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Friday, May 29, 2009

TweetThis! FemAct Press release - War against corruption: The government should respond

C/O Mtandao wa Jinsia Tanzania ( TGNP) S.L.P 8921 Dar es Saalam,Tanzania, Kituo cha Jinsia, Barabara ya Mabibo Mkabala na Chuo cha Usafirishaji (NIT) Simu +255 22 2443205; 2443450; 2443286 Selula: 255 754 784 050, Fax. 2443244, Barua Pepe info@tgnp.org, Tovuti www.tgnp.org


We members of the Feminist Activist Coalition (FemAct), over fifty civil society organisations (50), who work together to advocate for women’s and human rights, social transformation and the empowerment of all women and marginalised groups, met on 20th May 2009 to reflect on the on-going debate about grand corruption in Tanzania and the future of the country. We are deeply concerned with the current situation and especially the inadequate way with which the Government is handling the ever-increasing syndicated grand corruption and organised crime cases and scandals in the country. Stories of syndicated grand corruption in the country are horrifying, and force us to draw one solid conclusion, that the Tanzania state has been hijacked!

FemAct recognises syndicated grand corruption as all private gain-motivated abuse of public office, plunder of public property, corruption in the electoral process, lack of transparency in public contraction processes, (i.e. public procurement, public investment, privatisation), budget execution without consideration of national priorities, discriminatory enforcement of laws and regulations, and disobedience of public leadership ethics.

FemAct has noted numerous scandalous events which document the mushrooming of grand corruption and state hijacking operations in Tanzania. Just to mention a few, we note acts of grand corruption in Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) with specific reference to the Buzwagi project scandal; energy contracts with specific reference to the sagas of Richmond LLC/Dowans and Independent Power Project –Tanzania Limited (IPTL); wanton privatisation contracts with specific reference to the National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Kiwira Coal Mine, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS) and Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC); plunder/embezzlement of public financial resources with specific reference to inflated construction cost of Bank of Tanzania Twin Towers, fraudulent appropriation of public finances (with impunity) in the External Payment Arrears (EPA) account [Kagoda Agricultural Limited and others], defaulted Commodity Import Support (CIS) fund and Debt Conversion Programme (DCP) fund; syndicated grand corruption in the public procurements with specific reference to acquisition of military equipment, aviation radar, and presidential jet; plunder of public funds by falsification with specific reference to Tangold, Meremeta, and Deep Green conspiracies; plunder of natural resources with specific reference to fisheries, forestry and wildlife; land alienation shielded by claims of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) policy with specific reference to bio-fuel farming (Rufiji saga); and grand corruption involving obsolete/expired medical supplies risking Tanzanians life.

It is FemAct’s conclusion that this increasing trend of syndicated grand corruption is due to the capture of the state by powerful moguls working as one in a powerful corruption network/syndicate. The network is reinforced by such strategies as money laundry and corruption in the electoral process; “free-market” neo-liberal macro economic policy, including liberalisation and privatisation, which benefit big capitalists and imperialists rather than sustainable development for all women, men, and children; lack of strong good governance institutions, structures and systems (weak state); greed and selfishness of political and public leadership; weak civic engagement by the people themselves; continued application of many colonial era legislations [in effect regulations and procedures] and antiquated constitution; weak political party systems giving opportunity to corrupt entrepreneurs to take leadership positions; and government support for a small group of leaders who act against the people’s interests with impunity.

FemAct believes the syndicated grand corruption and the free-market economy policy are to blame for adversities Tanzanians have been forced into, including the current weak state; economic crisis; political leadership entrepreneurship; the increasing gap between the rich and the poor; increasing poverty amongst the majority of Tanzanians; increasingly low quality and quantity of social service delivery – education, health, physical infrastructure, power utility and administration of justice; declining social and economic wellbeing across majority sections of society [in effect increasing cost of living, which majority cannot afford]; increasing unemployment; increasing insecurity [in effect increasing gender-based violence, criminal and banditry acts]; emboldening of corruption syndicates and actors; increasing of otherwise avoidable deaths such as those involving road accidents, maternal deaths, HIV&AIDS infection arising from sexual abuse, and child mortality; examinations leakage and cheating [in effect declining standard of education]; and fall of cooperatives and declining agriculture and rural economy in effect threatening food security.

Consistent with the above observations, FemAct is hereby declaring its position and demands the following:-

The Government acts indiscriminately, immediately and without excuse to prosecute all persons suspected of grand corruption cases and dismantle their corruption networks.

The Government is held responsible to immediately: implement wholly the Parliamentary resolution on Richmond; provide credible a public statement on all grand corruption scandals currently in public debate; disclose all existing investment contracts for public access and scrutiny; and ensure state function enforcement organs specifically the Police Force, the Office of Director of Public Prosecution, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and the National Security (intelligence services) conduct their respective business in an accountable manner under strict adherence to professional ethics and expected competences.

Citizens are held responsible to: identify and reject all corrupt elements to occupy elective political offices through ballot; refuse to implement policy decisions reached without public participation/scrutiny and reached outside the law; be vigilant against acts of land alienation by corrupt elements; fearlessly continue interrogating and exposing grand corruption and persons behind the schemes; and continue supporting like-minded elements exposing acts and actors of grand corruption.

The corporate entities are held responsible to: follow legal procedures and business ethics in all their dealings, prioritising humanity and public interest; and expose corporate sector actors involved in grand corruption.

Civil society entities are held responsible to: rescind from taking part in any act related to grand corruption; and continue mobilising and enlightening the public on war against corruption and culprits.

The public and mass media are held responsible to: maintain their exemplary public advocacy to expose grand and petty corruption; rescind from being ‘used’ by and in favour of corrupt syndicates/actors to misinform the public about the genuine common cause of fighting corruption; and continue disseminating civic education that will ultimately contribute to increased civic competence to hold the Government to account.

Religious leaders are held responsible to: declare their respective positions in the war against grand corruption and thereby mobilise the pubic at large to fight corruption; and continue preaching against corruption and corruption in the electoral process.

Political parties are held responsible to: critically assess inter-party electoral systems with a goal of ensuring political parties are no longer prone to influences of corrupt elements assuming public offices/leadership through political parties.

The multilateral organisations and other development partners are held responsible to stop imposing their agenda and conditionalities on the government and other recipient partners, especially the free market neo-liberal macro economic framework which has proven to be bankrupt by the global crisis.

Citizens, civil society organisations and the Government are together duty bound to engage in a national debate for a new Tanzania in which there is an alternative macro economic framework for sustainable development that will ensure equal social and economic benefits for all Tanzanians without any type of discrimination – by race, sex, ethnicity, class, age, nationality, religion, disability or HIV and AIDS status.

Issued by FemAct members and signed by
1. Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP)
2. Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC)
3. Concern for Development Initiatives in Africa (ForDIA)
4. Youth Action Volunteers (YAV)
5. The Leadership Forum (TLF)
6. Coast Youth Vision Association (CYVA)
7. Walio Katika Mapambano na AIDS Tanzania (WAMATA)
8. Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA)
9. Youth Partnership Countrywide (YPC)
10. Tanzania Human Rights Fountain (TAHURIFO).
11. HakiArdhi
12. Women Legal Aid Centre (WLAC)
13. Tanzania Coalition on Debt and Development (TCDD)
14. Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT)

22 Mei 2009

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