The Tanzanian News Agency (SHIHATA) reports in its April 10th issue that President Mwinyi has given an assurance that traditional security groups known as Sungusungu will soon be protected by law. They have been active in stamping out cattle rustling in the Lake regions.
CRITICISM OF NEW GOVERNMENT MEASURES TO BOOST TOURISM
In a major move to stimulate the otherwise inactive tourism industry the Government has decided to give a consortium of companies management contracts for eight out of the 14 hotels run by the Tanzania Tourist Corporation. The eight are the first to be rehabilitated under a US$ 25 million, 13 year scheme to be funded by the companies which come from Yugoslavia, Germany, Switzerland, France, and West Germany. The European Investment Bank is also likely to be involved.
Tourism officials have said that the objective is to co-manage the hotels with the multilaterals as the most viable, short cut way of transforming them from what the Government periodical ‘Frontliner’ describes as their present pathetic state.
The hotels to be rehabilitated include the Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Arusha, Lake Manyara, Lobo Lodge, the Ngorongoro and Seronera Wildlife Lodges and the Mafia Lodge. An island a few kms off Kunduchi will be transformed into a casino, the first ever in the country.
But the local media have been critical. ‘Do we need foreign hotel managers?’ asked J. M. M. Kamala in the Sunday News of January 15, 1989. ‘Foreign Managers, Will they do Miracles?’ asked the same paper a month later. “All ATC hotels that are to be leased have been making a profit. They have been paying taxes. Their bed occupancy rates have been between 70 and 95%. They have competent trained managers and staff. This is a paradise compared to some pathetic parastatals. The problem has been lack of foreign exchange to rehabilitate them …. the claim that foreign management will improve services is far fetched. With devaluation, our breakfast costs 1.5 dollars. The same costs 10 dollars in Botswana.
Foreign investors must come to expand the existing infrastructure using their own funds instead of coming like camels and stand the risk of being kicked out of our own tent!”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 1988
Tanzania comes out comparatively well in the Amnesty International Report for 1988. Tanzania occupies less than a page in a voluminous document describing breaches of human rights in many countries.
The Report states that two detained persons were adopted as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty. In August Amnesty was informed that their detention orders had been rescinded but they were then held under the Deportation Ordinance which allows citizens to be restricted to specified areas (in these cases Mafia and Ukerewe) for security reasons. Five other detainees appeared in court in February charged with assisting two suspects accused of treason to escape from custody in 1983. They had been held in detention since that time. Three were released in December.
At least seven people were sentenced to death for murder in Tanzania in 1988, but, as in recent years, no executions were reported. In March the Zanzibar House of Representatives amended a 1969 l aw which allowed the death penalty for smuggling cloves and substituted a prison sentence. No one was known to have been executed for this offence.
ILLEGAL TRADE THREATENS CHIMPANZEE EXISTENCE
The world renowned scientist Dr. Jane Goodall writing in the maiden issue of Kakakuona, a magazine of the Tanzania Wildlife Protection Fund, has stated that the illegal export of infant Chimpanzees is likely to lead to extermination of the primate in Tanzania within a few years. For every infant captured for sale to dealers at least three mothers are killed she stated. “If hunters catch say five infants in one month fifteen females are killed while trying to protect them. At that rate all existing chimpanzee mothers in Tanzania (except those in national parks) would be gone in less than three years. There would remain only bands of male chimpanzees, ever decreasing in numbers, until the last one of the community would die, alone and miserable.
POPULATION CENSUS REVEALS THERE ARE 23.2 MILLION PEOPLE
The Minister of State in the President’s Office has unveiled the preliminary results of the population census carried out in 1988. The new total of 23.2 million people compares with 17.5 million in 1978 – a growth rate of 2.8% This compares with earlier growth rates of 3.2% Sunday News
MASSIVE FOREIGN EXCHANGE INTERCEPTION
The Daily News has reported that a Sierra Leone-born, Liberia-based Lebanese national aged 24 has been caught red-handed at Dar es Salaam airport together with his alleged Air Tanzania Corporation pilot accomplice, on a KLM plane smuggling out a vast quantity of foreign currency and gold. Some US$ 164,350 and large quantities of gold and sapphires with a total value of Shs 42 million have been intercepted by Customs officials – the largest haul for many years. The Sunday News further reported that the Lebanese national had been travelling frequently between Tanzania and nine other countries since 1984.
DEATH OF WELL-KNOWN DOCTOR
The Daily News has reported the death on January 21, 1989 at the age of 64 of Dr. Nathaniel Benjamin Akim, the first Tanzanian to be appointed Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health. He served in many different posts in Tanzania and was from 1974 to 1986 with the World Health Organisation in Ghana and Gambia.
UNUSUAL SEQUEL TO SONGEA MP CASE
The former Songea MP, Mr. Abdurabi Yusufu, recently appealed against his sentence of 9 years in prison (The case was described in Bulletin Nos 30 and 31 – Editor) for being in possession of 105 elephant tusks in his official Landrover. He raised six grounds in his appeal and stated that he was on duty at the time trying to arrest trophy dealers. According to the Daily News of March 24, 1989 the Court of Appeal of Tanzania set aside the original sentence and increased it to twelve years. Justice Makame said “We only wish to say that one needed very unusual courage to swallow such a fantastic story”. The six grounds raised by the appellant in his memorandum to the Court were “devoid of substance.”
PUBLIC FIRMS ACCOUNTS IMPROVING
According to the 20th Tanzania Audit Corporation’s Report for the year ending June 30th 1988 the state of parastatal accounts is improving. This was said to be a positive and encouraging response to the Presidential Directive of November 1985 requiring parastatals to up their accounts by December 31,1987. As at June 30th last year the accounts of 129 out of 482 audited parastatals were in arrears for one year or more compared to 141 by June 30, 1987 and 163 by June 30, 1986. This is the smallest number of parastatals in arrears at the end of any financial year in the last eight years – Daily News,.