REVIEW OF TANZANIAN NEWS

June to December 1978

Graham Mytton

Relations with Zambia
Relations with Zambia have been somewhat strained by three main factors, the railway and port facilities, Rhodesia and the expulsion of Tanzanians from Zambia.

The re-opening of Zambia’s borders with Rhodesia in October followed difficulties with both the TAZARA railway and congestion in Dar-es-Salaam – at least according to Zambian sources. The Tanzanian view is that the action was not necessary and that the Tanzanians had heard of the fertiliser shortage for the first time only a day and a half before the re-opening.

Evidence of such progress was provided by talks on trade in December. No details have been produced but an inter-government committee is proposed.

Transport and Telecommunications
The continuing troubles with TAZARA are referred to above. In a move to solve the congestion problem at Dar-es-Salaam, the executive Chairman of the Tanzania Ports Authority. Mr. Peter Kisumo, announced that Sh 1,500 million would be spent over the next five years on development equipment and training. A training institution will be established. The Tanzania Ports Authority was inaugurated in October and replaces the former East African Harbours Corporation.

The ambitious and extensive modernisation of the entire old railway system is now underway. This was reported in earlier bulletins. British Rail is exporting £24 million worth of equipment to Tanzania. The contract is for 510 wagons and 50 passenger coaches. The wagons are being produced as “kits” in Ashford in Kent, and are then assembled in Tanzania. Lloyds Bank is providing a loan to the Tanzanian Railway Corporation for a large part of the purchase. British Rail’s order was also helped by a £4 million Overseas Aid grant and credits guaranteed by the British Government.

Finland will finance and organise the training of 15 Tanzanian pilots and 12 flight mechanics for the new airline.

A satellite communication station is being bought from Japan to end the country’s dependence on Kenya for external telecommunications services. It should be completed next year and will cost Sh 23 million. At present BO% of international telephone calls and 90% of international telex calls are routed through Nairobi and the Longonot earth satellite station.

An inter-nation telex exchange was purchased in 1978 at a cost of Sh 9 million and was expected to become operational by the end of the year.

It is however agreed that TAZARA is facing severe problems. Ministers from Zambia, Tanzania and China reached agreement in August on improving its operation. It was also agreed that 800 Chinese technicians and instructors would stay on an additional two years to help run the railway.
Observers have blamed the lack of sufficient maintenance, derailments, thefts and indiscipline for the railway’s troubles. The Tanzanian Minister for Transport and Communications Mr. Amir Jamal denied Zambian allegations that the port facilities at Dar-es-Salaam were to blame for long delays on Zambian cargo. He blamed the inefficiency of the railway and congestion caused in the port by the behaviour of Zambian shippers.

About 1,500 Tanzanians have been expelled from Zambia since August. They were, according to the Zambian authorities, unregistered and therefore living in Zambia illegally. Zambia took similar action against citizens of Zaire, Malawi and Somalia.

Relations with Kenya
The border has remained closed and travellers between the two countries have had to use long and expensive routes via Mauritius, Burundi, Zaire or elsewhere. In June Foreign Minister Ben Mkapa told Parliament that the border would be re-opened when all nine conditions agreed at the Mombasa talks in December 1977 were fulfilled. He said that up to date two conditions had been fulfilled, the release by Kenya of the three ships at Kisumu and the release of Kenyan property by Tanzania.

President Nyerere attended the funeral of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in August and called on President Daniel Arap Moi. He said that progress on restoring links was being made.

Aid
In June it was announced that the UK will spend nearly £3 million on helping development in Lindi and Mtwara. The money will be spent in sending out seventeen British agricultural and livestock specialists to assist in formulation integrated development attracted to these regions.

In July Mrs. Judith Hart the Overseas Aid Minister, announced that Britain was cancelling debts totalling £900 million owed by 17 developing countries. Loans would be converted into grants. More than half this sum was owed by India. Tanzania is among the other affected countries.

A group of Conservative M.P’s tried to oppose all aid to Tanzania and other front-line states. In spite of this, British aid to Tanzania has been substantially increased this year. The allocation for 1978 is over £6 million.

Sport
Tanzania refused to join Nigeria in its boycott of the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada.

For Tanzania, Filbert Bayi was beaten into second place in the 1500 metres by David Moorcroft of England. The only gold medal won by a Tanzanian was in the marathon, it was not won by the East and Central African marathon champion Emmanuel Ndiemandoi, but by the little-known Gidamus Shahanga. Shahanga was very nearly dropped from the Tanzanian team. He is 21 years old from Jaradom in Hanang District. He is still a secondary pupil in Dodoma. Shahanga’s ambition now is of course to win the marathon in Moscow in 1980.

On his return to Dar-es-Salaam Shahanga remarked “Tanzania has many with talent such as Bayi’s or mine, They have to be found and encouraged.”

The Minister for Culture and Youth, Mr. Chediel Mgonja, went on a month-long tour of five western and eastern countries to seek aid for the development of sport. He said his trip had been successful and that governments were interested in helping Tanzania promote sport.

Industry and Agriculture
Tanzania has taken over all Lonrho property in the country. In June the British company had been given three months to negotiate the takeover. But, said Sammy Mdee, “it had become clear the Lonrho was refusing to negotiate.” Tanzania also claimed that Lonrho had overvalued its assets. Lonrho denied these charges and said that it would take legal steps to prevent the Tanzanian action.

In September the Ministry of Water, Energy and Minerals announced that geological studies had indicated the presence of deposits of uranium in the country.

The Tanzania Coffee Authority announced in October it will spend Sh 50 million this year on aid for small-scale coffee growers. It was said that this represented a change in policy from helping only the large-scale estates.

Sh 3.5 million worth of wheat was destroyed by millions of quelea birds. The quelea “occupied” the NAFCO farm in Western Kilimanjaro in July and August. The damage represented 70% of the total expected national wheat yield. The birds also caused extensive damage to other crops in the region. A NAFCO spokesman said that it had been able to do nothing because it had no spraying plane. Later it was announced that two such planes had been purchased. The Minister of Agriculture, John Malecela, announced that the Government was discussing with FAO the establishment of special centres to deal with crop destroying birds.

There was a serious (1 million kg) fall in tobacco production in Iringa in the past season. It was caused by heavy rain, poor attendance on communal farms and an outbreak of cholera which prevented movement during quarantine.

Generally, however, tobacco production is a success story. In 10 years it has increased by 225% in Mbeya.

Miscellaneous
A census was carried out in August, the first since 1967. Twenty thousand enumerators visited all parts of the country.

The ban on game hunting was lifted in July for a six month period. Permits to hunt were granted for 260 safaris by big game hunters. The ban was lifted because of the need to cull some wildlife, which has shown a considerable increase because of conservation measures.

The Tanzanian Tourist Corporation says that in future, tourists would be able to visit Ujamaa villages, factories, and farms. An experiment had been introduced covering four regions.

One of Africa’s earliest iron age industrial sites has been discovered in the West Lake Region. The discovery was made by Professor Peter Schmidt near Kemondo Bay on Lake Victoria where new port facilities are being developed

Fourteen members of the Barbaig raiding party were sentenced to death for the murder of 21 villagers in Iramba in 1976. A number of Tanzanian officials resigned after allegations of brutality during the questioning of suspects.

The Comptroller and Auditor General has once again produced a critical report. This time it says that some Sh 15 million in cash and goods were embezzled from the Government last year. The report presented to Parliament blamed slack financial control.

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