NOTES ON CURRENT ISSUES

Changes in Zanzibar
Friends of Tanzania have ever since the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika been disturbed by the continuation of arbitrary rule on Zanzibar and Pemba islands and the apparent inability of the central Tanzanian government to persuade Zanzibar to accept free elections and adopt the normal processes of law. There seems to be no doubt that some of the activities of the rulers of Zanzibar have been highly embarrassing to the Tanzanian Government. When questioned about the failure of Zanzibar to live up to the Tanzanian standards of personal freedom, Julius Nyerere has always said that full union of the two countries would take time to achieve.

The problem within Zanzibar has largely been caused by the group who controlled the party and owed their position to the part they had played in the 1964 revolution. This group strongly opposed the idea that they should submit themselves to an election. The creation of a single political party, C.C.M., to replace TANU and ASP was an important step towards the creation of a single state.

In October a new Constitution was adopted for the islands which provides for an elected President and Council of Representatives. Zanzibar’s representation in the National Assembly consists of two elements; the members of the Revolutionary Council are ex officio members and there are also members representing constituencies. Vice-President Jumbe obtained agreement that the constituency members should also be elected and not appointed. Zanzibar retains a disproportionate share of the seats in the Tanzanian National Assembly and in the Central Committee of C.C.M. This seems to be the price which must he paid to persuade her to bring her internal policies closer to those of mainland Tanzania.

Negotiations with Lonrho
The multi-national company, Lonrho was ordered out of Tanzania because of evidence that it was attempting to exert political influence in Zimbabwe. Lonrho has publicly criticised the Government of Tanzania over what it claims is delay in settling the compensation for its assets in Tanzania.

Tanzania does not deny liability but believes that Lonrho has put an inflated price on the assets, in view of the record of losses by some of the firms concerned (e.g. Riddoch Motors). There were previously protracted negotiations with Lonrho when its sisal, newspaper and printing companies were nationalised. This is in contrast with negotiations with other firms on compensation for nationalisation of assets and suggests at least that Lonrho is not acting responsibly.

The British Minister responsible for overseas aid, Neil Martin, M.P., answering a recent Parliamentary question, gave an assurance that Lonrho’s complaint would not affect the level of British Aid to Tanzania.

Food Situation in Tanzania.
The July Newsletter included a note of the effect on one area of the exceptionally heavy rains of 1979 and, in another section of this letter, there is an estimate of the total cost of damage to crops, roads and bridges. The rice crop was particularly hard hit and very little was harvested. However, the President made it clear in a speech on 1 September that, although little foreign exchange could be spared to import rice or wheat, there would be enough of other foods for everyone, and there was no danger of hunger.

Tanzania’s growth in food production, averaging 3.5% to 4% p.a. between 1967 and 1978 (and probably in the range 6% to 10% between 1975 and 1978) has been one of its successes, even when compared with population growth. The continuing problem is how to maintain the increase in good crops and combine it with a similar increase in export crops. So far price changes have only produced an increase in one at the expense of the other.

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