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How TCU raised money for CCM

Discussion in 'Uchaguzi Tanzania' started by Jafar, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. J

    Jafar JF-Expert Member

    Oct 8, 2010
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    They say that many of Tanzania’s leading intellectuals are the nation’s bane rather than its boon. A nation’s intellectuals are supposed to be the people’s eyes; they see ahead, point out difficulties or potential trouble spots, identify hurdles ahead, look back and show where we and others went wrong and why, ….

    In all nations the intellectual class is the leading force for change …. They spearhead the struggle for democracy, the fight for individual freedom and justice, and the rule of law, and good laws, and constitutional reform…. Just look across the border at Kenya, or Malawi, or Zambia, or Zimbabwe or Mozambique or even Zanzibar, … not to say farther away on the continent or beyond the continent.

    But not ours. Many of our leading professors are little more than cronies of the political system, backboneless (waoga) and sycophants (vibaraka) who were selected precisely for these two reasons and are retained and promoted on those merits. It has for a long time been suspected that one cannot become a professor at a government institution without first being evaluated and approved by the state security apparatus and that the ultimate test is an invitation to join them. If you decline the invitation that is the end of your professorial aspirations. Few have managed to bypass this.

    Recently, the EAC Secretary General, Mr. Juma Mwapachu, accused Tanzania’s intellectuals of lying to the people about the country’s entry into the EAC. For intellectuals to mislead the people is a very serious liability. It is like a bus driver who does not know the way the bus is supposed to go.

    A recent example of the role of some of the nation’s top intellectuals in the country’s development is the Tanzania Commission on Universities (TCU)’s take over of the university admissions system for the entire country and then smothering the process virtually to death.

    Application for University admission is a very exciting period and process for both students and the universities themselves. It is a very important milestone in the life of a student as it is evidence of the student’s achievement as well as the beginning of an effort to enter a new and higher stage in his/her educational development. As well, it is a very important period in the life of universities as they receive, as it were, the seeds for sifting and sorting out in preparation for the next planting. In one go the Commission on Universities smothered and took the life out of these standard events and processes for some 45 universities and colleges and at least 100,000 university applicants plus their family members, friends and relatives numbering hundreds of thousands more.

    The Commission is made up of 13 members, all appointed by the Minister for Higher Education. They are:

    1. Prof. T. S. A. Mbwette, Chairman and Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania
    2. Prof. R. Mukandala Member, Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam
    3. Prof. A. S. Mshimba Member, Vice Chancellor of the State University of Zanzibar
    4. Rev. Dr. C. Kitima Member, Vice Chancellor of the St. Augustine University of Tanzania
    5. Prof. W. S. Abeli Member, Director of Higher Education
    6. Hon Dr. Mwita Haji Mwita (MP) Member, from the Union Parliament
    7. Hon Ali Mzee Ali (MHR) Member, from the House of Representatives, Zanzibar
    8. Dr. N. Sekwao Member, from the Ministry of Education and Vocational training
    9. Mrs. E. Mkwizu Member, from the Private Sector
    10. Mr. Vuai Mwinyi Mohamed Member, from the Ministry of Education, Zanzibar
    11. Mr. Joffer Maggila Member, from NACTE
    12. Ms Tumu Mussa Ali Member, Student representative, Zanzibar
    13. Mr. Walter Ngonyani Member, student representative from the Mainland

    The commission’s operations are headed by its Executive Secretary, Professor Mayunga Nkunya.

    The TCU was established by the Universities Act No. 7 of 2005, replacing the Higher Education Accreditation Council which had been in operation since 1995. The principal function of the Commission, like that of its predecessor is Accreditation and the only statutory authority the Act gives the commission with regard to Admissions is “to provide guidance and monitor criteria for student admission to universities in the United Republic”. Nowhere is the commission empowered to take over the task of admitting students to universities, which means the establishment of the Central Admission System and its operation by the TCU is illegal.

    Needless to say: even though the TCU is supposedly intended to “oversee” University Education it is made entirely of government appointees and the vast majority of them from government institutions. Of the 13 government appointed members, there is only one Vice-chancellor from a private university, an unknown representative of the private sector and a couple of students. Thus, from its very structure it is clearly intended to carry out any and all desires of the top leadership regardless of their consequences on the standing or performance of the universities. It is therefore more likely to do harm than good to university education.

    That the real reason for establishing the TCU, like the establishment of several other government commissions and authorities and parastatals in the past, is to raise money for the benefit of the political leadership is shown by what the TCU did to the university admissions system.

    It established what it called a Central Admission System (CAS) for university admission, purportedly to avoid double admissions (i.e. prevent choice on the part of students!) and prevent the use of forged results slips – which are forged by government officials at NECTA in any case!

    The CAS system, introduced and enforced this year, affects all institutions of higher learning in the country – listed 45 in all – government as well as private.

    It applies to all applicants who finished Form 6 from 1988 to this year that is over a span of 23 years.

    Prof. Mkunya estimated that the number of applicants would be around 60,000 but we think the number is more likely to be at least 100,000, probably a lot higher than that. The number of students who sat for the Form 6 exam this year alone was 62,754 of whom 55,764 passed. As most of those who pass the Form 6 exam try for university admission one can assume the proportion applying for university admission among those who passed the exam to be quite high. In addition to those who sat the Form 6 exam there are many applicants who hold certificates and diplomas who also apply. Multiply this over 23 years and the number of applicants is more likely to be a lot more than Prof. Mkunya’s 60,000.

    Let us take the conservative estimate of 100,000 applicants for the year 2010/2011. To start with, each of these applicants had to pay an application fee of 30,000 shs., paid directly to the TCU account at CRDB bank. This is a total of 3,000,000,000 shs or 3 billion shs deposited in what is practically a private account and therefore accessible freely and practically unaccountable to the public. It is clear that there is nothing to prevent these billions being shifted to CCM and my inclination is to think that THIS WAS THE CHIEF OBJECTIVE FOR IMPOSING THE CENTRAL ADMISSION SYSTEM BEGINNING THIS ELECTION YEAR.

    This application fee used to go directly to the universities so, for the private universities at least, it constitutes expropriation of their income – reminding us of an earlier widespread practice, of which we should never forget its negative consequences. As would be expected, a number of the universities would object, and apparently objected to the new system but they were apparently subdued with threats for early in June 2010 there were thinly veiled threats to de-register a numbers of institutions including universities… (see for example "Taasisi, asasi 200 kufutwa nchini", in Mwananchi of 3 June 2010).

    Applications were to be submitted in April and May, with a deadline of 31 May and promise of informing students if and where they have been admitted by the 3rd week of June. As the system was entirely computerized there was no technical reason to delay the admission information. But they have kept postponing the date until to date (mid-September) with no reason whatsoever given for the delays. Universities usually start their academic year in September or early October and until now they do not know who the new students coming to their schools are and neither do the students themselves know if and where they may be going. This is truly pathetic and could happen only in Tanzania as none of our neighboring countries would tolerate such tyranny.

    The application procedure was supposed to be either through the internet or by SMS. Registration through the internet would have no additional financial benefit to TCU so, probably for this reason it was extremely difficult. The main difficulties were two:
    (i) the web pages took forever to open; even at night people would give up after waiting for more than two hours for a page to open;
    (ii) Once you entered your index number and the registration process was aborted for any reason but most usually because the system was taking forever to respond – you could not restart the process because the computer would say your index number has already been used.

    Application by SMS was to be as follows (from the TCU Student Guide for CAS, pg 15)

    1. Go to message mode,
    2. Enter “REGISTER” (leave a space) followed by ‘O’ level index number (leave a space) then year (leave a space) ‘A’ level index number (leave a space) year and send to 15789 (Index numbers should be in the following format S002/2515 2010)
    3. Those with multiple sittings should enter “ADD” (leave a space) followed by ‘O’ level or ‘A’ level index number whichever applies (leave a space) year and send to 15789
    4. Enter “EMAIL” (leave a space) followed by a valid email address and send to 15789
    5. Enter “ADDRESS” (leave a space) followed by your postal address and send to 15789
    6. Enter “PAY” (leave a space) followed by Pre-paid pin code numbers and send to 15789
    7. Enter “APPLY” (leave a space) followed by programme codes (as found in Table 4 of this Guidebook) and send to 15789. (Enter between 8 and 12 programme codes)

    A couple of things about the SMS system:

    (i) Except for Vodacom, every time you press SEND to 15789 it cost you 1,000 shs. There are five occasions when you have to press send, six or more if you had multiple sittings. If you press send by mistake it will also cost you 1,000 shs. Thus if 100,000 applicants press send once that is 100 million shs; they press send a second time it is another 100 million shs, and so on.
    (ii) Actually registration by SMS worked only with Vodacom. This information was not available to the vast majority of the applicants and was not posted on the web. In fact the understanding one gets from the Guide is that SMS works for all networks but it didn’t. A student told me that this information was passed out at a seminar held by TCU at Diamond Jubilee Hall when applicants are from all over the country and beyond! Clearly such a seminar could not have been attended by even 1/1,000th of the potential applicants and we contend that not putting this information on the web was intended to rob people of their money.
    (iii) If you registered through Vodacom you paid only the regular SMS charge every time you pressed send to 15789 but if you tried to register through any of the other networks – such as Tigo, Zain, Zantel, TTCL, etc as those who subscribed to these networks tried to do, you just lost 1,000 shs EVERY TIME YOU PRESSED SEND – WITHOUT REGISTERING. Obviously there was some arrangement for the other networks to hand over the ill gotten money, either to TCU directly or via Vodacom.

    So the SMS registration system added another several hundred million shs, possibly a billion or more, to the slash fund controlled by TCU and since the commission is entirely under the control of the top political leadership, very likely more illegal money for CCM’s election 2010 effort . Now the reader will understand what CCM meant by saying CCM would raise money by SMS! They meant they would squeeze and even steal some four billion shillings from high school kids, without any sense of shame or moral repugnance!

    One thing is certain: this system could not have been dreamed up by our professors; it took an accomplished FISADI to come up with a scheme like this and TCU/the professors have merely been ordered to implement it.
  2. m

    mwita ke mwita JF-Expert Member

    Oct 8, 2010
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    it is possible
  3. Anfaal

    Anfaal JF-Expert Member

    Oct 8, 2010
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    Its a nice articles with alot of contradictions.
    One of the paragraph literate that, the board is made up entirely by members from government institutions later on you point some individuals from private sectors and students.
    The so called Director of TCU has said the number of applicants is arround 60,000 but yr trying to dispute the statistics with flaw back up.
    Again in another section, yr trying to convince the readers that the bank account of CRDB is privately managed and no accountability to the public. However there is no any evidence to back up this claim.
    Further to that, you havent account for administration regarding the whole process of admission.
    On the side of the weakness of the system, I do agree with you but its just the beginning probably the will work out those difficulties in future. But you have to understand that, centralisation of admission may limit forgeries, admit rights candidates and reduce the posibility of multiple admissions.
    The system is widely practiced in UK using UCAS and has been soo successful.
  4. U

    Umsolopogaas Member

    Oct 12, 2010
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    It seems that Anfaal is trying to speak for TCU or perhaps s/he is just an insider who is sympathetic to a return to the old communist type centralization and state control of people and process which we tried for about 25 yrs and totally destroyed the functionality of the government, the economy and the social sector. Everyone knew that and even Nyerere himself admitted the policy was a dismal failure. Yet people who ought to be in the forefront opposing the re-imposition of systems which have already proved so destructive and so negative in our recent past are the ones trying to bring back, through the back door, that awful system just because a number of intellectuals and politicians will materially benefit from it.

    Anyway, Anfaal alleges the article has a lot of contradictions but s/he mentions only one, namely

    "One of the paragraph literate that, the board is made up entirely by members from government institutions later on you point some individuals from private sectors and students".

    In fact the alleged contradiction is his/her own creation because the relevant sentence says this:

    "[The Commission] is made entirely of government APPOINTEES and the vast majority of them from government institutions."

    Well, all the 13 members of the TCU are APPOINTED by the Minister for Higher Education. Only by reading the sentence CARELESSLY (which increases the possibility of Anfaal being from TCU because “carelessness” is one of their character traits!) could you have come up with that allegation.

    With regard to the estimate of the number of applicants and the accountability of the money collected, instead of keeping the public in the dark and thus fuelling suspicions of sinister intentions and plans, I think TCU should simply publish the actual number of students who applied through CAS, and publish a reasonably detailed account of the funds collected and spent. Then at some point, the CAG should carry out an audit and publish the findings. TCU is a public institution and as such it has to be accountable to the public.

    But the really preposterous allegation is the claim that “The system is widely practiced in UK using UCAS”.

    It is true that there is something called UCAS in UK but it is completely different from TCU’s CAS:-

    (i) First of all, the UK UCAS stands for “Universities and Colleges Admission SERVICE” whereas the TCU CAS stands for CENTRAL Admission SYSTEM. The UK UCAS provides a service to students whereas the TCU version simply imposes itself on a process just in order to “eat” the people. It is like the familiar road blocks which are erected at various points along our roads for the simple purpose of extracting ransom from road users, transporters and traders giving them nothing in return.

    (ii) Secondly the UK UCAS is an NGO [Registered charity number 1024741 (England and Wales) and Registered charity number SC038598 (Scotland)] and not a government institution like TCU-CAS is.

    (iii) Thirdly UCAS is entirely VOLUNTARY and not compulsory as in the case of TCU-CAS. People use the system because it is helpful to them not because they are forced to.

    (iv) The UK has more than 350 Universities and colleges, each of them with dozens of study programs. UCAS was thought up and started privately to help students wade through the numerous colleges and programs. Its motto: “Helping [the student] into Higher Education”.

    (v) UCAS forwards the application to the universities. The decision to admit or not to admit is made by the university, NOT by UCAS.

    (vi) A UCAS applicant may get any number of admissions and it is s/he who decides which university or college to go to unlike TCU-CAS one of whose objectives is TO DENY STUDENTS CHOICE – a highly negative, harmful and tyrannical intention.

    (vii) UCAS charges a fee for the service which is refundable under certain conditions whereas TCU CAS is predatory and never refunds money for any reason.

    In the old days people would quote a statement by a member of the British Communist Party attacking capitalism and broadcast it in Tanzania surreptitiously to give the Tanzanian public the impression that the same thing that was happening in Tanzania was also happening in the UK.
    To claim that the UCAS service in UK is similar to what was clearly dreamed up by some FISADI for Tanzania is intentional distortion in order to deceive the public. So the contention that the Tanzanian intellectuals, instead of enlightening the people they are keeping them shrouded in darkness, is supported by the behavior of a number of the country’s leading intellectuals. Needless to say, this behavior and attitude is a major stumbling block against our nation’s development.
  5. tzjamani

    tzjamani JF-Expert Member

    Oct 13, 2010
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    Ni idea nzuri kuwa na computeriyed system but kabla hujaimplement hiyo system kuna hatua za kuitengeneza na kufanya testing ili kujua kama itafanya mambo. Hapa wataalamu aidha hawakufanya assignment yao au walishinikizwa na siasa.