As is usual, the recent sitting of parliament brought forth from ministers, while defending their budget estimates against increasingly critical questions and comments from MP’s, many items of news. Brief extracts follow.

THE INCOME GAP among civil servants had been reduced drastically since independence from 1:17 (least paid: highest paid) to 1:5 now; the minimum wage was now TShs 10,000 and the maximum TShs 45,000 – Minister of State in the President’s Office.

There were no specific policy guidelines on FOREIGN FIRMS WHOSE ASSETS HAD BEEN NATIONALISED in 1967 – Deputy Minister of Finance.

NATIONAL SERVICE has not been scrapped. There had been postponement of recruitment for an interim period – Deputy Minister for Defence and National Service.

In spite of MPS’ reservations, the government intended to trim down THE SIZE OF THE ARMY; Camps which would be closed down were those hurriedly established in 1978/79 during the war with Idi Amin in Uganda. Camps at border posts would be retained – Minister of State for Defence and National Service.

There were now three WOMEN PILOTS and two women locomotive drivers in Tanzania but as yet no women ship captains – Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications.

He would not resign because he had not committed any crime … allegations by MP’s that there had been ABUSE OF TOURIST HUNTING LICENSES were not true and were mere hearsay … a number of people from the United Arab Emirates had been in Arusha recently for hunting but they had been escorted throughout by a senior official from the Wildlife Division who had directed them on where to hunt and which animals to hunt…it was true that he had relatives working in the hunting business but business was open to all Tanzanians – Minister for Tourism, Natural Resources and the Environment.

The government had received more than TShs 200 million in hospital fees under the COST-SHARING SCHEME it had introduced last July; regional health committees should ensure that the money was spent in strengthening local health services – Minister of Health.

Efforts to expedite the DEVELOPMENT OF THE NOMADIC MAASAI AND BARABAIG COMMUNITIES had been frustrated by the attitude of the target groups … Ngorongoro residents had immense wealth in livestock numbering 650,693 which they should use to better their lives – Deputy Minister in the Office of the First Vice- President.

The government planned to set up a FACULTY OF EDUCATION at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in the 1995/96 financial year to alleviate the shortage of graduate teachers…it would be too expensive to upgrade to university level the existing Mkwawa, Chang’ombe and Marangu teacher training colleges … a Bill allowing private universities to be established would be introduced to parliament shortly – Minister for Science, Higher Education and Technology.

Councils in Mara Region were at liberty to alter THE VALUE OF A COW to bring it up-to date; the TShs 200 (30 pence) price tag which prevailed at present in Mara was laid down by law in the 1960’s to help men pay the bride price when they were unable to provide cattle; TShs 200 was agreed upon as a substitute for one head of cattle – Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

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