Early signs of resource curse in Tanzania: Can we pay some little price now to avoid heavy losses in future?

January 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

Early signs of resource curse in Tanzania are emerging and I simply do not see ourselves picking up these signs and taking immediate measures to avoid the impending crisis. Politicians focus on short term goals and we have allowed them to take a stage in determining how should we benefit from the abundance of natural resources. The debates on natural resources now are characterized by political camps, either you are on the opposition side or the ruling party side. This is denying Tanzanians a grand opportunity to debate and finally determine how these resources shall be utilized.

It is sad and actually a tragedy for our country. Peace is maintained not guaranteed, the popular saying that Tanzania is an island of peace is almost a fallacy nowadays. It doesn’t make sense at all. Why? Negative factors are coalescing together and will be the source and course of change in how we run our country. We have a popular Swahili saying, ‘Mtoto huanza na mimba’ life begins at pregnancy. We don’t seem to take these signs seriously but they are adding up. A day is coming sooner than we can imagine when a volcanic change is going to happen. We have a choice now to smoothen it or leave it to happen without a spec of control. Factors leading to change are speedily adding up and Tanzanians are not that silly, it will reach a point they’ll say NO and at that moment NO any known force except force majeure will stop them.

The list can’t be exhausted:

  1. Plundering of natural resources which are meant to benefit us all. For example the shoddy deals entered into to favor foreign companies under the auspices of attracting foreign investors
  2. Grand corruption in the ministry of energy and minerals which has denied Tanesco ability to operate independently and effectively, and for minerals bad contracts signed leading to dismal contribution in alleviating poverty.  The leaders who did this are out of power now.
  3. Suppression of people’s freedom to associate and curtailing of press freedom
  4. Extra judicial killings happening during political rallies and attempts to silence individuals who seem to be critical to the status quo.
  5. Poor quantity and quality of social services (education, water and health services)
  6. Land given to ‘foreign investors’ who happen to have some strategic alliances with the ‘locals’ and inappropriately or sometime forcefully or treacherously taken from the citizens.
  7. The growing gap between the haves and have nots. No one seems to care about this gap. The leaders and those close to them are using their influence and positions to amass wealth openly, shamelessly and without fear.

The list isn’t exhaustive. I have not spoken of misuse of funds in local government and parastatals, grand corruption and stashing of inappropriately earned money in foreign accounts, illegal wild animals trade, etc are part of burden placed on the shoulders of poor Tanzanians. We can avert violent change by looking for satisfactory answers to these challenges and demonstrating that we have genuinely addressed them and those responsible are punished. We can pay a little price now to avoid heavy losses in future. The choice is ours!

Mchanganuo wa biashara mtaani kwa @semkae, kwako je? tuma data zako kwa twitter.

January 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Bofya hapa uangalie picha halizi ya ujasiriamali wetu

Kwako vipi?

Asante sana mzee kwa data hizi chache, ni kweli hapa mjini bar na saloon ni biashara kubwa sana kwa wajasiriamali wetu.

Rais wetu ni mchapa kazi kwelikweli na anajitoa: Wasaidizi wake, wanasiasa mloko madarakani na wananchi tunafanyaje?

January 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

 Hamisi Kigwangalla uko sahihi ndugu yangu. JK kama mtu binafsi ni mchapa kazi kwa kweli na watanzania tunamheshimu kwa hilo. Lakini saa zingine katika nguvu zetu ndio udhaifu huonekana, katika asali kuna utamu lakini pia kuna uchungu. Nchi yetu ni kubwa sana na Rais wetu kama ulivyosema amekuwa akisimama hata pasipo na ratiba ili kutatua kero za wananchi. Swali ni kwamba ili kero zitatulike ni kweli tunamhitaji ndugu yetu apite kila mahali? Mh Rais atamaliza muda wake bila kufika kijijini kwetu nilipozaliwa. Miaka 25 ya utawala wa Nyerere hakuwahi kufika, miaka 10 ya Mwinyi hakuwahi kufika, miaka kumi ya Mkapa hakuwahi kufika, Kikwete anaenda miaka 8 sasa hajawahi kufika si kijijini kwetu bali vijiji maelfu vya watanzania na maisha yanaendelea.
Kama viongozi wengine aliowaamini na wengine walioaminiwa na aliowaamini na kukasimu madaraka kwao hawatatenda wajibu wao, haitajalisha Raisi anasimama kwenye maeneo mangapi, safari kuelekea maendeleo itakuwa ngumu. Na mwiso kwa sababu yeye ndio kashika kijiti kama kawaida atatupiwa lawama, yeye analitambua hilo. Katika hotuba yake moja ya mwisho wa mwezi aliwahi kusema, ‘ukubwa ni jalala’. Nyinyi wabunge, na watawala kiserikali msaidieni kumrahisishia kazi Rais. Kuna wakati amekuwa akiwaweka kwenye spot watendaji, utaona jinsi wanavyojikanyaga kama injinia mmoja wa maji – akasema anahitaji milioni mia tano kufanya utafiti wa maji yako wapi wakati pale Rais mwenyewe aliona kisima kilichokosa huduma ya matengenezo ilihali maji yapo chini! Huko wilayani naona wataalamu wetu wanajifanya miungu wadogo, wakiacha tabia hizo wachape kazi Rais hatahitaji kupita kila kijiji. Ukaguzi wa CAG unatoa matokea ya kutisha jinsi fedha za umma ‘zinavyokulwa’, watendaji wetu serikali za mitaa na taasisi nyingi za umma wanakula bila kunawa mikono! Ripoti za ukaguzi wa CAG zinatisha, kurekebisha hili hadi Mh Rais apite? Tuitendee haki nchi hii ili itutendee haki. Tanzania ni mama yetu sote.
Habari ya maji mimi inanitia uchungu zaidi. Miaka kidogo ya nyuma wafadhili (sipendi sana hii approach lakini nitafanyaje baba? ndio viongozi wetu mnavyopenda) walijenga visima vingi tu kwa mipango mbalimbali ya uhisani. Vingi kati ya hivyo havifanyi kazi. Serikali kupitia wizara ya maji wamefanya mapping ya visima hivyo kujua vipi havifanyi kazi na vipi vinafananya. Ripoti haijatoka lakini kitachojitokeza ni taabu tupu hakuna nafuu. Halafu unamuuliza injinia namna ya kutatua tatizo anakwambia anahitaji millioni mia tano. Maana yake nini? maana yake ni kwamba hataki kutatua tatizo la wananchi, anaweka vigingi. Haoni hata opportunity ya kuongea na rais kwamba angetatua kero hii kwa urahisi. Visima vipo vingi vyenye maji chini lakini hakuna ukarabati unaofanywa, wilayani wanapanga kuomba fedha kubwa kubwa, wakose wapate visingizio. Hivi tatizo kweli ni Rais kupita mahali au nisisi viongozi waandamizi, wanasiasa mloko madarakani na wananchi kwa ujumla ndio tatizo. Tatizo la Tanzania wala sio kubwa kihivo hadi tumtese mheshimiwa kupita na kulala saa saba usiku kisha tutafute umaarufu rahisi wa kumsifia.

Peasants’ challenges: Should middle income class take active roles in agriculture?

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of the challenges peasants are facing (we do not have farmers in a real sense of the word) is vulnerability when it comes to land ownership. This is a case especially in Tanzania where most of us would think land is protected by the state. The other biting challenges are primitive farm implements, dependence on weather and exploitative agricultural crops markets. Peasantry is characterized with poverty (low incomes) and illiteracy. I tend to say that the greatest emancipation ever in Africa would be to change the lives of the majority (80% of our population) of our rural people – peasants. Over 50 years of independence ‘farmers’ are still grappling with similar challenges they struggled with before independence. Education means to most of us, escape from the horrors of peasantry life. Africa has still plenty of fertile and arable land where you can virtually plant anything and it grows without a need of fertilizer.  So:

  1. How do we pull our resources together?
  2. How can the ‘middle class’ take an active role in agriculture and at times try to practically use our ‘education’ to improve farming in our countries?
  3. How do we push our governments to do the right things when it comes to enabling agricultural sector to contribute to our economy?
  4. How can we bridge the agricultural products marketing gap and ensure our ‘farmers’ get value of their efforts in the sector?
  5. How can we make sure Wananchi are not left out in these endeavors and that the suggested improvements have some local buy ins?

Gesi iliyopatikana maeneo ya Mtwara ni mali ya nani? Maoni kwa Maelezo ya Waziri wa Nishati na Madini

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Namshukura sana Professor kwa maelezo ya kina. Nilishasoma maelezo yake kutoka kwenye magazeti kwa makini sana. Prof katoa maelezo mazuri sana. Ninachokiona kwenye sakata hili ni kwamba Tanzania ya leo imebadilika na viongozi wetu lazima wabadilike pia. Tunahitaji kizazi kipya cha fikra (sina maana ya vijana peke yao) kuendana na mabadiriko haya. Nampongeza sana Mh. Waziri na mwalimu wetu kwa ufafanuzi na majibu ya kina kwa hoja hii ya utumizi wa mali asili zilizoko ndani ya mipaka ya Tanzania.

Tatizo la msingi ambalo raia wengi tumekuwa tukiliona ni ‘shoddy deals’ ambazo baadhi ya watu tuliowaamini wamekuwa wakiingia na wawekezaji katika sekta mbali mbali ambazo mwisho wake waTz hatufaidiki nazo bali ‘Wawekezaji’ ndio huchukua ule tunaoita ‘Mgao we simba (hasa dume)’. Mimi binafsi nina imani na hatua ambazo Prof amekuwa akichukua tangu aingie kwenye wizara hii nyeti. Aendelee tu kurekebisha bila woga.

Matatizo ambayo kwa upeo wangu nadhani ni magumu na huenda (kwa kweli niko-pestimistic kwa hili) tukashindwa ni, moja kurejea mikataba mikubwa ya madini (GGM na Barrick) ili waTz tupate fair share na pili mikataba mibovu ya kati ya Tanesco na wafuaji umeme wanaojitegemea (IPP). Hivi ni vidonda ndugu kwa nchi yetu. Viongozi waliopita kwenye taasisi hizi walituangusha. Mimi binafsi nilishawasamehe lakini swali kuu la thamani ya ng’ombe million moja (a million dollar question) ni kwamba tutatokaje hapo?

Nikirudi kwenye ishu ya Mtwara tumefikaje hapo? Mie nadhani precedence  ya madai haya imewekwa na Zanzibar. Nikiwa mfanyakazi wa kampuni moja ya kimataifa ya mafuta, niliwahi kuhusika kwenye uchunguzi wa mafuta kule Pemba miaka hiyo na mambo mengine ambayo siwezi kuyataja katika uwanja huu. Tulichelewa kuanza jitihada za kutafuta mafuta (nadhani hata sasa bado hawajaanza), kutokana na SMZ kufikiria kwamba mafuta yatayopatikana kule Zanzibar Serikali ya Jamhuri ya Muungano haitakiwi kuhusika na mali asili hii. Binafsi nilisikitika sana. Swali lililokuwa likinisumbua (mie nimezaliwa ndani ya Muungano) ni kwamba hivi tukisema nchi ya Tanzania tuna maana gani kijiografia na ki-jeolojia? Nilijua Tanzania ni nchi yote iliyo ndani ya mipaka inayokubalika kimataifa kwamba ni Tanzania ikiwemo bara, visiwa na maji yanayozunguka. Iweje leo mali asili inayopatikana mahali fulani iwe tu ya watu walioko pale? Kama bara tunafanya hivyo ni makosa pia.

Kinachosikitisha viongozi wa juu wanaelekea kulikubali hilo kwamba mafuta yakipatikana Zanzibar basi ni ya wazanzibari tu! Does it make any political and economic sense? Umeme unaofuliwa kwa kutumia gesi hauendi Zanzibar? Mchele unaopendwa Zanzibar unatoka wapi? n.k. Nadhani ndugu Msomaji unanielewa. Hii ndiyo imeweka mfano mbaya kiasi kwamba sasa watu wa eneo fulani wanaweza kudai mali asili inayotokea pale iwafaidie wao kwanza. Watanzania bara wengi tunadhani kinachotekea Zanzibar hakituhusu, tunasema wana nini hawa! Si kweli, hii ni nchi moja hii mambo ya kuwa na serikali mbili ni sarakasi za kisiasa tu na kuwaridhisha watu kadhaa, Tanzania ni nchi moja. Asiyelikubali hilo kwa dhati atatuletea matatizo tu kama si leo basi kesho – hasa kama ni kiongozi.

WaMtwara wameona inadaika, wanaona gesi ni ya kwao siyo ya Tanzania, same as WaZanzibari walivyoona mafuta ni ya kwao siyo ya Tanzania. Tukiwakubalia basi tuweke kanuni zitakazotumika kwa nchi nzima na siyo Zanzibar tu. Mwalimu alituambia ukiruhusu ubaguzi effect zake zina-trickle down further.

Mwisho Msomaji nisikuchoshe na maelezo marefu, siyo kawaida yangu na sina utaalamu wa kuandika namna hii, penye moshi pana moto ndani yake. Maana yake nini watu wa Mtwara wametoa moshi tu lakini kwa upeo wangu nadhani tutanue mawazo yetu zaidi ya hapo kwa mfano:

1. Tunapo-exploit mali asili mahali fulani tufikirie pia kufanya vitu vitakavyogusa watu wa eneo hilo na hasa huduma za jamii (social services) kama afya, maji, elimu, miundo mbinu (barabara, mawasiliano na uchukuzi). Miunganiko ya kibiashara (linkages) na ajira.

2. Katiba ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania ilindwe na viongozi wakuu. Wasione haya, wasitafute political correctness au umaarufu (popularity). Ukweli usimamiwe hata kama utagharimu. Kanuni kuu ni kwamba Mali asili ni mali ya Tanzania siyo ya mtu wala watu wa eneo fulani. Tuingie mikataba na wawekezaji itayolinda kanuni hii. Watanzania wote tufaidike. Kama gesi itasaidia kuzalisha umeme mwingi, itaokoa utumizi wa fedha za kigeni kama Mh. Muhongo alivyosema basi tuweke miradi ya kusambaza umeme hadi vijijini (siyo tu vya Mtwara bali vijiji vya Tanzania).

3. Matumizi ya fedha itayopatikana kutokana miradi hii mikubwa yajadiliwe kwa upana na uwazi na mwisho kanuni ya nchi yaani Watanzania wote wafaidike na matumizi hayo. Kwa mawazo yangu, mapato ziada yatumike kuimarisha huduma za jamii. Kwa nini? kwa sababu huduma za jamii hugusa kila mtu na husaidia kuwapatia wananchi uwezo (wale wenye bidii na kujituma) wa kujikwamua kiuchumi.

4. Iwe mwiko tena kuingia shoddy deals na wawekezaji. Gas imebadili Qatar kwanini isiwe Tanzania (including Mtwara of course). Faida na matumizi ya fedha zitakazopatikana kutoka kwenye miradi ya namna hii (I mean all extractive industry) ijulikane itakuwa wapi na mawazo ya Watanzania wakiwemo watu wa Mtwara yazingatiwe. Pia Watz tuwe wazi na objective kuhusiana na kile tunachokitaka.

5. Maamuzi ya wapi tuweke kipi yafuate sababu za kisayansi na kiuchumi, siasa iwe tu kama icing sugar kwenye keki. Kwe mfano sitegemei mbunge atakuja na hoja kwamba dhahabu ibaki Mwanza au lazima kiwanda cha kusafisha dhahabu kiwekwe Dar. Kama kisayansi na kiuchumi ni mwafaka (convinience) kuweka Mwanza au Dar basi hizo tu ndio iwe kigezo siasa inaweza kuwa kwa mfano mmoja wa board members board ya Dhahabu (kama itakuwepo) atoke Mwanza! Ninalisema hili kwa mifano halisi. Pale Sengerema kulikuwa na Mbunge wakati fulani akavutia sana lazima kuwe na kiwanda wilayani kwake pia. Kilipokuja kiwanda cha kutengeneza wanga kwa namna fulani aka-influence kikajengwa pale Katunguru. Mali ghafi ya kiwanda ni mihogo kajenga hoja kwamba Sengerema kuna mihogo mingi sana. Kilipoanza kufanya kazi kumbe kinahitaji mihogo mingi sana, na hawa watu mihogo pia ni chakula, unategemea nini? Eneo lile walikabiliwa na njaa na kiwanda kikafa. Mfano mwingine Kilimanjaro Machine tools – hiki kilidhamiriwa kiwe kiwanda mama cha vipuri, kikajengwa Moshi pale njia panda ya kwenda Machame. Kwa influence ya nani, sijui. Hebu fikiria mali ghafi yake inatoka/inapitia Dar kisha iende Moshi halafu finished components zirudishwe kuuzwa Dar. Hayo yalikuwa maamuzi ya kiuchumi kweli. Naamini kwamba kusafirisha gesi Dar michanganuo ya kiuchumi ilifanyika na kuongoza kufanya maamuzi ya kuisafirisha Dar badala ya kujenga mitambo ya kufua umeme Mtwara kisha kuunganisha umeme kwenye grid ya Taifa.

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