The relatively new part of the Tanzanian media the privately owned newspapers continue to illustrate the press freedom now apparent in Tanzania. The following items appeared in the privately owned Dar es Salaam press during the last part of 1990 – Editor.
FORMER HIGHJACKER ARRESTED
Musa Membar, who took a free ride to Britain aboard an Air Tanzania Boeing 737 which he hijacked with four other youths in 1982, was arrested on September 14th 1990 when he crossed the Kenya-Tanzania border. He had been jailed in Britain for eight years. After his release he became a founder member of the Tanzania youth Democratic Movement under the umbrella of a Tanzanian opposition front headed by Oscar Kambona, former Foreign Minister who has been in exile in Britain since 1967.
Speaking in a BBC interview the other day, Mr Kambona denied any prior knowledge of Member’s departure from London. “He did not bid any of us farewell” he said.
In a letter from the Ukonga maximum security prison, where he is being held, Member said “I returned to Tanzania … to lead a peaceful campaign for multi-party democracy …… (Business Times, October 19).
WHO DESTROYED THE COOPS?
‘Last year the CCM Party ordered the cooperative unions and marketing boards to clear their outstanding debts by the new year, failing which they would face liquidation. Almost a year later the unions owe the banks a staggering Shs 30 billion and the marketing boards owe another Shs 26 billion. To date not a single union has been liquidated.
The Nyererarian state’s handling of agricultural marketing is probably the worst example of the negative impact of collectivist policy …. during the last thirty years. From colonial times until Independence authentic farmers’ crop marketing cooperatives developed in different parts of the country … .. after Independence the freedom of the cooperative movement was systematically undermined by the state …..
Socialism worldwide and nation-wide has demonstrated its tragic but undeniable inability to provide either freedom or progress to the toiling masses. Trying to use cooperatives to achieve socialist objectives in 1990 is a complete aberration. The overpowering majority of CCM members do not believe that cooperatives can be a vehicle for building socialism. They do not want socialism. We all know that, after a generation of Ujamaa, there are hardly any socialists left in Tanzania!
In his parting address to the nation Mwalimu reiterated the CCM’s commitment to building a socialist Tanzania ….’ (Family Mirror, October 16 – 31).
‘It raises no eyebrows to hear of loads of cashewnuts stuck in Newala, tobacco in Igalula or coffee in Muleba. These, after all, are confined crops whose markets are out there over the deep blue sea. The sole agents are the bureaucratic laden state marketing boards.
But not when beans are said to be stuck in Karagwe, maize in Sumbawanga or paddy in Malampaka. All these are staple foods, with ready markets in all the major towns …. What is sad about it all is the mentality we have cultivated over the years. The farmers in their memoranda to visiting leaders always appeal to government to help with trucks, with wagons, with gunny bags, with markets.
Given market in formation, loans for trucks and cash from the banks, entrepreneurs from the villages and towns alike could haul and sell off all the surplus crops …
Crying out to the government to undertake every task in this era of trade liberalisation is like shedding crocodile tears.’ (Business Times October 19).
MROSO COMMISSION VINDICATES UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
‘The Commission, under the respected Judge J. A. Mroso, appointed to investigate the closure of the University of Dar es Salaam last May has at last submitted its report, and, together with a number of actions taken since the closure, it seems that the students have been largely vindicated while the government’s handling of the crisis has been heavily criticised ….
A number of corrupt top officials of the university named by the students have been or are in the process of being moved or removed and the badly dilapidated campus is being hurriedly rehabilitated to remove one of the major grievances …
The report indicates that students had good reason to lose confidence in the government and VIJANA, the youth wing of the sole ruling party, which has been lording over the students ever since their autonomous organisation was suppressed in 1978 ….
In July-August last year, at the instigation of VIJANA, two student leaders were detained under humiliating conditions … for calling into question the corrupt and oppressive behaviour of some Party leaders during a visit to Korea for the Youth Festival …’
The article went on to describe the students’ loss of confidence in VIJANA, the government and the Ministry of Education which is heavily criticised in the report. The Principal Secretary had been ‘unnecessarily provocative’, The Commission also did not agree with government criticisms of the staff for supporting the students. The Commission felt that they had played a ‘very positive role in preventing a breakdown in communication’. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor G. R. V. Mmari was described in the article as extremely hard working and honest and the most popular Vice-Chancellor the University had ever had.
The Commission examined the grievances presented by the students and, not surprisingly, in almost every case it found them to be genuine …. The Commission also illustrated how the government controlled radio and newspapers were used in this case as important tools of state against the students ‘some reports did not give an accurate picture of the events and others used language that could have provoked resentment;’ words like ‘traitors’ and ‘not one of us.’ Some of the reports wanted to ridicule the students in front of the nation … letters sent to the newspapers from the University community were either not published or published very late’…… (Family Mirror, October 1-15).
RICHEST UK ASIANS COME FROM TANZANIA
‘When the Prince of Wales invited a group of wealthy Asians to dinner last June, he asked them if they could subscribe one million pounds to his Youth Business Trust. By the time coffee was served five million pounds had been raised ….. four of the top seven Asians in Britain, all millionaires, came from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda … ‘ (Business Times, September 7).
PRESIDENT HITS AT FOREIGN JOURNALISTS
President Mwinyi has lashed out at foreign journalists who under-play the contribution made by the former President, Mwalimu Nyerere to the country’s social and economic development. Recounting the country’s achievements under the National Economic Recovery Programme he said that Mwalimu Nyerere was fully involved in formulating and adopting all economic policy reforms. “Our achievements are the product of collective leadership and efforts in the Party. Government and all the people, and Mwalimu played a major role” he said. “It is through his dedication and selflessness that we are here today.” – Daily News
WORLD BANK AND TANZANIAN CONSULTANTS
Tanzanian consultants will be more involved in national projects undertaken through the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Disclosing the move, the President of the Federation of African Consultants (FECA) Aloyse Peter Mushi, said the two banks would change their procurement rules to accommodate more African consultants. “We are currently negotiating with the bilaterals, some of whom come in with tied aid, using their own consultants, to adopt the same system”. “Some of them, including the governments of Germany, Netherlands and Canada have come out very clearly, that where local expertise exists, this should be given priority in the awarding of consultancy assignments” Mushi said. Tanzania formed its consultancy body, the Tanzania Association of Consultants (TACO) in November 1989.
At a German sponsored joint consultant seminar in Arusha in mid-December 1990 a member of the Tanzanian Planning Commission, Dr Mbogoro, said that development projects in Tanzania were only those which donor countries initiated and preferred to implement. “Because of economic constraints Tanzania does not have its own projects” he said.
This pronouncement provoked strong objections from a member of the German Government who said that Germany did not dictate to recipients but always assisted them to undertake their own projects – Daily News.