the government statistics for Dar es Salaam digital users based on decoder sales is only 250,000 yet television set owners are estimated to be 600,000, meaning 60 percent of Dar residents have no access to any form of broadcasting.

The Media owners also argued that the government has provided no evidence as to how running both systems will increase costs and to whom. MOAT further denied government’s claim of the digital system having a lot of advantages because financial losses have been registered as businesses shun advertisements because of the low number of viewers.

Public servants urged to stick to ethics to beat corruption

Dr Edward Hoseah
The Director General of the country’s anti corruption agency has underscored the need for public servants to adhere to moral standards and have bold strategic stance if they want to overcome corruption in their work places.

Dr Edward Hoseah made the call in Dar es Salaam over the weekend when opening a one day training workshop on promoting ethics, integrity and accountability in public service to senior government officials, (Permanent Secretaries and Chief executives).

“To promote ethics, integrity, combat corruption and culture of impunity, you need a bold strategic stance to overcome the scourge,” said the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Chief.

He called upon public servants to avoid conflict of interest and disqualification stressing that they should not use their authority for improper advancement of their personal financial interests.

He advised them not to solicit or receive any gift or other favours that may influence the exercise of their functions or the performance of their duties or their judgment.

For his part, the Chief Executive of Uongozi Institute, Prof Joseph Semboja challenged senior officials to adhere to ethics, arguing that they cannot become leaders if they don’t stick to their professional principles.

“Aspiring leaders must understand that leadership is about legitimacy, be it social or political. You get society and political acceptance from your personal behaviours, conduct and perspectives; in short from your ethics,” he stressed.

He said if leaders fail the test they can only become dictators, using power or rank to rule, but they cannot be leaders either.

“In other words, there is no such thing as a bad leader... crooks cannot become leaders,” he noted, adding: “This is why our institute considers PCCB and the Ethics Secretariat important partners in supporting leadership development in this country. Our combined efforts are important for a quick impact.”

Prof Semboja said they were training senior officials because they were an important cadre in the development of ethics in the nation’s public service.

“We want to build and strengthen their knowledge base, skills and capabilities in order to enhance their competences in their workplace. This is important in order to keep pace with the changing but increasingly complex demands,” said CEO.

Two foreign firms to invest in geothermal power generation

Prof Sospeter Muhongo, Minister for Energy and Minerals
Two foreign companies from Japan and Iceland have shown interest to invest in Tanzania’s geothermal power generation.

Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo revealed this here yesterday when responding to a supplementary question by Nzega MP Dr Dalali Peter Kafumu (CCM), who had wanted to know the extent of investment in the geothermal power area.

Responding, Prof Muhongo stated that Tanzania has a total of 15 areas which are potential for geothermal production.

“But, according to the geological survey, three areas have shown to have enough stock of steam ranging from 220 to 250 degrees centigrade, which is the temperature required for power production,” he said, citing Lake Ngozi in Mbeya where the first geothermal power project is expected to start before the end of this year.

Muhongo however failed to disclose names of the companies from Japan and Iceland which are to carry out power generation activities in the area.

Recently, Geothermal Power Tanzania Ltd expressed interest to invest as much as USD 350 million to drill steam fields in the country’s south and build its first geothermal plant with the capacity to generate up to 140 megawatts by 2018.

The company began drilling two wells in Tanzania’s southwestern Mbeya region this year and found there’s potential to create power from steam within at least two systems in the area.

Tanzania, which doesn’t currently produce any geothermal energy, lies in the same Rift Valley fault system as Kenya, Africa’s biggest geothermal-power producer with an estimated untapped resource of as much as 10,000 megawatts. Geothermal energy harnesses steam and hot water from underground to power turbines in facilities that generate electricity.

In her basic question, Special Seats MP Pudenciana Kikwembe (CCM), wanted to know government plans to provide clean and safe water for people living in Majimoto ward, taking into account that water flowing in the area is not fit for human consumption.

In his response, deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Kassim Majaliwa, admitted: “It is true that water flowing from hot springs is not safe for human consumption.”

“As government, we are aware of the challenge and a deep borehole has been drilled in the area at a cost of 19.85bn/- by 2011/2012 fiscal year.”
According to Majaliwa, the government is in final stages to get a contractor to build a water supply project in the area. The project is to cost 526.813m/- in the 2013/14 financial year.

So far, Mlele district council has approved a total of 1.329bn/- to finance water projects in the area.

Police probe new FGM claims

Tarime Zonal Police Commander (RPC), Mr Justus Kamugisha
Police in Tarime and Rorya special zone are working to verify claims of existence of a syndicate dealing in human body parts and specifically those of women in a new wave of superstitious related crime.

Reports from the area say that the allegations have driven girls of the area to voluntarily seek Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) hoping to escape the more brutal kidnap, mutilation and murder.

It is alleged that women’s sexual parts are being traded in an alarming black market racket that has implicated gold mines in the area and put at risk the lives of many women and girls in the region.

The Regional Police Commander for Tarime and Rorya Regional police zone Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Justus Kamugisha denied any knowledge of the practice or even any such threat, saying no such reports or even remotely related cases have come across his desk.

“I have not heard about such incidents, however, we will take a look…,” he said.
Our source, a human rights activist, reported that the scheme was unveiled during the ongoing research into the persistence of FGM in the region.

The areas covered include Kiagata, Musoma Rural, Rorya and Tarime districts where it is understood that FGM was long practiced as a rite of passage into maturity, but now suppositious attributes have been linked to the practice in selfish bids to make quick money.

TGEI, organised under the Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWEZ-Tanzania Chapter) secretariat convened to discuss among other issues, rights to education for girls and women in the ongoing constitutional review.

Parts are sold for 40,000/- to 50,000/- and groups are reportedly paid to kidnap uncircumcised girls for the magic rituals, for both business and mining prospectus, claimed our source, making it clear that the chain of command in the trade is long.

“I don’t know whether the government is aware of this barbaric practice…it is a long chain, first there are business tycoons owning mines, middlemen, the kidnappers and killers…those who do the actual mutilation…the list goes on,” he said.

Moshi offers Bagamoyo officials cleanliness hints

Moshi Urban Council has said that strict enforcement of regulations and the decentralisation of responsibilities to the people who supervise its cleanliness campaign in their respective areas is behind the programme’s success.

Moshi Municipal Health Officer David Kimaro made the statement over the weekend when presenting a paper in a one-day workshop organised by the Bagamoyo Non Governmental Organisations Network (BANGONET).

The workshop was aimed at giving an opportunity to Bagamoyo Urban residents to hear the secret behind the success of Moshi Municipality in maintaining environmental cleanliness.

Kimaro said because of the efforts and strategies set between 2001 to 2011 have enabled the municipality to win first position among 17 Municipalities in the country for the last seven years.

Kimaro said that to ensure the campaign succeeded, the municipality provided enough cleaning equipment including placement of garbage bins in all corners of the municipality, wheel loaders, compactor trucks, skip masters and establishment of a modern dumping area.

He explained that the public was made aware of the cleanliness campaign and given the responsibility of ensuring it was properly implemented. They were made the supervisors and catalysts of the clean-up revolution in their localities.

He revealed that the Municipal authority spends over 250m/- per year on environmental cleanliness of which 180m/- is from people’s contributions.

He added that three agents employed by the municipality enforce cleanliness, arrest offenders and collect penalties set at 50,000/- per person, per offence.
According to him, it was the plan of his Municipality to grow 1.5m trees each year, an exercise carried out from April 1 to 10, every year.

During this period every individual is expected to plant 10 trees while schools, institutions, health centres and hospitals are also encouraged to do the same in their areas.

He declared that despite the efforts the Moshi Municipality is still faced with challenges such a small garbage dumping area which can only last upto 2020.
The Municipal authority plans to seek technical assistance to produce energy from the use of garbage in the dumping area.

Bagamoyo Urban Health Surveyor Assistant Officer Abdul Mohamed said the state of cleanliness of Bagamoyo town was unsatisfactory due to poor infrastructure and lack of facilities.

He said population was growing, leading to increased activity which produced 17 tonnes of garbage per day.

Contributing to the workshop, Bagamoyo resident Mwana Asha Abdallah blamed officials for not being accountable, but also for failing to involve people in plans related to improve cleanliness in the town.

She said there has not consistent follow-up of cleanliness programmes, leading the people to give up participation in campaigns in their localities. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Solidarity not partnership, to redefine the poorest nations

Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed

The Independent Expert Group (IEG) sees solidarity, rather than partnership, as being the key to effective international collaboration in the post-2015 framework as it implies shared interests and responsibilities rather than the outdated donor-recipient relationship.
Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed, a researcher with IIED and member of the Independent Expert Group made the statement in a release by the IEG. 
The release goes on to advise that, to assert their position, Tanzania and other Least Developed Countries (LDCs) need to redefine themselves, act to improve governance and promote greater solidarity both with each other and with more developed nations. 
Supported by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the group aims to influence the UN’s efforts to define Global Sustainable Development Goals to take effect from 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals expire. 
 “The LDCs are in many ways the weakest but they also have strengths such as, their local knowledge and institutions, their culture and values and their resilience to uncertainty,” says Dr Tom Bigg of International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) which coordinates the IEG’s activities. 
“The LDCs can be leaders in the post-2015 process by promoting new forms of international cooperation that enables greater solidarity and sharing of knowledge and responsibilities,” reads part of the IIED statement available to our reporter.
 “They can act to redefine development assistance by working harder to use their national wealth to meet the priorities of the poor and they can do more to share their lessons and experiences of how to measure development and manage environmental resources.” Dr Tom Bigg explains.
The IEG’s mission is to ensure that UN-led processes to set international goals for development and sustainability take account of the perspectives and priorities of the LDCs and promote leadership from the LDCs at the UN level. 
The IEG consists of 13 experts from LDCs, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Gambia, Haiti, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, and Uganda. The former prime minister of Haiti, Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, is the Chair.
The IEG members work in research institutes, media, civil society organizations and government agencies in the LDCs.

New irrigation schemes will boost rice production in Korogwe – Says minister

Deputy minister in the Vice-President's Office (Environment),Charles Kitwanga.

Small-scale rice growers in Mafuleta village, Korogwe District of Tanga Region will soon start enjoying the benefit of having irrigation facility in the area of about 700 ha.
“Construction of Mafuleta Irrigation Scheme is on final touches and will be handed-over to wananchi in October, this year,” deputy minister in the Vice-President's Office (Environment) Charles Kitwanga said.
Kitwanga made the remarks here yesterday when responding to questions in the National Assembly on behalf of Prof Jumanne Maghembe, Minister for Water.
The deputy minister described Mafuleta Irrigation Scheme as important towards the boosting of crop production in the area.
He said right now, only 300 ha are under irrigation. “So, by building this irrigation facility, farmers will be able to cultivate about 700 ha. And if all these ha are farmed, people’s livelihoods in the area will be improved.”
The minister disclosed that the government through Participatory Agricultural Development and Empowerment Project (PADEP), allocated 35m/- for building part of the main canal of about 450 meters in 2007/2008.
In 2012/2013 fiscal year, he said, Korogwe District Council through the District Agricultural Development Plans (DADPs) allocated 203m/- to complete the project. “Out of 180m/- will be used to survey the scheme as well as building permanent intake of the irrigation facility, while 23m/- has been allocated for buying modern rice milling machines in an effort to add value to the crop,” Kitwanga told the House.
Over 450 households have been doing rice farming in the area using the traditional-made irrigation facility.
The minister also attested that construction process on another Mswaha-Darajani Irrigation Scheme is underway and is scheduled to be completed in August this year.
Upon its completion the project, which is close to the Mafuleta scheme, is expected to consume 46m/-. The project is been financed by PADEP and the district council.
The minister was responding to a question by Stephen Ngonyani, (Korogwe Rural, CCM), who wanted to know the timeframe for completion of the two irrigation schemes in the district.