We began the last issue of the Bulletin with a report of forecasts of severe food shortage in Tanzania early in 1982. It appears that, although there have been local shortages, surpluses in other areas and imports have so far been sufficient to prevent the disaster which was being predicted in the press.
The rain was very late in many areas, but heavy when it came, so this season’s crops are unlikely to be good. The government has provided for substantial increases in the prices to be paid to farmers for food crops with differential regional prices which will favour the production of sorghum, millet and cassava in drought prone areas.
Changes in the CCM (Party) Constitution
An extraordinary National Congress of CCM was held in January which endorsed important changes in the Party’s constitution.
Membership of the National Executive’ Committee (NEC) has been expanded to include 90 members from the Regions and from Zanzibar elected by the National Conference from a list of candidates drawn up by the NEC. The NEC will choose the members of the Central Committee, the Secretary-General of the Party and the Secretariat of the NEC. The Central Committee, in addition to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Party, will have 15 members chosen from among the members of the National Executive Committee. Thus the appointment of up to ten members by nomination by the Party Chairman has been abolished.
The National Conference will choose the Party Chairman and Vice-Chairman by secret ballot. Previously these posts were filled by acclamation at the Party Conference. It was also decided to separate Party and Government posts at Regional and District level, since the union of such posts in the hands of the Area and Regional Commissioners had tended to result in the Party function being subordinated. These changes will be implemented after elections for all levels of office in the Party have been completed next October.
The Congress also approved the National Economic Survival Programme (NESP) and the 1981 Party Guidelines.
Re-establishment of Local Government and Cooperatives.
Parliament has passed legislation to enable the re-establishment of local authorities and cooperative societies, which were both abolished in the early 70’s. There was strong opposition to the proposal to finance local government through a poll tax and the bill was passed with a majority of only 2 votes.
Dar es Salaam will increase its population from an estimated 1 million to over 1.6 million following a Government decision to expand its boundaries to increase its size from 542 to 1223 square kilometres, taking in 50 surrounding villages. The Kipawa area of the City is to be cleared to make room for the expansion and modernisation of the airport. The number of air passengers is growing at 10% a year and there is a need for longer runways and a new passenger terminal.
Parliamentary Enquiry into Sugar Price Increase
As a consequence of the sugar shortage the increase in its price and the management problems of the Sugar Development Corporation (SUDECO), (see Bulletin No.13, July 1981) Parliament set up a select committee to enquire into the price of sugar. The committee produced a highly critical report* at the January meeting of Parliament. The price increase from Shs.8/50 to Shs.10/- a kilo was held to be an unjustified attempt to shift the burden of SUDECO’s failures on to the consumer. Some sugar estates and factories were badly run, although others were commended for keeping their production up despite shortages of spares. The main faults were in distribution, where there were large unexplained losses, and in the incompetence of the marketing manager and his deputy who were not qualified for their posts, but had been employed on the insistence of the Minister of Agriculture, Ndudu Joseph Mungai. The Minister was severely criticised in the report for incompetence and nepotism. The Minister rejected these criticisms during the debate on the report, but early in February he was dismissed from his post.
Gas Deposits Confirmed
The Tanzanian Government confirmed on 5th July the existence of large deposits of natural gas at KIMBIJI in TEMEKA District, 40 kms. south-east of Dar es Salaam. The reserves have been estimated at three to four times more than those at Songo-Songo in Kilwa District. In a statement to the National Assembly the Minister for Water and Energy, Al-Noor Kassum, said that in order to continue the exploration with the possibility of further supplies of gas and perhaps oil, the OPEC Special Fund has agreed to provide an interest free loan to finance the drilling of two wells at Kimbiji.
* Ripoti ya Kamati Teule ya Bunge kuhusu Bei ya Sukari, Mwaka 1981-82.