Tuesday, September 30, 2008

By Kenneth Mwazembe, Mbozi September 27, 2008 MCA-BONGA

Among of memorable support of United States of America to Tanzania is an anti-corruption program funded by the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Pact Tanzania, the implementer of the project in collaboration with its partners scattered all over the country, according to the Country Director of PACT TANZANIA , Mr.Dan Craun-Selka, 88 PETS committees were operating in 65 districts while holding local authorities and leaders accountable to members of the public for their performances.

The program Millennium Challenge Account – Building Organizational Networks for Good Governance & Advocacy affectionately known as MCA-BONGA program has achieved concrete success to the development steps in Tanzania.

The US ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Mark Green told representatives from the media and civil societies countrywide at the Ubungo Plaza in the city recently the job well done in the previous two years since 2006 through investigative journalism and the Public Expenditure Tracking System (PETS), was encouraging Americans to continue supporting Tanzania’s development programs.

He was addressing the audience at the Blue Pearl Hotel to officially mark the closing of the two-year Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-BONGA) projects under which since 2006, the 310 journalists were trained investigative journalism during which they published over 650 investigative stories on corruption.

We witnessed pictorial evidence and fed our ears by various CBOs PET committees experience through their presentations made at two day meeting held recently by expressions of performance achieved by these committees.

Is through PETS committees where we heard about corruption and theft stopped or revealed. Taking in example of HAKIKAZI CATALYST of Arusha, The PETS committee chairperson Ms Agnes Laizer told the meeting about Mkonoo primary school head teacher Lamayan Mesiaki who was allegedly misused the total sum of Tshs 12 millions.

Ms Laizer said the PETS committee revealed the fraudulence in materials purchases; the teacher purchased corrugated iron sheets 160 pcs of 28gauge (as per receipt document) while the actuality was the same quantity but of 30 gauge.

The ceiling board (fibre) used to cover inner roof were made in Tanzania but the documents showed imported from South Africa, desks started spoiling even before starting using them and floor potholed on its earlier days.

Mkonoo village of Terat ward in Arusha municipal has faced great changes during this two year period of MCA-BONGA project whereby citizens can speak out, give their opinions and decide which is which. People can monitor public expenditure at different levels of administration.

That is why Mkonoo villagers raised their complains against government for allowing the Mkonoo primary school head teacher transfer to Engisengiu primary school when he has been charged at district court for fraudulence and deceitful.

During the meeting, we heard about Eworendeke villagers of Namanga ward of Longido District complaining about their leaders swindled by Kenya Somalis who brought their camels over 800 to invade Masai pastoralists’ land, now they are facing shortage of water and grazing areas.

Other Pact partners presented their experience are KISHAI, KIKANGONET, TACOSODE, ZANGONEC and CCT.

The MCA-BONGA program held two projects with the same aim, apart from PETS the IJ training project implemented by Pact in collaboration with MISA-TAN has done miracles in these two years whereby we have witnessed FISADI people being highlighted and put aside or resigned from their duty posts.

Is through this project where we generated so many watchdogs whose their main responsibility is to truthfully inform citizens on what is going on whether it is good or bad, to unearth all deceitful and fraudulence undergoing in the country.

Tanzanians are highly encouraged with their work because of recently emergence of scandals in dubious contracts, which has led Tanzania into economic sabotage, burdening citizens. Richmond, EPA and mineral contracts are among of revealed scandals which put upside down President Jakaya Kikwete’s heart.

Media still face some challenges; among of them are media house policies. It was revealed in the IJ round table held on September 24, 2008 when some of participants told the meeting about some media houses not taking action in stories concerning financial interests’ deception.

Big fishes especially good advertisers like breweries companies, mobile phone service providers have interest on what can be written or reported about them. this is because they sponsor a wide range varieties of programs or advertise through these media.

Participants told the round table meeting about vulnerable environment they work on, the painful condition led the chairperson for MOAT Mr. Reginald Mengi to take as an agenda to the MOAT meeting concerning with how media owners can assist journalists in providing working equipment and insurance/assurance.

US Ambassador to Tanzania Mark Green in officiating the meeting, he congratulated Media and Civil Society Organizations for their full participation on corruption war, which has resulted to these success believing that all money from people of US is used as intended.

This success has led Tanzania to be the shining example and justifications for them continue sending their money to Africa.


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