DIGEST OF TANZANIAN NEWS, JANUARY TO JULY, 1977.
Compiled by Graham Mytton
On 25th April, a specially convened Constituent Assembly adopted the United Republic’s first permanent constitution. The CCM’s NEC will be the supreme policy-making body. New Constitution also stipulates the election of MPs from Zanzibar in the same way as on the mainland.
Proposals were announced at the end of December for a new trade union body to replace NUTA. It will be JUWATA (Jumuiya ya Wanafanyakazi Tanzania).
In January, the Minister for Home Affairs, Ali Mwinyi and the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Peter Siyovelwa accepted responsibility for “acts of grave misconduct on the part of some members of the police and security forces” in the north-west. Two regional commissioners also resigned – Peter Kisumo and Marco Mabawa. The resignations followed disclosures about the maltreatment of prisoners. Widespread arrests of suspected murderers in Shinyanga and Mwanza regions were followed by a commission of enquiry into the behaviour of the police and security forces. Observers have commented that the latter appear to have seriously over- reacted to earlier public concern about widespread lawlessness and mercenary murders in the area.
The inauguration of CCM to replace TANU and ASP has been followed by a number of new appointments and a cabinet reshuffle. The Cabinet on February 14th includes:
Prime Minister: Edward Sokoine
Foreign: Ben Mkapa
Defence: Rashidi Kawawa
Finance: Edwin Mtei
Works: Alfred Tandau
Natural Resources: Solomon Ole Saibul
Labour: Crispin Tungaraza
Agriculture: John Malecela
Lands: Tabitha Siwale
Education: Nicholas Kuhanga
Justice: Julie Manning
Information and Broadcasting: Isaac Sepetu
National Culture and Youth: Mirisho Sarakikya
Communications: Amir Jamal
Commerce: Alphonse Rulegura
Home Affairs: Nassor Moyo
Capital Development: Hasnu Makame
Health: Leader Stirling
Water: Al-Noor Kassum
Industries: Cleopa Msuya
Civil Service: Abel Mwenga
Pius Msekwa was appointed Executive Secretary General of the CCM. His deputies are Salmini Amur [Amour] from Zanzibar, and Col. Simba Ibrahim Kaduna, the former Foreign Minister replaced Msekwa as Vice Chancellor at the University. Other Appointments:
Party Secretaries: Col. Muhiddin Kimario, Mwanza; Chediel Mgonja, Tabora; Silas Mayunga, Singida; John Mhaville, Dodoma; Nassor Kisoki, West Lake; Bruno Mpangala, Shinyanga; Lavrrence Gama, Ruvuma; Athman Kabongo; Charles Kilewo, Mtwara.
CCN Youth League Secretary-General: Rajab Kheri (formerly ASP Youth League).
Daudi Mwakawago, formerly Minister of Information and Broadcasting has now returned to Kivukoni College to be the head.
Estimates for 1977/78 were presented to Parliament on June 16th by Finance Minister Edwin Mtei. No increases in personal taxation, but taxation on some trading co-operatives. Government expected to spend 9,523 million shillings.
The Soviet Union is to lend Tanzania $19 million to establish two state farms, a new technical college and to train teachers and agriculturalists in Russia.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Minister of Agriculture, John Malecela announced that the Government would increase the country’s capacity to store grain – from 60,000 to 100,000 tons.
In March, relief measures were announced for 100,000 people in Singida Region suffering from widespread drought. Water was being taken to many places.
The National Bicycle Company is now building a cycle factory.
The Government will require companies selling agricultural equipment to establish factories to make spares. Agriculture Minister John Malecela said in March that if they failed to do this they would not be allowed to trade. He said there were 30 different makes of tractor on sale in Tanzania, and for most of them spares were difficult to obtain.
Civil Servants in rural areas are to use horses to save fuel and the cost of vehicles. MPs laughed when told, but Prime Minister Sokoine said “we are serious about this”.
EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
The disintegration of the EAC has caused some grave problems for Tanzania. The development plan was drawn up assuming the Community would continue to provide services. Now, according to the President, the country would have to spend money on planes, ships and railway equipment to make up for equipment lost to Kenya. The Kenya-Tanzania border was partially closed in February and sealed completely in April in an attempt to make the Kenyans release East African property. Both the Kenyan Foreign Minister and the Tanzanian Vice President have spoken recently about their hopes for a new community including all the countries of Eastern and Central Africa.
Tate and Lyle and Booker International are studying ways of expanding Tanzania’s sugar industry, both to meet growing home demand and export potential (for example to take up Tanzania’s quota for the EEC).
There has been a rabies epidemic in Shinyanga. 50 people had died by April. Villagers were not co-operating in dog vaccination campaigns. Government later announced plans to shoot 1 million dogs in the country.
30,000 animals in game reserves were killed every year by game poachers. according to an official report.
Rubondo Island on Lake Victoria is now a game reserve.
“The Arusha Declaration – 10 years after”, a booklet by Julius Nyerere was published in April. The President looks frankly at the progress of socialism. Tanzania, he says “is certainly neither socialist, nor self-reliant”. There were still great inequalities, but the drift towards the growth of a class society had been arrested.
Three ships have been bought from Belgium for Lake Victoria, to replace those seized by Kenya. Prefabricated sections are now being pieced together in Mwanza.
Two new radio transmitters are to be built at Kigoma and Dodoma as part of the long term plan to improve RTD (Radio Tanzania) reception.