Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Think tank proposes four-step process that would deliver New Constitution before 2025
The Tanzania Constitutional Forum, a Dar es Salaam-based think tank on constitutional issues on Wednesday proposed a four-step process that it thinks if worked on would deliver the much needed New Constitution before the general election of 2025.
The forum, known in Kiswahili as Jukwaa la Katiba, made the proposal to the presidential task force formed to coordinate stakeholders’ opinions on multiparty democracy.
According to a timetable seen by The Chanzo, the task force was yesterday scheduled to hear opinions from the Tanzania Constitutional Forum, the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and the Tanzania students’ Networking Programme (TSNP).
In its submission to the task force seen by The Chanzo, the Tanzania Constitutional Forum thinks that the starting point in the constitutional making process should start with the amendment of the Constitutional Review Act and the Referendum Act so that they can be aligned with the current context.
“It is our suggestion that the Constitutional Review Act will provide us with important answers [on how] to deal with issues that blocked the process in the past, like how to deal with understandings that may arise during the process,” Bob Wangwe, the Tanzania Constitutional Forum executive director, said in a statement.
Another step would be reconciling what is contained in the second draft of the constitution with what is contained in the proposed draft constitution in an attempt of unifying people with opposing viewpoints about the two documents.
While some, especially those in the political opposition and human rights movement, want the second draft constitution, others, mainly those belonging to the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), support the proposed draft constitution.
Many analysts think that the lack of consensus between opposing parties over these two documents is chiefly responsible for the constitution-writing process to stall.
“We believe that both documents contain many positive issues but also some shortcomings,” Mr Wangwe said in the statement. “For the sake of reconciliation, it is important that we write a constitution that takes into account opinions of each of these opposing parties.”
The organisation recommends the formation of a committee of experts who are competent and experienced on issues of constitution-making that will be responsible for reconciling the second draft constitution and the proposed draft constitution.
The third step would be for the now amended Constitutional Review Act to provide this committee of experts with thirty days to seek public opinions about the two draft constitutions before processing those opinions and coming up with the final proposed draft constitution that will be taken to referendum.
“We propose that the National Electoral Commission (NEC) undergoes significant structural reforms that would enable it to supervise the referendum in a competent and just manner,” says Wangwe, as the fourth step of the process.
“The reforms will not only enable the referendum to take place smoothly,” he adds. “They will also make people have faith in the entire process, something which will contribute to making the constitution produced has a political legitimacy.”
Mr Wangwe said the constitution-writing process should start now, pointing out that through the use of the committee of experts the New Constitution will be available sooner, with very minimal use of taxpayers’ money.
WHO Tanzania launches a Sh145billion, five-year cooperation strategy
The government of Tanzania in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) has on Wednesday, April 27 launched a Country Cooperation Strategy worth Sh145 billion ($70 million).
The strategy is set to be in operation from 2022 to 2027 as it targets aligning the national healthcare priorities and Policy alongside WHO’s.
Addressing a news conference during the strategy launch, Minister of Health Ummy Mwalimu said that the strategy will manage different health activities between the government and WHO.
She said that the five-year strategy is a result of the finalisation of the previous strategy from 2016 to 2020.
“As much as the previous strategy was embedded with multiple successes, it also had challenges that are highlighted in the current strategy including technical support, health emergencies such as Ebola, HIV and corona pandemic,” she said.
The strategy will focus on five areas including health and equity situation, gender equity and human rights, health emergencies, health information systems, partnership and setting the strategic priorities.
According to Ahmed Mazrui, Minister of Health In Zanzibar, the policy is set to redefine the shared goals of Tanzania as well as WHO’s.
“With this strategy, the country will be able to target bettering different key areas in the health sector,” said Mr Mazrui.
Illegally imported vehicles receive TRA’s amnesty
The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) on Wednesday announced that it has given amnesty on interest and penalties for motor vehicles imported into the country without following customs procedures.
A statement released yesterday said that the taxman took the measure to build a good working relationship with the taxpayers.
The amnesty also aims at helping taxpayers to comply as well as obtain proper records concerning motor vehicles.
“The aim of the amnesty is to enable the concerned taxpayers to comply with paying only the tax assessed without penalties and interests,” the TRA public notice said.
The amnesty is for two months starting on Monday to the end of June.
TRA said the vehicles that will be considered at the said period of time area are those imported into the country without following customs procedures that were for the transit to the neighbouring countries but remained in the country contrary to the laws that were brought in the country under temporary importation permits and overstayed.
The amnesty comes in accordance with section 70(2) of the tax administration Act 2015 as revised in the finance Act 2921 together with section 249of the East African Customs Management Act of 2004 which gives the Commissioner General the authority to waive interest and penalty where it needed.
Over 3000 inmates receive Samia Union Day’s clemency
President Samia Suluhu Hassan has pardoned a total of 3,826 prisoners as part of commemorating the 58th anniversary of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, an annual celebration that takes place on April 26.
The presidential pardon is in line with powers vested on the presidency through Article 45(1) (d) of the constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, according to a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications on Tuesday.
Through the constitutional mandate, President Samia has directed that all serving prisoners should have their sentences reduced by a quarter in addition to the standard one-third reduction under the provisions of section 49(1) of the Prisons Act chapter 58.
Beneficiaries include prisoners serving jail terms between one day and one year as well as those sentenced to serve many years but had no more than one year left to complete their prison terms.
Today on Social Media
One of the discussion that trended yesterday on social media was about the Tanzania start-up ecosystem. The discussion started with a Tweet from one of the Start-up founder who narrated how one of his associate who won a US $5000 prize from start-up incubation competition only to be given US $500 and was told the rest is for mentorship and capacity building.
“The problem with our incubators is that they are not transparent, they look for their interest first instead of that of growing start-up which is their mission in the first place. And they don’t really care about the time that the founder commits to their programs” reads part of the thread.
Some contributors highlighted that its important for funders and donors to spend more time and resources with the start-ups directly instead of relying on reports only.
Alright look, in truth there have been some bad experiences in the startup ecosystem. We don’t need to get into details.
Do I think the entire funding system is rotten? No. But I believe funders and donors need to spend more time with startups directly and not wait for reports.
— Given Edward (@GIVENALITY) April 27, 2022
“We have a system where it feels as though innovation activities are mostly for reports than actual impact. The projects are done for the funder not the founder”. Reaction from Given Edward, a seasoned tech expert
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