Friday, May 26, 2006


The development of human, institutional and technological capacities of local Tanzanians is important in realizing sustainable poverty reduction and wealth creation. Community participation, involvement and ownership in development are paramount and ultimately important for so called developing economies. The Asian economic tigers worked around this thought, to fuel forward their exemplary economies in the 80s and 90s.
Sustainability and success will never be driven by borrowed ideologies, man-power and institutions. You will only get temporary relief out of these, just like taking paracetamol for yellow fever! Our country’s development has to be carried out by our own people, using our own locally developed capacities and man power. There have been concerns about our limitation and lack of capacities in some areas. We still lag behind other people in areas of education, professional, exposure to competition in markets, financing, infrastructure and others.
Our politicians and administrators have been using these arguments against the pro poor empowerment crusaders. I am not in denial of any part of these issues that happen to be public knowledge. But the joke here is these shortcomings are as a result of poor governance and planning. This is equally part of past trends of suppressing the voices of Tanzanians in the education, professional, cultural and governance issues! It is a result of a crime called building bureaucracy at the expense of the people. People centered development was replaced by bloated ambitious bureaucratic power development! That is what you get from the Government knows it all type of economy.
For the junior citizens like me, who were born after independence, we lived at a time a local Village Executive Officer is so powerful, barbaric and arrogant .This is person who will not answer anything logical, the best you could get out of them was-These are orders from above. They mastered this with zeal; you would think they have acquired classroom training in that area. These people decided that they had a right and monopoly of thinking on our behalf, because we were not well schooled then in the 70s, 80s and 90s!!So they practically did everything on our behalf, including mismanaging the economy, without consulting us in the name of NATIONAL INTEREST!!
So when they tell us they are privatizing public institutions (read giving out for free) because they were a burden to the economy, they are actually telling us –WE MISMANAGED YOUR LIFE AND MONEY WHILE YOU WERE AWAY! As if not enough because they have not laid basis for our education and capacity building in the last 40 plus years, they decided on our behalf giving them away for free to some foreign friends! This is a big shame! If it was those days of wahujumu uchumi, these people would surely deserve a court martial. That is why I believe in total involvement/participation of local communities in Natural resource governance. This is the only way to give back the power to the people of Tanzania. Our struggle for independence was about socio-economic empowerment as well as the right to enjoy civil liberties!! Our flag is not complete in itself without empowering the people!!
This takes us back to mining; Tanzania is blessed with almost all the minerals and natural resources that God could ever give in a single handing! Tanzania Mining sector has a more recent history compared to countries like South Africa and Sri-lanka.It has seen great changes right from 1890s when the Germans had their watch in Tanganyika, through rise of artisanal mining in the 60s, nationalization in the 70s and 80s and now Free Market/Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the 90s and beyond. The legal-policy framework has also changed to match these developments, reactively or pro actively in other cases.
In the course of the last 25 years, successive governments have tried to bring development (read bureaucracy) closer to the people. We have currently a local government reform program and other sectoral development programs as the more recent of these processes. By the error of omission or commission MINING and TOURISM have never been put on this process, atleast not with the aim of public accountability in mind.
There are many testimonials of how pastoralists and farmers wake in the morning finding their land taken away by mining prospectors. This is where you are given 30 days eviction orders for encroaching mining licences that you were never made aware of despite living hundred years on that land. Others get shot or mauled by dogs in the name of security. For those who don’t know this it is only Mererani and Ngorongoro, where locals have to get special passes and identity cards (Kipande) in a country that has no National Identity cards! This is where the District Commissioner most envious work is issuing eviction and deportation orders to Tanzanians! It is here that over 200 hundred million shillings is spent to build almost 20 km sq of barbed wire and security, to keep away the unwanted nosy Tanzanians! Ironically it is here where majority of child bearing women die during birth for lack of maternal health facility and over half of the girls don’t go past class 7 while only handful actually go to university .It is here where there is no a single kilometer of tarmac road! It is here that people drink contaminated water! It is also here that you find high prevalence of HIV/AIDS with no obvious public strategy to counter it!!
Unfortunately it is here that the District Administration knows very little about community governance, transparency and public accountability. The district and village councils have little control over the Natural resources and revenues that come with it. Under the Village Land Act 1999, the responsibility over the land in general is held by the Village council in trust for village assembly (Resident Villagers).All decisions on the allocation of land or investment are done through the Village Assembly consent. In practice, it happens in every other investment apart from Mining.
If agriculture has been decentralized and community involvement achieved right from sub village to district mining, why not Mining? Why is there so much secrecy in the sector to the extent that the Local authorities (not DCs) are rarely involved or briefed? Why the only wananchi’s contact with Mining issues is is through the Media, Mining extension services (if lucky) or the DC issuing eviction orders from Kamati za ulinzi na usalama! Who said Mining cannot be decentralized? Let’s learn from Botswana and Sri Lanka!!Their success has been built on empowering people and public servants being accountable to the people! We don’t need people who want to think for us and later blame us for being poorly schooled! Wake up Wananchi! We should walk their walk and take charge of our destiny before we are taken through another failed experiment!!
Long live Tanzania! Long live our Tanzanian spirit!!



  • Hey Bro!Mi ni Mtanzania niliye China kwa miaka minne sasa.Ninarafiki zangu wachina wanahitaji hayo madini.So kama una information ya kutosha kuhusu nani anaweza wauzia please wasiliana nami katika Email yangu johngwakisa@yahoo.com

    By Blogger Iwindi_Mbalizi, at 7:06 AM  

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