Friday, October 10, 2014


TGNP Mtandao conducted a five days training for three clusters on public expenditure tracking system. The training was held on 15th to 19th September in Morogoro town. This training was phased in three where by government officials such as WEO’s, VEO’s and selected district officials received an intensive training and followed by selected community animators and back to departmental district officials.
The training was three fold which included PETS, Good governance and accountability and the budgetary circle and process. The first two groups although not combined received a similar package while the third group received a tailor made training that focused only on district officers.
The purpose of the training was to raise awareness and capacity building for three clusters on the two tools and the concept of good governance and accountability which are of interest to both the citizens and the officials.
Facilitated by an experienced PETS trainer, Mr. Godlisten Moshi pointed out that good governance and accountability is a two way responsibility, both government leaders and community members have the responsibility of ensuring good governance and accountability principles are adhehered by both parties.
He also said that “Government Officials have no need to worry about citizens conducting PETS or formulating PETS team because they are not TAKUKURU or Police officers or Auditors, instead they should see it as part of citizens’ responsibility and constitutional right to work with them to achieve results for the mutual good.
On the other hand according the training facilitator elected and non elected officials have a responsibility to be accountable to their people on public resources utilization and emphasized that citizens have the right to demand for reports on village revenues and expenditure. He further explained the duties and rights of citizens and the duties of different levels of government officials.
Participants also understood that it is imperative that both citizens and leaders come together to plan, discuss and identify their priorities before they write their annual budgets instead of leaving the task to their community leaders only. This required the citizens to be aware and to take active part in the O&OD process which usually takes place at the village/street levels.
Participants on the other hand especially the animators complained on two major things one being that in most cases village meetings are not called by officials and even when they demand for them still there is no positive response yet another complain was that of citizens not showing up for meetings when they are called especially the women and youths, this leaves most decisions in the hands of few men.
Officials on their side raised a concern on the delay of disbursement of government funds for village implementation hence they find themselves not to have accomplished what they planned to do at the end of the financial year.
During an interview with one of the journalist a participant from the officials side said who was also accused for not cooperating with citizens in formulating the PETS team, publicly declared that “although the time I have left in the office is short, I will go back and discuss with my fellows and see what we can do to ensure that the teams are formed”.
This official also explained that before the training they had an idea about Pets, but after attending the training they now have a deeper understanding on the system. Therefore he believes that he is now in a good position to catalyze its implementation and give support to animators.
All participants from Kisaki village appreciated the effort that TGNP Mtandao is making and are acknowledging that in their area the citizens and community leaders have been working together cooperatively in ensuring that the priorities of the people are implemented. The training has therefore boosted their motivation.
The training ended on 19th September with a brief session with district officials on PETS explaining the legal position of PETS and PETS committees, their duties and boundaries and the facilitator also explained the importance of departmental district officials to give cooperation to committees.


The Constitution Open Forum took place on 30th September, 2014 at the TGNP grounds in Mabibo, Dar es Salaam drawing over 400 activists and Civil Societies from various regions such as Morogoro, Moshi, Mbeya, Singida, Mara, Shinyanga and Dar es Salaam.
The forum was jointly organized by TGNP and  the Women and Constitution Coalition with three main objectives which were; to understand the key issues that transpired during the  Constitution making process and new draft Constitution as proposed by the Constituent Assembly, to facilitate a public debate on the key issues that emerged  in the draft Constitution and  to facilitate and jointly plan strategies focusing on the remaining processes for constitution making; Local and General elections of 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The panel consisted of Ms. Ruth Meena, Ms. Lilian Liundi and Ms. Usu Mallya.
Ms. Ruth Meena commenced the panel discussions by highlighting the positive issues that featured in the third draft constitution. The Twelve Issues that the Women and Constitution Coalition were demanding for inclusion in the new constitution were highlighted and those that succeeded to be included were pinpointed. Some of those include: the definition of the age of a child, where the draft constitution states that a child is a person below the age of eighteen. She also said that the draft constitution mentions that a political party that does not include principles of gender equality (specifically- fifty fifty ratio between its members) in leadership will not be recognized.
Another big issue which has been included in the draft constitution was equal right between women and men to obtain and own land. This is a great success for the Women and Constitution Coalition since it has been a plea among women for many years. She also talked about the Draft Constitution promoting a fifty fifty ratio between men and women in the parliament. The draft Constitution has stated that each Constituency should have two members of parliament, one a man and another woman.
While presenting the gaps of the third draft constitution, Ms. Usu Mallya started by saying, “The process of demanding for our issues to be included in the new constitution unified women of all ages and all professions. We were able to get support from women activists, women members of parliament and even women ministers”.
The gaps highlighted include the issue of members of parliaments still being allowed to become ministers as limiting their ability to engage in issues related to their constituencies, since they will be required run their respective ministries. She further pinpointed out that once a member of parliament becomes a minister, he/she will not be able will not be able to carry out his/her duties effectively due to conflict of interest.

Another gap was the criteria of becoming a member of parliament, where she said, ’’In section 135 of the third draft constitution that states the minimum criteria for becoming a member of parliament is having the ability to read and write in Swahili is insufficient. This is because a member of parliament is mandated with a big responsibility to represent the citizens in issues related to economic, social, political and cultural aspects of the nation. Members of parliament have a big role to play in decision making including analyzing contracts”. Ms. Mallya said the draft constitution has taken away citizens’ mandate to hold members of parliament accountable when they do not deliver.
Ms. Lilian Liundi wrapped up the panel discussion by talking about steps the Women and Constitution Coalition will take once the draft constitution once the voting process is over. She first explained that if the draft constitution will be voted for by the members of the Constituent Assembly, awareness building campaigns aimed at citizens will be conducted so as to make them aware and understand issues included in the third draft constitution.
“We will make a press release demanding the authorities in charge of the Constitution making process to clearly state how they will amend the current constitution” said Ms. Liundi. She also mentioned priority areas that the Women and Constitution Coalition demand to be rectified in the 15th amendment of the current constitution. These demands include;   recognition of independent candidates in the new constitution. This is important because it will give women and people living with disabilities the opportunity to run for presidency. They also demand the constitution of 1977 to include a section binding political parties to fifty fifty ratio between men and women members of their parties in various political leadership positions. Ms. Liundi also wanted the current constitution to include the issue of citizens holding their members of parliament accountable once they do not deliver expected
The discussions were then opened to the floor where strategies to make sure the positive issues that have been included in the new constitution are not removed. Participants gave various suggestions including ensuring that a fifty fifty ratio between women and men in leadership positions is observed by women running for various leadership positions during the coming general elections. Support was sought from community members to support women candidates. Other suggestions include wide use of the media and for participants to go back and educate their communities about issues discussed so as to increase the awareness.


A two day training took place in Maganzo town, Kishapu District in, Shinyanga region from the 18th to the 19th September, 2014 to raise awareness among Knowledge Center members on the process of getting a New Constitution. This was done to build the capacity of members of Songwa and Mondo Knowledge Centers in Kishapu District for them to in turn, educate other community members on the Constituent Making process.
The training was facilitated by Ms. Beatrice Hezekiel, Tanzania Gender Networking Program’s consultant together with the Songwa Knowledge Center’s chairperson , Ms. Rahel Madundo.
The training drew members of Songwa and Mondo Knowledge Centers together with government officials such as the representative of Kishapu District Executive Officer, Songwa Ward Executive officer, the Village Executive Officer together with Songwa Ward social worker and agricultural officer.
Due to the presence of government officials at the training, some issues were addressed on the spot, while other issues were clarified.
When Ms. Beatrice Lema asked about the participants views on the process of getting the Draft Constitution, Ms. Rahel Madundo said,“ In the beginning of the Constituent making process where politicians were mostly involved in the process, many issues that were discussed by designated officials were political, but after representatives of various groups in the society were included in the Constituent Assembly, issues concerning our communities have now been included in the discussions”.
Another question asked was on the level of the public’s awareness on the Constituent making process. The acting Village Executive officer of Songwa Ms. Fatma Katabaro said that many people do not have a clear understanding about this process because they were not prepared enough on this matter. “In Maganzo, the village constituent councils only lasted for four hours, not considering the number of people located here. Enough education should have been provided to the community before the Constituent Councils began to increase the participation among the community members on the councils ” she said. Supporting her statement another participant by the name Samuel Kalima said that during the village Constituent Councils, many people did not vote for what they wanted, but rather what their fellow community members voted for. He said that this was due to the fact that many community members are in the dark when it comes to issues concerning the Constitution making process.
The facilitator also asked whether the marginalized groups such as women, people living with disabilities, the youth and children participated in the village Constituent Councils. One participant said that on the side of women, individual women did not participate in the councils. This was because many women had other house hold responsibilities to attend to, thus not getting the time to attend. Another reason they did not get involved in these councils was because they did not have a clear understanding about the Constituent Making process. The only women who participated in the Village Constituent Councils were those who represented groups such as Knowledge Centers or women’s groups. On the of youth, individual youth did not participate in the Village Constituent Councils as well because they are normally left out in this process, hence the only youth that participated in the Councils were those from savings and credit groups.
One participant also said that due to the Councils being very few, the councils were far from some villages; hence people living with disabilities could not participate. “The infrastructure was not conducive for them nor was there any assistance to facilitate their participation such as personal helpers for the blind. There also did not show up due to cultural beliefs that force them to be hidden from the community’’ she said.
On the side of participation among the elderly, participants said that since the elderly have formed their group, there were two representatives for the elderly at the Village Constituent Councils, a woman and a man. However, children were left out completely in the opinion poll exercise
When asked to choose areas that best address the problems Mondo and Songwa wards face covered in the Women’s Manifesto on the New Constitution, participants picked the following;
The major issue that stood out was about was health care.  Issues such as the lack of maternity wards, harsh treatment from health officers and lack of sufficient medicine were problems mentioned by many participants. The issue of the Ward ambulance being used for other reasons besides carrying patients who need immediate attention and patients being asked to provide money for fueling the ambulance sparked a major debate. This lead to the District Executive Officer’s representative Mr. Mabula Juma replacing the Songwa Ambulance driver.
Another issue picked from the manifesto was about was the right of the girl child. Participants said that they picked this issue because early pregnancy affects many girls in Songwa and are forced to drop out of school while the men who impregnate them go free without any penalties or punishments.
 They also wanted the New Constitution to penalize parents who force their children to  drop out of school in order to conduct income generating activities for the family. They said that it has now become a practice for children to become responsible for the family, forcing them to drop out of school as a result. 
When it came to the issue of citizens having the right to their own land seemed to be a sensitive issue. Many participants said that they would like the Constitution to give each citizen the right to own their own land. They said that investors should get into contracts with land owners as opposed to the current situation where investors get into contracts with the government over land that belongs to community members.
“Investors should meet with community members from time to time so that they listen to the public’s demands especially on the side of creating employment and building schools for the community”, one community member said. Many participants said that mineral investors are not binded by any law to carry out any corporate social responsibility; hence they would like the New Constitution to clearly state the obligations of investors.
Another major issue of concern from participants on the opinion polls that will take place after the Constituent Assembly submits the discussed Draft Constitution. They were concerned about whether citizens will be able to make informed decisions and vote for a constitution that will benefit them while they did not even know what the Constitution was. They therefore recommended that education should be given to the citizens before the opinion polls exercise takes place.
General opinions on the draft constitution. In education, participants want the new constitution to put laws demanding that the age of getting pregnant should be from 18 years. They also wanted the constitution to put laws that ban parents from removing their children from school in order to do business to make an income for the family.
On the side of water, participants demanded that the new constitution addresses the problem of water. “ Water shortage is a very big problem in Songwa and Mondo, this is because we go for as far as three hours just to fetch water. We face problems on the way to fetch water such as girls being stolen by men on the way, being at high risk of getting knocked by cars while crossing the main road, being at high risk of bumping in to wild animals such as hyenas. Water recourses are normally not clean as they are used by human beings and cattle alike” said Ms. Zubeda Masudi, a member of Songwa Knowledge Center.
They also wanted the Constituent Assembly to include the right of all citizens, women and men alike to own and benefit from land.


2014 Tanzania Gender Barometer Stakeholders and workshop participants
Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP Mtandao) in partnership with the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance conducted a three days workshop which lasted from 1st to 3rd October 2014 at Holiday Inn Hotel located at city centre Dar es Salaam. The workshop was convened by Ms Mary Nsemwa, workshop facilitator and a welcome remark to all participants was extended by Ms Lilian Liundi TGNP Acting Executive Director.
About twenty two stakeholders from different public and private institutions participated in the three days workshop to reflect on the regional and national key gender issues achievements for the one year period and input into the SGP post 2015 Plan also to verify the draft of 2014 Barometer and engaging ministries representatives to input, and support in meeting the targets and mapping way forward towards the 2015 goals.
Led by Lucia Makamure, SPA Gender Links, participants assessed and compared the current gender status of various SGP Alliance member countries and narrowed the analysis to the national context to input in this years’ national gender barometer edition, to be launched by SGP Alliance by mid November 2014.
On presentation in sustainable development, she stated that SADC Member States have committed to mainstreaming gender into the SADC Programme of Action and Community Building initiatives as a prerequisite for sustainable development. Furthermore she said the goals to deepen regional integration and strengthen community building can only be realized by eliminating Gender inequalities and marginalization of women throughout the SADC region. It is therefore of paramount importance that appropriate policies, legislation, programmes, projects and activities aimed at ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are implemented in all SADC Member States.
Some of the key alarming issues after her presentation were whether the statistical data provided by various information sources on status of various gender aspects give a true picture of what is happening at the ground level. Along side this is the issue of quality of the outputs achieved. For instance although statistical data from various sources portray that girls enrolment to primary and secondary school has increased in number there is still a huge disparity between girls and boys who completes in science and mathematics subjects and even a much more bigger difference for those who complete universities. Yet the learning environment in many areas is not supportive for girl children and women teachers.
Other aspects which erected a discussion were whether to remain in the traditional gender concept of gender based violence (GBV) or shift to a more practical concept of violence against women (VAW) which is gaining more popularity in some of the SGP Alliance member countries since many of the GBV survivors and victims are women as compared to men.
The agenda of climate change was also on the row for discussion. Participants noted that although climatic change is a cross cutting issue it is nevertheless not linked to gender issues while the more affected group is that of women and girl child who have been handling the household chores such as firewood collection and involved in agricultural activities and are the most affected with natural catastrophes such as floods and droughts.
However, still missing from global agenda are issues of women presentations in ICT and media given the existing gender disparities in income and education and the location of a large proportion of the female population in rural areas, the analysis found that females are disadvantaged with respect to broad ICT access and usage.
While ICT adoption cannot on its own address the broad challenges of socio-economic development, gender-based policy and regulation is necessary to unlock heightened ICT usage by women as a contributing factor to development.
The participants concluded the workshop by a discussion on national post 2015 targets and indicators. The target and indicators’ clusters included gender and responsive governance, economic and climatic justice, gender management systems, voice and women rights. Other clusters which were not included for reason of lack of reliable data among others are constitutional and legal rights, violence against women and peace and security.
Participants finally highlighted the need for use of GMS’ and being experienced in it TGNP was asked to guide other stakeholders in the use of GMS. Also participants raised a voice on the need to mainstream gender budget (GRB) in every aspect.
However there is a challenge of access to official information on gender issues especially in the fields of media, climate change to mention a few which makes it difficult to incorporate some of the key issues in the barometer because there is no evidence to support the information.

Group discussion during the workshop                    
The stakeholder are thus looking forward to hold a reference group workshop earlier next week to finalize the process of drafting Tanzania Gender Barometer, as a participant said “it is a good tool for advocating for women access to economic resources and against women violence. 
TGNP Mtandao over the years has been developing an annual national Gender Profile and this barometer is expected to feed year’s gender profile.