CSOs ACTIVITIES: Samia stresses transparency

CSOs ACTIVITIES: Samia stresses transparency

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged the country’s Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to be more accountable and transparent to reduce the potential for any fraudulent conduct. 

Most CSOs have complained about being legally obliged to be honest in their expenditure and funding sources, according to the Head of State, but the government has implemented this measure following international institutions’ requirements.

“International institutions want the country to be transparent in the use and receiving of money in the country to combat anti-money laundering since CSOs might be utilised in money laundering,” President Samia remarked at the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC’s) 10th-anniversary celebration.

Laws governing the operations of charities and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) were amended in 2019 to allow the government to monitor their financial records.

President Samia also stated that the government seeks transparency to understand the progress that is being made because at the end of the day, donors claim to have sent several billions to Tanzania through implementing agencies that the government is unaware of, and have no idea when the money arrived or how it was spent. 

“We need to know how much money came in, what the action plan was, how you spent it, and what impact it had. We don’t want to plunder you, in our future reports we take up the contributions of the CSOs, what is their contribution to development and we put it in our reporting,” said Ms Samia.

She added, “I am aware that CSOs are doing wonderful work, yet they are not mentioned in official reports. It appears as if you are not contributing anything when we talk about progress in government reports, but you are simply doing amazing things.” President Samia stated that it was high time to let go of the struggle mentality and focus on the aim of negotiating more, so she devised a 4R policy, which stands for Reconciliation, Resilience, Reform, and Rebuilding.

“Now, if there is this new government policy, who are you fighting against?” she queried.

CSOs should take a positive approach with a focus on building the nation and maintaining traditions, according to the Head of State, because Tanzanians and no one else is accountable for building their country.

President Samia said advocacy for justice in the country has long been more focused on political rights than any other but there is a serious problem of rape not only in Zanzibar but also in mainland Tanzania, but the voice has not been high on this as on political justice.

She says that people have been hacked by teenage gangs known as Panya Road, but THRDC has done nothing to safeguard their rights other than encouraging the police to do their duty.

Ms Samia stated that many people die in car accidents, and that the right to life is a human right, but that the coalition has taken no steps to campaign for such concerns.

In protecting the world heritage that exists in Tanzania like Ngorongoro, she said the government is defending it, but THRDC is not supporting it, saying it is against human right to relocate residents in the area.

“There are so many things in Tanzania to work on, and I encourage you to collaborate with the government to tackle them. Activism can be positive or negative, but as you grow positive you build more,” she explained.

Mr Onesmo Olengurumwa, the THRDC National Coordinator, had previously stated that they require a policy that identifies them to be properly recognised.

“We’ve had a lot of difficulties, including being wrongfully accused,” he stated. Furthermore, he stated that for their network to function properly, they want an atmosphere in which all rights defenders may gather, and so demanded a plot of land on which to construct an office.

“Members are aware that obtaining permits can be tough at times, and we sometimes feel like opposition political parties. Such obstacles have hampered us and prevented us from executing our jobs well,” he explained.

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