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KAS on Tour II

Nationwide Trainings for Town and Municipal Councils

On the 4th of June 2012 staff members of the KAS accompanied by members of their partner party CHADEMA, divided in three groups, set off from Dar es Salaam to a nationwide training for the town and municipal councils. About 800 elected representatives of CHADEMA came together to the advanced trainings in altogether nine counties, from Mbeya in the South of Tanzania up to Musoma, a town at the north-east lakeshore of the Lake Victoria.

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The three trainer teams were composed of the staff members of the KAS, each one member of CHADEMA and the party central office and an experienced mayor of the KAS partner party.

The operational area of the first group included the regions (1) Arusha and Manyara, (2) Moshi and the whole region Kilimanjaro and (3) Mbeya with Iringa, Ruvuma and one part of the region Rukwa. The advanced training program was very welcomed by the people in Mbeya - instead of 70 expected participants, 135 local politicians participated in the training. The training places of the second group were (1) Kibaha with participants from the regions Cost Region, Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Dodoma, Singida, Lindi and Mtwara; (2) Musoma and the region as well as (3) Mwanza with politicians from the whole region. Again, the participation exceeded all expectations and the participants were eager to learn and extend their present knowledge about local politics. The third group focused with (1) Kigoma and the region around it, parts of the Rukwa Region and (2) Bukoba with Kagera on the areas in the west and north-west of Tanzania as well as (3) Shinyanga and its region and Tabora Region.

During their training sessions which were divided into two days per area, the participants and trainers had enough time to intensively discuss the following questions: How can the fundamental conviction and guidelines of CHADEMA be implemented into specific politics? How can the elected town and municipal councils understand their positions as representatives of the local population associated with upcoming responsibilities in a better way? What are the daily challenges and happenings for the local politicians? What are the municipal councils’ political rights and duties? How can the power of the local constitution be strengthened while reducing the power and intervention of the central state in local affairs? What are the main values and programmatically guidelines of CHADEMA and how do they distinguish it from other political parties?

During the training sessions the trainers emphasized the meaning of local structures relating to a well working democracy and highlighted the meaning of intra-party closeness and communication. They mentioned closeness to citizens, output-driven work and transparency as their most important and indispensable aims which the local politicians should integrate into their work. These three aspects are crucial for the citizens’ trust in the party. CHADEMA should prove on a local level, especially in these municipals where they are already in power, that they have an agenda which emphasizes a political change, anti corruption and an output-driven policy.

Besides the training sessions the trainer groups supported the local politicians to overcome different intra-party conflicts and identified and solved some structural problems within the party.

All participants of the nine training units perceived the training program as very helpful; they especially appreciated the training materials in Swahili, provided by KAS Tanzania. Many participants stated that they felt much better informed about their rights and duties now and that they became more confident towards their responsibilities in the municipal councils. Furthermore they mentioned that they are now, thanks to the exchange of ideas with other politicians, more aware about the importance of transparency and how it influenced the success of CHADEMA and how important their local policies are for the implementation of their vision in the nationwide politics.

KAS and CHADEMA are connected through the convictions that closeness to the citizens, transparency and a successful, public welfare orientated policy has to be the base for a democratic party. Permanent success in the democratic competition of the Tanzanian multi-party system is not possible without a strong connection to and within each of the different counties. According to this background the common trainings will be repeated in the future.

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