Death of Prime Minister Edward Moringe Sokoine
Ndugu Sokoine was killed as a result of a road accident on April 12th. on his way from Dodoma to Dar es Salaam. His car collided with a land cruiser driven by Dumisani Dube, a member of the African National Congress (ANC). The Prime Minister was fatally injured and died on the way to hospital in Morogoro.
Ndugu Sokoine was born at Kisongo near Monduli in 1938. He was educated at Monduli Primary School, Umbwe Secondary School and the Mzumbe Local Government Training College. He then went to Germany for further training in administration and finance.
In 1965 he was appointed to a post in the Masai District Council and in the same year became a Member of Parliament. In 1967 he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, Transportation and Labour and in 1970 Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office. In 1972 he was appointed Minister of Defence and National Service, a post that he held until 1977, when he was promoted to the post of Prime Minister. In 1980 he was obliged to relinquish this position for health reasons. After his recovery, he was again appointed Prime Minister in February, 1983, a post that he held until his untimely death.
Ndugu Sokoine was hard working and self-disciplined and a person of complete integrity. One of the very few Masai who have played a prominent part in national affairs, he maintained close contacts with his own people and was appointed Haigwanani, or leader, of the Masai in Kisongo, the place of his birth. In others he expected his own high standards and took a leading part in the campaign against economic saboteurs (see Bulletin No.17). He is understood to have been closely involved in the creation of National Service at the time of its inauguration in the early 1970’s.
The death of Ndugu Sokoine is a very serious loss to Tanzania at a time of great national difficulty and has deprived it of a distinguished leader.
Some national trends
Real national income per head in Tanzania has been falling since 1979. This is partly due to flagging production, but is also the consequence of a high rate of population growth. The World Bank records an average growth rate of 3.4% between 1972 and 1980 and forecasts a rate of 3.5% for the period from 1980 to 2000. The total population is now over 20 million and is expected to reach 26 million by 1990 and 36 million by the year 2000.
This very high rate of growth is due to the spread of health services, resulting in a considerable fall in mortality. Life expectancy at birth has risen from 40 in 1960 for males to 51 years in 1982 and for females from 43 in 1960 to 54 in 1982. In the meantime, infant mortality has fallen between the same dates from 144 per thousand to 98 and the child death rate (aged 1 to 4) from 31 to 18.
As noted in Bulletin No.17, considerable thought is being given to some necessary changes in Tanzania’s constitution and the constitution of Zanzibar. Some initial proposals were drawn up by the National Executive Committee of the Party and published for public discussion. The reactions of organisations and individuals have been collected at Party Headquarters and in June they received the consideration of the National Executive Committee. The outcome of this consideration of the amendment proposals by the NEC has now been published (June 7th.).
The NEC recommend that the Union Constitution should have entrenched within it a Bill of Rights, which would encompass human rights and obligations and the safeguarding of the public interest.
The NEC recommend a reversion to the previous practice of having two Vice-Presidents, one being the President of Zanzibar and the other the Prime Minister of the Union. The Union Presid0nt would be chairman of the cabinet and would appoint the Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Powers under the Preventive Detention Act would remain with the President, but the procedures used would be legally binding and detention would be subject to periodic review. The names of detainees should be published in the Gazette and provision should be made to enable those detained to dispute the grounds for their detention. A similar provision should be made in the Zanzibar Constitution.
The President’s power to declare war, or a state of emergency, should be subject to seeking a mandate from a joint session of the NEC and Parliament within 14 days.
The main powers to appoint and discipline public servants should be vested in the Public Service Commission, with the exception of the most senior officials in sensitive and important ministerial and parastatal positions.
The Constitution of Zanzibar should uphold the independence of the judiciary. While the Court of Appeal would be empowered by the Union, it would be necessary for Zanzibar to introduce a system of primary, district and high courts similar to those on the mainland.
The powers of parliament would be strengthened and it would be made clear that the Prime Minister (and the Chief Minister of Zanzibar) were in overall charge of government business and were responsible to the National Assembly (House of Representatives in the case of Zanzibar). The functions of the two parliaments would include the consideration and approval of development plans. Both houses would have permanent secretariats and would form permanent committees to supervise the implementation of policies.
The Musoma Resolution
It was decided by the National Executive Committee of the Party (TANU) in 1974 that students admitted to the University of Dar es Salaam should have worked for two years and should carry a positive recommendation from their TANU branch. It was found necessary at an early stage to relax this requirement in the case of women on account of the small number able to qualify on such terms, and also in the case of most of those entering the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. At a meeting of the NEC on 31st. May, 1984, this condition of entry was relaxed and henceforth it will be possible for all students to enter the University after completing their sixth form studies and one year in the National Service. The NEC, however, emphasised the importance of retaining the existing provisions for mature entry.
The NEC has been considering the recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Education, the contents of which are not yet public. One recommendation emerging from the report, which was endorsed by the NEC, was that the need for secondary education expansion should be met as far as possible by creating day schools within easy reach of communities. Apart from the reduction in cost, such a development would harness local effort to contribute towards the initial outlay.
The Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science of the University of Dar es Salaam at Morogoro became on July 1st. the independent Sokoine University of Agriculture.
On 21st. May, 1980, an Act of Parliament received presidential assent
establishing a Law Reform Commission of Tanzania to review the existing law and propose measures for bringing it into line with current circumstances in Tanzania, for the elimination of anomalies and defects and for improved simplification of the law; to advise on the more effective administration of the law; to prepare programmes for the reform of laws and their consolidation and revision at the request of the Attorney General. The initial members of the Commission are:
Ndugu Augustine Saidi, former Chief Justice
Ndugu Pius Msekwa, Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Judicial System Review Commission of 1974-77
Ndugu D.Z. Lubuva, former Attorney General of Zanzibar
Ndugu J. Kanywanyi, Professor of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam
Ndugu F.B. Mahatane, private advocate in Arusha
Ndugu M. Ismail, private advocate in Dar es Salaam
The Commission will draw upon the detailed and valuable recommendations of the Judicial System Review Commission. The Commission has been asked to consider the possibility of establishing ward and village tribunals; to review the Companies Ordinance in the light of the Arusha Declaration; to review the legal profession with particular reference to private practice and the role of the Tanzania Legal Corporation without jeopardising the rights of individuals to legal assistance; the causes of delay in civil suits; and the possibility of statutory compensation for persons injured while assisting the police.
Destruction of the Bank of Tanzania by fire
The main building in Dar es Salaam of the Bank of Tanzania was completely destroyed by fire in the early hours of May 17th. 1984. The cause of fire is not yet known. It is understood that the strong room in the basement, where vital records and currency are kept, has not been affected. But the loss of current documents and records will be serious. It is, however, thought that copies of certain records are kept at the National Bank of Commerce.
The Tanzania Railway Corporation needs £100 million to replace track on the 1,600 miles of the central line, which is now carrying goods in and out of Burundi, Uganda and Eastern Zaire.
The annual report of the Customs and Excise Department states that in the past 12 months illegal imports and exports worth Shs. 5 million were seized at border posts. The most commonly smuggled items were TV sets, which are very scarce since their import was banned five years ago.
The 1980-81 tourist season earned Tanzania shs.13 million from the export of wildlife and game trophies.
Members of the Presidential Commission on Education (see Bulletin no.13 of July, 1981) divided into 3 groups to make two week tours of Africa, Europe and the Far East.
The Tanzania Agricultural Machinery Testing Unit (TAMTU) is to be merged with the Arusha Appropriate. Technology Unit (AATP).
The Kilombero Sugar Training Centre, built with assistance from the Netherlands, was opened in August.
The Minister for Information and Culture, Ndugu Ben Mkapa, himself a former journalist, has officially opened the Tanzania School of Journalism at Mgulani in Dar es Salaam.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Kiduo, criticised the country’s doctors at the annual conference of the Medical Association of Tanzania, describing their performance as mediocre and a decline in ethical standards, which was producing public discontent. He claimed that too many doctors had entered the profession simply to obtain a comfortable living. The Minister has also announced that the law banning private hospitals passed in 1977 is to be enforced and that commercial hospitals are to be closed.
In an address to the nation in Swahili carried by Dar es Salaam radio on 5th August, President Nyerere said that since the start of adult education in 1970 many Tanzanians had learned to read and write and to do simple calculations. While it was not known exactly how many Tanzanians had acquired that ability, it was known that by 1977 over 6 million had registered for adult education courses; in 1975 over 3,800,000 had sat the exams and the number in 1977 was 2,346,154. Those who had passed the third and final fourth stage exams could be regarded as having overcome illiteracy to the extent that they were ready to begin further reading of books and newspapers. It was not known how well the nearly 3,500,000 people at present registered for adult education classes were progressing, for, by January of this year, many had stopped attending, some of them possibly because they had completed the course and were ready to sit the tests, which had not been set for the last four years. At present it was not known how many Tanzanians could read or write, or how well; nor was it known whether the learners and their teachers were being provided with the services they required.
A military pact with Uganda provides for Tanzanian troops to train Ugandan troops in Uganda, but they will not become involved in security operations.
In a further attempt to end cattle rustling on the Kenya border, Tanzanian police have disarmed people who do not have firearms licences. This is part of a long-term strategy of improving relations with Kenya.
Tentative agreement has been reached with Malawi on the definition of a new border to replace the river Songwe, which in the past has caused confusion by changing its course.
The British High Commissioner in Tanzania, Sir Peter Moon, has said that within the past two year period more than 700 Tanzanian students have been trained by the British Government. He said, although it would be difficult for Britain to continue training large numbers of students because of rising costs, his country would continue to assist Tanzanian students going abroad for further studies.
As from 1st. October all residents of Tanzania will require the approval of the Bank of Tanzania for foreign travel even if fares are being paid for in foreign exchange by foreign sponsors.
Some passengers were stranded at Kilimanjaro International Airport in the middle of September because large aircraft were unable to land due to lack of fire fighting equipment. Services to Tabora and Songea were suspended for the same reason.
President Nyerere has been awarded the second Third World Prize by the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies. This prize of one hundred thousand dollars and a medallion is conferred for outstanding contributions to Third W0rld Development in the economic, social, political, or scientific fields. The Foundation said that Mwalimu had played a key role in interpreting Africa to the world and the world to Africa. His ideas and values had been a source of inspiration and guidance to Africans across the continent and to people throughout the Third World in their pursuit of development, self-respect and genuine independence.