#MbungeLive | Bringing People Closer to Power

In January 2016 the then Minister of Information, Youth, Culture, and Sports, Hon. Nape Nnauye (MP, Mtama Constituency), announced that parliamentary sessions in Bunge would no longer be televised live on national television. Almost 4 out of 5 Tanzanians disapproved of this move and almost every Tanzanian (92%) viewed the live broadcasts as important.

As an alternative route to knowing your MP, Twaweza, in conjunction with Maa Media, piloted a program called, #MbungeLive, profiling MPs. The 30-minute show focuses on the roles and responsibilities of MPs and how accountable each MP is to promises made during the last 2015 General Elections.

This brief details results from an independent quantitative and qualitative study commissioned by Twaweza and implemented by Ideas In Action during November 2017 to March 2018 consisting of interviews with 416 constituents who were randomly selected across the two constituencies profiled in the show.

The first constituency visited was Tarime Vijijini held by Hon. John Heche of Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA). The second constituency visited was Nzega Mjini held by Hon. Hussein Bashe of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). 

The key findings are that #MbungeLive:

  1. Increases constituents’ beliefs that their Mbunge listens to their concerns. CCM supporters are more likely to believe this.
  2. Increases constituents’ beliefs that there are sufficient opportunities for people such as themselves to interact with their Mbunge.
  3. Decreases constituents’ desire to vote for their Mbunge if the elections are held the day after being surveyed. However, CHADEMA supporters are more likely to vote for their Mbunge if the elections are held the day after being surveyed.
  4. Increases constituents’ knowledge of policies proposed and promises made by their Mbunge during the last 2015 General Elections.
  5. Increases constituents’ evaluation of the extent to which their Mbunge has fulfilled his promises.
  6. Increases constituents’ level of trust and belief in the qualification, capability and willingness of their Mbunge to fulfil the promises made during the last 2015 General Elections.

There are, however, three important cautions to keep in mind when digesting the evidence presented. First, when we asked constituents, at the end of the survey, who they think commissioned this study, they are more likely to think the MP did so, after having watched the episode profiling him.

This implies that constituents may have given us responses to our questions with some bias in favour of the MP. Importantly, however, there are no differences across supporters of CCM and CHADEMA in thinking the MP sent us to do the study.

Second, the two Mbunge Live Show episodes profiling Hon. John Heche (CHADEMA) of Tarime Vijijini and Hon. Hussein Bashe (CCM) of Nzega Mjini are fairly positive episodes. Are the producers of the Mbunge Live Show biased in favour of these two MPs? We find this unlikely and think it is perhaps because the show is new and naturally the first few MPs to agree to be profiled by the show will more likely to be high-performers.

However, moving forward, we will mitigate this selection bias by randomly selecting MPs for future episodes. This should help to provide balance in terms of perspectives. But we do note that people are inclined towards positive comments or, at the very least, are unwilling to express negative feedback on the camera. So we anticipate any future episodes to retain a positive skew.

To find out more on this study, read the full report here. 

Read more: #MbungeLive



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