People with disability decry allegedly ‘stigmatizing language’ during electoral campaigns

Some people with disability in Tanzania have decried the allegedly use of ‘stigmatizing language’ directed to them during the on-going campaign trails taking place all over the country ahead of the Oct 25 General elections.

Speaking at the fourth Persons with Disabilities’ forum organized by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in Dar es Salaam from 9-10 September to discuss how to strengthen the special group’s participation in the October 2015 elections, some participants wanted authorities to intervene immediately so as to rescue the situation.

Making his contribution at the forum a member of Tanzania Albino Society (TAS) Tabora region, Ramadhan Nassor, said he is an eyewitness that some contestants with disability have been abused based on their disability.

“I have seen a contestant with disability been stigmatized quite openly. His opponents simply appealed to citizens not to vote for him since he is a blind man – who can’t even visualize the road that the former was advocating for its rehabilitation,” lamented Nassor.

Nassor thus called upon authorities to ensure a level-playing field is availed to all contestants in the political campaigns without stigmatizing ones’ disability.

The theme for this year’s disability forum was on “increasing the PwDs engagement in the upcoming General Elections in October”. Over 130 people with disability attended the forum organised by the FCS.


FCS facilitates launch of CSOs manifesto ahead of October elections

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has facilitated the launch of the Tanzania Civil Society (CSOs) manifesto ahead of the October 2015 General elections, such that during the event all political parties taking place in the current electoral process were called upon to refrain from use of provocative language that could jeopardize peace and stability in the country.

Launch of the CSOs manifesto has arrived after the core document writing exercise - kindly supported by the FCS – and was launched on September 6 by the Chairman of the Commission of Human Rights and Good Governance, Mr. Bahame Nyanduga. During the event he said as the country heads into the October General Elections, all political parties have a key role to promote their manifestos, and above all refrain from use of provocative language. He said such utterances are unhealthy to the real democratic pillars.

Mr Nyanduga mentioned some of the uncalled for utterances, such as “...We will win the election at 10am”, and “...The Hand of God Goal”.

He said state apparatus like the Police have to fulfill their responsibility of protecting all citizens during the entire democratic process, without using any sort of excessive forces, so that everyone is able to participate in the process peacefully.

Mr Nyanduga also said Tanzania is among countries that have already ratified the International Criminal Court (ICC) statute, therefore for all individuals that will participate in acts of bleaching peace will be dealt with the ICC.

Citizens were also called upon to exercise the highest degree of tolerance during the entire election process without mocking other opposing political parties, destroying their fellows’ placards since doing so is not embedded in acts of democratic maturity.

FCS trains 104 CSOs ahead of implementing 2015 Election projects, peace dialogues

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has offered the Manage Your Grant (MYG) training to a total of 104 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that have been funded to implement projects related to enhancing citizens’ engagement in the 2015 Tanzania General Elections, as well as conducting peace dialogues.

The 104 FCS-funded CSOs are expected to reach out to a million of Tanzanians in different parts of the country as well as inspire democratic engagement in the electoral processes. Critical constituencies, including People with Disability (PWDs), women and youths are expected to be part of the key targeted direct beneficiaries.
According to internal FCS procedures, all grantees have to first undergo the mandatory MYG training so as to enable them fine-tune their project indicators, expected outcomes, as well as budgets. Also, the MYG allows the grantees to prepare plans of action for activities as well as monitoring and evaluation tools to ensure results are well captured.

Giving his opening remarks, the FCS Executive Director, Mr. Francis Kiwanga appealed to the grantee organisations to ensure that they devote their energy to adequately achieve their set out targets of enhancing effective citizens’ engagement in the upcoming Tanzania General Elections, as well as peace dialogues - without any forms of diversion.

Towards the end of MYG training representatives of the grantee organisations were tested on their training modules proficiency, such that upon successful completion, they were made to sign contracts for the immediate implementation of the funded projects.

The MYG training modules were held in Dodoma and delivered by own FCS staff members from 21-23 September.


FCS inspire formation of Tanzania philanthropy forum to serve the vulnerable

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in partnership with the East African Association of Grant-makers (EAAG) based in Nairobi has taken lead in the formation of a Tanzanian chapter philanthropy forum - so as to inspire the spirit of giving to vulnerable communities.

The forum among others will be pivotal in championing for the good course of accelerating local philanthropy which will ultimately add up into concrete measures that aim at servicing the ever expanding critical constituencies that include, vulnerable children, women and the youths.

Speaking during the event that brought together over twenty five local philanthropic organisations, the FCS Board Chairperson, Ms. Olive Luena said the forum would be a good opportunity to make lasting change in the lives of the marginalized poor.

“Having a local philanthropic forum in Tanzania is a great opportunity to seek making a lasting change in the lives of the poor and marginalized and even forge new relationships, said Ms. Olive.


Dr. Tenga re-elected as FCS President, as Prof. Ngowi is appointed as Board chair

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) that was held in Dar es Salaam on 18 August 2015 has re-elected Dr. Stigmata Tenga to continue serving as the President of the FCS for another term of one year until the next AGM in 2016.

The FCS President’s main responsibility includes chairing the meeting of the Members of the Foundation, including the AGM and any other extraordinary meetings.
“We will in due course appoint a new FCS Member to fill up one vacancy left following the demise of Mr. Amritlal Shah that took place towards end of last year,” said the FCS Member, Mr. Alais Morindat, while unveiling news of the re-election of Dr. Tenga as the FCS President.

The Members also unanimously resolved to appoint Prof. Honest Prosper Ngowi as the new Chairperson of the FCS Board of Directors for a period of one year until the next Annual General Meeting. Prof. Ngowi has been a member of the Board of Directors since 26 August 2011.

Prof. Ngowi is a senior researcher and consultant in the field of economics and business. He is also the Head of Department of Short Courses, Research and Consultancy at Mzumbe University - Dar Es Salaam College Campus.

Also during the AGM, the Members received and approved the FCS Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements for the year 2014, and re-appointed KPMG as external auditors of the Foundation for 2015.

There are three different levels of governance at the Foundation for Civil Society. These are the Members, the Board of Directors and the Secretariat. As per Memorandum and Articles of Association of the FCS there are between five and seven Members at a time and these are headed by a President elected by themselves and they are selected on the basis of their commitment to the civil society sector, interest and integrity. The Members exercise their authority mainly through the Annual General Meeting or extraordinary meetings.

The current Members are Dr. Stigmata Tenga, Mr. Alais Morindat, Mr. Rakesh Rajani, Prof. Samuel Wangwe, Ms. Mary Rusimbi and Mr. Salum Shamte. Dr. Tenga’s was first elected as FCS President in 2010.

The Board of Directors is the second principle organ of the FCS. It is a Governing Board providing regular oversight of the activities of the Foundation.

The Board’s role include: approving any changes to the structure of the FCS, approving higher level policy and changes or additions to high level rules, regulations and procedures of the FCS, providing final approval of annual plans and budgets for endorsement at the AGM, review and discussion of the financial report with the auditors and presenting audited financial statements for approval by the AGM, and also, the recruitment and performance management of the Executive Director. 


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