TANZANIAN TROOPS WITHDRAW
According to AFRICAN CONCORD Tanzania’s estimated 5,000 troops which were sent to Mozambique nearly two years ago, although the agreed period was six months, have been withdrawn. Mozambique’s Defence Minister, Alberto Chipande commented “They did their job of freeing the entire Zambezi Valley (from MNR rebels) and have therefore returned to their country with the merit of having fulfilled their liberating mission in Africa”.
Tanzanian Defence Minister Salim Ahmed Salim told a parade of returned soldiers that they had succeeded in preventing the MNR from cutting Mozambique in two at its narrowest point between the southern tip of Malawi and the port of Quelimane.
OF CHICKENS AND ACADEMICS
“It’s early morning in a sleepy African Village. The mooing of cows punctures the morning silence. Those in the surrounding low-lying houses turn in their sleep. The cows become more audible, more insistent. No doubt someone has been remiss in their milking. The mooing of the cows is joined by the cackling of dozens of fowl. This blissful ‘rural’ awakening is not taking place in some remote corner of the African world. It is right in the heart of the ‘developed underdeveloped’ University of Dar es Salaam. The early morning bovine sounds come from no other than the academic’s cows”. So began an article in the January 1989 issue of AFRICA EVENTS.
The article goes on to say that President Mwinyi, who is also Chancellor of the University, had urged University leaders to raise chickens, cows and pigs to supplement their income. But, the article asked, should it be the business of academics to raise chickens and cows in order to make ends meet. And the conditions under which academics work hardly leave room for raising chickens. Everything has to be sought for long and hard. Public transport is tortoise-slow and public officials unhelpful. Academic’s work is bobbled down by lack of facilities; large classes, limited staff and work-shy students, all make academic life at Dar es Salaam a pretty hard slog.
The article went on to discuss research and what it described as the extraordinarily myopic attitude of the government towards Tanzanian academics compared with ‘jet-in, jet out’ experts which it preferred.
MAN-EATERS SHOT IN BAGAMOYO
The DAILY TELEGRAPH in its April 10th issue reported that wildlife officials had shot two man-eating lions which had killed three people near Bagamoyo, on Tanzania’ s Indian Ocean coast. The hunt had been organised after hundreds of people had fled their homes.
NEW MALARIA CONTROL INITIATIVE
AFRICA HEALTH has reported that a new Japanese grant is being used to finance a five-year programme of vector control in Dar es Salaam and Tanga. The programme began in July 1988 and involves indoor residual insecticide spraying, larvicide spraying of breeding habitats and the spraying of residential areas with ultra-low volume machines. Dar es Salaam had a malaria control programme in the 1960’s and 1970’s but its staff was dispersed about the country following a decentralisation drive in 1972. By 1981 there were only a dozen malaria assistants left and the youngest of them was fifty years old. Nearly 5,000 Tanzanians died of the disease in 1985 – a particularly bad year – and 386 died in 1986.
TAARAB – THE MUSIC OF ZANZIBAR
The GUARDIAN in its issue dated January 6, 1989 reviewed a collection of Zanzibar music recently released on two records. It wrote: ‘Zanzibar’s unique island location off the East coast of Africa has produced an intriguing musical melting-pot where Arabic, Indian and African influences converge with exotic results. Taarab describes both the music and the social occasions on which it is played.
In the case of Ikhwani Safaa, Zanzibar’s most popular orchestra, founded in 1905, this consists of a mesmeric mix of western violins alongside eastern instruments like the ganoon (a kind of zither) and the oud. It is these two instruments, in the capable hands of Abdullah Mussa Ahmed and Seif Salim Saleh, which are featured on the other record … strange and seductive sounds’.
Under this heading NEW AFRICAN in its February issue wrote that local brewing is becoming so popular in Tanzania that it is threatening the survival of the beer industry as well as the only industrially brewed local beer, properly known as ‘kikuku’ or ‘tikisa’. As little as five years ago, local brews were only drunk at traditional celebrations and other rural-based rituals.
In Dar es Salaam alone there are now about 19 types of local brew including ‘kindi’, mbege, tembo, mnazi, njimbo and kangara which are made mostly of grains, sugar, baking powder and molasses. Thousands of people who want to get drunk quickly drink illegally distilled ‘gongo’, ‘kill me quick’, or ‘supu ya mawe’ (soup made from stones) !
The burgeoning business is a reflection of the rising inflation. A half litre bottle of beer now costs about one US dollar, an increase of more than 1,000% since 1980 compared with about eight US cents for a local brew.
SOUTH magazine in its January issue had a 5 page Survey on Tanzania, one of the articles in which described how the government is now offering licenses to small-scale gold miners in an attempt to crack down on organised gold smuggling which has depleted foreign exchange reserves. The miners are being tempted to go legal by being offered a 70% retention scheme on their foreign exchange earnings. Twelve licenses have been offered so far and there are hundreds more in the pipeline. Less than a quarter of the gold output from the half million small miners is passing through the State Mining Corporation.
Other articles in the Survey covered the ‘tight economic corner’ that Zanzibar has been pushed into because of its reliance on cloves, ‘another dose of IMF medicine’ and the problems of the Tanzania Zambia Railway.
TANZANIA INTRODUCES CORDLESS TELEPHONES
AFRICAN BUSINESS in its March 1989 issue reported the decision of the Tanzania Posts and Telecommunications Corporation to ‘leap into the electronic age’ by introducing portable cordless telephones. They are expected to prove popular in urban areas where 25% of residents have access to telephone lines.
According to the March 15 issue of AFRICAN CONCORD President Mwinyi has said that criminals were stealing so many guns from policemen that he had decided to most constables on daylight patrol. In future only policemen guarding strategic buildings would carry firearms. The rest of the force would carry short hand batons he added.