It was not possible to supply a news digest in the last Bulletin, so the following covers the whole of 1979. For this reason, some interesting and important news items have been excluded.
Tanzanian and UNLF forces took Kampala on 11 April, and on 29 May the end of the war was signified by the capture of Arua, capital of West Nile Province. This was the last big town to be taken.
Tanzania had 40,000 troops in the country and the war is estimated to have cost more than a quarter of a million pounds a day. In July it was agreed that the soldiers would be brought home but about 25,000 remained, or were replaced. The Ugandan Foreign Minister, Mr. Halimadi, said in November that the Tanzanian soldiers were needed to train the new Ugandan army and maintain law and order. Also in November, President Nyerere reaffirmed that he would not withdraw the troops. He said it would mean an extra burden on Tanzania. But he denied that the war was the main cause of Tanzania’s economic problems (see below).
Libyan soldiers captured by the Tanzanian army were all released between July and November.
The war increased the size of the army from 30,000 to 75,000 men.
More than 400 Tanzanian and UNLF soldiers were killed in the war, but most died in road accidents. Tanzanian soldiers had a good reputation for their behaviour towards Ugandan civilians until the end of the war, then there began to be severe problems of discipline.
GOVERNMENT and C.C.M.
The Minister for Manpower Development, Abel Mwanga, said in November that 90% of the Civil Service was now manned by nationals in comparison to 26% at independence.
The chief executive secretary of the C.C.M., Pius Msekwa, was on a 10-day official visit to Britain in March and April as a guest of the Labour Government.
In November it was announced that seventeen officials of
C.C.M. in Kigoma had been dismissed for “lack of discipline”. After a two-day NEC meeting in Zanzibar, the officials from Kigoma town were ordered not to contest any elections for five years. According to Pius Msekwa they had refused to co-operate with the Government’s measures to combat the cholera outbreak in 1978.
The Budget in June laid great emphasis on food and cash crop development. The Government expects to spend Sh.14,659,000,000 on both development and recurrent expenditure in the financial year beginning 1 July.
With effect from 22 June, everyone travelling outside Tanzania has to pay a 20% surcharge on his ticket. All foreign vehicles entering the country have to pay 50% more for licences and local licences went up by 25%. Duties on certain imported non-essentials were increased, as were the prices of beer and sugar.
Prices of many imported goods increased earlier in the year as the result of the small devaluation of the shilling.
In September, President Nyerere said that economic conditions would make life very rough for the next eighteen months. Half the country’s income from exports would now have to go to buying oil.
To make up for the damage done hy the floods, Tanzania is importing 80,000 tons of food from Japan, Thailand and elsewhere. Earlier, shortages had caused black market prices to rise to four times the official level.
AID and FOREIGN INVESTMENT
The period has been dominated by the economic difficulties and the resultant disagreement with the IMF/World Bank. Following Mr. Mtei’s resignation, President Nyerere made a forceful speech at the Ubungo farm implement factory. He said that Tanzania will not abandon socialism and self-reliance. He said that Tanzania would accept assistance, but not at the expense of its policies. Some “quarters” were trying to pressurise Tanzania to change policy because of its economic situation. But Tanzania, he said, will overcome hardships without compromising its policy. Tanzania’s economic crisis was a result of the world’s economic system which continued to give the wealthy the power to control the distribution of wealth.
Britain is writing off Shs.57,000,OOO of debts owed by Tanzania. Shs.330,000,000 has been pledged for the year 1979/80. Britain is making a £8,000,000 grant to improve health services in Southern Tanzania, and the ODM is financing a feasibility study into a proposed irrigated rice scheme in Madibira in Southern Tanzania. Britain is also providing Sh.655,000,OOO for the Songea-Makambaku road.
Holland is making a grant of Shs.380,000,000 during the current Five-Year Plan.
The U.S. Peace Corns programme is starting again in Tanzania. The United States has also granted Shs.48,000,OOO for an agricultural training project.
Professor Rene Dumont, in his latest study of Tanzanian agriculture, says that the country is “the best hope for African Socialism” but only if there are some fundamental reforms. He was again invited hy President Nyerere to go and make a study of the situation. His main points:
1. Bureaucrats must hold dialogue with the peasants.
2. Natural resources must be looked after better, to avoid erosion, over-grazing and deforestation.
3. Alternative energy-saving technology must he adopted, including
ox and donkey carts, bicycles, etc.
Professor Dumont said that, out of the country’s 8,000 or so Ujamaa villages, only about a dozen were operating efficiently on a cooperative basis. He also said the C.C.M. was too dominated by town people – it was time the peasants got organised to push their interests.
TRADE and INDUSTRY
The Bank of Tanzania warned in February that legal action would be taken against those who imported goods in contravention of exchange controls. People had been abusing the system and had been using travel and other allowances for the purpose of importing non-essential goods.
The Tanzania State Motor Corporation has placed an order for some 300 truck and bus chassis with British Leyland. The deal is worth £5,000,000. The vehicles will he assembled by Leyland- Albion Tanzania.
A boiler at the Bukoba coffee processing factory blew up in August, killing 14 people. The factory has been out of action.
The Tazara Line has been disrupted on a number of occasions by floods and by attacks from the Rhodesians. But Chinese railway engineers expected to re-open the line in December. In November Dar es Salaam was congested with 70,000 tons of Zambian freight – double the amount for which there is storage.
Tanga Port is being expanded to handle half a million tons of cargo a year to relieve congestion in Dar es Salaam. The Chairman of Tanzania Harbours Authority, Mr. Peter Kisumo, said the cost of the scheme would he about Sh.20,000,000. Tanga would become the main port for Tanzania, while Dar es Salaam would mainly serve neighbouring countries.
The increasing cost of oil has given an additional spur to prospecting. Drilling is to begin around the Songo Songo Islands to find if there is enough oil for commercial exploitation. Natural gas has already been found there.
Two sets of measures were announced in August to conserve Petrol. The price of ton-grade petrol went up to Sh.33 per gallon. Then it was announced that petrol rationing would de introduced. Petrol stations would be closed at 9 p.m. and no petrol would he sold to private vehicles between Thursday night and Monday morning.
The National Development Corporation said in September that a study was being made to see if Tanzania could make motor fuel from sugar as in Brazil.
Chinese mining experts have discovered huge coal reserves at Ilema in Mbeya Region – more than 50 million tons.
RELATIONS with KENYA
The border with Kenya was specially re-opened in March or April to allow 100,000 tons of emergency maize supplies through to Zambia.
In May President Nyerere and President Daniel arap Moi met in Arusha to discuss relations. They agreed to allow the use of each other’s air space. Discussion on other outstanding issues continues.
The Foreign Minister, Benjamin Mkapa, told Parliament in July that the border would be reopened as soon as a solution to the question of the assets and liabilities of the East African Community was found.
RELATIONS with the U.K.
The Queen went to Tanzania on a state visit in July – her first ever visit. Among the places visited were Arusha, Moshi, the nearby game parks, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
Tanzania has ended the double taxation agreement with the U.K.
RELATIONS with ZAIRE
On 1 June, President Mohutu arrived in Arusha with 80 officials for talks with President Nyerere and members of his government. They agreed to set up a permanent commission to improve cooperation.
Poaching, for long a scourge of Kenyan wildlife, has become a major problem in Tanzania, especially along the Kenya border. The Mara Regional Game officer, Msindai Izumhe, said in November that 5,000 wild animals – mainly elephants and wildebeeste, died on the edge of Serengeti after their food supply had been destroyed in bush fires deliberately started by poachers.
Rhinoceros in Ngorongoro have been reduced to less than 50 by poachers. Tanzania now spends a larger percentage of its budget on conservation areas than any other country in the world.
You can now dial Tanzania direct from some major exchanges in the U.K.
A ten-day forest fire on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro destroyed more than 25,000 acres of heathland and cedar forest in September.
60 people drowned in July when a bus plunged into Lake Victoria near Nansio. The bus was illegally overloaded.
In April, the Director of Broadcasting, Paul Sozigwa, returned to his former post as the President’s Press Secretary. His place at RTD was taken by David Wakati. Sam Mdee moved from State House to head the mass media department at the Institute of Adult Education.
Ferdinand Ruhinda, editor of the Daily News, and Costa Kumaliza, editor of Uhuru, moved to C.C.M. headquarters. Their places were taken by Uli Mwambulukutu and Wilson Munubi Bhukoli.
The BBC TV “Blue Peter’s” sale of coins and stamps raised £21,558 in May – enough to buy 1,000 bicycles for Tanzania medical workers.
The University is to spend about Sh.160,000,000 on new buildings including new geology and dental departments.
The celebration marking the 18th anniversary of independence from Britain was attended by President Pereira of the Cape Verde Islands, and the Prime Minister of Papua-New Guinea, Mr. Somare.