December 24, 2010

Civilization 2.0

I have read several views and columns on Web 2.0. But you may wonder what Civilization 2.0 is - and what development or opportunities it holds - at least in the Tanzanian context, since we know that the concept explores harmony and collaboration to engage in sustainable solutions in tackling the ever-problematic issues of climate change and increasing population with depleting resource allocation.

Well, to best answer that, it holds nothing but misery. Yes! It does.

In the context of the Tanzanian scene of recent, it has been a case of absolute misery more than anything - in terms of more-than-frequent power outages, water shortage / cuts (however best you term it to minimize your frustration), and infrastructure that accommodates for hours long of traffic congestion causing an annual loss of $76million to the country.

Resource misallocation, inept administration failing to prioritize key areas of the economy, and rampant corruption has been hurtful since Tanzania was affected by multi-party theme in 1995. One may argue that liberalization and other such reforms were fostered, but it is important to see the progress made in the last decade and a half.

Where are we heading?

This is a question best left unanswered in safeguarding frustration and anger among the general masses - more vocal have been the lower-middle income groups. As has been the case, recently our PM was far more than vocal characterized with energy witnessed with a solar panel - to stress how important it is to showcase achievements made in the last 5 decades as 50 years of independence are to be celebrated next year. I eagerly wait to see those talked about achievements!

Talking about 49th year of independence recently celebrated, I was sitting in misery with power outage coupled with water shortage, where the former was restored after 40 hours and the latter after a period of 3 days!

Indeed, I call that Civilization 2.0.

PS: Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year ahead!

December 14, 2010

New Corruption Report for Tanzania

Tanzania experienced a high tide in corruption levels this year compared to last year, according to new findings of a corruption perception survey (CPS) released recently by Concern for Development Initiatives in Africa (ForDIA). The report indicated an increasing level of corruption, with the average level of corruption in the country described as over 50 per cent.

The CPS report released in Dar es Salaam on December 10 to coincide with the Integrity Day, followed a survey conducted in 44 local government authorities (LGAs) in 11 regions of Tanzania Mainland between March and June, this year.
It said that in gauging public perception in relation to functioning of systemic governance structures and operatives, CPS scrutinised performances of 14 departments/agencies, the outlets charged with service delivery to the public in LGAs

The outlets included Education, Health, Lands and Housing, Licensing and Revenue, Judiciary, Ward Development Committees, Police, the office of District Executive Directors, Natural Resources, Water and Sewerage, Power Utility/Tanesco, HIV/Aids Committees, Cooperatives and Road and Works.

The study findings indicated that employees in the Police, Health, Judiciary, Power utility/Tanesco, Licensing and Revenue, Water and Sewerage, Education, Road & Works, Natural Resources, Land and Housing and HIV/Aids agencies are amongst the frequent recipients of bribes.

Comparatively, the 2010 CPS findings indicate upward shift above the 2009 CPS scores. Police have shot from second (75.8 per cent last year) to first position (85.3 per cent this year), replacing Tanesco (82.35 per cent last year) which had dropped to the forth position (82.8 per cent this year).

The latter replaces Licensing and Revenue, which has settled at the fifth position (75.65 per cent last year, and 81.85 per cent this year). The health departments employees have moved to second position (84.05 per cent) replacing the police, while judiciary employees have maintained their third position albeit with relatively higher score (75.75 per cent, last year and 83.6 per cent, this year).

The report said an overall analysis of corruption perception regarding the extent to which corruption receivable rent is shared across LGAs agencies indicates, again, the Police, Judiciary, Health, Licensing and Revenue and Lands and Housing are the leading agencies in receiving bribes.

Comparing with last year’s CPS findings, the Licensing & Revenue agency has in this year’s survey dropped one step, swapping position with the Lands and Housing agency, which in this year’s survey settles at the fifth position.
As for bribes actually paid by the public, analysis of corresponding recipients indicates health department is the leading recipient, with 46.8 per cent, followed by police pocketing 20.8 per cent of the share, while education department is the third highest recipient with 16 per cent. The judiciary is the fourth highest recipient of proceeds of corruption ranked by 11.3 per cent of households. In all, 93.4 per cent of corruption was transacted with cash, which is the most preferred form and means of corruption rent.

My Verdict: Its a socio-economic endemic in Tanzania, root cause are many, but to fight it would take years if not decades.