NEWS MISCELLANY

Mwalimu Nyerere (at a press conference on January 22) “We must get rid of ridiculous issues like poverty, hunger and disease. We behave like a bunch of parasites in the world. I want to see Africa unite to get rid of these problems.”

Extract from the British New Year Honours List 1998: ‘ORDER OF ST. MICHAEL AND ST GEORGE. KCMG. Huddleston, The Most Reverend Archbishop Ernest Urban Trevor, for services to UK-South African Relations.’

Fears that the killing on June 30 1996 of former Director of Intelligence General Imran Kombe (Ta No. 57) might have had political motives were put to rest during the trial of the five policemen charged with his murder. His wife said in court that when she heard news about a Nissan vehicle which had been stolen (and for which apparently a substantial reward was being offered) and noted that this vehicle was very similar to the Nissan owned by the Kombes, she went to Oyster Bay Police Station in Dar es Salaam to get a certificate stating that it was not the stolen vehicle. She feared hassle on the way to Moshi. On arrival in Moshi they went off to a village to talk to some potential workers for their farm when they came up against a vehicle, moving slowly as if on a surveillance mission, and then they heard a gunshot from the rear. Mrs Kombe fled to a nearby house thinking that they were being attacked by bandits. General Kombe was shot dead. Two of the five policemen on trial admitted that they had fired 16 shots at the tyres to stop the vehicle but claimed that, because of the rough terrain and the 25 m distance, it was not easy to hit the target. They had killed General Kombe by accident. They had mistaken him for a dangerous suspect, Ernest Mushi (alias White), who was suspected of having stolen the vehicle they were looking for. They said that they had been told by the driver of the Nissan stolen in Dar es Salaam, who was with them as a guide, that the Kombe vehicle was the one stolen in Dar es Salaam. The driver died subsequently in police custody. Two of the five policemen were sentenced to death by hanging. The other three were released for lack of evidence; the judge said that he believed that they were innocent as they never left their vehicle and the senior one had instructed the other two to stay in the car but they did not.

Archbishop Polycarp Pengo of Dar es Salaam has been consecrated the new Cardinal of Tanzania at a ceremony in Rome. On his return to Tanzania on March 1st he was given a tumultuous reception from thousands of people lining the streets from the airport to St Joseph’s Cathedral. And Bishop Donald Mtetemela has been elected to be the 4th Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of Tanzania (Thank you Roger Bowen, for sending the latter news item -Editor).

A controversial proposed new ‘Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act (1998)’ now before parliament, provides for anyone found guilty of rape to be liable to life imprisonment, corporal punishment, a fine and compensation to the victim, ‘as may be decided by the court’. Procuring for prostitution and sexual harassment could mean from 5 to 30 years in prison.

The Daily News has published figures of the number of government sponsored students studying abroad following an exercise by the Ministry of Education to remove the names of ‘ghost’ students who had been abusing the system. There are 744 such students overseas including 113 in the UK, 252 in Russia, 78 in India, 98 in the USA, 40 in Poland, 38 in Bulgaria, 24 in Cuba, 24 in China, 12 in Canada, 17 in Hungary, 1 in Germany, 4 in Australia, 5 in Belgium and one in Sweden.

The British Council is supporting the ‘Amani Arts Environment Education’, a new foundation promoting community participation in the ethics of the care of the earth and its inhabitants. “The Amani Ensemble” last year launched the ‘Roho za Watoto’ project, a musical collaboration between British and Tanzanian musicians, primary schools and street children in Dar es Salaam and Bagamoyo. A link is being established with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London – Action Africa, a British Council Africa Newsletter.

The government has temporarily suspended the issue or renewal of hunting permits pending the establishment of new, fair and transparent processing procedures. Future permits will be charged according to the importance of an area and the type and number of animals to be found there -Daily News.

Animal lovers have been expressing outrage following the news in the Swahili newspaper Majira that a primary court magistrate in Sumbawanga had sentenced the owner of a dog which he had named ‘immigration’ to a six months suspended sentence and had also ordered the dog to be destroyed. Animal lovers pointed out that the dog had no say in the choice of its name. Apparently the owner had named the dog out of spite and had been parading it outside the immigration office on a daily basis boasting about its name. The story received international publicity when the Dar es Salaam ‘Daily Mail’ reported that the dog had been expecting puppies and had been bludgeoned to death because the police could not spare a bullet to shoot it. Defending his decision Magistrate Onesmo Zunda said that he had done what he did in order to avoid a breach of the peace in the village. He was unable to cite the law which allowed him to pass this death sentence! Government officials ordered an enquiry. A reader in the ‘Business Times’ recalled another case where an animal was deprived of justice. In 1974 a cow which escaped the ‘slaughter machine’ at the Tanganyika Packers meat factory in Kawe ran off to seek justice in the garden of Judge Manning nearby. ‘Regrettably’, the reader’s letter went, on ‘it was barbarically shot dead in the compound of that custodian of justice’.

The British archaeologist Mark Cotton has discovered the remains of an underground mosque built with poles and timber near Chake Chake in Pemba which is believed to date back to the 6th century AD. Until recently historians believed that the Kizimkazi Mosque, 60 kms south of Zanzibar town, built 1,000 years ago, was the oldest mosque in East Africa -Business Times.

President Mandela has donated $608,000 to the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation which was launched in August 1996 to promote peace and development through unity. The Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa has donated $50,000 -Daily News.

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