Archive for September, 1998


Your obituary of the late Edmund Capper does him less than justice. As Provost of St Albans in Dar es Salaam and subsequently as Chaplain of St Nicholas, Ilala, he steered the Anglican Church with great tact and skill through the tumultuous period of the coming of independence and the birth of Tanzania. The pressure on those in public positions at that time was intense and he was an important figure-head of the old Establishment who set an example of integrity, tolerance and good humour. He was widely respected by the members of his church – and indeed far beyond it. The Provost always spoke sound common sense and proffered good counsel to the highest in the land and to the lowest. To those of us in the expatriate community during this time of transition, he was a rock – of principle and faith, as well as a genial and wise companion.
R F Eberlie

I am sure other people who have received the last issue will have contacted you regarding the obituaries. As far as I am aware Edmund Capper joined the UMCA in 1936 as a priest in Masasi. He was appointed Archdeacon of Lindi and in 1954 Archdeacon of Dar es Salaam and Rector of St Albans and later the Provost. It was after he left Tanganyika that he finally became a bishop. Most of the report refers to Leslie Stradling who was consecrated bishop on July 25 1945 and arrived in Moshi on December 4. That delay was due to lack of a passage to East Africa because of the war. He became the first bishop of South West Tanganyika in 1952. Certainly the last anecdote – re the goat – is from Bishop Leslie and possibly the confirmation one too.
Peter Stringer UMCA 1954-63

(You and other readers who have pointed out the serious errors in the obituaries section are quite right. The obituary did the Rt. Rev Edmund Capper less than justice because his obituary became mixed up with that of the Rt. Rev Leslie Stradling who died a short while earlier. The confusion can be partially explained only by reference to the fact that both apparently died at the same age, both served several years in Masasi, both were members of the UMCA and they left Tanganyika within a year of each other. But this is no excuse. Apologies to all concerned – Editor).

In TA No. 60 it says that Mark Cotton had discovered the remains of an underground mosque believed to date back to the 6th Century AD. Did not Islam begin in the 7th Century AD? So how come we find a 6th Century mosque in Pemba?
Trevor Jagger

We spotted in the last issue a reproduction of part of Ann McFerran’s article in the Telegraph a few weeks ago. I enclose a copy of an article from the Sunday Times Magazine written by Patrick Wilson. (I like the article but sorry, no more space in this issue. Perhaps next time – Editor). ‘Health Projects Abroad’ (HPA) now offers 120 young people a year the chance to spend three months in Tanzania seeing what it is like to live and work in rural villages there.
Cath Rowlatt. HPA Volunteer Programme Manager

Another reader has written as follows: ‘You did not mention the cholera outbreak in Zanzibar in your last issue. Many people (perhaps 200) died in December 1997. My husband was one of them’ – Apologies and our sympathy on your loss – Editor.

Comments (1)


Compiled by John Budge and Michael Wise

T.L. MALIYAMKONO, Tanzania on the move. Dar es Salaam: TEMA Publishers, 1997. xiv, 177p., ISBN 9987 25013 O. No price stated.

The book attempts to evaluate the significant events of 1996, in particular President Mkapa’s performance during the year in which he assumed his responsibilities. There is, understandably, little evidence of information taken from books and published reports, and the main sources of information used are the dailies and weeklies of that period.

The result is a fairly concise catalogue of issues and events, which are assessed by topic: the consolidation of democracy; Zanzibar; the economy; public revenue; foreign aid; corruption and the drug problem; regional integration and the problem of refugees. The book also looks at the choice of cabinet (overloaded with academics), the Temeke by-election and some reasons for the victory of Augustino Mrema, and the mushrooming proliferation of broadsheet and tabloid newspapers.

The author suggests that the economy is improving. However this means little to the mass of people, who endure continuing economic hardship, unemployment and less than adequate social services. Corruption and the illegal drug trade are seen as menacing the Mkapa administration. A few measures, like the Warioba Commission on Corruption were implemented, but its recommendations were not acted upon up to the time of writing, and the President expressed his disappointment over the pace of action against corruption. This raises the interesting supposition that corruption is installed even .in government circles Some issues of national importance, such as the Zanzibar political crisis are not thoroughly analysed. Perhaps a shift from over dependence on local dailies and weeklies, to other sources would have provided a more considered analysis of the issues considered here. Problems associated with religious groups or cults, which started to be apparent prior to Mkapa, and have subsequently grown in extent, are not trivial and should have been included. The book provides snapshots of some events of 1996, and there are a few tables and photographs which help to illuminate some of the issues under consideration. The book has its use for students and others more generally interested in the politics of Tanzania, because the issues covered have not gone away. Alii A.S. Mcharazo

Kevin PATIENCE, Konigsberg: a German East African raider. 118p.
Published by the author (1997), P.O. Box 669, Bahrain, £14 (UK); £16.50 (rest of the World)

The British naval operation against the Imperial German cruiser Konigsberg was the most complex, as well as the most memorable in the long East African campaign of the 1914-1918 War. It justified the view of the German military commander, Col. von Lettow-Vorbeck, that while the outcome of the war would be decided in Europe, he could have some influence on that theatre by drawing away British and Allied forces and inflicting losses on their manpower and resources. He succeeded brilliantly in that objective, causing the British and their allies to commit, by some estimates, about a quarter of a million men in all to chasing him for over four years, without ever capturing or defeating him.

The Konigsberg’s initial victorious actions at sea, first capturing and scuttling the merchant ship City of Winchester in the Gulf of Aden, and then sinking the cruiser HMS Pegasus in Zanzibar harbour, indicated the serious threat posed to British power in the Indian Ocean. The Admiralty ordered the captain of the cruiser HMS Chatham to “seek and destroy the Konigsberg at any cost.” Kevin Patience’s book gives a detailed account of all that followed, with the central focus being on the technical rather than the human aspects. The finding and eventual sinking this one German cruiser, lying in various locations up to 15 miles up-river, surrounded by mangrove swamps, took ten months. It involved more than twenty British naval and civilian vessels, including a battleship, seven cruisers, and three armoured monitors, eleven aircraft (including seven seaplanes) in four separate phases, plus supporting land forces based on Mafia. There was also the audacious personal reconnaissance by the famous South African hunter Pieter Pretorious, who boarded the Konigsberg in disguise to find out the state of the ship’s guns and torpedoes.

The Konigsberg was finally abandoned and scuttled by the Germans in July 1915, after being smashed by heavy British naval shelling, with the assistance of intrepid aircraft spotters. But that was not the end of the ship’s contribution to the German fighting ability, and the surviving crew members were a valuable reinforcement of the German land forces. Perhaps most importantly, the Konigsberg’s ten 4 inch guns were removed from the wreck, repaired, and used in action during the next two years, until all were eventually captured in different locations.

Kevin Patience meticulously records every stage of the campaign, together with full details of the ships and aircraft engaged on each side, giving specifications of their armaments and capabilities, and description of what eventually became of them. He quotes extensively from both British and German official records of the military engagements. There are numerous photographs, many of which I guess have not been published before, and they vividly illustrate the whole story. His account is a valuable complement to the more journalistic one contained in Charles Miller’s book Battle for the Bundu. It should appeal to anyone who has ever been near the Rufiji River, apart from having an interest in wartime history or in events that helped to shape Tanzania of today.
David le Breton

Zaline M. ROY-CAMPBELL, Language crisis in Tanzania: the myth of English versus education, by Zaline M. Roy-Campbell and Martha A.S. Qorro.
Dar es Salaam: Mkuti na Nyota Publishers, 1997. 182p., ISBN 9976 973 39X, £13.95; US$25.

Distributed in the UK by African Books Collective, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl 1HU.

This book delivers a damning verdict on the use of English as a medium of instruction in Tanzania’s secondary schools, showing not only that pupils are failing to attain adequate levels of English, but that their entire education is seriously affected by this, leading to the “denial of education to the majority of Tanzanian students, even though they are in school” (p.72). The authors point out the anomaly of continuing to promote a language in schools that has an ever decreasing role in Tanzanian society (with 90% of secondary leavers having no use for English in their jobs once they leave school). Government policy states that the purpose of secondary education in Tanzania is to prepare students to fulfil their role within Tanzanian society, in which Kiswahili has been actively promoted. By insisting on English-medium instruction, the status of Kiswahili is downgraded and the system acts to prepare “a nation of ‘servers’ and ‘waiters’ for the outside world” (p.91) rather than citizens capable of contributing to local and national development.

An estimated 95% of secondary school students in Tanzania lack the necessary skills in English to read and communicate effectively. The reasons for this include the poor command of English on the part of many teachers, lack of motivation for learning English, and the scarcity of suitable textbooks and other reading material. Teachers compensate for these problems by teaching largely through Kiswahili, even though this goes against government policy. Exams, however, are still set in English and, not surprisingly, students who have been taught through Kiswahili fail to perform well. For example, in the 1992 National Form Two exams, the results were so poor that the pass mark had to be reduced to 14%!

The perceived solution to this crisis has been to attempt to improve levels of competence in English, notably through the English Language Teaching Support Project (EL TSP) which was funded by the British government. The main condition of funding for this project was that English was to continue as the medium of instruction. However, the evidence suggests that EL TSP has failed to improve competence in English sufficiently to make any real difference to educational standards. Rather than continue with this policy, the authors suggest switching to Kiswahili-medium instruction and teaching English as a foreign language. They argue that not only would educational standards as a whole improve, but that the standards of written Kiswahili and of English would also rise, with better targeting of resources and specialist knowledge. The authors claim that the need for Kiswahili teaching materials which their proposals would require should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a problem. They point out that most of the English books available at present are inappropriate and have to be explained to pupils in Kiswahili anyway, and that, in the long term, there will be economic benefits because low-cost Kiswahili text-books can be produced locally, whereas the ELTSP project is tied in with exclusive deals with U.K. publishers (p.123). One minor criticism would be that the authors use arguments in favour of ‘mother tongue’ education to support the use of Kiswahili, while glossing over the fact that 10% of the population do not speak Kiswahili and many of the remaining 90% do not speak it as their mother tongue.

Many of the claims made in this thoroughly readable book are not new, neither is the major piece of research into secondary school students’ reading competence in English, presented in chapters 2 to 4. However, the fact that the situation regarding language policy in secondary schools has yet to change, indicates the need for this book to be read by policy makers in Tanzania and Britain.
Alison Nicolle

TANGANYIKA rifles mutiny, .January 1964, by N.N. Luanda and others. Dar es Salaam: Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces/ Dar es Salaam University Press, 1993 (but actually published 1997). 177p., Tsh 5,000.

Most people are said to be able to remember where they were when President Kennedy died. In January 1964 army mutinies in Africa were not as commonplace as they became later and I (and many others) remember exactly where I was when the newly created Tanganyika Rifles (formerly King’s African Rifles) suddenly rose up against authority. I had placed my car in a garage for servicing in Mwanza, and gone to do some shopping. Suddenly the shops closed and people rushed home. Rumour said that troops based in Tabora were ‘marching’ (that was the word used) on Mwanza. I rushed back to collect my car, with thoughts of a quick exit towards Uganda – but then the Ugandan army also mutinied.

This book succeeds admirably in answering almost all the questions that came up at the time, and later. Was it a mutiny or a coup? Was it just a workers’ strike? Who were the real instigators? Who ruled Tanganyika during that turbulent week? Where did President Nyerere go? Who called in the British commandos, and how was the mutiny quelled so quickly? In finding answers the authors, from the Directorate of History, Research and the Museum of the Army and the University of Dar es Salaam have done some solid research and have managed to contact most of the key players. The result is a fine piece of investigative journalism, to which is added more than a touch of controversial academic analysis.

Chapter 1 gives a detailed outline of the army’s history. It is critical of the slowness in Africanisation of the officer cadre in the early 60’s, but observes that most of the manpower of the army came from tribes who lagged behind in education. It explains how the newly elected T ANU Party had treated the army with ‘benign neglect’ since independence, while attending to other priorities. Confident in the leadership of the army by Brigadier Sholto Douglas, his position must have been made uncomfortable by the country’s increasing involvement, by late 1963, in the African Liberation Movement. On January 12 1964 there had been a revolution in Zanzibar. The Dar es Salaam police force had been depleted by the need to support the new government of Zanzibar. The Tanganyika mutiny followed eight days later, that of Uganda on January 23, and in Kenya the next day. Those governments called for British help immediately and the mutinies were quickly negated, but in Tanganyika it took almost a week before a very reluctant Julius Nyerere felt that he had to call for help to his country’s fanner rulers.

In chapter 2, M.L. Baregu tries, but fails, to find any linkage between the three mutinies. In a well argued analysis, however, he comes to the controversial conclusion that, because of the tense situation in Zanzibar and the radical policy pursued by Nyerere at that time ‘Tanganyika had to be taught a lesson’, and that it was the British, through various actions they had taken beforehand, who ‘may not have instigated the mutiny but did precipitate it’.

In chapters 3 and 4, Professor Luanda describes the sequence of events from the moment shortly after midnight on January 19, when the duty officer was woken by three soldiers who ordered him to keep quiet under pain of death by strangulation, until the close of the eventful week when the British Royal Marine Band, in ceremonial uniform was playing to crowds celebrating the termination of the mutiny in the centre of Dar es Salaam.

The story is full of drama and features widely differing personalities who give their version of aspects of events. These include David Kimble, then at the University, who thought that it was a coup d’etat rather than a mutiny; the late Oscar Kambona, described by some as the ‘strong man who saved Nyerere’s government from collapse’ and by others as an ‘obstinate blunderer’; Sergeant Francis Hingo Ilogi, an ambitious young man who played a key role in planning the mutiny, and became for a very short time a Lieutenant Colonel; Captain S.M.A. Kashmir who was told he would be packed off to Bombay if he didn’t behave, and was later seriously wounded; the Brigadier, who escaped from the barracks on the night the mutiny began and took charge, with the then High Commissioner, of the British troop operation, the Yugoslav Ambassador, who rashly brandished a revolver at the mutineers and received a severe blow from a rifle butt; Mikidadi Mdoe, Director of the Tanganyika Broadcasting corporation, who flaty refused to broadcast a statement that the government had asked Britain to send in troops; and President Nyerere who refused to sign the request and got vice-president Kawawa to do it instead.

The mutineers’ objectives had been relatively limited – to get rid of their British officers and to get more pay. The ringleaders were imprisoned and most of the soldiers dismissed from the Army. The president began to create a new politicised army starting with the members of the TANU Youth League, under the control of African officers of the former Tanganyika Rifles – many of whom had been detained by the mutineers. He was successful. The new army proved to be up to the mark in the war with Uganda and has never since any serious trouble.

Where was President Nyerere for the first two days of the Mutiny ? Read the book and you will find out on page 117.

David Brewin

Articles in Journals

Malongo R.S. MLOZI, Urban agriculture: ethnicity, cattle raiSing and some environmental implications in the city of Dar es Salaam. African studies review, 40 (3) December 1997, p.1-28.

The oil crisis, political strife, economic mismanagement, drought, increased population, distorted industrialisation and the lack of job creation. These are, without doubt, some of the main reasons for the worsening of Third World economies, and in this interesting study, Malongo Mlozi blames them for “the attrition of civil servants’ efficiency, a decline in real incomes, increased balance of payment problems and low productivity”, all of which encouraged African governments, including Tanzania’s, to “involve the labour force in informal sector economic activities such as urban agriculture”. He also stresses, however, the extent to which this has led to “widespread environmental degradation.”

The practice of raising cattle among members of the 33 ethnic groups in the city is no longer the exclusive preserve of the poor. It is the second largest source of employment, after petty trade and labour, and 74 per cent of urban farmers, many of them quite wealthy, keep livestock.

The author describes quite dramatically the degrading effect on the environment. Animal dung acts as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, flies and the mosquito, causing malaria, yellow fever, tetanus and elephantiasis, and giving great concern to a city council already struggling with the impact of poor refuse collection facilities and malfunctioning drainage systems. The resultant poor air quality causes breathing difficulties for the elderly, the very young and asthma sufferers. Add to these the risks of water pollution, especially of shallow wells, while nitrates in water are especially harmful to babies. Antibiotics used in the unsupervised treatment of cows can cause disease in humans, because of bacteria resistance, and people may drink contaminated milk because of the absence of testing procedures. Milk from these sources is sold to schools, hospitals, bars, restaurants and army barracks. “The economic propensity to get money from milk sales takes precedence over the need to heed and cater adequately for the health and safety of customers”, says the author.

Livestock in the city destroy ornamental plants, roads, lawns, water channels, telephone lines, parks, fences and traffic signs. They obstruct pedestrians and motorists alike, and sometimes cause accidents, as well adding to soil erosion and damage to buildings, contributing to “urban desertification.”

From 900 inhabitants in 1891, the city now has an estimated population of 2.2 million, with more than 18,000 cattle. Evidence suggests that the wealthier residents, able to buy cows more easily, raise them in “islands of affluence”, where they have considerable administrative, economic and economic power.

The author believes that Tanzania’s “inability to adequately remunerate the elite, bureaucrats and other workers” lies in part on its past dependence on the main export crops – coffee, cotton, tea and sisal – and its subsequent decline. They started to raise cattle to solve their money problems and were encouraged by a government faced with a poor economic outlook and “a particular culture of status and rewards among senior officials, public institutions, the ruling party and private companies” who had political clout and enjoyed privileges which could be used in furtherance of their cattle-raising.

Educational attainment also accounted for the predominance of the elite. In colonial times, for instance, the Chagga group, who raised 40 per cent of the cattle in the city, were quick to show interest in western education, primarily as a way to strengthen their own political and economic well-being. It occurs to me, however, that in the course of this admirable sturdy, Mr. Mlozi may have overlooked a very useful source of research material – the essential involvement of the women, and especially the Chaggas, renowned for their enterprise culture, and self-help for themselves and their families.

TROPHY hunting as a sustainable use of Wildlife resources in southern and eastern Africa
Journal of sustainable tourism, 5 (4) 1997.

Tanzania had three National Parks at Independence; today, to its credit, there are thirteen. In June 1997 Newsweek reported that a World Bank representative said of Tanzania’s National Parks, “To my mind the tourism is the best in Africa. Nothing touches it. Nothing.”

Tourism in Tanzania, from a base of $10 million in 1987, brought in $300 million in 1996. The next year visitors increased by 59,000 to 359,000, while Kenya’s increase that year was only 11,000. Tanzania expects half a million visitors by the year 2000, who will bring in $500 million.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature warned in October 1996 that one quarter of the world’s mammals are faced with extinction. The Journal of sustainable tourism states that “Preserving wildlife in a pristine state on a large scale is no longer feasible in view of continued human population increases, economic development”, etc. But the Serengeti Park, and others in the country might, at the present time, qualify for large scale pristine state status.

Indigenous people are an integral part of the ecosystem. In Nyaminyami, Zimbabwe, there was a typical African cattle overgrazing problem. The game had, as a result, left the area. When it was proposed the cattle should be fenced off from the spoiled, wild bush, but that the local people would benefit, they set to and built the fences themselves. In time the land recovered, the game returned, overseas hunters were admitted to the area, and fees paid to the local people, who at the same time could keep meat and skins, or sell them, as an efficient mobile processing plant followed the hunt to maximise these products quickly. Game farming the bush, for income, with wildlife numbers carefully monitored and the cattle controlled, paid off, and the people of Nyaminyami saw this as something worth preserving for themselves.

Sustainable hunting must he based on quotas, but quotas can rarely be set on sustainable levels as population estimates are known to be unreliable. But it is argued that hunting is less ecologically damaging than tourism, and that it needs fewer services, and also that it takes place in areas tourism could not easily access. Hunting revenue may amount to each hunter paying $1,000 a day, which may amount to $30,000 per person for a safari, with government charges for each animal killed rising, in the case of elephant, to $7.500.

Tourism in Tanzania looks set to boom, so long as the tourist enjoys vast wilderness with magnificent scenery, and packed with wildlife. In 1967 the Serengeti boasted 180,000 zebra, 700,000 gazelle and 340,000 wildebeeste – all attended by several hundred lion. Today the wildebeeste total 1.8 million. But what might happen if the Serengeti borders were extensively hunted?

Is it possible that so many lions might be shot just outside the Park, that the populations of zebra, gazelle and wildebeeste could rise uncontrolled into chaos and self-destruction from overgrazing? How many National Parks are bordered by hunting areas? Is there a risk that ‘fast buck’ hunting fees and inaccurate quotas may start to bite at the stuff that tourism is made of? Government officials in tourism, an industry set fair for many years to come, might be well advised to watch over their colleagues responsible for hunting whose golden goose may become caught in the crossfire of overhunting. For unless quotas are scientifically sound, ‘controlled’ hunting may become, in fact, the end of the game, and indeed, theirs.
Grahame Dangerfield

Publications Noted

Abdin CHANDE, Islam, ulamaa and community development. Austin & Winfield, 1997. 277p., ISBN 1-57292-016-5, £41.50 (paperback)
Distributed in the u.K. by Eurospan, 3 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8LU. A study, based on a small Muslim village in Tanzania, of the conflicting impact of Islam and secular western social influences.

FOREIGN aid in Africa: learning from country experiences; edited by J. Carlsson, G. Somolekae and N. van de Walle. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1998. 224p., ISBN 91-7106-415-X, SEK200; £18.95.
The East African content is two chapters dealing with Kenya and Tanzania. That on Tanzania is entitled: Aid effectiveness in Tanzania with special reference to Danish aid.

Deepa NARA YAN, Voices of the poor: poverty and social capital in Tanzania. Washington, D.e.: World Bank, 1997. 96p., ISBN 0-8213-4061-1, price uncertain. (Environmentally and socially sustainable development studies and monographs series; no.20)

Moving Image and Performance

AFRICA close-up; produced by Joseph Towle. 1997. Videocasstte, 28 minutes. Distributed by Maryknoll World Productions, P.O. Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308, U.SA US$16.95. (Children of the Earth series)

This two part video introduces school-age children to their counterparts in two different African settings: the inner city of Cairo, and the town of Bariadi in rural northern Tanzania.

The first part looks at the life of a 15 year old girl, Samah Ibrahim, whose father is an immigrant worker in Kuwait, and has spent seventeen years there, leaving the close-knit family to oversee the upbringing of his children in a public housing settlement.

The second 14 minute segment focuses on 15 year old Bernard Bulemela and his family in a rural settlement in Shinyanga Province. Environmental problems and the struggles of day-to-day existence in a resource-poor region are at the heart of this short study. The video illustrates the hardships that rural families face in acquiring the everyday necessities of water and firewood, and also shows what achievements are being made in environmental conservation and sustainable development.

Each section shows children coping with challenges that are far removed from those of a typical western oriented viewer. But the video doesn’t dwell on deprivations, and to its credit it highlights the strength and resourcefulness of each child and their families, while suggesting the road out of poverty that can lie before them.

The closing image of the Tanzanian section captures this spirit: Bernard’s father gathers his family around the radio each night to listen to the BBC World News, so that they will be knowledgeable about world events. Extracted from World Views Oct.-Dec.- 1997

Hukwe ZAWOSE, one of Tanzania’s leading traditional musicians enchanted a capacity audience at London’s famous Globe Theatre on June 19. Dressed in the traditional costume of his Wagogo people, he played a variety of instruments, sang and danced, accompanied by a young assistant. With deft humour and subtle variations of pace and word and without the aid of a microphone, Hukwe established an immediate rapport with his audience.

This performance was part of a WOMAD concert which included musicians from Madagascar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Among all these very gifted artists he shone as the evening’s star. David Somers