PRAISE FOR TANZANIA
Mrs Lynda Chalker, who, in spite of being defeated as a Member of Parliament in the recent British elections, remains Minister for Overseas Development, praised Tanzania recently for having the courage to bring about economic reform. She said that, during the last six years, she had seen Tanzania undertake serious reforms and that that was why Britain had decided to cancel debts owed by the country – Daily News.
JUNIOR DOCTORS ON STRIKE
A strike by some 70 junior doctors at the Muhimbili Medical Centre (MMC) Hospital which started on January 24-th 1992 soon escalated. The doctors had a number of grievances about allowances and insisted that they would not return to work until, as a minimum, their full On-call allowances were paid. On January 26th they were instructed to return to work on pain of dismissal. Meanwhile, senior doctors worked overtime to fill in the gaps. The junior doctors were then sacked and the Government ordered private hospitals not to employ them. By January 30th riot police had to be deployed to evict some of the doctors from the hostels, The sacking of the doctors then resulted in a general strike involving hundreds of nurses and workers at the MMC and a boycott of classes by students at the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences. Following a march on the Prime Ministers office, a protest at Government actions by the Organisation of Tanzania Trade Unions WTTU) , and the setting up of a grievance investigating team, Prime Minister John Malecela ordered the unconditional reinstatement of the striking doctors. By February 1st all were back at work.
However, five weeks later, following a civil case by 76 doctors and 8 pharmacists, the Acting Director General of the Medical Centre Professor Mmbaga found himself sentenced to 14- days in jail for disobeying an earlier order of the Magistrates Court prohibiting him from evicting from the hostel the persons concerned. The next day, however, his sentence was suspended pending an appeal to the High Court. He was released on Shs 2 million bail – Daily News.
WARIOBA BACK AGAIN
Former Prime Minister and First Vice-President Joseph Warioba has regained his seat in Parliament in a by-election. He won 21,038 votes compared with 10,136 for his opponent. His previous election had been nullified by the National Electoral Commission. – Daily News.
Serious disagreements involving members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ameru District, Arusha Region have resulted in the death of one man and the injury of others. During a meeting at the Usa River Rehabilitation Centre a crowd of some 1,500 people started hurling stones. One Bishop was slightly injured and had to be rescued by Police.
CAPTURING HEARTS AND MINDS
How a Devon man and his engineer colleague captured the hearts and minds of Tanzanian villagers was described at the recent annual meeting of the ‘Friends of Urambo and Mwanhala’ at Exeter University. The Devon-based group’s technical training officer, Martin Gilbert, and Mark Holdsworth spent a long time repairing and reconstituting mill and pump engines in villages in the Tabora region. “The fact that we put the machinery back into working order was not the most important factor” declared Mark. “What really mattered was that we gained the confidence, respect and friendship of the people”. Their work is now being continued by VSO engineer Chris Lowey, the newly appointed technical tutor under the group’s village mechanics training project which cost more than £37,000 last year – John Budge.
BANKING MONOPOLY ENDED
President Mwinyi signed into law 1n February 1992 the ‘Banking and Financial Institutions Act No 12 of 1991’ which ended the 24-year old monopoly of commercial banking in Tanzania by the National Bank of Commerce. Applicants for licenses to operate private banks are now being prepared. The Government hesitated for a long time before implementing this change which had been one of nearly 200 recommendations made in 1991 by a Presidential Enquiry into the Monetary and Banking Systems of Tanzania. The Bulletin had hoped to publish an article on this matter in this issue but problems of time and space prevented this. It is hoped to do so in the next issue.
HISTORIANS TO MEET IN ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar Museum and Archives Director Hamad Omar has announced that the Zanzibar Government is organising an international conference on the history and culture of the Isles to take place in December 1992. Some 150 participants are expected to attend – Daily News.
TANZANIA TORTOISES FLOWN HOME
Some 450 tortoises from Tanzania which had been illegally exported to the Netherlands last year were repatriated to Tanzania in January by the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). They are to be ‘rehabilitated’ before being returned to the wilds – Business Times.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE CHANGES
The Government has allowed Tanzanians and foreigners to bring into Tanzania any amount of convertible currency and open accounts with local financial institutions or ‘Bureaux de Change’ which were to be opened from April 21st 1992. No one would be asked how they earned the money. Nationals travelling abroad would be allowed to take out of Tanzania the equivalent of US$ 100 (Shs 30,000) – Daily News.
CYPRESS TREES DYING
Experts at the Morogoro-based Tanzania Forestry Research Institute have stated that thousands of cypress trees (Cupressus lusitanica) on which forest based industries such as Fibreboard Africa Ltd at Arusha depend are dying. The cause of the problem is not yet clear but mention has been made of drying through drought, aphids and deficiency of mineral nutrients in the soil 8S possible contributors to the problem. There are about 15,000 hectares of cypress trees in Tanzania mostly in Arusha, Mbeya and Kilimanjaro regions – Daily News.
STUDENTS PROTEST COST SHARING
Students in higher education institutions are becoming restive yet again. This time the protests are about the new Government policy of ‘cost-sharing’. As Prime Minister John Malecela explained on February 26th to students at the Institute of Finance Management in Dar es Salaam, nobody is to be denied access to higher education. The object is to mobilise the better off parents to make a contribution to their children’s education. Mr Malecela explained how far enrolments in higher education in Tanzania fell behind those in other countries and the need to substantially expand enrolments in Tanzania. He pointed out that there were 6,071 students in higher education in Tanzania compared with 26,839 in Kenya. Only 25 out of 100,000 had access to higher education in Tanzania compared with Malawi 54, Uganda 75 and Zimbabwe 396.
The Prime Minister also said that the Government would not pardon the 10 students who had recently been expelled from the University of Dar es Salaam for’ instigating chaos’. He said that some of those expelled had also been ringleaders in the 1990 student unrest at the University. They had been pardoned by President Mwinyi early last year – Daily News.
AGAINST ISLAMIC ETHICS
Muslims in Mwanza who have been accused of and admit having participated in the killing of 13 pigs owned buy a Mr Rogasian John in September last year have refused to pay compensation, They have claimed that it is against Islamic ethics to compensate the forbidden, They said that they were prepared to go to prison rather than do what was against their belief. Investigations revealed that the housing for the pigs had been constructed near to a graveyard reserved for Muslims – Business Times,
The efforts by Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema to involve the people in fighting crime have reduced the incidence of serious offences according to Police Inspector General Harun Mahundi. Although the number of crimes was up by 12,6% last year many of these were of a minor nature. There had been 191 less murder cases and robbery with violence had declined by 374 cases, Housebreaking decreased by 619 and there had been less cases of theft of cars, Some 528 suspects in corruption cases had been netted last year – a figure 30% higher than in the previous year – Daily News,
MREMA DISMISSES CASE
Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema has directed the Director of Immigration Services to dismiss a case of staying in the country without a permit against German citizen Wermer Kreissle, It had been alleged that Mr Kriessle had been harassed by Assistant Immigration Officer Paul Nchemi who had demanded that Kriessle should bring him a fishing boat engine from Germany. Mr Nchemi had been transferred to a section where he would not be dealing with foreigners – Daily News.