TANZANIA IN THE MEDIA

The comments made in the extracts from the media which follow – and indeed articles in other sections of the Bulletin – do not necessarily represent the views of the Britain-Tanzania Society. They are published to illustrate the impressions of various writers on what they have seen and heard about Tanzania.

TANZANIA PURGES PARTY FAITHFUL
Under this heading the Independent stated on December 14th 1987 that three staunch socialist ideologues of Tanzania’s ruling party had lost their ministries in a cabinet reshuffle and had been replaced by men more sympathetic to President Mwinyi’s pragmatic economic policies. ‘The three ministers have been identified for some time as obstructing the liberalisation policies of President Mwinyi and their removal will allow those policies to reach the vital areas of industry, trade and tourism which they controlled.

The ministers are Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru, Minister for Local Government and Cooperatives, whose wish to concentrate on Party work partly prompted the changes, and who is replaced by Mr. Paul Bomani; Daudi Mwakawago, Minister for Industry and Trade, who is replaced by Joseph Rwegasira; and Gertrude Mongella, Minister for Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism who is replaced by Arcado Ntagazwa’.

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RESULT OF THE DODOMA CONFERENCE
The American publication Africa Report in its January-February 1988 issue wrote that “Foreign bankers and diplomats remain critical of Tanzania’s Economic Recovery Program (ERP). The program took a major jolt at Dodoma when the newly elected National Executive Committee decided to exclude the ERP’s architect, Cleopa Msuya (Minister for Finance), from the Central Committee.’

‘It was the most significant result of the conference,’ commented one Western diplomat in Dodoma. ‘Msuya will be left to argue his complex theories from the backstalls of the NEC where, quite frankly. few people will understand, and even less will care.’

Msuya never suffered fools gladly and his attitude, along with his theories, finally cost him his seat on the central committee. Remaining as Finance Minister – unless Mwinyi decides on a reshuffle, which is unlikely at this stage – Msuya will continue to negotiate with the IMF and pursue the government’s liberalization policies.

After the Dodoma conference, life returned very much to normal. Nyerere and Mwinyi dominated the newspapers like nothing had happened. However, political analysts are attempting to decipher what lies ahead for Tanzania. With the reformers rejected by the party hard1iners who held sway in Dodoma, the socialist path will be pursued with ‘moderate to hesitant’ reform. With Msuya on the outs, nothing is certain in the long term regarding the IMF, although the new loan 1s encouraging news. The big question now is who will lead the new vanguard of Tanzanian politics into the next century. The finger has been squarely painted at Joseph Warioba, present Prime Minister and a Nyerere stalwart, who, like Salim Ahmed Salim, is favoured by the boss. However, unlike Salim, he will win universal appeal as a mainlander if he is nominated for the presidency. A common theory is that this will occur in 1990 when President Mwinyi finishes the first of his two-year terms’.

THE FORGOTTEN MUSLIMS
Africa Events in its March 1988 issue devoted 24 of its 82 pages to features on Tanzania. Most concerned Zanzibar but on article “In Praise of Ancestors” quoted from a forthcoming book by Mohamed Saidi on the ‘forgotten’ Muslims who contributed so much to Tanzania’s fight for independence. It stated that there was a large body of Tanzania’s political history which had the effect, if not the avowed goal, of writing down the role of Muslims. yet….. their enterprises were not only crucial but daringly imaginative”

TANZANIAN TROOPS IN MOZAMBIQUE
Peter Godwin of the Sunday Times has been visiting Tanzanian troops in Mozambique. He said that he was the first foreign newspaper journalist to do so and wrote as follows on January 24th 1988.

‘A contingent of 6,000 Tanzanian soldiers 1s all that prevents rebel troops in Mozambique overrunning the strategically vital province of Zambezia and slicing the country in two. As the struggle to control (Mozambique) continues refugees are streaming into heavily fortified towns to look for food, shelter and protection.

Privately the Tanzanians admit that they have no hope of winning the war.

Mopeia, which used to be a prosperous district capital and centre for sugar estates was captured by Tanzanian troops a year ago. Today the only safe way in is by air landing at a rough landing strip covered in hip-high grass.

From the air the Tanzanian defences are clearly visible; deep trenches and bunkers forming a circle round the ruined town centre. The refugees build grass shelters around the town centre and try to grow maize to help feed themselves.

Tanzanian officers, speaking on condition that they would not be identified, said they estimated that 80% of the civilians supported the guerrillas. They do not cooperate with the Tanzanians, with whom they have no common language, and often deliberately mislead them.

‘Half the women and childreen who take refuge here probably have sons and fathers fighting with the rebels’ said one officer. ‘We trust none of them. It’s difficult to tell who are rebels and who are civilians’.

‘This is a civil war – we can’t win it for Frelimo’ one soldier said.

More than 500 troops defend Mopeia and its swelling population of 22,000 ‘dislocados’. The only school and hospital have been destroyed and the few buildings still standing are used by soldiers.

HINTS OF BIGOTRY
A. K. Babu referred in the March 18th issue of African Concord to the Islamic revival movement which he described as taking Tanzania by storm. “Muslim’s were well known for their lethargy in community activities …. But now this is a thing of the past.”

“When Ali Hassam Mwinyi, a devout Muslim, took over the presidency he followed more or less the same tolerant approach as Nyerere, a devout catholic.

His only apparent departure was to appoint a Muslim Minister for Education, a post to which Nyerere traditionally appointed a Christian, presumably because of the many missionary schools in the country. But this alarmed the bishops and they started to wonder aloud if Mwinyi was not promoting Islam. During October’s CCM Party conference in Dodoma, a letter was written to the chairman of the party, Nyerere, by the Rev Christopher Mtikila. It openly and maliciously attacked Mwinyi and his administration, accusing him of being anti-Christian, of conspiring to promote the spread of Islam at the expense of Christianity and to the detriment of the people of Tanzania. He all but accused Mwinyi of being under the influence of Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran’.

But, as A.M. Babu pointed out in the article, the regime in Tanzania cannot be anti-Christian when the chairman of the ruling party is Nyerere. “To accuse Mwinyi’s regime of being anti-Christian is to accuse Nyerere of being anti-Christian as well, which is absurd”.

“But the Reverend seems to be echoing the universal fear of the established churches. It is futile to blame Mwinyi for what is developing almost spontaneously. It is far better to explore the reason for this new Islamic movement, not only in Tanzania but also throughout Africa.”

HEMINGWAY SAFARIS
In a lavishly illustrated article the December 1987 issue of Travel and Leisure Asian Edition, wrote that “Ever since American President Teddy Roosevelt strode manfully into the African bush followed by 260 porters, safaris have been regarded as luxury outings. It seemed that nothing more was demanded of the pampered sportsman than that he fling down his Champagne flute, take up his high powered rifle,
mutter ‘good show’ and pulverise whatever unwary beast was driven into his sights. In truth, however, East Africa tormented travellers with mosquitoes, snakes and tsetse flies, to say nothing of biologically complicated water and roads that defied reason. Few tour companies have so successfully overcome the discomforts of the safari as Abercrombie and Kent International (well known in Kenya), a firm which is now offering the (Kenya) style of travel in neighbouring Tanzania. They have named the trips after Ernest Hemingway, a committed big-game hunter who thought himself as much a marksman as an author.

Tanzania looks and feels like a country little changed from the way it always was, less familiar and more elemental than Kenya. ‘You go into a park in Kenya’ says the A and K boss in Tanzania, Sandy Evans, and you are likely to see one lion and twenty mini buses. In Tanzania you get 20 lions and one vehicle!. It may well be that only one in 20 vehicles survives the Tanzanian roads …

(In the Serengeti) at sunset, the sun takes on colours from cherry-pop red to iridescent orange, lighting the sky like a forest fire, and then the wind comes up, the heat drops and the animals start moving, heading wherever animals go in the night”.

Readers of the magazine were advised that they could obtain further information from the Tanzanian Mission in Tokyo, 21-9, Kamiyoga, 4-chome, Setagaya-Ku, 03-425-453103.

THE SOUL OF TANZANIA
According to Richard Dowden in the Independent IS TANZANIA SO SPECIAL?
A reader in African Concord’s March 1988 issue took to task a contributor in an earlier issue who had written about corruption under the heading ‘Tips and Handshakes’

“It is true that there are problems prevailing in our country. There are drunkards, executives who think they own public institutions, people who build houses randomly etc. This is not strange! Even in thoroughly developed societies you find some big people are accused of taking heroin; some responsible people in Government are gay; some even involved in dangerous scandals. This is not new in developed countries like the USA. Then what is so special for a poor country like Tanzania!

What the writer wrote was just a repetition of what the Government is trying to remove. Remember President Mwinyi’s Iron Broom and other related actions taken by the Mwinyi administration. Does the so called Mwananchi want the Tanzania Government to hang people in order to remove tips and handshakes? Or is he interested in Sharia laws or firing squads?

DAR ES SALAAM PORT AIMING TO BE MORE EFFICIENT THAN MOMBASA
According to New Africa’s January 1988 issue, Dar es Salaam Port is already on a par with Mombasa Port in terms of efficiency and it could soon overtake its Kenyan counterpart.

“New construction well underway and a new streamlined method of cargo handling is speeding throughput”.

Until recently the port’s biggest drawback was the lack of cranes which could lift the containers carrying most of the cargo. Only ‘self-sustaining’ ships with their own cranes on board could load or unload containers in the port. Now, two ship-to-shore cranes are being installed and there is provision for a third.

Many other improvements are planned including a new dhow wharf. Several donor agencies are assisting in the work in view of the importance of the port, not only for Tanzania, but also for other countries of southern and central Africa which use some 50-60% of the goods passing through the port.

ARMED GUARD AT THE PHARMACY
African Concord’s cover story on Health Care Delivery (February 12th issue) included three stories on Tanzania.

The first stated that “An armed guard with a machine gun pointed towards the pharmacy door is kept around the clock at the army barracks in Dar es Salaam. Armed police also guard the national medical stores following several break-ins. The stores have been gutted by fire twice in circumstances believed to be attempts to cover up evidence of thefts. This highlights the obstacles the Government faces in its concerted efforts to rehabilitate the health system.”

GREAT STRIDES IN CHILD IMMUNISATION
The article went on to explain that the main thrust of Tanzania’s ‘Health for All by the Year 2,000 Programme’ is the laying down of a sound mother and child health care service. “The Health Ministry estimates that a child dies every 15 minutes in the country – a victim of the six preventable diseases measles, tuberculosis, polio, whooping cough, tetanus and diptheria. All in all, for every 1,000 births, 137 children die before the age of five.

The Universal Child Immunisation Programme was launched in Tanzania in 1986 by President Mwinyi. Pilot schemes have since been started in selected urban and rural areas and 54% of the children have been covered. ‘If the enthusiasm shown to date is maintained all children below five years of age will be innoculated by the end of 1988′ says Health Minister, Dr Aaron Chidua. ‘By so doing, we shall have made great strides in achieving the nation’s long-term goal of slashing the child death rate from 137 to 50 per 1,000 live births’. This year, 6,000 child weighing scales are being distributed to rural clinics and 7,500 bicycles have been given to auxiliary staff to enable them to cover the villages:’

AND IN DISTRIBUTION OF CAPSULES FOR GOITRE
In a second article African Concord stated that Tanzania has launched a campaign to cut the spread of goitre, which authorities estimate affects one in every four Tanzanians. Goitre is the enlargement of the thyroid gland due to an inadequate intake of iodine. Under the programme everyone under 45 living in an area where goitre prevalence is 60% or more will be given two capsules containing a total of 380 milligrams of iodine. Some 60,000 capsules are to be distributed

SISAL ESTATES SOLD
According to the 4th March 1988 edition of the African Economic Digest the Tanzania Sisal Authority has completed the sale of 10 of the 13 sisal estates it put on the market in 1986. The estates, which have mostly gone to local companies, cover a total of 20,300 acres. The sale agreements are believed to stipulate that a percentage of the land remains under sisal. Many buyers had been keen to obtain the estates in order to grow other crops. Joint venture partners are still being sought for 24 other estates.

Exports of raw fibre have remained stable but the market for finished products such as baler twine and carpets has increased significantly and much better results are anticipated from the sisal industry this year.

DUCKS AND TILAPIA
Fish Farming International in its December 1987 issue discussed the various attempts being made by foreign donor agencies and churches to help in the development of fish farming. Agencies mentioned included the US Peace Corps (14 volunteers working with Fisheries Officers), the Lutheran Church and the Christian Refugee Service (helping with extension), the Anglican Church (a fish farming development programme including a demonstration farm near Dodoma), the Church Missionary Society, the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Methodist Church of the USA and others.

Since 1984 the Dodoma demonstration farm has used integrated duck-fish ponds where Peking ducks live in slatted floor houses over the ponds. The ducks thus fertilise the pond water with a resulting improvement in Plankton and algal growth on which the fish feed.

1 Comment »

  1. Tanzanian Affairs » LETTERS said,

    April 16, 2011 at 7:01 am

    […] In Bulletin No. 30 you printed a letter from a reader of African Concord under the title ‘Is Tanzania So […]

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