22 PAGES ON 22 YEARS OF THE UNION
The May issue of “Africa” celebrated the 22nd Anniversary of the Union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika with a 22-page “Tanzania Spotlight.”
Interviewed by the magazine, President Mwinyi said “I cannot for a moment pretend that our Union, over its quarter century history has not gone through its stresses and strains. In fact the quest for unity and against all forms of balkanization, like human progress itself is never anything like plain sailing or a bed of roses. That is why in more mature and highly developed societies than our own, like Europe, for instance, divisive tendencies; have not been altogether eliminated, even after centuries of great efforts. Consequently, both our Party and Government are more than acutely aware that however hard we try, we cannot attain perfection free of all forms of shortcomings. Hence our constant and ceaseless search within the Party and Government for better socio-political institutions, which truly reflect the aspirations of our people as well as our ever-changing reality and environment. Thus the recent constitutional changes, for example, of both the Union and Zanzibar Governments, were yet another attempt by the Party and Government to redress any apparent and possible shortcomings. Indeed our Party and Government stand ready and willing to make whatever institutional adjustments necessary, in order to meet our peoples’ legitimate wishes. That is not, however, the same as saying we shall bend over backwards to accommodate the desires of those anarchist elements that are bent on creating discord and despondency among our people. Any society can only ignore such selfish manifestations at its own peril.”
UGANDA AND TANZANIA
In an edition headed “De Profundis”, “Africa Events” in its March 1986 issue strongly criticises the silence of Black Africa’s leaders over the years during which the “carnage that was Uganda” took place. It had been left (save for Nyerere’s ‘De Profundis’ in the seventies) to non-African Governments and organisations to speak out. After discussing how the new Uganda Government must be regarding its neighbours – the Sudan, Zaire and Kenya – it says this on Tanzania: “For a crucial two years after the overthrow of Amin, Uganda was virtually ruled from Tanzania. Very little of any importance was ever decided in Kampala without reference to Dar es Salaam. For that period Julius Nyerere was in reality President of Tanzania and Uganda. What Nyerere supported in Uganda worked, what he didn’t support did not work. It is widely and passionately believed (in Uganda) that Obote would never have dared to rig the results of the 1980 elections without the acquiescence of Dar es Salaam. The tragic events of the last five years stem from that election, and it is for this reason that many Ugandans blame Nyerere in the same breath they blame Obote for the near destruction of their country…… President Ali Hassan Mwinyi has no track record on Uganda; so he will be that much better placed to persuade angry Ugandans to let bygones be bygones, however tragic and bloody they may have been.”
The German journal “Afrika” in its February/March l986 issue tells the story, from a woman’s point of view, of the development of wine growing in Tanzania. It relates how wine cultivation began in 1957 when Italian missionaries from the Bihawana mission near Dodoma planted grape, vines. Initially, the pastoral people of Dodoma showed little interest but, according to the article, “After the Dodoma campaign in 1971, during which 30% of the population was resettled in villages a new start was made with the establishment of wine growing. At the grape harvest of March/April 1980, a total of 94 acres were under cultivation in the villages of the Dodoma rural districts. In some villages, there are vineyard cc-operatives but as a rule wine growing is carried out individually by the local farmers in a position to invest money for that purpose. This means that they sell cattle, or other market produce, to get the necessary funds. The local women cannot invest any money, because what they earn from the sale of market produce goes as the housekeeping money for the family. The strenuous digging of the ditches for the vines is done by the men and women together. The man clears a piece of his land, women burn the brush wood. Through a consultancy service, the farmer learns how to prune the vines, and to carry out effective plant protection and pest control. His wife and his childrens care off the birds before the grape harvest.
During the grape harvest all the family work together again to get the highly perishable crop to the cellars as quickly as possible. Since the land belongs to the man, who was the one to invest capital in wine growing, he also has the sole right to the proceeds. Wine growing is thus regarded as a man’s domain. The advisory service also approaches the owners of the vineyards; the women who also work in these projects are not consulted. The extra work done by the women is taken for granted.”
MTWARA LINDI PROJECT
In an article headed “Lowering Expectations”, “Spur” of April 1986 reviews the history of the British rural aid programme in Mtwara Lindi. It reads, in part as follows, “The local population must be bemused by the activities of the British over the past decade. First the flourish of the initial rand project – indeed it is interesting that it was the Tanzanians who -persuaded the British to restrict themselves to two rather than three regions, lest they bite off more than they could chew. Then the extensive questioning, and the raising of expectations of what help might be provided; uncertainty as London dithered about the future of the project; and the eventual recalling of vehicles, renaming of the project, and the final retraction from some of the earlier implied commitment. This has all happened over less than a decade, during a time of worsening economic conditions in Tanzania; as usual, Mtwara and Lindi regions, at the end of the line both literally and metaphorically, have experienced more than their fair share of these difficulties.
The initial project was a genuine attempt to offer help to the poorest area of a poor country. The idea of Integrated Development, so popular in the 1970’5, has lost favour because of the – difficulties such projects have experienced, including lack of involvement and commitment of local people arid worries about long term feasibility when donors withdraw. But the concept seems an excellent one. What is less appropriate is the length of time over which it has been envisaged. Rather than building up the project so quickly and providing so much capital in the form of housing and vehicles so soon, and then fizzling out in a short time, it would surely be better to start more gradually, giving the local people time to assimilate the help, and donors more time to listen to the local needs and appreciate their problems and traditions. The encouraging aspect of the Mtwara Lindi “fiasco” is that the projects that remain offer a good hope of genuine dialogue on a small scale with the Tanzanians.”
The article goes on to say that these new small projects, many staffed by volunteers, include goat and rabbit breeding programmes and a freshwater fish project.
Commenting on the budget in its August 1986 issue, “African Business Management” writes, “Since the early1980’s which culminated in the prevailing dreadful economic situation, Tanzanians inside and outside the Karimjee parliamentary building have been waiting to hear only one thing in the annual budgets unveiled by the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs, Cleopa David Msuya – the devaluation of the shilling.
This time, however, things were different, Msuya came up with what is now billed as a generally fair budget which has considered the plight of tax-burdened workers, the incentiveless peasants and already privileged executives.
In an unusual move a powerful delegation of the Union of Tanzanian Workers (Juwata) visited President Ali Hassan Mwinyi at the State House the following day, 20th June, to thank him for a fair and considerate budget which is seen as a positive starting point for increased efficiency in the economy.”
THE CORAL REEF
Fishermen using dynamite are destroying much of the coral reef off the coast of Tanzania with the result that erosion is threatening beach hotels and private properties according to an article by Frank Nowikowski in the May issue of “Commonwealth”. The article goes on: “A number of homes and some hotel buildings have fallen into the sea . Destroying the coral has accelerated the coastal erosion near the beach hotels. Many have invested in groynes to break the power of the waves and prevent further property being claimed by the sea. Although effective, these measures disfigure beautiful beaches, an example being in front of the Airicana Hotel where sand filled giant black sausages dominate the beach.
A further problem is that now the reefs have been breached, sharks can freely enter the area. This makes previously safe waters dangerous for swimmers, and there have been several sightings of sharks recently. Fishing with dynamite is illegal in Tanzania, but the authorities have said that they do not have the resources to enforce he law.”
The Paris based “Marches Tropicaux” in its issue dated Bay 9th l980 compares the way the spread of AIDS Is being dealt with in Tanzania and such countries as Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In the latter countries there is reported to be something of a blanket of silence. Tanzania on the other hand has taken the initiative and lifted the curtain. Tanzania’s Minister for Health announced in April 1986 that AIDS (for which there is now a Swahili word – “Ukimwi”, an abbreviation of Ukosefu wa Kinga ya Mwili – Editor) is present in some 17 of the 25 regions of the country, particularly in the Kagera region near the frontiers of Rwanda and Uganda. Some 125 cases had been reported by September last year in Tanzania of whom 60 had died. Research workers estimate that 1 in 10,000 of the inhabitants of the Kagera region are now potential carriers.
PAYMENTS TO RETIRED LEADERS
“The Parliamentarian” in its April 1986 issue stated that the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs had tabled a Bill in the National Assembly earlier in the year seeking to provide retirement benefits for specified leaders. The Bill provided that the retiring President would be paid, among other things, annually TShs. 124,000 taxfree and would also receive TShs.3,105,000 tax free as his pension. The retiring Vice-President would be payed annually TShs. 84,666.60 tax free, a pension of TShs.2,105,000 tax free and a total sum of TShs.250,000 as a resettlement allowance.
Participating in the debate Ndugu Lumuli Kasyupa (Kyela) criticised the Bill because it did not include other leaders such as Ministers and Members of Parliament. He therefore urged members not to approve the measures proposed until the Government had made the necessary amendments that would cater for all leaders.
The Member for Arumeru, Ndugu Paniel Ole Saitabau, cautioned against a trend that was emerging in the House that was likely to lead to MP’s being misunderstood by those who elected them. “If we start discussing our interests now in this new House we will be very unpopular with the people.” he said.
Speaking on the same Bill, Ndugu Ernest Nyanda (Magu) urged MP’s to concentrate on the Bil1 instead of calling for Bills catering for MP’s and Ministers.
The Bill was passed in its original form.
The Nigerian “African Concorde” in its August 1986 issue reports that Tanzania will maintain its oil exploration efforts despite the unsatisfactory progress made since the exercise started in 1050. Replying to a question in Parliament, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Ndugu Maokola-Majogo was reported to have said that despite the problems which have hampered oil exploration in the past, some companies were still negotiating with the Government for oil exploration permits. Ndugu Majogo informed the House that oil exploration had been going on in various parts of the country since 1950. However, none of the wells sunk so far had shown any sign of oil. natural gas though was discovered at Songo Songo in 1975. The natural gas is now awaiting exploitation.
“Jeune Afrique” had a short article in a recent issue which spoke of “inquietude en Tanzanie.” Poaching in national parks, particularly the Serengeti was said to be reaching alarming proportions. In the first 3 months of this year 35 elephants had been killed despite efforts of game wardens unable to fight against poachers shooting from jeeps and helicopters. The average price of ivory was said to be 68 dollars per kilo (earlier this year) and an elephant tusk was said to weigh between 45 and 65 kilos. “Calculez…” the magazine advised.
THE CANADIAN WHEAT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
This development programme in the Hanang Wheat complex in the Arusha region which was featured in ‘Bulletin’ number 24 continues to attract controversy. It figured prominently and was much criticized in one of Ali Mazrui’s T.V. programmes on Africa. A recent court case between the National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO) and the Mulbadaw village council is also the subject of some lengthy correspondence in the May/June issue of “Africa Events. ” The case was concerned with some 22,793 acres of disputed land on which NAFCO had paid TShs.38,802 for unexhausted improvements.
IMPROVED PIT LATRINES
In a special “Water Survey” in its August issue “African Business” states that sewerage is a subject that most people would rather not talk about let alone allocate funds to. Improved pit latrines are described as the only possible way of extending the numbers covered by adequate sanitation and points out that all Tanzanian householders have been obliged by law since 1974 to install pit latrines. The big problem has been to persuade villagers to make minor improvements to existing designs which can help reduce the diseases associated with latrines.
The “Improved Pit Latrine” being promoted by the UN was said to have evolved out of practice in Tanzania and Zimbabwe. One of the improvements in the design is the inclusion of a chimney or ventilation shaft (covered by gauze or wire netting) which keeps the pit relatively odourless; flies and mosquitoes are attracted up the shaft by the light but are not able to escape.
The “Sunday Telegraph” has published four news stories in recent months on the subject of four donkeys. A team of British explorers led by Mr. George Tardios a reengaged in a two year attempt to I retrace the steps of the Victorian explorer Stanley. The donkeys were bought by the explorers from traders who had ill-treated them. The donkeys had subsequently performed well on the 1500 mile trek on the route followed by Stanley and the explorers did not want to abandon them at the end of the expedition. They cannot be imported into Britain because of strict rules designed to keep out African horse- sickness. Mr. Tardios therefore appealed for help to Prince Philip, Mrs Thatcher and Mr Joplin, the Minister of Agriculture.
Later articles in the series indicated that animal welfare supporters had rallied to save the donkeys. Buckingham Palace had referred the problem to the RSPCA. and the Brooke Hospital for Animals (which was set up in 1934 to look after war horses which had served in African campaigns) had offered the donkeys a home provided that their transport costs could be met. Miss Celia Marker of Ringwood Hampshire, a Brooke Hospital supporter said, “It is rather wonderful that these should have the chance-of going to Brooke. The hospital does wonderful work encouraging the owners of horses and donkeys in Egypt to look after their animals. ”
Funds were not apparently forthcoming for transporting the donkeys to Cairo, but in its June 22nd issue, the “Sunday Telegraph” reported that the Tanzanian Air Force had come to the rescue by agreeing to fly the donkeys from the shores of Lake Tanganyika to Kenya where they will be given a retirement home near Nairobi. Generous donations had been received towards the cost.
TANZANIA AFTER NYERERE
“Africa Events” May/June lengthy cover story on “Tanzania after Nyerere” contained a number of perceptive articles. Michael Hodd of SOAS in his, which was headed “Marketeers versus Planners”, compared Tanzania’s recent performance unfavourably with that of Kenya, Manfred Bienefeld from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University seemed to argue to the contrary, that in many respects Tanzania “ranks among the top 10 or 20 percent of sub-Saharan Africa.”
Professor Ali Mazrui wrote that “Nyerere’s Tanzania emerges as a case. of heroic failure. The heroism is definitely still there but the wilderness of failure is spreading and threatens to stifle the last plant of heroic resistance.” Tom Young, also of SOAS, on the subject of Tanzania’s international relations expressed the belief that “when Nyerere finally retires from active politics. . . the country will be forced to concentrate on its internal problems.”
In an article headed “How to climb Mt Everest without Sherpas”, Athumani Hamza wrote that, for the first time, discussion about the relevance of socialism “has been brought into the open fields of national debate. What was once sacred is now publicly questioned and critically analysed; not so much in the media which is state owned and poodly but in market place:^, homes, bus stops, seminars, committees, everywhere,… beneath the staid matter- of- fact day-to-day flurry of official activity and the ever bubbly froth of socialist rhetoric, there has always been an undercurrent of clandestine resistance on the part of an influential section of the leadership. It is widespread.. . So the most interesting thing about Tanzania’s attempted transition into socialism, is that Nyerere has all along, since 1967, been a loner. In the last 20 years no back-up politicians have emerged… or have demonstrated at public meetings or in written discourses, their intellectual grasp of Ujamaa theory or their mastery in interpreting it to the masses, their flair in delivery, or their enthusiasm in advocacy… President Mwinyi has a mighty rough climb ahead of him. To make it to the top of millenial Mt Everest, he needs good, intelligent, conscientious, dedicated Sherpas. Nyerere did not have them. Well he had their bodies but not their hearts. That’s why he never made it beyond the foothills, Mwinyi therefore must make a choice. Either to change Sherpas or to change tack.”