Archive for September, 1989

WHAT HAS HAPPENED? – MWALIMU

“What has happened to the nation of the Arusha Declaration – the only country in the world with such a clearly defined policy of socialism and sef-reliance” asked Mwalimu Julius Nyerere speaking to the nation on Peasants’ Day, July 7th 1989. What curse had befallen the nation which had declared self – reliance as the basis for its development he asked.

He said Tanzania had a unique gift in that declaration but lamented the way people have gone astray in carrying out the declared policies. “In fact” he said “it appears as if we have abandoned our declaration. Even to clean sewage systems or fill in ponds which are breeding places for mosquitoes we wait for foreign donors”.

The Party Chairman underscored the need to revive the self-help spirit and undertake projects like building classrooms and teachers houses. “The children” he said pointing to the pupils who had performed a mass display “are sitting on the floor in the classroom but we sit back and wait for donors – some of whom are near thieves – to help us”. Mwalimu noted that the budget for education had declined to 4% which he said was too little to do anything substantial. “But” he added “we have plenty of soil from which we can make bricks for classrooms”.

Earlier Mwalimu expressed disgust at thefts of big sums of money from cooperative unions. He said the government mistakenly dissolved the unions but “we did not re-establish them for conmen and thieves who applauded their return so that they could make quick money” – Daily News

Comments

OBITUARIES

SIR JOHN FLETCHER-COOKE died in May 1989 at the age of 77. Mr. C.I. Meek writes about him as follows:

In Tanganyika John Fletcher-Cooke was successively Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Chief Secretary and Deputy Governor between the years 1956 and 1961. Holding these offices he was obviously deeply involved in the kaleidoscopic political changes of the last colonial years and equally clearly he had his full share of controversy whenever nationalist views clashed with those of the Government as they frequently did in those hectic days. John had a taste of this within weeks of coming to Tanganyika, when he found himself in New York to put the Tanganyika Government’s case to the UN Trusteeship Council while the views of TANU were put by its President, Julius K. Nyerere. But there were many much harsher exchanges later on when the two men fiercely sparred across the floor of the then Legislative Council, John as Chief Secretary leading the Government majority and Julius Nyerere speaking for the opposition. Yet for all the real issues and sharp words between them, there was no personal animus, and each, in the closing days of the old Legislative Council, paid generous tribute to the other.

Likewise, there was a considerable song and dance raised about the creation of the post of Deputy Governor (which Sir John filled) but it was the post and not the man that was the issue. TANU suspected that the creation of the post was a device to interpose someone between the Governor and the Prime Minister, while, for different reasons, Sir John himself found it the least fulfilling of the high offices he filled with such great credit.

John Fletcher-Cooke was intellectually distinguished and his clarity of thought was as apparent when he wrote a despatch as it was when he made a speech. He had extraordinary pertinacity, which could sometimes be vexatious to those with different views, but which was a blessing beyond price to anyone against whom he spotted injustice or unfairness directed, He was a loyal friend, a perfect host, he had much wit, and was always a man of courage.

He was not a ‘Tanganyikan’, as those who spent their service there felt themselves to be, for he had been variously posted to the Colonial Office, to the UN Trusteeship Council, to Malaya, Palestine, Cyprus. He was a prisoner of the Japanese during the 1939-45 war and anyone who has read his book ‘The Emperor’s Guest’ must be astonished at the magnanimity and tolerance with which he wrote of that experience. It exposed him, like many others, to brutalities which hastened his end and yet he could write of it without a trace of bitterness.

Tanzanians should remember Sir John with some gratitude, He was far more politically attuned than most colonial administrators, he found himself frequently pressed into attitudes of conflict with TANU, and thereby became, in difficult times, an admirable lightning conductor. Lightning conductors avert damage, and he made a worthy partner of the great Governor, Sir Richard Turnbull, under whom he served.

(Sir John is survived by his third wife, a son of his first marriage and a son and daughter of the second – Editor). Mr CHARLES (KIM) MEEK CMG entered service in Tanganyika in 1941. In 1959 he was Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief Secretary (Mr John Fletcher-Cooke) and from 1960 to 1962 he served as Principal Secretary to the then Prime Minister (Mr Julius K Nyerere) and as Secretary to the Cabinet.

Mr. SAIDI KAMTAMWA, affectionately known as ‘Saidi Tanu’, was a relatively unknown person but the tribute to him in the Sunday News after his death in March 1989 filled a whole page of the newspaper. He was the first Tanu driver and drove the then Tanu President, Mwalimu Nyerere, all over the country (more than 100,000 miles he estimated) in the days when Mwalimu was fighting for Tanzania’s independence. During his final years he was a private businessman in Dar es Salaam. The Second World War saw Mr. Kamtamwa in the army. He served in Madagascar, Ireland, Ceylon and Burma. He started his official duties with Tanu on March 27th 1956, driving a second hand Landrover.

The deaths were also announced, in April 1989 of Mr. JAMES KIRKMAN, a pioneer of archaeological studies on the East African coast and, in May, of Sir DARRELL BATES who served in Tanganyika both before and after the Second World War.

Comments

PARLIAMENTARY MATTERS

The National Assembly has had two sessions since the last issue of the Bulletin. The first, in Dodoma, ran from April 18th to 25th and dealt with three Bills. One established a Planning Commission, the second redefined the words ‘Peoples Militia’ to recognise officially the activities of traditional defence groups such as ‘Sungusungu’ or ‘Wasalama’ and the third provided for corporal punishment for armed robbery, attempted robbery and assault with intent to steal. One MP said that bandits should be hanged. This session also approved the 1988/89 – 1992/93 Development Plan. The Plan emphasises communications and transport (23.8% of all resources), agriculture (18.5%) and industries and Works (19.4%). 49.5% of the resources were expected to come from outside the country.

With Members of Parliament flexing their muscles one year ahead of elections the Government came under heavy fire during the Budget Session in Dar es Salaam. As Minister after Minister stood up to deal with the complaints the refrain was the same. There are no funds. In its efforts to ease this problem the Assembly itself joined in the cost cutting exercise. It suspended several of its rules in a move to save time and cut-down on expenses. The Assembly met for six days instead of five every week, the length of speeches was cut down to 25 minutes instead of 35, the debate on the budget itself was limited to five days and the total period for examining all ministerial estimates was limited to 30 days. It was hoped to complete the budget session by August 5th 1989. The session actually ended on August 9th.

INFORMATION
As usual the debate elicited a vast amount of information on almost every aspect of national life. The following, extracted from the Daily News, represents a small part of this information which was given in response to 740 questions from members:

– crime is on the increase; a rise of 1.7% since last year; total crimes reported – 260,809;

– Tanzania spends 40% of its research funds on agriculture, 25% on industry and 10% on public health;

– 142 people died in 995 accidents involving 1,134 buses last year;

– 7,030 animals (9 species) and 962,624 birds (15 species) were exported between 1982 and 1988 which earned the country US$ 2.42 million; there is a quota for every animal or bird caught so as to avoid the danger of extinction;

– Tanzania’s budget for public health is equivalent to She 8/- per person per annum;

– Tanzania has recently deposited in Britain £1.80 million from the sale of gold by the country’s 29 licensed gold dealers;

– despite an increase in production of 6,200 tonnes to a total of 49,200 tonnes Tanzania’s coffee brought in only US$ 106.00 million last year compared with US$ 145.62 million in 1980;

– Dar es Salaam Region had the highest per capita income (Shs 4,235/-) in the country in 1987; Rukwa had the lowest – Shs 598/-;

– the Government has set aside Shs 240 million in this years budget to support self-help projects;

– during the last three years the Government has imported 9,026 vehicles; this year 4,498 will be imported;

– the price of regular grade petrol went up on July 11th this year from 61/- to 92/-;

– there are 207,534 workers in the private sector;

– 30% of all hospital patients last year were suffering from malaria;

– cooperative unions lost She 531.3 million since 1984 when they were re-introduced; most of this was ‘imaginary entries’ and theft of property;

– production of cotton in the 1989/90 season will be 100,000 bales less than last year (total expected – 350,000 bales); heavy rains have had an adverse effect;

– Tanzania Breweries will produce 6,200,000 bottles of beer this year; 90% Safari and 10% Pilsner;

– 76 foreigners were granted Tanzanian citizenship last year;

– the price to the farmers of fertiliser is heavily subsidised; a bag of urea is worth Shs 1,238/-; the farmer buys it for Shs 496/-;

– a total of 72,000 Mozambican refugees have fled to Tanzania since the outbreak of war with the MNR rebels;

– in 1985/86 Tanzania employed 557 expatriates; this number was reduced to 401 in 1987/88;

– the Government has been losing millions of shillings through fraud and salary double payments; initial investigations have shown that over 20,000 people have been receiving two salaries and many receiving government salaries are not even civil servants;

– there are 106 prisons in the country with a capacity of 21,128; but there are some 39,522 prisoners and detainees in these congested facilities;

THE DEBATES
The Government responded to the need expressed by Parliamentarians for cost cutting in a number of ways:

– transfer of civil servants has been suspended save in exceptional circumstances;
– local duty trips by government officers have been reduced to 60 days annually instead of 84;
– written permission will be needed in future for all air travel;
– university graduates will no longer be guaranteed employment in the civil service except in the case of specialists such as doctors, accountants, engineers and teachers; the government employed 99 of the graduates from last years output of 552;
– 310 Air Tanzania workers are being laid off and six domestic and foreign offices are being closed;
– embassies in the Sudan and Guinea have been closed; the government will no longer pay school fees to diplomats for the education abroad of their children;
– seminars held by parastatals and government departments will in future need the approval of the appropriate permanent secretary; only important seminars will be authorised; organisers must pick the cheapest venue and restrict the duration;
– the number of vehicles used in motorcades for visiting national leaders will be reduced:

The debates covered many subjects and some ministers had a tough time in getting their estimates accepted. In particular, the House had to work overtime and there had to be a vote (26 members voted against) before the Ministry of Communications and Works obtained approval for its estimates. Complaints were many but members were particularly concerned about the Kigamboni ferry problem. The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development had a difficult time over his proposal to import sisal decoticators.

BEES AND POWER CUTS
Members of Parliament suffered from some non-political problems during the second session. On June 16th swarms of bees invaded Karimjee Hall but, in no time, workers from the Bee Section of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism and the Fire Brigade removed them. On June 28th the session had to be adjourned and the Speaker escorted out of the building by torchlight when the lights went out!

At the end of the session Prime Minister Warioba praised members for their probity during the session. “I have been reading letters in the newspapers which have commended MP’s for their scrutiny of government operations. This testifies to the rule of democracy in our affairs ” he said.

Comments

FRIENDS OF THE MAKONDE

(In Bulletin No 33 we published a review of an exhibition of Makonde sculpture then showing at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford. We asked Eirlis Park if she could find out something about how the collection was built up. She has sent us the following – Editor)

When I first arrived in Arusha in 1957, my husband Peter had already been there for five months and so knew exactly where to go to buy material and get the curtains made. Downtown we were warmly welcomed by the Malde family, Mr. Malde senior, Moti Malde and his younger brother. All were very helpful but our buying was often interrupted for introductions to other visitors to the shop who, to my surprise, were not buying but going over to the other side of the shop, to Moti, where there was a square glass case of cameras. Discussion there was on the subject of photography and at the end of our transaction we too drifted across. An unofficial meeting of the Arusha Photographic Society was taking place, In 1957 Moti opened his own purpose designed photographic shop near to the Safari Hotel. To those who know him, Moti Malde and photography are permanently intertwined.

He admits that, originally, the Makonde were a challenge photographically; there were still older women who wore lip plugs – but slowly he began to appreciate the nature of the people themselves – gentle, not aggressive and, as he says, “not against the laws of nature”. Their masks, used in ceremonies, were carved from wood and no killing of birds or animals was involved in decoration. Moti is a Jain and something in the Makonde character appealed to his beliefs. Jains reject the caste system, they believe in non-violence and are against any form of animal sacrifice.

Moti and Kanchen were married in the mid-fifties and it was from this period that serious collecting began. They did, at one time, do some trading in Kamba carving but they decided that the Makonde carvings would be bought and kept for their own personal pleasure, Moti is very methodical – keeping a dossier of where, when and why he purchased each of his gramophone records, for example, and of course, all his photographic material was also well documented – so it was quite natural to record the details of each carving and to make notes after the carver had explained his design.

Between the years 1954 and 1964 very few people wanted the larger Makonde carvings; everyone wanted small pieces which were easily transportable, but the bigger sculptures appealed to the Maldes. They were fascinated by the way the work was developed from the varying shapes of the timber and by how the carver expressed himself and his ideas, often with laughter. Kanchen however, told her husband that she felt that the market value of the carvings was too low and that it was unfair to pay so little for this handwork. So they used to take down from Arusha, baby food, medicines, children’s books, pencils, dried milk etc. and share these with the carvers’ families. Friendships grew up between them, strengthened by each visit.

However, by the early sixties, it became obvious to the Maldes that more and more of the young Makonde carvers were carving to meet the market demand and fewer were following the old traditional ways. They were carving more, but smaller pieces – which meant that they were able to increase their income. So the Maldes stopped collecting in 1968.

Knowing how much her husband loved his carvings, Kanchen began packing them in 1970 to send them to England. Some years later the Maldes followed, finally settling in Bedford. Now, he says he has more time to expand his notes and his one aim is to make the work of Makonde carvers known worldwide. Ask him which is his favourite piece and he will say about 150 are “his very very favourites, but everyone reminds us of a place, a person, a hamlet – very personal memories – their value is the joy of keeping the Makonde within us alive, and we want their art to be recognised in the whole world”.

Comments

REVIEWS

THE LIGHTNING BIRD
On March 17th 1989 Channel 4 produced an extraordinary film in its ‘ Survival’ series about lions in the Serengeti (Bulletin No 33). In the same series and shown on June 24th was another film about Tanzanian wild-life. This was made with the cooperation of the National Parks and the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority. It is the work of Joan and Ann Root and its title is ‘The Legend of the Lightning Bird’. As Andrew Sachs started his commentary we saw what we have learnt to expect from wild-life films of Africa South of the Sahara Kilimanjaro, elephants in the forest, lions on the savannah, herds of wildebeest and fantastic, glorious birds.

Who is the King of the Birds? Is it the huge ostrich, the powerful eagle, the handsome superb starling or the regal crested crane?

Legend says it is none of these. It is the hammerhead or hammerkopf. He is related to herons and storks, stands a foot high, is uniform brown with a tuft of feathers at the back of his head and looks like a kindly dunpy pteradactyl. The hammerheads spend most of their lives fishing. This they do effectively but without display. When they are excited they jump on each others backs, flap their wings and squawk.
According to legend these dowdy avian monarchs receive homage from subjects who bring contributions to the palatial nest, help build it and even guard it. The hammerheads are also credited with magical power over rain and floods. None of this is true. They cannot swim and have no special weather sense.

Visitors to the big nest come for their own purposes. A silver bird takes what she needs to build her own nest; an Egyptian goose tries to take over the penthouse until thrown out by the owners; she then finds a disused nest downstream. A grey kestrel is small enough to use the old nursery but finds her way barred by a family of acacia rats and a large African owl nest on the summit, ostensibly on guard.
The hammerheads, far from being feudal lords, act more like the local housing aid centre because they re-use an old nest. At the beginning of the rainy season they start to build in the fork of a tree overlooking a river. For nearly three months they each make journeys totalling about three hundred miles to build a nest four feet high and weighing two hundred pounds. It is so strongly woven that it can bear the weight of a man jumping on it. The entrance is sensibly kept away from the tree trunk and the roof is decorated with feathers, shed snake skins, little bones and porcupine quills. This nest even had a wildebeest tail.

Most of the film was concerned with the building of this nest and the mating of the hammerhead, kestrel and goose families. I particularly enjoyed the emergence from the nest of the two-day-old goslings who plopped in the water below one after the other like children going down a chute. One gosling had unfortunately fallen out a day earlier and had had a Disneyesque adventure with hippos and a crocodile. He found a diminutive island for the night and miraculously met up with his family again the next day.

There seems to be no scientific explanation for the hammmerhead’s extravagant use of energy. We are told the species is the only member of its family. I wonder if there were others now extinct who decided to build Hiltons and died in the attempt.

Anyway, Good Luck to the eccentric loveable bird. Long may he reign! Congratulations too to all concerned with the production of this delightful, tantalising film. Shirin Spencer

TANZANIA: COUNTRY STUDY AND NORWEGIAN AID REVIEW. Kjell J. Havnevik and
Others. Centre for Development Studies. University of Bergen. 1988.

There was a time when it seemed as though almost everyone wanted to write a book about Tanzania. The early years after independence are well documented in several comprehensive studies. Nowadays, this is no longer true. As far as the Bulletin has been able to determine there are no recent comprehensive studies covering all sectors of Tanzania’s economy other than those provided from time to time by the World Bank. It is for this reason that this Norwegian book is so useful. It is useful primarily for those wishing to up-date their knowledge (references and statistics go up to 1988) and those who do not know Tanzania and do not have the time or the opportunity to study the innumerable short papers available in the better libraries. It is concise (the whole country is covered in 193 pages), clear and, as they say nowadays, ‘reader friendly’; it does not appear to be over afflicted, as so many papers on Tanzania are, by ideological bias. It contains a useful up to date bibliography but, surprisingly, no index. It has particularly strong sections on women (for example, the effect of villagisation on them) and reveals much cause for alarm in its section on AIDS.

The second part of the book critically analyses Norwegian aid programmes. Although the authors state that Norwegian aid does not differ from that of other countries (Norway comes second only to Sweden in the ‘league table’) those interested in sea fisheries, coastal transport (in both cases associated companies went bankrupt!) sawmilling, hydropower and the maintenance of rural roads can learn much from this book.

One interesting item (Page 13) states that after the First World War the idea was considered of giving Norway the task of ruling Tanganyika Territory – DRB.

(We are indebted to Mr. Karl Aartun for sending us a copy of this book – Editor).

Comments

A NEW HIGH COMMISSIONER IN LONDON AND A NEW HIGH COMMISSIONER IN DAR

Tanzania has a new High Commissioner in London. He is Mr John S. Malecela (55) originally from Dodoma region and previously the holder of a range of very senior positions in government. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1972 to 1975, Minister for Agriculture (1975-80), Minister for Minerals (1980-82) and Minister for Communications/Transport/Works (1982-85). At earlier stages in his career he was Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and Ambassador in Ethiopia. In 1985 he was a member of the ‘Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons’ dealing with the problem of South Africa. The months of June and July 1989 witnessed a flurry of farewell parties in London and Dar es Salaam as incumbent High Commissioners departed and the arrival of the new High Commissioners was awaited.

The principal event in London, attended by some 150 persons, was a farewell to Mr and Mrs Nyakyi organised by a committee under the chairmanship of Ms Fatma Abdullah which included representatives of several Tanzanian organisations in Britain: the Tanzania Association (Chairman, Mr. Richard Mpopo), Tanzania Womens Association, Tanzania Business Group, Tanzania Sisal Marketing Association (TASMA), Tanzania Students Association, Tanzania Diamond Sorting Office (TANSORT), and the High Commission.

Mr. Uhi Mwambulukutu, Deputy High Commissioner, referred at the gathering to Mr. Nyakyi’s workaholic habits. “He stays in the office from morning to next day” he said. “I don’t know how Mrs. Nyakyi reacts!”.

Mr Mpopo, speaking on behalf of several of the sponsoring groups said that Tanzanians in Britain had been very happy to be under Mr. Nyakyi’s guidance for the last eight years. The eight years had seemed to pass very quickly; there had been no friction and many happy moments.

Meanwhile, in Dar es Salaam, Mr. Colin Imray was saying goodbye to old friends. His next posting is as High Commissioner in Bangladesh. And then, in Britain we read the:

Court Circular
BUCKINGHAM PALACE
June 30, 1989
Mr. John T. Masefield was received in audience by the Queen upon his appointment as British High Commissioner to the United Republic of Tanzania. Mrs Masefield had the honour of being received by Her Majesty. Mr. Masefield (50) has served in Malaysia, Poland, Switzerland and Pakistan.

Comments

LETTERS

AN EARLIER EXHIBITION IN JAPAN – A CHEETAH FOR THE EMPEROR
The interesting article ‘Tanzania and Japan’ in your May issue prompts me to recall Tanzanian participation in EXPO’ 70 at Osaka, a project for which I was responsible in the Ministry of Commerce under the leadership of the then Minister, Mr. A. M. Babu.

Our beautiful pavilion which was prefabricated in Dar es Salaam from 180 tons of the finest MNINGA and MVULE timber from the forests of the Usambara mountains, shipped to Japan and re-erected on the Senri Hills site near Osaka, was generally adjudged to be one of the 12 best in the EXPO.

It took the form of a stylised Ujamaa village surmounted by a palm tree and comprised four Halls of Nature, History, Culture and Progress, featuring inter alia a plaster cast of Homo Zinjanthopus, fish from Lake Tanganyika, the newly discovered blue gemstone ‘Tanzanite’, the Meru Sapphire, magnificent Makonde carvings, paintings by Sam Ntiro and vast background colour photographs of Mount Kilimanjaro and the glorious scenery and unrivalled flora of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

The pavilion was manned for the six months of the EXPO (March-September 1970) by a team of young ladies selected for their beauty and charm under the leadership of Mr. Frank Ettutu, the Executive Officer of the pavilion.

In June the Second Vice-President, Mr. Rashidi Kawawa led a 17 man delegation to Japan for ‘Tanzania Day’ on which a superb performance was given by snake dancers and stilt dancers, the police band, the Morogoro Jazz band and the famous blind drummer Morris Nyanyusa.

Earlier, two splendid cheetah had – not without difficulty – been caught in the Serengeti and flown over the North pole to Japan where one had been presented to the Emperor and the other to the Lord Mayor of Osaka as unique gifts from the people of Tanzania.

On his return to Tanzania Mr. Kawawa was quoted in the Sunday Post as having said that part of Japan’s interest in developing more trade with Tanzania had been because of the country’s successful pavilion at the EXPO. He said that Tanzania’s participation had showed the host country and other nations in the world, Tanzania’s rapid development in industry and culture as well as in international cooperation.

LUSHOTO SCHOOLGIRLS
Two ex-Lushoto schoolgirls, Ursula and Vera Engler who live at Via Cathedral 15, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland would like to get in touch again with former Lushoto pupils. I would be much obliged if you would publish this letter.
J. H. Leslie

‘SHORES WILL BE DESTROYED IN LESS THAN THREE DECADES’
With reference to the destruction of marine life which I wrote about in the last issue of the Bulletin, I have now found further cause for concern.

In UNESCO’s ‘Development Forum’ of November/December 1988 it is stated that ‘Salt makers are destroying the mangrove forests along the coast by cutting the trees for salt pans and felling hard timber for drying’.

Michael Pearson, a marine ecologist at the University of Dar es Salaam has warned that Tanzania’s coast al shores will be totally destroyed in less than three decades. Coral reefs are being destroyed by dynamite fishing, use of stone anchors and careless fishing with bucket traps. Fish catches have declined f om 3.2 tons per fisherman in 1981 to 1. 36 tons in 1986.
What is being done to improve the situation?
Christine Lawrence

Comments