Archive for May, 1998


Exchange rates (Early April 1998)
£1 = TShs 1,104
$1 = TShs 679

The Business Times reports that the ‘World Economic Forum Report’ in February ranked Tanzania as one of the best economic reformers in sub- Saharan Africa and said that Tanzania topped the ‘IMPROVEMENT INDEX’. IMF Senior Resident Representative in Tanzania, Festus Osunsade, commended the report as correctly ranking Tanzania. He said “Look at everyday life patterns; people are enjoying a greater choice of goods and services which means more freedom of choice, a good indicator of achieved reforms”. Another report, this time on COMPETITIVENESS, placed Tanzania 17th out of 23 African countries. First came Mauritius and Tunisia. Bottom were Nigeria and Angola.

World Bank Vice-President for Africa Jean Louis Sarbid has said at a week- long meeting of the SPECTAL PROGRAMME FOR AFRICAN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH (SPAAR) attended by representatives from 32 African countries in Arusha in late February that he is impressed by Tanzania’s economic reforms and the positive growth in her economy. There should be an air of optimism in future he said -Daily News.

Two new privately-owned English language NEWSPAPERS were launched on February 9. They are ‘The African’ of the Habari Corporation and the ‘Daily Mail’ of the Guardian Ltd -Business Times.

TANZANIA’S STOCK EXCHANGE has been opened by President Mkapa and was scheduled to start full operations on April 15. As a test case, one listed company, Tanzania Oxygen Ltd., has sold 7.5 million shares to some 10,000 new shareholders. Investors were able to become shareholders for as little as Shs 5,000/-. President Mkapa bought 100 shares -Business Times

The government and TANESCO have got themselves into what the Business Times calls a potential disaster for the Tanzanian economy over ELECTRICITY SUPPLIES. World Bank Resident Representative Ron Brigish has expressed concern over delays in reaching agreement between the Government and foreign investors on the important Songo Songo Gas-to- Electricity project (to produce 37 megawatts of electricity) which has been holding up release of $200 million of World Bank money for the $325 million project. The Canadian investors are hesitating because of the forthcoming start of a $150 million project negotiated in 1994 between ‘Independent Power Tanzania Ltd’ (IPTL) and a Malaysian Chinese consortium (Merchmar) under which 100 megawatts of electricity would be produced (starting in mid-1998) at a cost to TANESCO of some $5 million per month, twice the current cost of electricity. Other new supplies are such that it seems unlikely that the additional power will be needed before 2004. TANESCO might have to pay for power which it would not be using and the cost could escalate over time. The Songo Songo scheme is front loaded by comparison.

As this issue of TA goes to press the Business Times has proposed three possible scenarios to deal with what it describes as ‘the mess’:

1) cancel or try to renegotiate the project as recommended by the Bank; the Malaysian bank financing the project however has recently had to be bailed out by the Malaysian government and does not want to hear any bad news from Africa; on March 17 IPTL issued a statement saying that the government should not try to renegotiate. It could cost Tanzania up to $300 million to do so, but the Business Times believes that IPTL could already be in breach of contract and that renegotiation would be possible;

2) do nothing and go ahead with the contract; TANESCO might soon find itself unable to pay and, if the government then bailed it out using IMF funds, relations with the Bank and IMF could deteriorate seriously;

3) sell the individual 10 megawatt generators to the mining industry which has an enormous demand for power; the industry could buy them outright or let IPTL use them to provide electricity on a commercial basis.

The MUFINDI TEA COMPANY, formerly owned by Lonrho and now owned by the Harare-based African Plantation Corporation LDC, has decided to grow coffee as well as tea and has been allocated 1,200 acres in addition to its existing 828 hectares. 80,000 coffee seedlings are ready for planting next season -Daily News.

The CONTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL has reported that 64 out of 103 local authorities mismanaged about Shs 3.5 billion between 1993 and 1996. The mismanagement was done through unauthorised expenditure, questionable payments improperly vouched and unvouched expenditures -Daily News.

ALLIANCE AIR’S newly appointed Executive Director John Murray quoted in Business in Africa (November-December) has said that, in spite of some operational hiccups, load factors on the Heathrow route from Tanzania and Uganda were up to 55 tons a week and passenger bookings and passenger bookings were averaging 70%. The setting up of a new airline ‘Alliance Express Rwanda’ has been agreed and other deals are being discussed with Zambia and the Congo. Alliance is using Kilimanjaro as well as Dar es Salaam airport.

Two Tanzanian hotels have been accepted into the prestigious UK ‘SWL HOTELS OF THE WORLD’ an exclusive international marketing and reservations company -the Zanzibar Serena Inn and the Kirawira Tented Camp in the Serengeti National Park -Daily News.

Dar es salaam’s 34-year old KILIMANJARO HOTEL, which has been running at only 15% bed occupancy during the last two years, was plunged into crisis in February when the staff went on strike and locked out the management demanding payment of their salaries and an end to alleged embezzlement of funds. On March 6 the Board of Directors, with government support, suspended all 400 workers -Daily News..

The TANZANIA SISAL AUTHORITY is being sold for $6.5 million to Katani Ltd which is owned by Messrs Grecian Investments and Wigglesworth and Company both of the UK. The assets involved include eight sisal estates, Tanzania Cordage and Kilosa Carpet Company. The company has promised to rehabilitate the estates and to invest some $28 million in six months time. The divestiture of TSA began in 1993 and 10 estates have already been sold to Tanzanian investors for a cost of Shs 1.2 billion. There has been a revival in the sisal industry as new uses have been found for the fibres (for the making of alcohol, medicines, animal feeds and the generation of electricity) and as environmentalists have turned away from using synthetic materials like nylon and polyesters -Daily News.

Tanzanians are enjoying a new stronger BEER -when they can get it! It is called ‘Kick’ and is the latest production from Associated Breweries Ltd. Demand is said to be far greater than supply. Brew Master Bakari Machumu said that ‘Kick’ is left to mature for 28 days compared with 14 days for most other brews. -Business Times.

The TAZARA Railway Authority generated Shs 12.68 billion during the 1997198 fiscal year compared with Shs 9.9 billion the previous year. The rehabilitation programme has increased the number of freight wagons from 1,122 to 2,280 and passenger wagons from 70 to 79 -Daily News.



The UN’s Annual Development Cooperation Report for 1996 revealed that the total aid received by Tanzania in 1996 was $906.4 million (65% in the form of grants) l 1.4% higher than in the previous year and equivalent to $3 1.16 per person compared with $28.8 the previous year. Japan was the leading bilateral donor followed by Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. Bilateral donors provided 53.% of the aid, multilateral agencies led by the World Bank provided 44.4%. Transport (14.7%) and public administration (12.3%) were the sectors which benefited most.

Recent aid includes: UNDP -$66 million for equipment to be used in the fight against ALDS in Zanzibar. The WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (for nine months starting in December 1997) -$33 million for relief food in 48 districts. DENMARK -Shs 30 billion for rehabilitation of the Dar es Salaam-Chalinze Road and improvements to the Wami Bridge. NORWAY -Shs 2.67 billion for a 33/11 Kilovolt sub-station at Changombe to alleviate low voltage problems and Shs 355 million for research work at the Sokoine University of Agriculture JAPAN -$181,000 for improvements to the Dodoma water supply and rehabilitation of the Malangali Secondary School and $80,000 to ESAURP for a programme of education in democracy. GERMANY -S11s 3.5 million for medicine to fight cholera in Zanzibar. BRITAIN -a patrol boat (Shs 10 million) to be used against drug trafficking and dynamite fishing. SOUTH AFRICA -two tons of construction equipment and four tons of medical supplies to alleviate damaged caused by the floods in January. The EU -Shs 22 billion for rehabilitation of 2,700 kms of roads in Rungwe and Iringa regions. FINLAND -Shs 296 million for local govemnent reform. BELGIUM -Shs 5 1 billion to repair damage on the Central railway and Shs 16 billion for banana and water projects in the Kagera Region. FRANCE -Shs 10 million to help combat cholera in Kagera, Maswa and Zanzibar. The WORLD BANK/IDA -$21.8 million for agricultural research. AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK -Shs 2.55 billion for health rehabilitation projects.



In the late sixties I travelled on the so called ‘hell run’ from Lusaka to Dar es Salaam in an empty truck with copper bars slung underneath. Once we had passed Mbeya the roadside was littered with crashed trucks, especially where it wound through the hills.

Later, I was full of admiration as the Chinese constructed the TAZARA (Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority) railway as an alternative. It was an amazing engineering feat and it was therefore with a sense of long deferred pleasure that I boarded the night train from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya in January this year.

Buying a ticket was a typical Tanzanian experience. With only five people ahead of me in the queue, I assumed that it would be a matter of minutes. However, the ticket clerk had to deal with the next customer, two telephones and colleagues who constantly interrupted him. The queue was also typically Tanzanian. Everyone tries to get as near to the action as possible so that you get a ‘flat’ queue with everyone leaning on the front counter. After 50 minutes I reached the centre of the ‘queue’ and managed to purchase a first class single to Mbeya for Shs 19,400 – about £20. This placed me in a compartment with three other passengers – they have to be of the same sex -with four ample sized bunk beds. It was very comfortable and far more spacious than my recollection of British Rail’s cramped sleepers.

The day after I bought my ticket I reported one hour before, as requested, but there was much hanging about drinking sodas and observing fellow passengers before we left. We were due to depart at 5.30 and in fact left at 6 pm which seemed pretty good. The organisation at the station was impressive and each carriage had a smartly uniformed attendant waiting to guide passengers to their seats. All the first and second class attendants were young and attractive women who were polite and efficient. I later heard a complaint for an older male attendant from the third class coaches who said that these young women had been selected for their looks alone and didn’t carry out their full range of duties.

There seemed to be a disadvantage in being an internal (Tanzanian) passenger. Three new carriages reserved for passengers going to Zambia had showers. They made our carriages, with squatting type toilets, seem very scruffy.
Leaving at 6 pm meant that we passed through the Selous Game Reserve in the dark but darkness had its compensations. Excellent meals were served for Shs 2,000 (£2); beer was Shs 600 and sodas Shs 250. The most popular meal was chicken and chips but there was also fish and rice, all served with a cabbage and tomato salad with a banana on the side.

A comfortable night’s sleep was interrupted by a sudden halt at Mlimba station, at the foot of the escarpment some 300 kms from Mbeya. This was 3.30 am. I peered out of the window and went back to sleep again. Two hours later I awoke to find that we were still at Mlimba. Obviously something was up. However, as on our own railways, no information was given out. We learnt later that a single wagon carrying track ballast on the train ahead had come off the track on a steep bend. We were to stay there until 3 pm that afternoon! Mlimba station (1930’s Chinese style) was set in a pleasant landscape on the edge of the town. There were birds and butterflies and there ought to have been monkeys but I didn’t see any. During the day a distinct feeling of comradeship developed amongst the passengers, rather like being on a long cruise on board slip.

Eventually we pulled out of the station, this time with two diesel engines, and there was now the opportunity to appreciate the superb engineering feat of the Chinese. The single line track was bordered by well constructed drainage channels, the cuttings were lined with stone blocks: some sloping up to 50 feet in height. The most impressive thing was the excellent state of the track maintenance some 25 years after construction.
Once we reached the top of the escarpment, the train picked up speed and lived up to its ‘express’ tag. We reached Mbeya at lam, some 31 hours after leaving Dar es Salaam.

The final event in this mini-saga seems to bear out my experience in Tanzania – that things often turn out alright in the end. I arrived at the Holiday Inn -a basic hotel recommended by the ‘Lonely Planet Guide’ -at 1.30 am. I hadn’t booked but the security guard quickly came to the door and was soon joined by his mate. I was made most welcome, given a room and asked if I would like some tea and food. I settled for the tea and sat quietly reflecting on the equivalent scenario had this been a British hotel in the middle of the night.

Tony Janes



Lucretia Gaurwa writing in the Daily News (January 28) described what happened at the famous Benaco (Ngara) camp for 700,000 Rwandan refugees when they all suddenly went home last year. First, a month after they had gone, there was what was called the ‘Green harvest’ when people came from all sides to enjoy a free harvest of thousands of tons of beans, maize, potatoes, sorghum and millet the refugees had been cultivating.

The refugees had originally arrived in April 1994. Some small traders made a fortune by acquiring (often illegally) low-priced handouts like corn oil, flow, blankets and cement which had been received from donor agencies and then selling them to markets in distant districts at high prices. Local citizens benefited from the establishment of clean water supplies, health centres and other improved infrastructure.

But when they all left, the writer of the article said that Oxfam removed water installations and the price of clean water quickly jumped from Shs30 for a 20 litre can to Shs 700. The German-aided hospital was removed to new Burundi/Zaire refugee camps in Kigoma regon, leaving residents of Benaco to travel 32 kms to the hospital in Ngara town. A large number of people had been employed during the residence of the refugees but when the refugees left some of these people became criminals. On July 25 1996 the authorities decided to expel all them; all temporary structures covered by UN sheetings suspected to be harbouring bandits were demolished; unlicensed kiosks were closed; mud houses without doors were demolished; and Benaco returned to its condition before the refugees came. But now many of these people have come back again. Some are putting up permanent houses.



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.



THE RIGHT REVEREND EDMUND CAPPER OBE (89) spent 25 years in Tanganyika serving as Bishop of Masasi. From 1958 to 1962 he was Provost of the Collegiate Church of St Albans in Dar es Salaam. He confirmed an old man who remembered Livingstone pass by on his last journey of exploration, shortly before he was found dead at Chitambo. In the absence of clergy many village churches were run by African lay catechists. At one such church Stradling announced that he would sing Evensong, and that the catechist was to read the lessons. Just as the service was starting the catechist said in an agitated whisper. “Whatever shall I do? A goat has eaten the first lesson” (Thank you Randal Sadlier and Paul Marchant for sending this information from the Times and the Daily Telegraph – Editor)

JULIA CARTER died on January lst. She and husband Roger, who were married for 57 years, spent five of those years in Tanzania and when they returned to Britain they started the Britain-Tanzania Society. Julia served as Trustee of the society’s Development Trust. The March 27th issue of ‘The Friend’ described her as a deeply caring person with a natural ability to stand alongside others, to share their pleasures and achievements and to understand their problems and anxieties. She worked for a time in family planning in Tanzania and a former Tanzanian High Commissioner wrote ‘we have always regarded Julia as part of us’. A large number of members of the Society, including representatives from the High Commission, were among the 180 friends present to celebrate her life at a memorial meeting held in Settle on January 14th.

The April issue of the journal ‘White Fathers-White Sisters’ contained two obituaries. FATHER ARNOLD GROL (74) who, during a long period of missionary work in Tanzania supervised the construction of the Sumbawanga Cathedral, has died of a heart attack; SISTER MARGARET TANSEY (83) who died on December 18 served for 30 years in Tanzania including a period when she ran the student’s hostel at Kipalapala (Thank you John Sankey for this information -Editor).

RICHARD A JOSSAUME FIAGE was an agricultural engineer much involved in the Groundnut Scheme in Tanzania in the late 1940’s. He kept careful records of his experiences and his son Chris has donated his collection of slides, photos, cine films and books to the Institute of Agricultural Engineers – they are held at the Cranfield University (Silsoe College) Library.

MRS CHRISTINA MUGAYA BURITO NYERERE, the mother of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, has died at the age of 104. Mwalimu has been quoted as saying that even on his 75th birthday she still treated him as her child.

EMIL SENGATI (70) who died after a long illness on March 8, was a long time civil servant and was the first African to hold the post of Town Clerk before independence.

BISHOP MAURICE SOSELEJE (80) of Masasi Anglican diocese, one of the first Tanzanian church leaders, died on January 10.

(Apologies for the error in the last issue. Dr Joseph Taylor OBE FRCS was mistakenly referred to as Dr David Taylor -Editor).



Yesterday a lorry carrying eighty-odd people to a football match overturned. Three were killed and a fair number were brought here. Wadi Moja (Ward One); which already has its fair share of problems, resembled a battlefield. There were sixty-odd patients, four nurses, me and one clean sheet. Hamna shida. This is Africa.

Waiting patiently in the corridor for admission were ten men, most of whom were bleeding from somewhere. All the usual chores – operation cases etc., plus relatives milling around, did not alter the admitting nurse’s usual polite greetings in any way. Each individual was greeted in the same manner -just as they would have been if there had been only one of them and the whole afternoon stretching ahead. “Habari za leo? “Nzuri.” Habari za Nyumbani? ” “Salama “. Even – honestly -“Habari za afya?” “Nzuri kidogo”. “Nzuri kidogo?” Now this answer is from a man with blood pouring from his chin and his leg in plaster from toe to groin! Each of the ten men got the same treatment. No hurry or panic on wadi moja.

After all had been admitted, some two to a bed, some on the floor of the corridor, and the afternoon shift had been given the report, the now off-duty nurses tied on their kangas and wandered off home. After all, one day is much like any other on wadi moja.
Jean Cooper

Glossary: Hamna shida -No problem. Habari za leo? -How are things? Habari za Nyumbani? -How are things at home? Habari za afya? -How are you feeling? Or how is your health? Nzuri -Good. Kidogo -small or a little.

(Jean Cooper, author of the above article is a VS0 volunteer working at Nyangao in Mtwara Region. VSO’s programme in Tanzania opened in 1961 and today around 110 volunteers are working in the country. Fourteen new volunteers will be going there in June followed by another 30 in September. Volunteers are involved in education, technical training, community development and agriculture as well as health. As a charity, VS0 is fortunate in receiving a large grant from the British Government. However, it still needs to raise over £4 million this year. One of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways of supporting VS0 is through sponsoring a volunteer. VS0 has various schemes, For example, if you contribute £15 per month you can share sponsorship of a volunteer, choose the region where your volunteer works and expect about two letters a year from the volunteer. Another scheme costs £300 per year but if you contribute £1,000 per year you will be able to choose a specific volunteer according to his/her skill, meet the volunteer (if possible), and receive letters, reports and photographs. Details from Anne Harrison or June Quayle, on 0181 780 7200 or write to them at VSO, 317 Putney Bridge Road, London SW13 2PN e-Mail XXX Editor)



Compiled by John Budge and Michael Wzse

Helena JERMAN, Between Jive lines: the development of ethnicity in Tanzania, with special reference to the western Bagamoyo District Uppsala: Finnish Anthropological Society; Nordic Africa Institute, 1997. 360p. (Transactions of the Finnish Anthropological Society; no.38) ISBN 952-9573- 16-2, SEK 110.

This study is based on the area that lies inland from Bagamoyo. It forms the section of the greater Bagamoyo district that, more than the sea coast town itself, was subjected to and influenced by, the passage of representatives of differing cultures through the centuries. Not all of the slavers, propagators of religious belief, traders, and politicians merely passed through, leaving a detritus of ideas and physical tokens of their passage. Some, for whatever reason, tarried or settled, administered from distant urban centres; all had some significant impact. It is their successive impacts that are the subject of this interesting book.

It originated as the author’s thesis for her doctorate, and was based on oral as well as documentary evidence. The investigation dates from more than twenty years ago, and as such is to some extent a valuable historical record, pictorially and in the interviews with old people, of a society that has subsequently undergone further radical change; such has been the impact of the late twentieth century even on rural communities.

The five lines of the title were drawn in the sand by an elder in the course of describing his country’s development though many centuries. They symbolised, for him, the peoples who have confronted each other in the region. The author’s text is divided into sections that consider the pre-colonial period, which included most notably the islamisation of the coast, the development of the Waswahili ethnic identity, and powerful invasions such as the Ngoni and the Kamba. Then came the German period, and the widespread repercussions of the Maji Maji movement. The British period included the emergence of political associations, while the post-independence era has seen attempts at the integration of a national culture and controversial attitudes regarding the positiveness or otherwise of ethnic/tribal thinking.

The author’s list of sources used, or consulted in personal contacts is impressive. This is the outcome of systematic investigation over a period of years, and deserves consideration. It is also very readable.


John MILLARD, Never a dull moment: the autobiography of John Millard -administrator, soldier and farmer. Silent Books [1997?] 226p., ISBN 1 85183 096 0, 217.50. Obtainable from: Philippa Millard, 29 Gorst Road, London SW1l 6JB. U.K.

This is an apt title for the story of an all-rounder who enjoyed life to the full. A more sententious critic might categorise the book as a smug saga, but although a degree of self-satisfaction does emerge in its pages (as happens with many autobiographies) this would be far too harsh a verdict to make in this case.

The author writes from experience in many fields and countries and he must have taken great pains over the years to chronicle the incidents that provide the material for his narrative. In doing this he has achieved his aim of portraying both the highs and lows in various situations and careers. He describes these lucidly and entertainingly and with an easy style in which, inter alia, he makes light of adversity.

John’s account compares favourably, in my view, with several others I have read written by persons who served and farmed in the colonies, and he certainly captures the atmosphere of Africa. Although not a scholarly dissertation, he writes expansively and diversely, not confined only to African matters. His encounters during World War I1 in many theatres receive due comment and are interesting, as also his amusing description of his time in Whitehall at the Colonial Office, where he worked with the late Sir Ralph Furse (the renowned Director of Recruitment) on the selection of key personnel for the Post-war Colonial Service. Never a dull moment is not penned in official Government-type language nor is it weighed down by numerous appendices. Another plus, and so essential in a non-fiction book, is the efficient index of names and places.

Affection for his family is apparent throughout, and this is well illustrated by his sensitive handling of the effects of the serious and tragic riding accident sustained by his wife; Corinne. His love of the countryside, and for South Africa (where he was born), the United Kingdom and especially his wife’s homeland, Ireland, all figure prominently in his thoughts. His final philosophical words, written no doubt from his contented retirement base in Kenya state: “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday, and I love today”.

N. O. Durdant Hollamby

Aili Maria TRIPP, Changing the rules: the politics of liberalisation and the urban informal economy in Tanzania. Berkeley: University of California Press, Berkeley, 1997. 289p., ISBN 0-520-20278-3, £13.95; US$ 18 (paperback)

It is the early 1980s. Forty passengers board a privately operated bus leaving Dar es Salaam. A police officer stops the bus because, although public transport is woefully inadequate, only government-owned buses are legal. The passengers, strangers to one-another, spontaneously become one big happy family, singing and ululating as though on the way to a wedding. The police give up; they cannot charge the driver of a wedding party.

That is but one of the many examples Aili Maria Tripp offers to convince the reader that the civil society – persons pursuing livelihood outside wage employment – strongly influenced government policies. Tripp’s approach is refreshing because the ordinary citizen is often seen as victim of inept or immoral government and/or international banking policies. The tale is too seldom told of collective survival skills -families getting roofs over their heads, beans on the table and shoes on the children.

The author of this book, the daughter of Lloyd and Marja-Liisa Swantz, did her schooling in Tanzania (1960-1974) and often accompanied her mother on research interviews. Between 1987 and 1994 she and a Tanzanian research assistant interviewed (in Kiswahili) nearly 300 residents of Manzese and Buguruni districts of Dar who were engaged in informal sector activities. They also interviewed ten-house cell leaders, party secretaries and chairmen and legal counsellors. The objective of the study was ‘to document the growth of new dimensions in Tanzania’s urban and informal economy in response to the economic crisis of the late 1970s and 1980’.

Tripp traces the employment-related history of Dar es Salaam, including the split between CCM and government in the mid-1980s. In 1970 just 4 per cent of wives living there were self-employed, but by the end of the 1980s, 69 per cent of women were self-employed. Because real wages fell by 83 per cent between 1974 and 1988, more than 90 per cent of household income came from the informal sector of the economy, where women, children and the elderly dominated. Most of them operated from their homes, a fact that leads Tripp to a strong condemnation of the oversight of the household economy in national accounts that intensifies the formidable nature of market restraints for the poor.

The survival strategies of women, children and the elderly form an innovative array. They sell maandazi and other pastries, fish, cassava, soup, rice, beer and soft drinks; they are tailors, and the better educated export horticultural products and organise secretarial services; they own shipping and receiving companies, private schools, flour mills. In Zanzibar alone, since the late 1980s, an estimated 10,000 women produce seaweed as a cash crop.

Some husbands -but not many -fear that their wives ‘will do well and leave me’, others simply say that their wives ‘make a few cents’ with their projects. But most men keep quiet after providing starting capital for their wives. Indeed! The average monthly income from making maandazi is 4.5 times the minimum salary in Dar.

Women have a good deal of autonomy today, and at least half of those interviewed by Tripp participate in savings societies (upato). Whether barely getting by or earning high incomes, they save money to pay for their children’s education, clothe them and build family houses. They are central to the family economy. In the words of the author: ‘People have drawn on their own resources and have come up with creative, flexible and viable solutions to the problem of survival under extreme duress’. In the process, they have often quietly defied the law, and government gradually gave in – often quietly as well – by easing restrictions and legalising informal economic activities.
Margaret Snyder

Articles in Journals

Rita ABRAHAMSEN, The victory of popular forces or passive revolution7 A neo-Gramscian perspective on democratisation. Journal of modern African studies, 35 (1) 1997, p. 129-152.

Most scholars acknowledge the connection between the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the subsequent “democratic wave” in sub- Saharan Africa. This paper, by a journalist and PhD. candidate in the Department of Politics at the University of Swansea, is primarily a perceptive study of overseas aid and its ramifications.

Aid policy during the Cold War was shaped by strategic-political considerations, and African leaders did not hesitate to play the two sides off against each other in order to attract foreign support. When it ended there was a substantive reduction of aid to Africa, especially for authoritarian regimes -as witnessed most recently in Zaire. The end of the cold war has been portrayed as a ‘moral release’ for the West because it allowed for the formulation of policies along more principled ethical lines, and resulted in the emergence of the ‘good governance’ agenda, and political conditionality.

While former communist states became successful competitors for Western aid, presenting new and lucrative investment opportunities, Africa’s share of economic assistance declined. At the same time the idea of one-pasty states was discredited and democratic thinking was encouraged – even Julius Nyerere was said to have conceded that Africa could learn “a lesson or two” from Eastern Europe.

Africa’s prolonged economic crisis also undermined the developmental ideology which underpinned the one-party state, as the capacity of states to meet the welfare needs of their citizens steadily deteriorated or collapsed altogether. At the same time corruption, mismanagement and human rights abuses persisted in what have been called ‘states without citizens’ – which exist only for themselves and their own beneficiaries, excluding the vast majority of the population. Popular protests became common among wide sections of the population, especially urban workers, trade unions and the middle classes, including students, teachers and civil servants.

Maintaining that countries do not exist in isolation, the author sees that in a world increasingly dominated by a global capitalist system, more and more decisions lie outside the control of the individual state. African regimes, increasingly reliant on overseas aid, consequent on poor credit ratings, had no alternative to dealing with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, described as “a de fact receiver to African governments”, and the effective governance of Africa was “gradually transferred from its official political leaders and former political organs to international financial institutions”.

Structural Adjustment policies, with their emphasis on privatisation, market efficiency, proper pricing policies, and so on, invariably lead to a dismantling or radical reduction of the economic and welfare role of the state. But so far, the author continues, “the miracle of the market” has failed to materialise, while the negative effects continue to mount. “Those few countries which have achieved some macro-economic stability have done so at the expense of growth, investment and human welfare”.

The emergence of pro-democracy movements could not be explained without reference to the widespread feeling of disillusionment and discontent arising from externally imposed austerity measures.

The author expresses the view that a liberal market democracy merely becomes complementary and supportive of goals aimed at expansion of the capitalist world economy. Some gains are achieved in terms of civil and human rights, “but the same elites are still in power and the same socio-economic arrangements persist”.

She concludes: “For those committed to change the message is perhaps that, in order to succeed, counter-hegemonic struggles must take place, not only at the national but also at the international level.”


Stein Sundstol ERIKSEN, Between a rock and a hardplace? Development planning in Tanzanian local governments. Third world planning review, 19(3) August 1997.

Laura FAIR, Clothing, class and gender in post-abolition Zanzibar. Journal of African history, 39, 1998, p.68-94.

From the dawn of civilisation – if not before – what people wore and how they wore it has been significant for the identification of class, status and power. In this interesting and detailed study Laura Fair shows that in Africa, and especially in Zanzibar, this subject is particularly meaningful because of the legacy of slavery and of the area’s specific geography.

She observes that with the abolition of slavery in 1897, former slaves began a “protracted multi-generational process of redefining their positions”. In the early part of this century they accounted for roughly three-fourths of the island’s population, and began identifying themselves as freeborn coastal Swahilis. “They had spent the greater part of their adult lives there, built their homes, planted their farms and watched both their children and their trees grow to maturity on Zanzibar’s rich soil.”

They abandoned clothing associated with their mainland heritage and adopted fashions which identified them first as Swahili and later as Zanzibar-is. As smallholders they became the main producers of the island’s two main exports -cloves and coconuts. Their increasing economic advance often came at the expense of the Omani aristocracy.

Clothing fashions and styles, as well as class and ethnic identities were dramatically remade. Freeborn children began adopting elements of free dress, particularly head coverings and shoes, which they had formerly been forbidden to wear, as well as creating new forms of dress. New markets for imported cloth were opened up, especially in towns, as consumerism was seized upon by former slaves “as a means of articulating their aspirations of upwards social mobility.” The makers and sellers of kangas were making a fortune from women who were said by many to be busily transforming their identities from those of slaves into “slaves of fashion”!

The adoption of Arab clothing was a common strategy, for the association of veiling and purdah with status and property was widespread in pre-colonial Muslim Africa.. After the First World War, women who covered themselves from head to foot with a buibui were publicly demonstrating that they were worthy of respect. Asked why women began to wear the buibui instead of a kanga, a respondent suggested : “It covered you completely, rather than simply covering your head, and was therefore a sign of respect for yourself, your parents and Islam.” It signified that they were “women of dignity and rank and more worthy of respect.”

The author adds significantly: “While the buibui reflected a growing ideology of spiritual equality among East African Muslims, it nonetheless allowed Zanzibari women a freedom to express and debate hierarchicies rooted in more material bases.”

She concludes: “Throughout history and across the globe, men and women have consciously manipulated their material world in order to fabricate their identities physically, and differentiate themselves from others… Covering their heads and bodies was one of the first public demonstrations that formerly servile men and women made of their freedom.” Intrigued by the power of drawings and photographs to act as historical sources, the author effectively utilises such evidence as an integral part of the discussion and text.


Susan GEIGER, Tanganyika nationalism as ‘Women’s Work’; life histories, collective biography and changing historiography. Journal of African history, 37(3) 1996, p.465-479.

Outstanding and exceptional personalities, almost invariably male, are all too often assumed to be the prime instigators and leaders of revolutionary and anti-colonial movements.

After independence, for example, Nyerere was known as “Father of the People”, and the inspiration provided by the masses was generally ignored by historians. These unchronicled individuals were generally presumed to be men, but in this study Susan Geiger, of the University of Missesota, claims that nationalism in Tanzania was largely the creation of women.

Bibi Titi Mohammed, the only TANU leader besides Nyerere whose name was known throughout the country at the time of independence, went from being the lead singer in a popular Dar es Salaam group called ‘Bomba’ to being head of the women’s section of TANU in 1955, and was responsible for enrolling 5,000 women members in a period of three months.

Susan Geiger suggests that the women activists, who constituted a substantial majority of TANU’s card-carrying members, did not learn nationalism from Nyerere or TANU; rather they brought to TANU and to political party activism an ethos of nationalism already present as a “trans- ethnic trans-tribal social and cultural identity”, expressed collectively in their dance and other organisations, and reflected in their families of origin as well as in marriages that frequently crossed ethnic lines. They “evoked, created and performed the nationalism that Nyerere needed to make TANU a credible and successful nationalist movement.”

Open to all who wished to join them, urban women’s dance groups provided newcomers to urban life with entry into “a social and cultural world in which Swahili was the language of song and conversation.”

TANU also benefited from the appeal of uniformed members of the party’s women’s section and of the choirs and youth league, with their many women members, chiefly constituting the party faithful. “Performance and signification produced nationalism in Tanzania as surely as Nyerere’s speeches.”

The writer concludes that nationalism was significantly the work of thousands of women whose lives and associations reflected trans-tribal ties and affiliations, and who thought of Nyerere not so much as father of the people as the son of the people!


Bruce HEILMAN, A social movement for African capitalism? A comparison of business associations in two African cities, by Bruce Heilman and John Lucas. African studies review 40 (2) September 1997, p. 141-17 1.

A comparative study of Kano, in Northern Nigeria, and Dar es Salaam.

Publications Noted

FAREWELL to farms: de-agrarianisation and employment in Africa; edited by Deborah Fahy Bryceson and Vali Jamal. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 1997. 277p., ISBN 18014 193 X, 516.50.

This collection of essays by various authors is a continent wide survey, which considers the topic of whether Africa’s future is necessarily rooted in peasant agriculture. The term ‘de-agrarianisation’ embraces the actuality of urban migration, and the expansion into rural areas of non-agricultural activities which provide income for those who live there; thus accelerating a move away from reliance on agriculture by rural people.

The name Bryceson is familiar to many Tanzania-philes, and the book includes a study of the rural informal sector in Tanzania, as well as several chapters of general scope, such as rural industries, and labour diversification in rural areas, which take into consideration the Tanzanian factor,

K. GUILANPOUR, A systematic review of Tanzanian environmental impact statements, by K. Guilanpour and W.R. Sheate. Project apppraisal, 12 (3) September 1997, p. 138-150.

Daniel KOBB, Measuring informal sector incomes in Tanzania: some constraints to cost-benefit analysis. Small enterprise development, 8 (4) December 1997, p.40-48.

LAND degradation in Tanzania: perception from the village, by Alemneh Dejene and others. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1997. 92p. (World Bank Technical paper; no.370) ISBN 0-8213-3993-1) US$20.

Charles LANE, Tanzania – uncertain future for the Maasai of Ngorongoro. Indigenous affairs, no.314, July-December 1997, p.4-7.
Garth MYERS, Localising Agenda 21: environmental sustainability and Zanzibari urbanisation, by Garth A. Myers and Makarne A.H. Muhajir. Third world planning review, 19 (4) 1997, p.367-384.

P.K.G.M. NDYETABULA, The use of soil information in Tanzania. PhD.
thesis, University of East Anglia, 1995.
Stephen J. NORTH, Europeans in British administered East Africa: a provisional list 1889 to 1903. Wantage: The Author (22 Belmont, Wantage, OX12 9AS, U.K.), 1995. ISBN 0-9524754-0-5, £37.

A loose-leaf compilation of information which the author has already supplemented, and intends to continue as more information comes to light. This useful and unusual handbook follows work previously undertaken by Donald Simpson at the Royal Commonwealth Society, Mary Gillet of Kenya, and others. The informative entries aim to provide for each individual: full name, dates of birth and death, date of arrival in East Africa, nationality, profession, and chronological account of the person’s career in East Africa.

Robert PINKNEY, Democracy and dictatorship in Ghana and Tanzania. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997. 240p., ISBN 0-333-63 175-7, £40.

In examination of the evolution of democracy in the two countries, the author looks at the balance of forces between governments and campaigners for pluralist democracy, and at the outcomes that emerged.

Severine M. RUGUMANU, Lethal aid: the illusion of socialism and self- reliance in Tanzania. Lawrenceville, N.J.: Red Sea Press, [1997?] 256p., ISBN 0-86543-513-8, US$21.95 (paperback)

Peter R. SCHMIDT, Iron technology in East Africa: symbolism, science and archaeology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, [1997?] 400p. US$19.95.

Peter R. Schmidt, The tree of iron. Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
[1997?] US$39.95

A 60 minute video. Has been welcomed for being one of the few films which document archaeological work in sub-Saharan Africa. In dealing with African iron smelting it presents convincing evidence of early indigenous technologies far more sophisticated than anyone had previously suspected. The video is described as being skilfully crafted and often beautiful to watch.

SUPPORTING women groups in Tanzania through credit: is this a strategy for empowerment? By Dorthe von Bulow and others. Copenhagen: Centre for Development Research, 1995. 14p. (CDR working paper; no.95.10)
Corinne Natalie Cox WHITAKER, The Impact of women’s participation in an income-generation program in south-western Tanzania. PhD. thesis, Johns Hopkins University (USA), 1996.

Editor’s Recommendation

In issue no.58, September -December 1997 we published an enthusiastic review of Laura Sykes’ attractive guide, Dar es Salaam: a dozen drives around the city. It went with us when I revisited Dar with my wife earlier this year. As former residents we felt it would probably be useful in locating areas and buildings of interest after an interval of almost thirty years. We used it as a point of reference as we moved around once familiar districts, and explored new sectors of the huge conurbation that has developed since we lived there. This is a strong commendation of the work of Mrs. Sykes and her co-author, Uma Waide. They have produced a guide that need not be followed faithfully, but can add a great deal to any visitor’s enjoyment of Dar, which is such an interesting, lively and relaxing city -by contrast to the rough hustle into which Nairobi has descended.

From time to time we publish reviews of more general guides. Let me recommend, for the same reason of having actually used it, Michael HODD, East Africa handbook, with Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. 4th ed. Bath: Footprint Handbooks, 1997. 864p., TSBN l 900949 06 7, 214.99. It provides, as far as we needed, accurate and up to date information about what the average traveller requires: what to see, where to stay and eat; how to move around each locality; and most important, provides unexpected sections of relevant and very interesting background information when appropriate. We travelled very happily, following our own instincts and with reference when necessary to this guidebook, through Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. Full marks to Footprint!





Greetings from Tanzania. I enclose a translation I have done of an article about the closure of the Goethe Institute in Dar es Salaam written by Bartholomaus Grill in Die Zeit on December 5 1997 which might be of interest to some of your readers. Extracts from the article:

In four months it will be all over. A movie in December symbolises this final act: Der Totmacher (the Dead-Maker); and there can be no doubt whom Tanzanians identify it with: the Minister of Finance in wealthy Germany. His money saving measures put an end to this episode which began in 1962 when the grandchildren of German colonialists founded a branch of the Goethe Institute in Tanzania, not far from the military cemetery where for 100 years their heroic grandfathers had found their rest. It was not meant as an apology as Germany was then busy enough forgetting her most recent past. With the passage of 35 years, however, the project became some kind of compensation. At least, that’s the way many Tanzanians see it. “Through this cross-cultural exchange programme, Germany has shed her colonial reputation” says painter Robino Ntila….. “With the closure of the Institute, the finest period of German-Tanzanian cross-cultural communication ends” palaeanthropologist Charles Saanane complains…. “If you were seeking to meet with Tanzania’s artists, writers and intellectuals, just sit in the institute’s foyer and wait.” Situated at Dar’s most popular spot, the city’s geographical centre, it had been integrated into the host country, unlike other Goethe branches. By comparison the Institute in Johannesburg, placed in the sterile white shopping quarter of Rosebank, looks like an alien spaceship landed by accident in the new South Africa. ….” Why in the world Dar es Salaam?” asks Shafi Adam Shafi, author of that mysterious story from Zanzibar ‘The Slavery of Spices’ who gave his very first lecture at the institute.. . . “in Munich, where the decision was taken, it’s a mere movement of the pen. For us in Tanzania it’s a catastrophe’ remarks Shafi…… Germany’s financial and technical aid for community development in Tanzania for one year would suffice to finance the Goethe Institute for 184 years.”

Oliver Stegen, Box 21, Kondoa


I served as Park Warden Tourism in the Serengeti from 1965 to 1967 and was able to return about once a year for some time but have not seen it for 12 years. I have some 6,000 slides of the Serengeti, many of which have been published.

After school in 1955 I went to Tanzania to stay with a school friend, Jonathan Kingdon, now an established and internationally acclaimed wildlife artist/cientist. Jonathan’s father was Provincial Commissioner, Central Province, so I stayed with the Kingdon family at Dodoma and photographed several bird of prey nests on the Dodoma Golf Course! This trip was extensively photographed, sadly only in black and white. I am wondering now about making the entire trip again, covering exactly the same ground, (Arusha -Dodoma -Mbeya). I am keen to ascertain whether anyone can advise me on the safety and otherwise of making this trip, probably driving alone, with photographic equipment aboard.

I have just learned of the death of former Minister of Wildlife Soloman
ole Saibul. I shall greatly miss his smiles, his wit and his help -but above all his friendship. I would like to contact his family; can anyone help me with the address?

Grahame Dangerfield,
The Grahame Dangerfield Wildlife Trust, Bowers Heath,
Harpenden. Herts, AL5 5EE.
Telephone and Fax: xxxxx


I started travelling to East Africa as a consultant to UNIDO, developing seed treatment technology suitable for rural farmers. When the project finished we had shown that yields of maize and beans can be substantially increased by treating the seeds before planting and that the low cost machines we developed worked well. We found a general awareness among villagers that treated seed grew better than untreated. However, we did not disseminate, so our prototypes were in line to join the many other workable ideas abandoned because their dissemination was not properly tackled.

I therefore decided to spend a few years in Tanzania to try and luck start a seed treatment system for rural farmers but I have faced a number of problems. There is now no legal and available seed treatment available in Tanzania. The registration authority, TPRI in Arusha, charges $5,500 for registration which is beyond my means and is also too high to be justified by any agro-chemical company. The market is quite small and speculative. The recently re-vamped pesticide formulation plant at Moshi is now developing a formulation using some active ingredients imported by UNIDO at the end of their project but they are devoid of funds. I also have problems with a resident’s permit.

The reason I am writing to you is because I believe the matter may be of interest to the Britain Tanzania Society and also to ask if you have any ideas regarding my problems.

J E Elsworth. E-Mail: xxxxx