Archive for September, 1988

MISCELLANY

THE CASE OF THE ELEPHANT TUSKS – THE VERDICT
The Bulletin described in its last issue a court case in which the Songea Urban Member of Parliament, Ali Yusufu Abdurabi (41) had been accused of being in possession of 105 elephant tusks in his official Landrover.

Thousands of people from Songea town and its outskirts thronged the courtroom and overflowed into the courtyard and later lined the road to catch a glimpse of the MP. Justice Maina said, in giving judgement, that the case was unique since it involved a Member of Parliament who knew the laws of the land which he took part in legislating. The MP, the Judge said, was more aware than anyone else about the importance of conserving trophies and wildlife. To discourage other people from committing similar crimes the offence required a maximum sentence of 15 years, the Judge said.

Later, when the Defence Council pleaded ill health of the accused, the Judge decided to reduce the sentence to nine years.

THE OBSERVER APOLOGISES
Britain’s Observer newspaper has apologised and paid substantial damages to Minister for Energy and Minerals Al-Noor Kassum and the Managing Director of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, Sylvestor Barongo following a libel case in the Tanzanian High Court. The Observer had alleged, in articles published in 1983, that the two men had received secret commissions on fuel shipments from South Africa to Tanzania – Daily News.

ANOTHER PARASTATAL?
Adam Lusekelo who amuses readers of the Sunday News each weekend has been complaining about the Government’s discrimination against a certain kind of animal.

‘Take the cow for instance. It has two public corporations (parastatals) looking after it. And while walking round town the other day I noticed that even the chicken has a fully fledged parastatal to look after its interests – the National Poultry Company NAPOCO. Which of course means another General Manager, secretaries and sundry others … The kuku will have to pay for the upkeep of the GM, the perfume of the secretaries and the temptations of the gentlemen in the Accounts Department – no wonder the Kuku’s in Dar are not the cheapest in Africa.

But if the kukus and the cows are lucky enough to have entire public corporations formed for them I must speak up for the downtrodden. It is the duty of any self-respecting journalist in the Third World to speak for the downtrodden…
Take the goat for example. We should have a National Goat Corporation… the goat is very resilient animal you know. It doesn’t die during drought, it eats anything from dust to shoe polish to money. One goat ate my twenty bob note – but its meat was damn good to eat. Another thing about the goat is that it multiplies very fast.

Which is why the Government should be very careful in the selection of the GM of the Goat Corporation. The relationship between the GM and the female staff of this corporation should be thoroughly checked …. the idea is to warn the staff of this Corporation that we want the goats to multiply, not the staff.

Rabbits too. A National Rabbit Corporation should be set up soonest. The major qualification of the GM should be to have his ears wide open …… .

TANZANIAN GOATS POPULAR IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The United Arab Emirates used to import sheep from Australia but they had to stop according to Mr. Abdalah Jarafu, Managing Director of the International Export Company because of the high fat content of the mutton. Now, he said, Tanzanian goats are proving popular with customers. The whole animal is exported so that customers can see it being slaughtered. The price is the equivalent of US$ 30 per goat.

TANZANIA SECOND IN BIRD EXPORTS
Tanzania is the second largets exporter of birds in Africa, a reputation we shold not be proud of, says a report in Miombo, a newsletter of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST). The report says there is an alarming rise in the number of birds being exported which include Fischer’s lovebirds (Agapornis fischeri) an endemic species found only in Tanzania. Miombo reports that some 39,000 of these birds have been received by major importing countries – Japan, Belgium, West Germany, The Netherlands, UK and USA. The habitat of fischers lovebirds is suffering from deforestation and only Tanzania has the power to prevent its extinction, adds the report.

Meanwhile, the number of Indian House crows in Dar es Salaam has greatly increased causing damage and discomfort to residents – Sunday News

BUNGE OFFICES MOVE TO DODOMA
The Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly has moved to the new capital, Dodoma. This is the first government institution to complete its move. Five ministries are due to move there during the next five years – Daily News.

1,000 TANZANIAN YOUTHS LOOKING FOR SHIPS
1,000 Tanzanian youths have left the country illegally in search of jobs on ships in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Having failed to get jobs many resort to criminal acts and all sorts of evils. Forty-nine youths were repatriated from abroad in the first three months of this year. Some have been fined while others have their cases pending in court – Daily News.

CONDOLENCES
President Mwinyi sent a condolence message to Mrs Thatcher following the explosion at the Piper Alpha Oil Plant in the North Sea – Daily News.

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PARLIAMENTARY MATTERS

The National Assembly has had another marathon budget session. A few extracts from the debates as reported in the Daily News:

The Member for Nzega praised Finance Minister Msuya. “I previously regarded him as a difficult man, but he has come up with a budget for the people.”

The Member for Masasi asked about expansion plans for prisons. Reply: No prisons had been expanded but Tanzania now had 106 prisons including 45 built since Independence.

The Member for Dodoma Urban advised the Government to trade in some of the assets nationalised after the Arusha Declaration to beef up state coffers. There were about 10,000 nationalised buildings in Dar es Salaam alone which could fetch up to Shs 100 billion. “I know this is rather sensitive but I must say it” he is quoted as having said.

A National Member-wanted to know the number of foreign media institutions operating in the country.
Reply: Tass, Novosti Press Agency, Asia and Africa Today, Moscow Radio and Television, Xinhua (China) News Agency and the Peoples Daily, Korean Central News Agency, Kuwaiti News Agency, United Press International Television News, Inter-Press Services (Italy).

The Member for Nzega asked if the Government had any plans to expand the Dodoma Wine Company so that it could consume all grapes to be produced in Dodoma, Iringa, Tabora and Shinyanga regions. Reply: Production at Dodoma is expected to improve tremendously (up to 980 cartons of wine a day) because the Government has assisted the company to buy new machinery, bottles and corks.

The Member for Mwera asked about registration of Ujamaa villages. Reply: There is no village in the country which has been registered as an Ujamaa village. Under the Local Government Act once it is established that most of the social and economic activities of a Village are run along socialist lines the Party Regional Executive may recommend a village to be accorded Ujamaa status. The Deputy Minister for Local Government said that his Ministry had never received any recommendation to that effect since the Arusha Declaration was proclaimed in 1967.

The Member for Meatu and many other members made a strong plea for the Government to announce concrete plans to construct the Dodoma – Mwanza road to reduce reliance on the now erratic Central Railway Line.

The Member for Makete said that Prime Minister and First Vice-President Warioba should explain audit queries raised by the Controller and Auditor General against the 1986/87 accounts of his Office. He mentioned that the Office had spent Shs 54.7 million which was not budgeted, Shs 44.1 million imprest and advances not accounted for and Shs 17.4 million in unvouched expenditure.

At this point Mr. Warioba intervened, saying that the MP should have raised these questions during the debate on the estimates or he should reserve them until the Auditor General’s Report comes up for debate. The Deputy Speaker agreed with the Prime Minister and proceeded to the next item in the estimates.

The Member for Mbeya Rural said that crop marketing boards were agents of exploitation and should be disbanded. He also said that co-operative unions, instead of being agents of change, were increasingly becoming tribal domains. I don’t think it is possible for a person from Mbeya to become the General Manager of the Nyanza CD-operative Union he said.

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BOOK REVIEWS

AFRICA – MY SURGERY. Leader Stirling (former Minister of Health in the Tanzanian Government). Churchman Publishing Ltd. Worthing and Folkestone. £4.95.

Leader Stirling’s story spans a period from his pre-first-world war childhood until 25 years after Tanzanian independence. His autobiography makes compulsive reading.

After sewing up the burst abdomen of his teddy bear while still in the nursery, we proceed through student days to his qualification as a doctor in 1929. The rigours of giving birth ‘on the district’ i.e. in the homes of the East End of London, are graphically described. The early chapters are slightly tedious, but once Dr Stirling reaches his training in clinical work and qualification the narrative has the quality of a novel by A.J. Cronin, both in content and writing. The reader is not spared clinical detail. Technical terms are used freely – eg .. the child “who developed sceptic thrombosis of his lateral sinus, and so pyaemia … ” This may prepare us for the more gory details of the animal injuries he later encountered in Tanzanian rural hospitals.

Descriptions of his early days in Africa in the Southern Province of Tanganyika are hair-raising. The operating theatre “was an open-work bamboo building with a grass roof and every gust of wind filled it with dust and dead leaves. A hen had also found its way in between the bamboos and was nesting quietly in the corner. There was no running water and no lighting except for oil lamps”. Many of the conditions he had to treat were horrific due to the distances patients had to travel to get medical help. The accounts of his journeys on foot or bicycle; sometimes at night, in response to emergency calls bear witness to his incredible stamina.

“The Dirty Game” heads the first chapter about Dr. Stirling’s entry into politics and here I have to part with him. Whatever one thinks about colonialism, in fact, most Africans accepted it without rancour at least until the middle fifties. It is true that it was due to the “…political dedication and consummate skill of our leader Julius Nyerere … that independence was secured peacefully” but an important part was played by the last Governor Sir Richard Turnbull, who is not mentioned, but who was chosen by the British Government with the purpose of working with Julius Nyerere to being about independence.

Two matters regarding registration of nurses and doctors require comment. On page 37 we read of Indians with “unregistrable qualifications”. These were, in fact, Asian doctors, of whom there were many in Tanganyika, qualified in India but whose degrees were not recognised in Britain or her colonies. Soon after Tanzania became independent they were fully registered as doctors. They were experienced men from whom more than one green young fully registered English doctor learnt much.

The Grade B nurses are described on page 153 as “..second class nurses simply because they were trained in their own country …” Any difference in the syllabus apart, no mention is made of the fact that their basic education was to middle school level only whereas the English nurses had GCE or its equivalent. Maybe it is not important but lack of basic education applies, of course, also to the “upgrading scheme” described on pages 130-131.

The later chapters are perhaps the most important in the book. Dr. Stirling presses for proper care for some of the cinderellas of the African medical services; patients with mental illnesses, leprosy etc. Then there is a chapter on primary health care, the “in thing” for the past 15 or 20 years, which Dr. Stirling rightly points out “we had been giving in Tanzania for the last 50 years or more”.

Altogether this is an excellent book. If parts read to those of us who were in Tanzania at the time like the writings of a politician, well, that is what the author acknowledges them to be.
Ursula Hay

TREVOR HUDDLESTDN. Essays on His Life and work. Edited by Deborah Duncan Honore. Oxford University Press. £14.95.

The Oxford University Press have produced this book of personal reminiscences and essays covering the main spheres of Trevor Huddleston’s life and work on the occasion of his 75th birthday in June 1938. Of course it cannot be a full biography of his life, for he is as strenuously active as ever in the leadership of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Defence and Aid Fund, not to speak of his active chairmanship of the Britain-Tanzania Society and much more. But the man shines through these essays encompassing the areas and materials of his major concerns – in South Africa as priest in Sophiatown, so movingly pictured by Desmond Tutu, in Tanzania as Bishop of Masasi, in Stepney, in Mauritius, and now in the continuing struggle for justice in South Africa.

Those in the Britain-Tanzania Society will of course be drawn by the chapters on Tanzania by Julius Nyerere, Roger Carter (on Anglo: Tanzanian Relations Since Independence) and Terence Ranger (on Trevor Huddleston in Masasi). But the book should draw us as a whole if we are to grasp his courage and his integrity and his power to discern the heart of the matter in each of these situations and understand their background so vividly described and the problems so well discussed in these essays.

Here is Trevor carrying his Christian faith into the thick of the struggle for human dignity and respect against the powers of racialism, poverty, class, even of competing churches and faiths which so disastrously divide and may lead to violence. And unlike many prophets and campaigners he carries a power of friendship for us all, of every race, creed and age, and the abounding sense of fun (most of it at his own expense), which we have all joyfully experienced at our meetings and beyond.

At the centre is Trevor’s urge to break through the barriers that divide (see the delightful pictures of him enjoying the company of children in Masasi and Stepney). And if we need a bit of stretching of our horizons try the chapter by Pauline Webb on ‘The New Ecumenism’ in which through experience beginning with tribal beliefs in Tanzania and coming to flower in Mauritius he turns from the traditional exclusiveness of the Church to find in other faiths, tribal, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist not only a respect but a bond in the search for spiritual and human values and a new light on his own Christian belief. Bernard de Bunsen

SOLOMAN AND THE BIG CAT. A play presented at the Young Vic. June 8-25,1988.

Soloman and the Big Cat is about a schoolboy called Soloman in Tanzania. People thought that there were no leopards there but Soloman found two leopards, a mother and a baby while he was running his usual five miles to school. The rest of the story tells how Soloman and the Game Ranger try to protect the African poachers.

I thought the acting was very good especially as there were only six actors to take the parts of the many animals and characters that were in it. The costumes were also very good and the masks for the leopards were brilliant.

I thought the play was very exciting and worth watching. Harriet Benton (aged 9)

This play was given such an outstanding review in the Independent (“It is, quite simply, the best children’s play I have seen” – Alex Renton) that we asked Christine Lawrence, who also saw it, to give us a second opinion. Here are her comments – Editor.

It was exciting to find this very Tanzanian children’s play in the middle of London. Before the performance the cast were able to sit on the edge of the stage and chat informally with the children so that a link between performer and audience was established from the start.
There was practicaly no scenery but clever use was made of lighting and a large screen at the back of the stage. At one point the Serengeti migration of thousands of animals moved across the scene and while Soloman had a nightmare about poachers a kaleidoscope of coloured patterns swirled dizzily around.

The play was made topical and true to Tanzanian tradition by the inclusion of a refugee schoolgirl from Mozambique and by giving Soloman a ‘big brother’ who is an Olympic marathon runner. (Two Tanzanian marathon runners, Juma Ikangaa and John Bura have recently qualified for the Olympic Games in Seoul). Big brother does not actually take part in the play but is a constant inspiration to Soloman as he runs to school and elsewhere.

The simplicity of the production, something like a superior game of charades, made it easy for children to follow but in no way did it detract from the creation of atmosphere. Our emotions were constantly stirred. We worried about the two leopards, (first caught in snares and later pursued by poachers); we loved Soloman and agonised or rejoiced with him and prayed that he would resist the bribery and threats of the poacher’s boss, a slick, sun bespectacled city-type. At various points we laughed, especially during the first school scene with Soloman repeatedly trying to tell about the leopards and being repeatedly ‘squashed’ by the school mistress; when various animals appeared (played by people); and, at the sight of a remote-controlled toy Landrover journeying across the stage (recalling to my mind those home made toys made by African children).

The climax was superb. Soloman discovers that the poachers know the whereabouts of ‘little Africa’ (the smaller leopard) who has become pregnant. He does a marathon run to fetch Ranger Filbert from the Serengeti but they arrive back too late to save both leopards from being shot dead. There is a terrible moment of despair but this is turned to joy when two tiny living cubs are taken from little Africa’s dead body, The poachers, of course, are caught. Soloman is a hero.

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LETTERS

THE EARLY DAYS OF THE KNCU.

On page 33 of the May Bulletin there was a quotation to the effect that Africans started and ran their own cooperative union ” … right under the nose of the colonial master” .

I would like to remind the correspondent concerned that the cooperative idea started in Britain (Rochdale in 1844); that the Kilimanjaro Native Planters Association, as the Union of Chagga coffee planters was originally known, was founded shortly after World War I at the instigation of a British administrator, Mr. (later Sir Charles) Dundas; and that it was very ably managed until the 1950’s by Mr. A. L. B. Bennett encouraged by the Department of Cooperative Development.
W. Wenban-Smith

TANGA YACHT CLUB
I have been asked to write a short history of the Tanga Yacht Club. I believe that some of your readers have enjoyed many hours sailing under the auspices of the Club. I would be very grateful therefore if some of these former members would drop me a line describing any interesting experiences that they have had over the years preferably with the approximate date. Just the year would be fine. I would like particularly to be in touch with former office Holders.
Jeannette Hartmann
PO Box 299,
Tanga

PREJUDICE
In Bulletin No. 30 you printed a letter from a reader of African Concord under the title ‘Is Tanzania So Special?’ In it the reader points the finger at developed countries and corrupt leaders. His or her statement ‘some responsible people in Government are gay’ strikes me as very prejudiced. The sexual orientation of leaders does not mean they are corrupt. The Bulletin should not print material which contains this kind of prejudice particularly when the writer is trying to offset another kind of prejudice ie: that against Black people. In future I hope you will exclude such material.
Judith Holland

FROM NYERERE TO NEO-CLASSICISM – A REPLY TO MICHAEL HODD
The article “From Nyerere to Neo-Classicism” by Michael Hodd (Bulletin No.30) can be regarded as a continuation of a campaign initiated at a conference in “Tanzania after Nyerere” he organised at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London in June 1986. Anybody reading the Hodd article or some of the conference papers cannot help noticing some half truths and untruths aimed at discrediting (not constructively criticising) Julius Nyerere, both as a statesman of undisputed integrity and commitment to the welfare of his people and as an intellectual. Let me hasten to add here that these qualities do not make Nyerere infallible.

Nobody is more aware of the mistakes and failures of some of the Party and Government policies during his rule than Nyerere himself; one has just to refer to his four-hour keynote speech to the 1982 CCM National Conference for the relevant evidence. Most of the changes, which are now being credited to the Mwinyi Government, were initiated by Nyerere and his colleagues during the period 1982-85. These include the upgrading of the role of the private sector in the national economy, reintroduction of the secondary cooperatives and local government institutions hence consolidating the decentralisation programme of 1972 and people’s power to manage their own affairs), trade liberalisation and deconfinement of capital and consumer goods, etc. This is not to belittle the august efforts being undertaken by the Mwinyi Government since its assumption of power in November 1985, but Only to document the roots of the current changes taking place in the country, at least for those who care for the truth and an intellectually stimulating debate.

The crucial point here is the fact that there is more continuity in these processes than the reversal of the main body of policies as Michael Hodd is attempting to tell us. At a recent meeting with Tanzanians living or studying in the U.K. in London, President Mwinyi said as much when replying to a question why his government came to the agreement with the IMF more quickly than his predecessor’s. Sheikh Mwinyi not only said that Tanzania had to agree because it could not stand any more ‘arm-twisting’ by the IMF, etc, but also that his Government started from where the Nyerere Government had left off, implying continuity. More importantly for the Tanzanian Left, the IMF’s conditions did not include the dismantling of the parastatals sector to make way for privatisation (which is held as sacrosanct by the neo-classicists) and wage-freezing, pillars of Reagonomics and Thatcherism. There are many people in Tanzania and in the U.K. who do not accept that these are the best solutions to our country’s problems even if they are success stories in the U.K. and the U.S.A. notwithstanding the fact that there are many people sleeping in the streets of London and Washington D.C. At any rate, who has given the Reaganists and Thatcherites the right to impose their own view of the world on Tanzanians?

If the parastatal sector has been left to continue by the IMF and from superficial observation of the current Economic Recovery Programme, which is being supported by both the IMF and World Bank, not to mention some Western governments, can one really talk of a full-scale demolition of socialist institutions and an installation of a capitalist economy in Tanzania by President Mwinyi with the assistance of the IMF? …

At this juncture it is pertinent to quote in extensu from a book “The Development of Capitalism in Africa” by John Sender and Sheila Smith:

The intellectually influential advocates of ‘free’ market forces and a non-interventionist state ignore the overwhelming historical evidence concerning the central role of the state in all late-industrializing countries. One consequence of adherence to an anti-statist ideology is that the possibilities and opportunities for supporting much needed improvements in quality of the state initiatives have been forgone. Instead the attention of many economists has been focused on the degree to which the public sector pre-empts or ‘crowds out’ private entrepreneurship, on the quantity of state expenditure, rather than planned improvements in their quality. The prospects for accumulation, industrial growth and the maintenance of the capacity to import will be bleak if policy makers and those influencing their decisions in the most important international financial institutions continue to be persuaded of the evils of state intervention per se. The outlook will also be bleak if economists continue to pretend that an optimal allocation of investment resources can be achieved only by reference to the benchmark of a mythical, undistorted or perfectly competitive market.

Perhaps, it is necessary to state that what is being said here is not in defence of the Tanzanian parastatal sector per se, rather it is a recognition that it is an important premise for the development of the country if given a chance, including ridding it of bureaucratic inefficiencies, mismanagement, embezzlement, venality, undemocratic practices and procedures and non-responsiveness to popular demands and aspirations. There is no evidence to suggest that these ills in our society are inherently a product of its socialist policies. In fact, the evidence shows that these ills are increasing alarmingly. Some people are blaming this state of affairs and wild game poaching on cuts to earn increased incomes. I am afraid a man-eat-man society is fast in the making in Tanzania and all of us know the reason why it is so.

All this is part of Hodd’s “although the rich might get quite a bit richer, the poor will be better-off as well”, the same old story of the trickle-down theory. Efficacy of this theory has long been in serious doubt; it is not worthy of mention here. Nonetheless, one is tempted to ask what prevents trickling of wealth to the poor in developed countries in which a substantial number of their Citizenry have to resort to living and sleeping in the streets. Or is it true that the rich and yuppies capture all the benefits of Reaganomics and Thatcherism so that even the crumbs falling from their dining tables are hardly enough to offer a decent life to these street men and women? Individualism, which allows the murder of a pregnant woman in a motorway or the starving to death of a child because communal concern is considered as interference is subject to serious questioning by all those who value human life more than money. Romanticism apart, surely, some values of Tanzanian socialism are superior!

Finally, the point raised by Hodd “Western trained economists are now in senior positions in the key Ministries and in the University” is mind-boggling. Since when have positions in Tanzania’s key ministries and universities (incidentally Tanzania has two universities since 1984) been occupied by Eastern trained economists; Who are these people? Can Hodd produce a list? I hope it can be published in the next issue of this esteemed Bulletin? To my knowledge, there is only a handful of people who have been trained in Eastern Europe, in senior positions. Apart from the veteran Tanzanian Marxist and former Minister, Abdulrahman Mohammed Babu, who fell-out with the system many years ago because of his insistence that Tanzania adopt and implement appropriate socialist policies, there are the present Deputy Minister and Principal Secretary of Industries and Trade, the Director-General of the Muhimbili Medical Centre and the General Manager of the National Insurance Corporation. At the University of Dar es Salaam there is the Director of IDS and the Director of the Economic Research Bureau. At Sokoine University in Morogoro, there is nobody trained in Eastern Europe in a senior position.

Thus, any socialism or its semblance installed and still existing in Tanzania is the product of Western education and culture. That includes Julius Nyerere and the overwhelming majority of his colleagues in TANU or CCM and Government during the past two and a half decades. Even his economic advisers (Professors Justinian Rweyemamu (now late), Justin Maeda and Simon Mbilinyi) are products of Western education, all holders of PhD degrees from well known US universities. Whether they were committed socialists or free market adherents, I leave it to Michael Hodd to tell us, hopefully in the next issue of this Bulletin! In any case, there are very good socialists in the West as there are vaery ‘good’ capitalists in Eastern Europe. To be sure, a person’s Educational environment may have an influence on his/her political and economic views, but in the final analysis it is his/her personal decision to become a devout socialist or capitalist, the dichotomy between East and West notwithstanding.

If Hodd if trying to exonerate the West of responsibility for what has happened in Tanzania during the past 25 years, it is evident that he is doing it in a very bad and clumsy manner. I am sure there are many Tanzanians who could not care less one way or the other. These people’s concern is how we can move further along the socialist path, overcoming difficulties on the way, in order to achieve the ideals of human dignity, respect and equality. Admittedly, these may appear idealistic at this point in time, but they are worthy objectives to live and fight for. Tanzania’s problems are not insurmountable, Given appropriate policy interventions and political goodwill, there is a way to overcome and solve them and eventually succeed, It is important that all Tanzanians realise that in the final analysis it is their hard work and perseverance, coupled with appropriate policies, which will bring about development of our country, Any outside assistance is only catalytic to our endeavours to build a humane and just society,

Regarding people trained in Eastern Europe going to Western Europe and USA to study, it is not necessarily because they aspire to glorify Western educational and cultural values more than those of Eastern Europe. Many of them, especially those who returned home in the sixties, were subjected to ‘academic’ discrimination and humiliation, including evaluation of their degrees and diplomas, before they were finally ‘accepted’ as ‘educated’. As part of this ‘acceptance’ process, they had to ‘travel to the West for ‘brushing-up’, As a person, who was trained in the first instance in an Eastern European country, I should know! If I were a cynic, I should blame all this on Western academic (or capitalist?) arrogance which has been inculcated in the minds’ of my former classmates in school; they take it upon themselves to be both prosecutors and judges of my academic qualifications. Ironically, this discrimination is not practised in the U.K!
Juma Ngasongwa

CURRENT PRICES (May 1988)
In response to the Goodchild’s letter in the last Bulletin I have obtained some details of current prices from my daughter who lives in Dar es Salaam.

Various staple foods ie rice, sugar and maize flour, have controlled prices but are not always available at these prices.

Current prices in shillings:
Eggs 15 each
Rice 40-55/kilo
Maize flour 20/kilo
Sugar 40-80/kilo
Margarine 400/kilo tin
Fresh milk 40/litre
Beef Steak 200/kilo
Chicken 300/kilo
Pork 120/kilo
Beef with bones 150/kilo
Petrol: Super 44/litre
Petrol: Regular 38/litre
Soap: Bar 20
Soap Powder 40/15oz

Wages:
Minimum 1,200 per month. (Since increased)
Secondary School Teacher 3,000 – 5,000 per month
Manager 7,000 per month

The better jobs often carry perks ie: cheap housing and transport. Manufactured goods are now widely available in the shops but prices are very high. (Exchange rate is about Shs 175 to the £ Sterling – Editor)
Ray Galbraith

THE STATE OF THE ROADS
When I last wrote to you I explained about the poor coverage given the Bulletin to the Tanzanian infrastructure and I was consequently pleased to see the recent article about the Transport and Communications Corporations.

My main infrastructural interest is in highways however which your article did not mention. I believe … that the highway system suffers from maintenance problems worse even than those of the railways.

When I lived in Tanganyika between 1950 and 1962 a pressing interest in the state of the roads was regularly displayed by much of the populace and I am sure the subject still grips the attention of many Tanzanian citizens. I am accordingly surprised that the highway system features so little in the extracts you publish.

I have the impression that the transportation by road of Zambian copper virtually destroyed the road system of Southern Tanzania and that the highways in much of the remainder of the country have been crippled by neglect. I should be very interested to learn whether my information is correct or not. Maintenance is tedious and thankless to carry out but there is very little point in capital investment in the absence of proper arrangements for maintaining the resulting capital stock.
S.A.W. Bowman

THE COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION
I wonder how accurate is the picture of the Tanganyika Administration in 1938 taken from the report in the Tanganyika Herald at that time and reproduced in Bulletin No. 30. It would be interesting to know what reaction there was to the original article. I have read that, at times in the inter-war years, morale was low because of financial stringency, pay cuts and rumours that the territory would be handed back to the Germans but I very much doubt that it was generally so.

Certainly, Mr, Balfour’s view bears no resemblance to the Administration I knew throughout the 1950’s… Up country our hours were from either 7.30 or 8.00 am; to 4 or 4.30 pm and up to 12 noon on Saturdays – longer than has applied here in the UK for many years … a great many Colonial Service officers put in far more hours, I had to put in at least 50 hours per week to keep on top of the job and this was not very exceptional … Once, in a moment of weakness, I told a Greek settler that I thought pressure of work had increased over the years. He did not agree and related how, in the 1930’s, he had gone the 20 miles to Sumbawanga on his donkey arriving about 9pm and finding the District Commissioner still at work.

Since Independence I have visited districts where I once worked on several occasions and found my Tanzanian successors busily employed too. Some of them expressed surprise that we managed with se few staff …
Michael Dorey

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