Positive Effects of Seventh Session of 10th Bunge by Guest contributor
This is a guest post by one of our blog readers who wanted to remain anonymous that I thought I should share with everyone.
Less than a month after an arguably historical and fired up Bunge session, Zitto Kabwe’s #VoteofNoConfidence motion – that popularly trended as #Sahihi70 on Twitter Social media and as #OperesheniUwajibikaji – is producing tangible and positive results.
The aim of the motion was to hold to task those Ministers whose ministries and related departments and institutions were implicated in misdeeds and mismanagement of public funds through the CAG report. This was to be done through a Vote of No Confidence in the Prime Minister, which would result in the cabinet being dissolved. The momentum started by #OperesheniUwajibikaji led to a growing and escalating realisation amongst leaders and citizens alike that accountability is the only solution to pervasive corruption in Tanzania and that every public official should be made accountable for his/her actions or inactions. This resulted in a cabinet reshuffle which saw most of the implicated ministers being sacked.
More recently, despite reduced General Budget Support (GBS) funding this coming year, the GBS donor group has committed to releasing more than half of the funds during the first quarter of the new financial year. One of the consistent complain from Government of Tanzania is the delay of Budgeted money from Development Partners. The late release of funds has always being causing problems in implementing Development projects especially in the Local Authorities.
The statement released by the EU delegation indicates satisfaction for the events over the past few weeks which has demonstrated the strength of Tanzanian oversight institutions in analysing government performance and demanding action when necessary. This is a landmark achievement for #OperesheniUwajibikaji as it indicates the positive future implications of having a government system and structure that is both transparent and accountable and that enforces the needed checks and balances.
Nonetheless, while welcoming donors’ commitment to release the funds as indicated, it must be known that donor support to Tanzania is considerably less than the value of total Tax Exemptions that are currently in place in Tanzania (While Budget Support from Donors is around 840 Billion Tshs, Tax Exemptions for the year ending June 2011 were valued at 1.13 Trillion Tshs). Therefore, by enhancing accountability Tanzania will be able to avoid unnecessary spending and increase domestic revenue hence reduce donor dependency. This should optimally lead to more sustainable and citizen-led development. To ensure this however, oversight committees need more support to enhance accountability and transparency.
The statement released by the EU reads that:
“Over the coming year continued and strong attention will be paid to the way public finances are spent by closely monitoring how the findings in the latest Controller and Auditor General’s annual report are being acted upon, including at local government level,”.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the tide of accountability in Tanzania has taken a turn for the better; following events from 7th Bunge session, never again will CAG and Parliamentary Oversight Committee reports be taken for granted.