50 YEARS AGO (1944)

The following was printed in TA issue 49 (Sept 1994)

The following extracts are from the ‘Tanganyika Standard’ in the autumn of 1944.

The yacht that mysteriously disappeared from Kisumu has reappeared. It turned up 200 miles away on the other side of Lake Victoria at Bukoba. Trying to escape from a Kenya Prisoner-of-War Camp and reach neutral territory in Portuguese Mozambique (800 miles further on! ) two Germans and an Italian took 18 days to cross the Lake and had used up all their food. The first people they saw in Bukoba sent at once for the Chief of Ihangiro and when he arrived he found the prisoners surrounded by Africans with spears and bows. They surrendered to the Chief who passed them on to the police. They are now back in Kenya – September 9 1944.

The number of Africans in paid employment at the end of 1993 was 275,403 including 22,927 conscripted workers. This represented 1.6% of the total male tax-paying population. Included were 99,100 in sisal, 22,300 on the railways, 18,500 in mining, 17,900 on rubber plantations, 8,900 on mixed farms, 8,700 on coffee estates, 8,300 in public works, 5,700 on pyrethrum farms, 2,200 on sugar estates, 1,200 on papain farms, 4,500 in the kapok, copra and mangrove bark industries, 400 on cinchona estates and 24,300 in domestic service. Prosecutions under the Master and Servants Ordinance in 1943 totalled 70 employers (mostly for not paying wages) and 135 employees (mostly for leaving their employment) – September 23.

There was an ear-splitting roar, a jagged red flash and a mounting column of thick brown smoke. Hot fragments of scrap iron shattered down over half a mile of the surrounding sea, sand and coastal scrub. It was a mine from somewhere in the Indian Ocean that had drifted to the Tanganyika coast a few miles south of Dar es Salaam. An old fisherman of Dege had spotted the three foot sphere and, thinking it was a loose buoy, brought his canoe up close, put a rope round one of its projections and towed it ashore. He called to friends to help him to roll it up the beach. Then they reported it to the authorities, The nearby village was immediately evacuated and finally experts blew it up. After that the lonely beach of Dege began to look like Oyster Bay on a Sunday afternoon as hundreds gathered to see the hole in the sand – five feet deep and twelve feet wide – September 16.

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