economics


Baada ya kununua kiwanja cha mtu, inabidi ubadalishe jina kwenye hati. Hatua ya kwanza ni afisa wa serikali akadirie thamani ya ardhi. Kodi ya mauzo inategemea na thamani hiyo. Bila taarifa ya thamani ya ardhi, haiwezekani kubadalisha majina kwenye hati. Bila kubadalisha majina, haiwezekani kupata kibali cha ujenzi. Bila ujenzi, hamna nyumba. Safari ni ndefu.

Kiasi gani kinahitajika kukadiria ardhi? Maelewano yapo……. tulitoa TZS100,000, risiti iliandikwa kwa TZS2,000.

Hii ni hatua ya kwanza. Mambo yataendelea.

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Why would a government set a minimum wage? Reasons may be classified, somewhat simply, as being economic, social or political.

Earlier this year, Shenzhen Province in China increased its minimum wage in response to a pending labour shortage. Other provinces were paying more, so the flow of workers to Shenzhen was lessening. A good illustration of the fact that while low labour rates are necessary to attract labour intensive industry, competition for that labour may in fact lead to higher wages. It is the basic interplay of supply and demand. It may not be pretty, but it seems sensible in the grand scheme of things.

Other reasons may be social – the wish to ensure that labour is given an adequate return on which to base a reasonable life.

Or they could be political. A populist government may make such an announcement for short term political gain with the masses, rather than in consideration of broader economic issues or the concerns of differing interest groups.

So how do we classify John Chiligati’s announcement of minimum wages for different sectors, announced on October 8 this year (implementation postponed to January)? Dar es Salaam’s The Guardian newspaper reported the rates the following day. Forgive me for reproducing them here in all their absurd detail.

Housemaids TZS65,000 (less 68 percent if living with the employer)

Employees of small hotels TZS80,000

Employees of Five Star Hotels TZS150,000

Housemaids in diplomatic missions TZS90,000

Clearing and Forwarding TZS300,000

Telephone Companies TZS230,000

Drivers and Conductors TZS200,000

Aviation Services TZS350,000

Minerals Sector TZS 350,000

Media (religious) TZS150,000

Media (business) TZS250,000

‘Big’ Security Companies TZS105,000

‘Small’ Security Companies TZS80,000

Manufacturing TZS150,000

‘Small Factories’ TZS80,000

Agriculture Sector TZS65,000

The list above is clearly not exhaustive. Amongst those sectors not mentioned in The Guardian were: education; IT (is raha.com a telephone company?): and the whole poverty alleviation sector of NGOs, international organisations and the like. Maybe because the donor money flowing into that most unproductive of sectors means wages are pretty good?

The schedule itself smacks of the dead hand of bureaucracy, desperately attempting to account for the actions of those in business, but with no real understanding of the game – who wins and who loses, and how. What is a ‘small’ factory. What is a Five Star Hotel? For we have no such official classification in Tanzania. Why are housemaids in diplomatic missions worth more than those in John Chiligati’s house?

Speaking of which, if the government is so concerned about the treatment of housemaids, why have they remained silent in the light of the case of Zipora Mazengo, former housemaid of Alan Mzengi in the Tanzanian Embassy in Washington? This case first came to light in May of this year . The House Foreign Affairs Committee heard her testimony on October 18 2007 . Who can argue with Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN):

“It seems to me that the Congress of the United States and this committee needs to demand of the State Department and any subsequent administration of State Department leadership, that anybody who treats other human beings like this should automatically lose their right to represent their nation in this country and should be deported immediately. We need to take their diplomatic passports and kick them out of the country. That would send a signal to countries around the world that we are not going to tolerate this sort of thing.”

So are the actions of John Chiligati motivated by reasons that are economic, social or political?



Incentive is a basic concept in economics, and indeed in life. Incentives can be negative or positive. Reaching your sales targets, if you are a vodacom sales manager, may lead to a bonus. Favouring a particular supplier in return for a ten percent kickback may lead to loss of your job (assuming you are caught – it is so common).

So how do incentives operate in the relationship between Tanzania and its donors? With the last post, we saw that the IMF was happy to recommend that the final tranche of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (worth over two million Special Drawing Rights) be paid despite the, ahem, “alleged impropriety” of up to USD250 million going missing from the External Arrears Account of the Bank of Tanzania.

Similarly, the government of Norway recently announced that it would release TZS50 Billion in Direct Budget Support direct to the Tanzanian treasury. This equates to just under USD40 million or 225,000 Norwegian Kroner. This is about 35 percent greater than the amount they committed to giving in October of last year.

So, you make a certain commitment to support the Tanzanian government. You then discover that there is likely to have been theft of Tanzanian people’s money on a grand scale by officials of that same government, and the results of the promised inquiry are a long way away. You then decide to go ahead with your donation, and increase it by 35 percent. You then say

The disbursement was contingent upon Tanzania’s observation of the underlying principles of the agreement between Norway and Tanzania. The fundamental principles include good governance, fight against corruption, democracy, macroeconomic stability, and commitment to implementation of Mkukuta

Contingent on the fight against corruption?

Sikutaka kuandika chochote kuhusu skendo ya Benki Kuu ya Tanzania inayohusu “external arrears payments”. Mambo mengi yameshaandikwa.

Juzi nilitembelea tovuti ya IMF kwa ajili ya kujua maoni yao kuhusu Benki Kuu na skendo hiyo. Ukibonyeza hapa, utapata nakala yako ya IMF Country Report No. 07/138: karatasi tisini na saba. Hii ni ripoti ya mwisho ya Poverty Reduction Growth Facility na Policy Support Instrument ya miaka mitatu ijayo. Napendekeza usome. Kuna mambo mengi ndani.

Kusema ukweli, nilishtushwa na ripoti hiyo. Bila shaka wananchi wa Tanzania wamesikitika sana na allegations kuhusu Benki Kuu. Wanaomba uwajibikaji. Je, vyombo vya fedha vya kimataifa vinasemaje? Kwanza, inaonekana kuwa wanaona mambo haya kuwa muhimu, lakini kiasi tu, siyo sana.

Nilishangaa zaidi mahusiano kati ya maafisa ya IMF na wenzao kwa Benki Kuu ya Tanzania. Ripoti hiyo ya IMF, inatueleza nini? Yaani, nani husimamia wasimamizi?

Kwa kweli, akina-IMF hawana mengi ya kusema. Hamna cha kusema mpaka kufikia ukarasa 81 ya 97. Wafanyakazi wa IMF, wanatuambia kuwa walipata taarifa ya “an alleged impropriety” baada ya kumaliza ripoti yao ya mwisho kuhusu PRGF.

Following issuance of the staff report for Tanzania’s sixth and final PRGF review, and request for a three year PSI, the staff learned of an alleged impropriety involving payments to a third party by the BoT. The allegation raised questions regarding program implementation, capacity to repay the Fund, and the consistency of the BoT’s practices with the Fund’s safeguard’s policy, including the BoT’s own commitments following the December 2003 Safeguards Assessment. The alleged impropriety has also given rise to reputational risks for both the fund and the BoT. As a result, Board consideration of the report, scheduled for December 6, was postponed and the PRGF was extended to mid-August 2007 to all the staff additional time to seek from the authorities (i)clarification of the nature of the alleged impropriety; and (ii) reasonable assurances that no systemic problem exists that give rise to safeguards concerns. The staff has also reached understanding on the adoption of remedial actions.

Mambo haya ya malipo yasiyo sahihi, yalichunguzwa na audit firm moja, ambayo, ilifukuzwa na serikali baada ya kueleza mambo haya kwa IMF. Baada ya hapo, tunaambiwa kuwa IMF iliwasiliana na serikali ya Tanzania, mpaka Ikulu. Inaonekana kuwa IMF walikubali maelezo yote ya serikali.

“Remedial actions” hizo, zinaelezwa zaidi ndani ya barua kutoka Mh Zakia Hamdani Meghji, Waziri wa Fedha kwa Mkurugenzi wa IMF, Rodrigo de Rato ya tarehe 8 Februari 2007. Kwa ufupi, serikali inaamini kuwa skendo ni “an isolated occurence”, wameanza uchunguzi wao, na pia, watapata audit firm kutoka nje kuchunguza zaidi.

Mambo haya tunayafahamu, lakini, nilishtushwa zaidi kusoma Statement by Peter Gakunu, Executive Director for United Republic of Tanzania and Joseph L. Masawe, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director”, ambayo ni appendix kwenye ripoti hiyo ya IMF.

Gakunu na Masawe wanatuambia kuwa

Without prejudging the outcome of the audit, my authorities believe that this is an isolated incident and do [sic] not pose reputational or safeguard risks at the BOT. The BOT has been the first institution in Tanzania to become IFRS compliant and remains so.

Yaani, bila kusibiri matokeo ya uchunguzi, wanataka kutoa maoni yao kuwa mambo yanaendelea vizuri.

Mwishoni, Gakunu na Masawe ni akinanani? Gakunu yupo IMF, baada ya kuwa afisa wa ngazi ya juu katika Wizara wa Fedha ya Kenya. Na Masawe? Yupo IMF pia. Kabla ya kuanza kwa IMF, alikuwa Deputy Director wa Bank of Tanzania – akiwajibika kwa na Daudi Balali, Gavana wa Benki Kuu ya Tanzania.

 

Juzi  juzi, nilishtushwa na Mwandani. Alitufahamisha kuhusu uwekezaji wa Anglican Church ya Uingereza kwenye kampuni mbili za China ambazo wapo bize kufaidi mafuta pale Sudan. Bonyeza hapa, Mwandani akuelezee vizuri zaidi. Alitupa changamoto nzuri ya kutafakari kabla ya kutoa sadaka kanisani. Tukiwekeza Sudan, je, tunasaidia Janjaweed pale Darfur?

Leo, nilishtuka zaidi. Nilikuwa kusoma The Citizen ya leo – (haipatikani kwenye mtandao – Aga Khan, unasubiri nini?). The Citizen ni gazeti ambalo lipo chini ya Mwananchi Communications. Nilisoma mambo haya yafuatayo:

 Tanzania and Sudan yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to strengthen business ties between them. 

The MoU was signed in Dar es Salaam by Tanzania’s Board of External Trade (BET) director General, Mr. Ramadhan Khalfan, and the technical and administration affairs manager of the Sudanese Free Zones and Markets Company, Mr. Abdi Hamid. …………. Initiators say, the MoU will help create business linkages among business enterprises in the two countries. “It will help generate new trade opportunities, investment flows, networking, exchange of information and organising training programmes,” said Mr. Khalfan.

Juu nimeandika ‘Gini’, siyo ‘Jini’. Suala la leo ni mambo ya uchumi, siyo uchawi. Lakini wengi wanasema kuwa uchumi ni aina moja ya uchawi… Basi, tuendelee.

Gini Coefficient ni jinsi moja ya kupima utofauti wa mapato ya watu. Kama Gini co-efficient ni 1, kuna utofauti sana kati ya walala hoi na matajiri. Kama ni 0, mapato ni sawasawa kabisa. Gini co-efficient ya Tanzania, imeongezeka kutoka 0.34 mwaka 1991 mpaka 0.35 mwaka 2001. Inaonyesha kuwa utofauti wa mapato haujabadilika sana, lakini uliongezeka taratibu.

Nadhani kuwa tangu 2001 gini co-efficient imeongezeka tena. Mambo yanabadilika sana siku hizi, hasa mijini. Magari aina ya shangingi, majumba ya dhahabu, BANG! Magazine….. Bila shaka utofauti wa mapato utaongezeka wakati soko huru linakua. Wasomaji wa taarifa mbalimbali kutoka katika mkutano wa TED pale Arusha hivi karibuni, watajua kuwa wengi wanadhani kuwa siri ya maendeleo yetu ni ujasiriamali. Hata mimi nakubali… nadhani.

Swali langu ni hili: je, utofauti wa mapato ni kitu kizuri au kibaya? Mimi sijui jibu. Ukisoma EastSouthWestNorth, utapata maoni mawili tofauti kuhusu suala hili pale Hong Kong, ambapo Gini co-efficient imeongezeka hivi karibuni. Asante kwa EastSouthWestNorth kwa kutafsiri kutoka kichina kwenda kiingereza taarifa hizi za magazeti ya Hong Kong.