Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Politics and Power Cuts in Tanzania

Erick, a journalist in Dar, asked me "what is the source of power crisis in Tanzania, and how can it be resolved?". I thought, as simple as these questions were, they are the soberest a journalist has ever asked me. And, as such, they deserved reflection and detailed response. Here I write back:


Dear Erick,

Thank you for your email - and your good questions. I think the discussion on energy has taken an interesting tone and, as ever, characterized by finger pointing. For me, as an MP and the Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals, the most important question is how do we get out of current crisis. But, before that, we need to look at how we got here.

A bit of history.

All tragic stories begin with “once upon a time…”

So, once upon a time, there was no power cuts. Yes, those who were connected to the Grid were relatively few, but had power most the time. Today, those connected to the Grid do not get power most of the time. Question is: what happened? The simple answer is: we did not invest in power generation, and transmission and distribution system to keep up with increasing demand. This is the crux of the matter.

Why did we not invest? I will explain a bit. The critical period in the history of electricity in Tanzania was between 1996 and 2006. In 1996, at the height of privatization fever, we decided that TANESCO should also be privatized. So, it was “specified” i.e. put under the list of companies to be privatized. This meant that no investment was undertaken – in generation, in transmission and transmission systems and in human resource in TANESCO – except for a couple of donor-funded projects that were in the pipeline already.

So, while no major investment was undertaken, the following also took place between 1996-2006:

1. Faster growth of the economy – at an annual average of 7 percent. And the drivers of this growth were big energy consumers – mining, construction and telecoms.

2. Initiation and expansion of the donor-driven rural electrification program.

3. Growth of SME sector which relied on power – garages, salons, etc, and medium industry, including packaging and so forth.

So, by 2002, 5 years after the decision was made, TANESCO was still not ready to be privatized. It was therefore decided to bring a private management company to run TANESCO and prepare it for privatization. Enter NetGroup Solutions from South Africa. The management contract was (initially) to run for two years and was funded by the Swedish government. It was further expanded to two more years until 2006. Whether or not NetGroup delivered per contract, and whether or not the engagement was a good idea, are matters of debate until today. In the provision of the contract, there was a bonus (beyond management fee) to be paid to NetGroup if they improved the financial condition of TANESCO. Of course they did so (and got the bonus) by doing two things: they succeeded in collecting massive amounts of unpaid bills – even from the Army, and other notorious defaulters including many government agencies. They even went after Zanzibar! They also heavily relied on hydro (they went even below allowed Mtera depth) for generation so as to minimize the costs. As a result, TANESCO's balance sheet improved. But the decision to rely entirely on hydro had its costs - some of which we are seeing today.

So, in 2006, the decision on the fate of TANESCO was finally made: we will not privatize it. So, in essence, these were lost 8-9 years. Then, from 2006 – now, we entered a new phase: a phase of emergency power, and politicization of power sector. And this is entirely another story. But, it is worth remembering that, during the last five years (2006 – 2011), we have only managed to put up 145MW of our own generation while the new increased demand per annum is 100-120MW. So, while we need to catch up fast and close the gap, we are still falling behind even on the new demand.

So, this is where we are. A country of 43 million people, with meager 1,117MW installed capacity, and production of 630MW as of today. This is miserable, to say the least.

But, the critical question is: how do we get out of here? And, most importantly, beyond the question of power cuts, how do we bring electricity to majority of Tanzanians who have not had it since the beginning of the earth?

What to do end power cuts TODAY?

There are two components to producing electricity: generators and fuel. While we need and can do with more generators, TODAY the crisis is of fuel: not enough gas to run Symbion plant to capacity; in some cases, TANESCO is asked by gas suppliers to lower generation in its own two gas plants because of low gas pressure; no fuel to run IPTL plant; and no water to run hydro turbines.

So, the immediate solution is to sort the fuel issue. Why: because, even if you are able to airlift a 300MW gas power plant to Dar today, you will get Zero power as there is simply no gas. It is not that there is no gas in the country. It is just that we haven’t planned well to get it (from SongoSongo and Mtwara) to where the generators are at critical moment and/or those foreigners controlling our gas have not allowed for this to happen.

So, we should sort fuel issue. To start with, we need to buy fuel for the IPTL plant. While this is painful, it is necessary. The cost of producing one unit of electricity at IPTL is 32 cents, and TANESCO sells electricity for 10 cents. So, basically we are buying power from IPTL at loss. But then again, for one unit of electricity that is not produced, the cost to the economy is US$1.1. So, the costliest power is still cheaper than not having it at all.

In addition, the government should sort out the gas issue. The situation as it stands today is scandalous. The bottom line is that we have gas in Tanzania but we do not control its production, its transportation, its distribution and its price. We might as well be importing it via tankers from Qatar. If, for instance, today we have just enough gas to produce only 100MW of power, it will not be directed to TANESCO gas plants (where we do not pay capacity charges) but to Songas plant (where we buy power and pay capacity charges). I even worry if the upcoming TANESCO (Jacobsen) gas plant to be commissioned in December 2011 will have gas to run on. If it wont, then this will be a scandal because we contracted it and we knew of its arrival 18 months ago. We will deal with gas issue in detail in our Committee report to the Parliament later next month. We will have to make some bold proposals.

In the interim, to cover for the shortage of gas, the government should compel Songas and Symbion to invest in combine-cycle turbines to produce more power from steam coming out of the current gas turbines – and wasted in the air. In other countries, if you use jet engines (as in Symbion and Songas plants), you are compelled by regulation not to “waste steam” that can produce additional power. (TANESCO's Wartsilla gas plants use piston engines that do not produce sufficient steam/force to enable a combine-cycle system). This is just an issue of government being assertive and change the regulation given the current emergency situation.

In the medium term, we seriously need to look at the tariff structure. We need to decide in this country whether electricity is a business or service. The current tariff is not commercially viable. Full stop. EWURA sets the price of tariff after receiving request from TANESCO. Of course they do a diligent job of looking at the cost and whether they are "prudently incurred". But then they call a public meeting to ask people what they think of the tariff request. Then people and politicians go there and bully everyone into a lower tariff. Of course TANESCO could do better to cut some of its costs so as to produce electricity cheaply, but we have to realize that 36 percent of tariff is a result of capacity charges, which TANESCO can do nothing about (at least for now) and therefore the more we do away with these the better, and the more TANESCO gets power from its own sources the more it is able to sell it cheaply. Even the government knows that the current tariff does not work. That is the reason it is subsidizing to the tune of 5bn shillings per year a private company in Mtwara to sell electricity at a price equal to TANESCO!

Not only does the current tariff hurt TANESCO balance sheet, it also discourages private investment in energy sector, particularly in alternative energy. For instance, for a solar generation to be commercially viable, the tariff has to be in the upwards of 20 cents (mostly because of the heavy initial investment), likewise with wind power. No one will come here – only to sell power to TANESCO at price below 10 cents.

People may say that it is impossible for poor people to afford higher tariff. I don’t believe so. Look at how much poor people are spending on phone airtime. And the tariff structure is such that TANESCO sells power at the same rate be it to a barber shop in Namanga or Barrick Gold Mine in North Mara. The tariff should be dynamic and flexible given the volatility in the fuel prices and different capacities of TANESCO customers. There are those who will be willing to pay higher tariff as long as power is steady and reliable. With industries, power, even at higher price, feature very insignificantly to the cost of production but when it is NOT available it is a very significant contribution to losses. For me, for the poor, the prohibitive cost is the electricity connection cost – at 500,000 shillings at a go, most rural people can’t afford it. If the tariff will continue to not reflect the cost of producing power, TANESCO will continue to underperform and investors will be less inclined to come (recently TANESCO announced a tender and the most competitive bidder offered to sell power to TANESCO at 1,028 shillings while TANESCO sells power for 157 shillings!) or will seek to make money off capacity charges.

Now, as we look for solutions to the power crisis, we also need to look at TANESCO (as our sole power producer and distributor at the moment) itself. What do we need to do to it? What is its cost structure? On the ground, and given the assets it owns, this company should be the pride of Tanzania. Last year, it sold power worth about 500bn shillings. Few companies in Tanzania can match that kind of revenue. And it has assets worth $1bn (more than 1.5 trillion shillings) and more than 5,000 employee. It has the potential to triple the assets and revenue in 5 years if the right decisions are made. But, what are those and why aren’t they being made. I will not dwell much on this as this thing will be longer (and will go beyond the issue of power cuts) and I will let my friend Zitto whose Committee deal with parastatal finances to chip in on this. But, suffice it to say that, we have a sleeping giant in TANESCO, and people ought to be much more thoughtful in their calls for its split and/or privatization.

But I agree that TANESCO has to do better. At the moment, it spends 70 percent of its revenue buying electricity from Songas – which only has about 15 percent of installed capacity. This is painful, and needs to change. Also, while it is required by best [utility] industry practice to spend 12 percent of revenue on Repair and Maintenance, TANESCO spent only 2.8 percent of its revenue on R and M between 2005-2008 – and result is lots of broken transformers and service lines and a huge amount of lost electricity. TANESCO needs to invest in transmission and distribution system as part of the solution to the current power crisis. Last year, mainly because of poor transmission and distribution infrastructure, TANESCO lost 21 percent of power it produced and/or bought. This lost electricity amounted to more than 1,200 GWhr – which is more than all electricity used in factories and businessplaces for the entire year, and amounted to about 75 percent of all electricity bought from Songas in the entire year. These are massive losses – which, if curbed, in themselves would have helped with the power situation.

I want to wind up as I am just on a roll – and can’t seem to finish. But last point: we need to manage better private [prospective] investors in energy sector. There is a lot of bureaucracy and red tape within government where people come in with project plans and proposals and end up going in circles in government offices and end up being captured by middlemen and influence peddlers - and eventually corruption kicks in. There are projects that should have been in the pipeline now but were delayed because of bureaucracy and our incapacity to deal with their complexity. Also, we need to be serious on how we handle energy projects. Most energy investors dedicate a team of around 20 people in a single project – lawyers, finance people, etc. Power projects are very complex. I feel that we in government aren’t looking at them as such. We assign 4 or 5 people who already have other tasks in the Ministry to look at these projects and engage these guys. There ought to be a full time project management team at the Ministry that will live and breath power projects everyday and how to get them executed faster and to the benefit of the country. And I also think that there are many clever energy financing avenues that we haven’t explored thoroughly, and have been stuck in the traditional grants, loans and treasury guarantees.

Finally, the government has plans to do 2,780MW by 2015. This is quite an ambition, and will go long way towards covering the gap and catching up with the demand. I like it when we think big and attempt big things. But to achieve it, we need to do better than business as usual.

So, these are some of my thoughts. You also asked me clarify on my comment on Minister Ngeleja. I didn’t want to dwell on people and personalities. As you can see, there are enough issues to fill many paragraphs. As a Member of Parliament, I will continue to ask these questions and advice the government to make the right decisions and policies. As MPs, we will hold the government (via Minister responsible) accountable for its promises in the Parliament, and we will demand answers (including answer to my letter), and the appointing authority will have to judge on his Ministers' performance. But to say that the Minister is a source of power crisis in Tanzania is being simplistic. And I am not one to jump into simple answers. I have realized that part of my problem as a politician is that I am probably too nuanced, and should probably have chosen academia. But I believe that we can do better as a people to embrace nuance and complexity.

As Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals, people always ask me when will these power cuts end? In my PERSONAL view, intermittent power cuts will continue until 2013. And this is being optimistic. Leaders will have to be honest that it may be impossible to completely end the current phase of power cuts before the end of the year.

Call me if you have further questions,

Best regards,

January Makamba (MP)
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals
June 29th, 2011

PS: The views in this email are my own, not Committee's.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paine's Perspectives on Religion.

From Thomas Paine's Age of Reason. I will put some snippets here and you can read the whole thing right here. In light of the religious squabbles that are brewing in Tanzania's internet blogs and from some of irresponsible media, we could all use some common sense!

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe................

Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all...................................

When the Church Mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find, and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testament are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged, or dressed them up.

Be this as it may, they decided by vote which of the books out of the collection they had made should be the WORD OF GOD, and which should not. They rejected several; they voted others to be doubtful, such as the books called the Apocrypha; and those books which had a majority of votes, were voted to be the word of God. Had they voted otherwise, all the people, since calling themselves Christians, had believed otherwise — for the belief of the one comes from the vote of the other. Who the people were that did all this, we know nothing of; they called themselves by the general name of the Church, and this is all we know of the matter.............................................

As to the theology that is now studied in its place, it is the study of human opinions and of human fancies concerning God. It is not the study of God himself in the works that he has made, but in the works or writings that man has made; and it is not among the least of the mischiefs that the Christian system has done to the world, that it has abandoned the original and beautiful system of theology, like a beautiful innocent, to distress and reproach, to make room for the hag of superstition.

The very nature and design of religion, if I may so express it, prove even to demonstration that it must be free from everything of mystery, and unencumbered with everything that is mysterious. Religion, considered as a duty, is incumbent upon every living soul alike, and, therefore, must be on a level with the understanding and comprehension of all. Man does not learn religion as he learns the secrets and mysteries of a trade. He learns the theory of religion by reflection. It arises out of the action of his own mind upon the things which he sees, or upon what he may happen to hear or to read, and the practice joins itself thereto.

When men, whether from policy or pious fraud, set up systems of religion incompatible with the word or works of God in the creation, and not only above, but repugnant to human comprehension, they were under the necessity of inventing or adopting a word that should serve as a bar to all questions, inquiries and speculation. The word mystery answered this purpose, and thus it has happened that religion, which is in itself without mystery, has been corrupted into a fog of mysteries....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On Tanzania's Growing Population

On Tanzania's Growing Population
By Thuwein Y. Makamba

This is where we are at today. Each woman in Tanzania is averaging 5.4 children during her lifetime, and that would project our population to grow up to 109 million by year 2050. Only 27% of Women have access to modern contraceptive methods.

Women in our country are forbidden the choice to abort their pregnancies, so they either throw the infants away (we often read of this in our news) or seeks unsafe abortions--which happens a lot on makeshift clinics. Now, 42% of under-5 yrs old have stunted growth which have implications on their intellectual abilities. Furthermore we have 88% of secondary school graduates virtually failed their examinations.

We are a nation of young, unemployed, and uneducated people in an economy growing in unequal way with non-existent middle class. But we continue to produce offsprings that we either do not need or we can not take care of (as a parent and as a nation). Our culture used to view children quantitatively, that a family needs a man power for farming and livestock keeping. But the mechanization of labor has changed that mentality. And Children are valued qualitatively. The parents with 2 children that have at least bachelor degree is better off than one with 6 children, half of them malnourished. The parents with 6 children in 20 years, are better off than the ones with 3 children in two years. The issue is not necessarily to limit the number of children, but to have a quality pool of offsprings. Moreover, the direction of global labor market is to favor only those skilled workers. Engineers, and ICT wonks. The companies will invest only to those countries that have wide pool of these kind of workers.

It is in everybody's interest to scale up Reproductive Health and Family Planning services to majority of Tanzanians, and should be included in the package for essential health services for every single health facility in our land. Obviously this will not be easy, and other will argue that development is the best contraceptive, but the pace of development is so slow that we can not wait. Currently we have 43 million folks, and only 15% households have rationed electricity. There is famine scare if we miss 3 months of rain, and we need USAID + Irish money to feed our own children. Now, imagine what would happen if there is 100 million of us. It would be a disaster.

Population issues are never without controversies, and currently we have religious leaders who think of themselves as bigger as ever. But RH/FP is about child spacing and empowering women more than anything, because development is synonymous with equality. Including gender equity, with a known fact that women are thee large, untapped resource that we have. So, this is not about "killing babies" it is about giving our children a chance to become a competent people. And allowing Women to use the magic of child rearing skills for other facets of our society.

That is why when Roe V. Wade (legalized abortion) was passed in 1973, it had effect with the significant reduction of crime in early America's 90s. This is because folks where given the chance to have children that they could take care of. And China's one child policy has created a generation of skilled pool of worker unrivalled by any country on earth. They all want to go back to China to build their nation.

Our time is now, and policy makers can can choose to ignore RH because it is not as popular as banning "posho" but the great law of neccesity is so obvious that warned the states from allowing increasing of population beyond the food it can produce or acquire.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Insane Economic System

United States currently has a record number of homeless people, and a record number of foreclosures homes. In a way, there is bunch of folks sleeping outside staring at bunch of empty houses.

Isn't that crazy? Whatever happened to commonsense policy making? and maybe a little less greed from the elites.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Irresponsibility of Some of Tanzania's Media

In Tanzania we have been enjoying free of speech unparalleled by many countries in this planet. However, there has been a trend of gross irresponsibility by our journalists and the public have been constantly fed by ridiculously articles. I ran into this piece published by RAIA MWEMA on June 1st, 2010, that demonstrated the sheer negligence of professionalism and ethics of fine journalism. Somebody, should get Jenerali Ulimwengu (whom I greatly respect) to read the articles that his affiliated newspaper is publishing.

Here is the piece and some comments that I inserted.

Kikwete na Porojo za Kujivua Gamba

Na Mwandishi Maalumu (You can not publish article with this amount of allegations without revealing the author)

NI vigumu kuamini kwamba rais wa nchi anaweza kuhusika na mchezo mchafu kama huu wa kuwabagua wananchi wake kwa misingi ya dini zao, lakini matukio ya hivi karibuni yanathibitisha hilo.( How? Show us the causality)

Baada ya uchaguzi mwaka jana na hasa tukio la Arusha la Watanzania kupigwa na polisi kwenye maandamano ya Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), na kisha harufu ya udini kuibuka, baadhi ya Waislamu wachache wenye mtazamo mkali walianza kuzunguka nchi nzima wakitoa mahubiri ya chuki. (Dates, Names, what exactly did they say? At least have a source)
Mkutano mmoja ulifanyika kwenye ukumbi wa Diamond Jubilee jijini Dar es Salaam na inadaiwa ulipata baraka za Kikwete (How can we believe u?). Baadhi ya mikutano hiyo ilijadili masuala tata, na baadhi ikaibuka hata na mapendekezo ya ajabu ukiachilia yale ya muda mrefu kama vile kudai Mahakama ya Kadhi na Tanzania kuingia kwenye Jumuiya ya Kiislamu Duniani (OIC).
Madai mengine yalihusu malalamiko kwamba Wakristo wamekuwa wakipendelewa tangu enzi za ukoloni na kwamba ingawa Waislamu ni wengi zaidi Tanzania, lakini hawana nafasi nyingi za madaraka.

Madai mengine yaliyotolewa ni kwamba Wakristo wana shule na mahospitali lakini Waislamu hawana, na kwamba serikali hutoa fedha kuzisaidia hospitali za Wakristo na walimu wa kufundisha shule za Wakristo, lakini Waislamu wanaachwa hivi hivi tu.

Baadhi walifikia hata hatua ya kumlaani Mwalimu Nyerere na kusema kwamba hastahili kuitwa Baba wa Taifa; bali anastahili kuitwa Baba wa Kanisa Katoliki. Baadhi yao, akiwemo kigogo wetu, hawamwiti Mwalimu Nyerere kwa hadhi yake iliyozoeleka ya Baba wa Taifa, na badala yake humwita Mzee Nyerere.( We need dates of the events, and names of attendees. At least a background interview. You can’t just throw allegations with NO evidence. WaTanzania sio wajinga hivyo).

Kwa ufupi, kuna imani kubwa miongoni mwa Watanzania kwamba utawala wa Rais Kikwete unalea udini (Do u have a scientific poll to back this up? ), na asipokuwa makini nyufa hii yenye msingi wa kidini inaweza kupanuka na kuutia dosari umoja wa kitaifa tulionao ambao misingi yake si udini.

Geresha ya kujivua gamba

Pamoja na kubadili safu ya uongozi mjini Dodoma, CCM pia ilitangaza kwamba wanachama wake watatu wanaotuhumiwa kwa ufisadi wajiondoe wenyewe; la sivyo wataondolewa kwa nguvu. Wanachama hao wanatajwa kuwa ni Waziri Mkuu aliyejiuzulu, Edward Lowassa, na wabunge wawili, Andrew Chenge na Rostam Aziz. Ni kweli matajiri hawa hawapendwi na Watanzania wengi isipokuwa pengine wa majimboni mwao tu.

Lakini pia watu hawa watatu wana sifa nyingine: Kwamba ndio tishio pekee na la kweli dhidi ya mpango wa Kikwete wa kusaka mgombea urais wa mwaka 2015 ambaye ni Mwislamu (This is unprecedented. You are accusing the head of state of being mdini, but you are not telling us readers how u have arrived to this conclusion?)Wanaotaka kumweka Lowassa kwenye urais mwaka 2015, si tu wanakwamishwa na tuhuma hizi zinazomwandama na hatihati hii ya kung’olewa CCM, lakini pia wanakwazwa na Kikwete mwenyewe. Inadaiwa kwamba, kwenye mbio za urais za 2015, tatizo la Kikwete kuhusu Lowassa si kwamba anakabiliwa na tuhuma za ufisadi; bali kwamba si Mwislamu. (You are supposed to quote your sources on this sentence. How can we believe u?)

Kundi hili la kina Lowassa inaaminika lina urafiki wa karibu na Makamba ambaye inadaiwa kuwa agenda yake kubwa kwa mwaka 2015 haikuwa udini; licha ya kuwa naye amesikika mara kadhaa akilumbana na maaskofu (Disagreeing with Maaskofu does not make one Mdini); bali yeye (Makamba) ana ndoto ya mwanae (January) aje kuachiwa urais mwaka 2025 na kundi hili(Now you can read people’s dreams too? How can a respectable news as Raia Mwema publish this nonsense?). Makamba hutamba kwamba mwanae anafaa kuwa kiongozi, na hakuna ubishi kwamba alihakikisha mwanae anapata ubunge, uenyekiti wa kamati ya Bunge, na kisha kuingia kwenye Sekretarieti ya CCM.

Aidha, mtoto huyo wa Makamba pia anaelezwa kuwemo kwenye kundi linalowaunga mkono watuhumiwa hawa wa ufisadi ambalo lina idadi kubwa ya wabunge na viongozi wa CCM wa ngazi za wilaya, mikoa na taifa. Hii ndiyo sababu tangu CCM ilipoanza kushambulia mafisadi hadharani, yeye amepotea jukwaani!( Have u reach to him and ask for him to comment? That is how professional journalists operates. You just made up your own reasons as if January do not exist.)

Kimsingi, kuna kutofautiana kati ya Makamba na Kikwete kuhusiana na nani awe rais mwaka 2015 na kuhusu nini wafanyiwe hawa watuhumiwa wa ufisadi. Hivyo; tangazo la kujivua gamba pamoja na kutajwa kwa watuhumiwa hao ambao Kikwete mwenyewe aliwapigia kampeni mwaka jana kwenye uchaguzi wa wabunge, ni geresha tu. Ukweli ni kwamba Kikwete alikuwa anaunda timu itakayomrithi mwaka 2015.

Kimsingi, hadi sasa Kikwete ameshawaacha ‘wabaya’ wake wote nje ya Kamati Kuu ambao ‘dhambi’ yao kuu ni kuutaka urais wa mwaka 2015. Watu hao ni pamoja na Membe na Andrew Chenge ambaye anamtaka Lowassa. Kwa ufupi, janja hii ya Mwenyekiti Kikwete ya “kujivua gamba” ililenga katika kuwaengua wale wote wanaoweza kumsumbua kwenye suala la urais wa mwaka 2015; ingawa pia ni kweli kwamba ukiuangalia juujuu utaona kuwa mpango huo wa “CCM kujivua gamba” unalenga katika kupunguza nguvu za CHADEMA kwa kuirejeshea CCM mvuto wake wa zamani.

Vyovyote vile; hakuna ushujaa wala maamuzi magumu yaliyofanyika Dodoma. Ulikuwa ni ‘usanii’ tu, na ndiyo sababu hakuna kiongozi wa CCM anayepigia kelele kung’olewa chamani mafisadi zaidi ya kijana Nape na Katibu Mkuu mpya, Wilson Mukama ambao, hata hivyo, nao wamefungwa “gavana” hivi karibuni kuhusu kulipigia debe suala hilo. Hata Chiligati aliyejitokeza mwanzoni kuhubiri nia ya kuwavua uongozi wa CCM kina Lowassa, Rostam Aziz na Andrew Chenge, sasa naye ameingia mitini!( Sources?)

Kauli ya Joseph Butiku

Labda nigusie pia kidogo kuhusu malalamiko ya Joseph Butiku aliyoyatoa katika mahojiano na gazeti la Raia Mwema, hivi karibuni, kwamba viongozi wa CCM wamemwachia Mwenyekiti Kikwete mzigo wa kupambana na mafisadi.
Mimi nadhani madai hayo ya Butiku ameyatoa bila kujua ukweli wa mambo. CCM haiko kwenye mapambano na mafisadi; bali Mwenyekiti Kikwete ndiye anapambana na maadui zake kwenye kinyang’anyiro cha kutafuta mrithi wake kwenye Uchaguzi Mkuu wa mwaka 2015; ila tu amepata bahati kwamba watu hao hao ndio wanaolalamikiwa kwa ufisadi. Ni bahati tu ya mtende iliyotoa fursa ya ‘usanii’ huu kuchezwa! (Last election was a referendum on corruption more than anything. But you seem to disagree. You argument is “luck”. You know we can reach conclusion to every issue by attributing it on luck)

Aidha, kelele za CCM kupitia kwa Nape kwamba kuna vyombo vya habari, viongozi wa Upinzani na viongozi wa dini ambao wamepangwa kuwatetea mafisadi na kuishambulia familia ya Kikwete, ni janja ya kuwatangulia mbele ili wakisema jambo, wananchi waambiwe: “Si tulisema, mnaona sasa!?”

Hata hivyo, inafahamika kuwa makundi haya matatu ndiyo yako mstari wa mbele kupinga ufisadi na udini unaosambazwa na Kikwete na watu wake, hivyo lolote litakalosemwa halitakuwa geni; bali ni muendelezo unaofahamika. Pengine CCM haijui kuwa wananchi wanajua kinachoendelea. (WaTanzania are not stupid, ofcourse they know what is going on. You writing this piece betting on fact that WaTanzania hatujui kinachoendelea. You are betting on our ignorance)

Wagombea wa Kikwete 2015

Kwa kufuatilia mambo ya kisiasa yanavyokwenda na jinsi Rais Kikwete anavyoendesha mambo yake, kuna majina mawili ya watu wanaotajwa ambao angependa wachukue urais na umakamu wa rais wa Muungano mwaka 2015. Hii inatokana pia na imani yake kwamba Katiba mpya haitabadili mfumo wa sasa. (Now you can also predict people’s beliefs. Sources mzee, at least one source to come on the record. How can we believe u)

Sababu kubwa ni mbili: Kwanza, kutekeleza ahadi yake ya siri kwamba hawezi kuacha nchi kwa Mkristo (This is very dangerous. You are being irresponsible with your words throwing allegations like this one. SOURCES??) na pili, kuhakikisha uongozi mpya unamlinda yeye na familia yake dhidi ya misukosuko ya hapa na pale ambayo kawaida kote duniani hutokea mtu akishaacha urais. Hakika, naye hatapenda kushambuliwa kama inavyotokea kwa Mkapa.
Baada ya kufanikiwa kuwaengua pembeni Lowassa na Membe (Prof. Mwandosya kanusurika?) ni nani, basi, ambaye Kikwete anamtaka kwa urais wa 2015 na atachezaje karata zake kuhakikisha jina la mtu huyo linapeta?

Ili watu hao wawili anaowataka wakubalike, inaaminika kuwa Kikwete atatumia mtindo ule ule wa funika kombe mwanaharamu apite. Atawapendekeza kwa kutumia vigezo vinavyoficha ukweli (Now umekuwa Mnajimu. You can predict the future). Kutokana na hali ya kisiasa itakavyokuwa, anaweza kusema: “Jamani ni zamu ya wanawake sasa, tusitawale akina baba tu, nchi yetu wote.”

Iwapo wazo hili litakwama, basi, Kikwete anaweza kusema hivi: “Jamani sasa wenzetu wa Zanzibar nao, miaka 20 imepita, tuwape nao nafasi jamani.” Msemo huu, hata hivyo, hauna mashiko iwapo Katiba haitakuwa na agizo hilo; kwani upande wa Upinzani unaweza kuweka wagombea wote wa Bara.

Mbinu hiyo Kikwete ameshawahi kuitumia kwenye kujaza nafasi ya Mwenyekiti wa Umoja wa Vijana ambapo alimpendekeza kijana wa Visiwani, na pia aliitumia kwenye kupata jina la mgombea wa uspika. Anaamini kuwa mbinu hiyo itasaidia kufunika hoja yake ya udini isionekane, na hivyo kufanikisha kupata rais Mwislamu.

Asha-Rose Migiro na Dk. Mwinyi

Katika miaka ya karibuni Kikwete amekuwa na mahusiano ya karibu ya kikazi na mwanamama mmoja ambaye kila baada ya miezi michache hufika Ikulu, na kisha picha nyingi hupigwa kuonesha kwamba wawili hao wanaelewana na wanashirikiana kisiasa pia.

Huyu ni mwanamama ambaye ni mmoja wa wanasiasa wachanga waliofaidika na vyeo vya uwaziri wa Kikwete mwaka 2005. Aidha, pale Tanzania ilipopewa mwanya wa kutoa jina la mwanamke wa kushika nafasi ya juu kimataifa, Kikwete hakusita kumtaja mwanamama huyu.
Nafasi hii ilikuwa baada ya Tanzania kufanya kampeni kubwa barani Afrika kuunga mkono jina la Waziri wa Mambo ya Nje wa Korea Kusini, Ban ki-Moon, kwenye kugombea nafasi ya ukatibu mkuu wa Umoja wa Mataifa.

Mwanamama huyo pia ana kisomo kizuri kinachokubalika na kinachoweza kuwaaminisha watu wanaotaka kuuliza maswali kuhusu uwezo wake kiutendaji wa kuiongoza nchi yenye matatizo ya uchumi na yenye mipasuko kibao kama Tanzania. Mwanamama huyo ni Naibu Katibu Mkuu wa Umoja wa Mataifa, Dkt. Asha-Rose Migiro ambaye anaelezwa kuanza kujiandaa kurejea nyumbani Tanzania siku si nyingi.

Kwa upande wa Zanzibar, ni waziri mmoja kijana ambaye urafiki wake na Kikwete huwashangaza viongozi wengine wa Zanzibar; mathalani jinsi wanavyosalimiana kama watoto wa mjini. Katika mtandao wa YouTube Watanzania waliweka picha ya video ya Kikwete akisalimiana ‘kishkaji’ na waziri huyu kwenye Uwanja wa Amani, Zanzibar siku ya Januari 12, mwaka huu. Picha hiyo iliibua gumzo kubwa (What is your point?? What do u want us readers to take away from this useless paragraph? President and his minister wanasilimiana kishkaji, so what?)
Hivi karibuni Waziri huyu alipokabiliwa na msukosuko wa kutakiwa na wananchi kwamba ajiuzulu ambao kimsingi ulisababishwa na utendaji dhaifu wa Jeshi la Wananchi uliochukua maisha ya watu kwenye milipuko ya maghala ya silaha, alikataa na Kikwete hakusema kitu. Huyu ni Waziri wa Ulinzi, Dkt. Hussein Mwinyi.

Hitimisho langu

Inaaminika kuwa hao wawili ndio chaguo la Kikwete katika mbio za urais za 2015, na chaguo lake hilo linachagizwa zaidi na dini zao (How did you arrive to this conclusion? Throughout this piece, you have not convince us readers to buy on your accusation that our President is a religious fanatic) badala ya vigezo vya jumla vya sifa ambazo Watanzania wote tunataka mtu anayetaka kuwania urais kuwa nazo.

Hata hivyo, napenda nieleweke kwamba sina tatizo na rais ajaye kuwa Mwislamu au Mkristo; ilimradi tu awe ni kiongozi hodari, mchapakazi, mwadilifu na mwona mbali. Angalizo langu ni kwamba rais huyo ajaye asitafutwe kwa msingi wa dini yake; bali kwa vigezo hivyo vya ubora.
Nasisitiza hivyo; maana Watanzania katika ujumla wao hawajali dini ya mtu ila uadilifu na uchapakazi tu, lakini viongozi wetu ndio wenye matatizo ya udini. Na kwa hakika, Kikwete analo tatizo hilo.

Nihitimishe kwa kusisitiza kwamba wajibu wa wana-CCM ni kukisafisha chama chao kwa uaminifu na werevu, na kisha kuachia demokrasia iamue nani awe mgombea wa CCM mwaka 2015. CCM na Kikwete wawe waangalifu na dhana hii ya “sasa ni zamu yetu kutawala” ili Tanzania isitumbukie kwenye matatizo yanayosikika kwenye nchi zingine.
The author and the publisher are being irresponsible and do not take their role in our society seriously. The piece has absolutely no standards to be published and consumed by our society. We are a democracy, but for democracy to work, a people have to be informed--otherwise we will continue to elect useless leaders. But our people can not be informed, if we keep on consuming garbage articles like this one.

Everybody can write, but to publish is a privilege that should be taken seriously.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Fallacy of Donors' Driven Health Agenda

In Tanzania, like many other low income countries, funds for healthcare activities are largely derived from donors. It can be PEPFAR, USAID, or The Gates. We can not tax our way through providing comprehensive health insurance for everybody in the model of UK's NHS for obvious reasons. And we can not generate funds from Social Insurance Schemes due to largely high levels of unemployment. So, we rely on donors, who in turn get to set the agenda and the priorities on how to spend the money.

This is what we get-- Acute Respiratory Infections only get 3% of funding despite contributing to 25% of disease burden. Shigellosis (some stomach infection) kills 1 million a year, mostly children but receives relatively no fundings. On the other hand HIV despite of its deservingly fame, contribute only 5% of disease burden but it collects 32% of total funds. There is absolutely no infrastructures for cardiovascular and other non communicable diseases, but collectively there is no emphasis to earmark funds onto these categories (because they do not cross borders). This is what happen when a country loose grip of its own agenda.

What is rather surprising is law makers in Kenya have gotten creative and proposes airline levy (like UNTAID is doing) to increase funds for HIV. This is mind boggling, because they could use that money to build up their non-communicable disease infrastructure since they get so much HIV money from other sources.

We can not improve the health outcomes of our people, if we can not even address the problems that requires our undivided attention. Spending our time and efforts in HIV, TB, and Malaria just because thats what the donors want is a ticking time bomb.