Attempted coup and treason trial
In late January, Zambian and Kenyan newspapers carried reports of an attempted coup in Tanzania. It was alleged that there had been fighting in a northern garrison town and that 600 soldiers and 1,000 civilians were under arrest. These stories followed earlier reports of bandit activity on the shores of lake Victoria involving the ambushing of an army patrol. Such reports were described as greatly exaggerated by the Inspector-General of Police.
On 28th. January, 29 people appeared in court charged with conspiring to overthrow the Government by force and kill the President. The accused included Christopher Ngaiza, a personal assistant to the President responsible for the Kagera Basin Project; 14 army officers ranging in rank from lieutenant to lieutenant-colonel; a university lecturer; and several business men.
The prosecution seemed to have some difficulty is preparing its case, as there were repeated requests for adjournment. However, by the second week in June the prosecution was claiming that investigations had reached an advanced stage and that they would be ready to open the preliminary enquiry before a magistrate by the end of the month. The Government then took a decision to abandon the prosecution and it was reported that the accused people would be held in preventive detention.
On 17th. June two of those being held in maximum security, Pius Lugangila, a business man, and Hatty Naghee, a former pilot with Air Tanzania, escaped. As a consequence, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Director of Prisons resigned their posts.
Constitutional proposals and administrative changes
Amendments to the Constitution, which have been put forward for public discussion, include limiting the number of terms a President can serve, the creation of a Second Vice-President (one being for mainland Tanzania and the second for Zanzibar and the islands) and increasing the powers of the National Assembly. The system of appointments in public institutions is to be modified.
These posts will in future be advertised and the Board of the organisation together with the parent Ministry will make recommendations to the President, who will make the final decision.
The Department for the Civil Service and Manpower Development, which was previously part of the Prime Minister’s Office, has been made into a separate Ministry headed by Pius Mwandu.
Executive Directors have been appointed for the 80 new District Councils wh1ch are to be established later this year. Councils will be responsible for the provision and maintenance of economic infrastructure, social services and revenue collection. The separation of Government and Party means that the senior civil servant in a District again has the title of District Commiss1oner.
The future responsibilities of District Councils under the Human Resources Deployment Act 1983 have already been noted on page 12 (above).
Cooperative Societies which were abolished in 1976 are to be re-established together with Cooperative Unions at Regional level. In addition to marketing crops, the Cooperatives will have responsibility for promoting agricultural production. They will do this through the supply of farm inputs and the provision of credit. In a recent speech, opening the Third Conference of Financial Institutions, President Nyerere pointed out that in the last year in which Cooperatives were acting as credit intermediaries roughly 90% of the advances made by the Tanzania Rural Development Bank were recovered on time, but after the present Crop Authorities took over this function collection had dropped to about 30% of the amount due. The President stressed the need for the Financial Institutions to support the new Cooperatives by providing simple accounting systems, which could be operated by village leaders.
Expansion of Inter-African Trade: An agreement has been reached with Zimbabwe for the exchange of goods to the value of shs.5 million during 1983. Tanzania will send timber, sisal fibre and twine, aluminium, sea foods and salt and receive in exchange coke, animal-drawn farm implements, sanitary ware, bakers’ yeast, hurricane lanterns and blair pumps. A similar agreement with Mozambique has been extended to include food and manufactured goods.
Large Scale agricultural production: In 1983-84 the National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO) plans to extend the area under maize in Mbozi District from 600 to 1100 hektares and to establish a maize farm at Nantumbo in Ruvuma Region with an eventual area of 3,900 hektares, of which 200 hektares will be brought under cultivation in 1983-84. The total cost in 1983-84 will be shs.21 million, of which 3.4 million will be a grant from the Netherlands Government for the farm in Mbozi District and 10 million a grant from the USSR Government for Nantumbo.
Sugar is said to be selling informally at shs.30 to shs.40 a kilo, although the official price is shs.11 a kilo. Low production is attributed to lack of spare parts and bad weather. Two factories have closed and output is reduced at others. A major expansion of production is planned, which will triple output by the end of the decade. A new mill at Kagera, replacing the one destroyed by Amin’s troops, has been built and will be in production this year, though it cannot function to full capacity until the sugar estate is provided with irrigation.
A French financed factory for processing clove oil on Pemba was due to go into production in May with a capacity of 150 tonnes of oil a day.
Production of salt in 1982 was 29.2 tonnes and fell considerably short of national requirements. The principal source is the Uvinza salt works, where facilities are being extended with the help of a loan from Italy. Ten years ago half of the production from Uvinza was exported to Burundi, Zaire and elsewhere. Smaller amounts are produced in salt pans on the coast. New coastal salt pans are being built at Nwambao, Sadani and Changwahela, the last two being expected on completion to have a productive capacity of 45,000 tonnes per annum.
Tanzania’s coconut production is expected to continue to fall for the next 8 years because her stock of palm trees is over-aged, although new plantings are expected to bring an improvement after 1990. As a result, Tanzania, once a net exporter of copra and other oil seeds, is now a net importer of vegetable oils and there is little prospect of a resumption of copra and coconut oil export for the next 10 or 20 years.
The devaluation of the Tanzanian shilling by 20% against the US dollar took effect on 3rd. June. The new rate will be shs.12.2 to the dollar (the old one was 8hs.9.7 to the dollar). A previous devaluation of 10% took place in March, 1982. As discussed elsewhere in this Bulletin, the IMF is pressing for a more substantial devaluation. It may be that the Tanzanian Government is attempting to move to a compromise position by stages.
Mtera Hydroelectric Project
The International Development Association of the World Bank (IDA) has allocated shs.420 million towards the cost of an underground electric power plant at the Mtera dam in Iringa Region. The dam itself was completed in 1980 as part of the Kidatu Hydroelectric complex. The Tanzanian Government will contribute shs.1,372.8 million and negotiations are proceeding to raise the remaining foreign exchange from Sweden, Norway, the Federal Republic of Germany, Kuwait, Italy and France.
Agreement with Lonrho
Agreement has been announced between the Tanzanian Government and the multi-national firm Lonrho over the compensation to be paid for the Lonrho assets in Tanzania, which were nationalised in 1976. The nationalisations were a political move against Lonrho, which was accused of assisting the illegal UDI regime in what was then Rhodesia. The Chief Executive of Lonrho, Mr. ‘Tiny’ Rowland, stated in a radio interview that the company expected to resume operations in Tanzania, but President Nyerere has made it clear that Lonrho will not be allowed to come back unless it gives a satisfactory answer to the allegation that it is supporting Jonas Savimbi, the South African backed dissident group in Angola.
During the budget debate the Minister for National Education, Mr. Jackson Makweta, accepted that there is an urgent need to expand secondary and university education. Such expansion would have to be on the basis that students could be non-resident and would have to use low-cost buildings.