TANZANIA IN THE MEDIA

CHAPTER AND CLAUSE
Under this heading, Africa Events commented on the statement made by Mrs. Sophia Kawawa (Bulletin No. 31) concerning the rights of women which is alleged to have been the cause of the recent riot in Zanzibar in which a number of people were killed. Mrs Kawawa, the article said, had been the top lady of Tanzania’s UWT, the Association of Tanzanian Women, for many years. As such, the article went on, the UWT wields no power. ‘But in back stage politics some UWT leaders are known to be accomplished bridge builders, freelance power brokers and generally provide charm and glamour to the ruling Party the CCM. However, every Tanzanian woman knows that none of their number stands a chance of climbing to the Party’s summit to engineer real change for the rest of her lot. The path is blocked. All key positions have been taken – for keeps. Pro-woman sloganeering apart, CCM is male, chauvinistic and macho. In a predominantly Muslim nation, which Tanzania is, Mrs. Kawawa urged the abrogation of an Islamic law, in a speech which was candid in the extreme. Zanzibar burst into the streets to protest’.

HANDS ACROSS THE EQUATOR
Under this heading the British Medical Journal in its issue dated September 3 1988 wrote an article by John B. Wood and Elizabeth A. Hills, two physicians, one at Hereford County Hospital and one at Hospitali Teule, Muheza, Tanga Region, who have been trying to learn something about each other’s way of life and arrange for some practical help to be given by the richer community to the poorer. Each year four health workers from each community visit the other for six to eight weeks. The article contains accounts of their experiences by a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, a hospital engineer, a laboratory scientist (who returned home with hepatitis B infection), and a non-travelling histopthologist from Hereford.

For the Tanzanian visitors, the main rows of wards at Hereford seemed familiar because they consist of corrugated huts like those at Muheza, only older. Most were surprised that methods of treatment, delivery of babies and the giving of anaesthetics were much the same as they were used to.

‘What changes had been made at Muheza as a result of the visits? There had been small changes in the operating theatre (a different routine for skin cleansing) but the biggest change was as a result of the visit of a medical assistant to the casualty department. She went home with a list of requirements concerning resuscitation, and changes have been made. A dressing room has been converted, a hole knocked through the department wall and a covered way is nearing completion.

AN INTEGRATED ROADS PROGRAMME
The African Economic Digest, in its October 28 issue, stated that donor agencies are expressing enthusiasm about the prospects for an integrated 3,000 kilometre roads programme for Tanzania. Consultants from the UK, West Germany, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and in particular, a US$ 1.0 million study on the administration of an integrated programme being financed by Denmark are under way. The report on the latter is expected to recommend that financial responsibility for the programme should be centralised in the Communications and Works Ministry rather than, as at present, spread across several government departments according to the classification of road involved. The studies need to be ready for a donor meeting planned for February 1989 in Dar es Salaam. After the meeting the World Bank seems likely to begin preparation of a detailed integrated road project to which US$ 100 million has been provisionally assigned.

WHY ARE ITALIANS NOT COMING TO MAFIA?
Under this heading the November/December issue of Tantravel explained how a prominent Italian businessman, Mr. Gian Paulo Benini, a few years ago, shocked his fellow Italians by advertising in newspapers inviting them to ‘join the Mafia Fishing Club’, What MAFIA club was this? he was asked. To the readers, the Mafia was an ‘omerta’ meaning not to be mentioned. He had to carefully explain that he was talking about a fishing paradise in the waters of the Indian Ocean. In 1973 Mr. Benini had founded the club. It ‘became very popular with international tourists interested in deep sea diving, snorkelling and goggling.

Nowadays however, according to Tantravel, tourism has declined in Mafia because of the lack of efficient transport to the island. Extension of the airport to carry bigger aircraft like the Fokker Friendship has been underway since 1980 but is still only 60% completed. Passengers often have to wait two weeks to get a place on a plane to the island.

Tantravel, in the same issue, also stated that Tanzania hopes to host over 270,000 tourists in 1989. This would represent an increase of 102,802 over the 1988 figure. Tanzania had earned Shs 400 million from the hotel levy in 1987/88.

SYMPATHY
Thailand’s English language newspaper The Nation gave Thai readers an account of the long negotiations going on between Tanzania and the IMF in its issue of August 19th 1988. It reported that Western donors were pleased with the results so far from three years of Tanzania’s economic reform programme and were in sympathy with the government IS dilemma over devaluation (as described in the first article in this issue of the Bulletin – Editor). “They are doing very well and for an economy which was in such bad shape you cannot change things overnight” one ambassador had said.

SIR GEOFFREY FINDS THE SPICE HAS GONE FROM ZANZIBAR’S ISLAND PARADISE
The Guardian in its September 16th issue wrote that “one of the better routes to paradise, short of dying, used to be to take the short boat journey across the Indian Ocean from Dar es Salaam to its island neighbour …. Zanzibar is bathed in the aromas of cinnamon, lemon grass and cloves. It was the favourite posting of every 19th century Western diplomat in Africa. The modern diplomat-explorer, Sir Geoffrey Howe, crossed the water wedged into a tiny Cessna aeroplane to find that paradise is not what it used to be, ‘Terminal Island’ reads graffiti behind the Sultan’s Palace, now the local headquarters of Tanzania’s ruling Party. It is one of the milder expressions of disgruntlement by Zanzibaris. They regard the mainland government in Dar es Salaam and its representatives in the palace, as pernicious a potentate as their former Arab rulers and are pressing for more autonomy.

The island’s new Chief Minister, Mr. Omari Ali Juma, an economic reformer, used a lunch for Sir Geoffrey Howe to discuss the island’s problems. “It is a grim situation” he said. “There is a general deterioration in the quality of life. And I have to confess, some government policies have led to this present crisis.” But Dr. Juma went out of his way to emphasise that the Union with Tanzania was safe.

Paradise, the article concluded, is not close to separatism. Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph, in reviewing what it described as a basically affectionate biography of Sir Geoffrey Howe published recently, revealed that, while on national service, Sir Geoffrey had climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. He had gazed into the volcanic crater, looked out across the plains of Tanganyika – and fallen fast asleep!

KENYA, UGANDA AND TANZANIA
African Events has been giving its views on the recent visit by Kenya’s President Moi to Dar es Salaam and what it describes as the terminal stages of a slow-healing process that is about to close the rift that has kept the two ex-members of the East African Community apart for over a decade. ‘The first reason for the visit was bound up with Kenya’s rapidly changing fortunes in manufacturing and the problems she is having in developing exports. With the new economic liberation policies gaining ground in Tanzania … the Tanzanian market is beginning to look like an exporter’s paradise … Kenya is bent on getting a piece of the action and on restoring the old-time special trading relationship with its neighbour.’ A second reason for the visit, the article indicated, was to ensure that Tanzania should not be coaxed into allowing the various dissident groups which are making the Kenya government distinctly uneasy, to use Tanzania as a base for cross-border raids.

The article went on: ‘If Kenya is keen an getting into Tanzania’s good books, Uganda must be anxious that Kenya does not replace it as Tanzania’s most favoured East and Central African state. It was perhaps the need to allay Ugandan anxieties that Chairman Nyerere of Tanzania was in Kampala when President Moi was in Dar es Salaam. Chairman Nyerere heaped praise on Uganda President Museveni with a trowel. He told Ugandans that Tanzania had cut its ties with ex-President Obate and would never lend him a hand to hop back to power. ‘The Ugandans feel enormously grateful to Tanzania for evicting the tyrannical Idi Amin. They have shown some of this gratitude by putting a fair amount of trade on Tanzania’s plate. Uganda would now buy consumer goods from Tanzania rather than from Kenya if they were available and the price was right. Tanga is gradually replacing Mombasa as landlocked Uganda’s main port for its goods …. in Kenya’s eyes therefore, Tanzania is the key to its peace of mind on regional trade. Kenya wants to stalk into the sanctum of the evolving Tanzania/Uganda axis before it properly gels. Otherwise it might find itself out in the cold.’

In its October 21-27 issue African Concord reported that, during his subsequent return visit to Kenya, President Mwinyi, speaking to Tanzanians living in Kenya, called for the revival of the defunct East African Community. He said that the original community had broken up because of mi nor difficulties between member states.

AIDS AND TRADITIONAL MEDICINE
According to the November 3rd issue of African Concord, Tanzania’s Traditional Medicine Research Institute has encouraged traditional herbalists to continue treating victims of AIDS but has advised them not to do so by guesswork. The Institute’s Director, said that herbalists should only provide treatment after the AIDS victim had been scientifically proven to have the virus. He said that since a cure for the disease had yet to be discovered, herbalists were free to treat patients who came to them.

THE GHASTLIEST PLACE ON EARTH
Such was the description of the blotchy pink waters of Lake Natron on Tanzania’s border with Kenya given by Clare Hargreaves in the November 5 issue of the Daily Telegraph. She explained that the lake took its unearthly colour from the algae that thrive in its corrosive soda waters and provide food for its only inhabitants – millions of pink flamingoes. She went on; “these desolate, but hauntingly beautiful landscapes and the rough, dusty roads that go with them are not for travellers who need their home comforts abroad; here, ice-cold gin and tonics are as rare as Daimlers and baths are more often than not poured from a jerry can ….

But as Kenya becomes the Benidorm of safaris, visitors who really want to feel the pulse of Africa without competing with scores of other white mini-buses, will find Tanzania superb. Back at the camp, our Tanzanian driver had just killed a 4ft long red cobra, which still writhed in the dust beside our camp fire. The cook was busy hacking a freshly slaughtered goat which he threw into a huge cauldron of stew, watched by 17 pairs of hungry eyes ….. a day and a half away at Ngorongoro, waking in the night to a cacophony of roaring lions and ‘whooping’ hyenas …. this was the ultimate African adventure.”

JAPAN AND TANZANIA
The Japan Times featured Tanzania in three successive issues during September 1988.

The first reported that the Matsushita Electric Company, the only Japanese company running factories in Tanzania, was facing ‘production stagnation’. It cannot import raw materials for its products which include radios and batteries because Tanzania is short of foreign currency. Some of the 561 employees were said to be cleaning the floors, some repairing machines and some were doing nothing but chatting. The factory utilisation rate had dropped to 30%. But despite this, the factory manager was reported to have said that ‘some’ profits were still being made although he refused to be specific. The factory had not fired any of its employees. “If we do that, employees who are exempted from dismissal will not be able to concentrate themselves on their work thinking that they may be fired next” the manager had said.

The second article described how Tanganyika Tea Blenders Ltd. a government corporation selling tea and coffee wants to increase exports to Japan. However, Japanese trading companies were reluctant to import because of unstable supply and because they felt that the packaging was unattractive. Japanese importers “who are very punctual” do not tolerate delays said the head of liaison of a company specialising in trade with Africa.

In the third article the Japan Times gave the story of two Japanese agricultural specialists working on the strengthening of irrigation banks for rice in Bagamoyo. A photograph was published showing the Japanese agriculturalists helping Tanzanian farmers to operate a homemade cement mixer which can also act as a roller to consolidate the compressed soil on the banks.

NEW ARMY COMMANDER
The appointment by Tanzania of a new Army Commander, General Ernest Mwita Kiaro and a new Chief of Staff, General Tumainiel Kiwelu, has brought comment from two African journals. The African Economic Digest quotes observers in Dar es Salaam as stating that the changes will strengthen President Mwinyi’s control of the army, a ‘traditional Nyerere power base’. But New African went further in stating that many officers were asking why President Mwinyi should appoint such a man to head the army. The article was critical of General Kiaro but noted that he originated from Mara, the region from which both Mwalimu Nyerere and Prime Minister Warioba came. The article further claimed that Tanzanian soldiers would have preferred other candidates for the post of Army Commander and that their favourite would have been Major-General J. Walden.

TUSK AUCTION
The Independent on September 6, 1988 reported that some 2,600lbs of elephant tusks were on sale in Dar es Salaam. The auction was open only to trophy dealers who were not black-listed by Cites, the Swiss-based convention on international trade in endangered species. The ivory had to be paid for in foreign exchange and exported.

1 Comment »

  1. Tanzanian Affairs » LETTERS said,

    April 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

    […] OF THE TANZANIAN COAST On reading ‘Why are the Italians Not Coming to Mafia’ in the last issue of the Bulletin I was filled with alarm at the idea of Italian tourists, or tourists of any sort […]

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