Archive for September, 2001


Britain’s new High Commissioner to Tanzania presented his credentials to President Mkapa on August 9. He is Richard Clarke who has served previously in Caracas, Washington DC and Dublin. Immediately prior to his new appointment he was Head of the Policy Planners in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He replaces Bruce Dinwiddy who bade farewell to President Mkapa on July 25. There has also been a change in the position of Tanzania Desk Officer in the Foreign Office. Claire Lewis who recently returned to the UK from the political section of the High Commission in Delhi has taken over from Jennifer Townson. Meanwhile, six months after the departure of Tanzanian High Commissioner in London, Dr Abdul Shareef, there is still no news about his replacement.



‘Sikudhani Mohamedi Jalala earns her living repairing shoes in her home here, a cinder-block shack in the sprawling, unpaved outskirts of Tanzania’s capital. In her spare time she writes poetry’. So wrote Burton Bollag in an article in the American publication THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION (May 25) Extracts: ‘Some of her poems beseech thieves to return to the path of righteousness. Others warn of AIDS, counselling monogamy or the use of condoms. And in the great tradition of Swahili poetry, a few form part of a dialogue with other bards …. As Ms. Jalala sings her poems, Shani Kitogo, a student at the University of Dar es Salaam who is pursuing a master’s degree in Swahili poetry, hurriedly pulls a notebook out of a handbag to jot down the words. The text will be shared in a research project at the university’s Institute of Kiswahili Research. Established in a different form in 1930, it is, with 15 scholars, one of Africa’s oldest and most important centers of language research …. Swahili poetry, which traditionally has a certain form and number of beats to each line, is often sung -­either to repetitive, Koran-inspired melodies or to modem African ones. Around the time Tanzania gained its independence, in 1961, “poets wrote about political themes,” says Ms. Kitogo. “Now they write about love and day-to-day problems.” …. Scholars at the institute have been collecting poetry and biographical information about Swahili-language poets, past and present, for 10 years. For centuries, Swahili speakers have composed poetry to mark the great and small things of their lives: sycophantic verses to honour local princes and potentates, earthy odes to celebrate village weddings and funerals, philosophical or playful reflections on the meaning of life.

When Kenya and Tanzania were British colonies, the poetry’s ambiguity often made it the only legally publishable way to attack colonial rule. In his poem “Siafu Wamekazana” (“The Ants Have Mobilized”), Saadan Kandoro, a renowned poet, used the symbolism of ants attacking a snake to evoke the idea of a colonial power’s being overwhelmed by the militarily weaker but determined Africans:
Nyoka anababaika, shimoni kwa kujikuna,
Siafu wamekazana, nyoka amekasirika.

(The snake raves, in its hole scratching itself,
The ants have mobilized, the snake is angry) .

….. Today, verse remains a vibrant means of expression in Tanzania. With 270 poets in Tanzania and Kenya interviewed, the poetry project, which Mr. Mulokozi leads, is only half­finished. Written poems and tape recordings of poets reading their works are collected, and biographical information is noted ….. The Swahili institute is playing an important role in a renaissance that has been under way since colonial rule ended. The news media, the university’s vice chancellor, and government ministries call to ask if the researchers have Swahili translations of terms like “e-mail” and “Web site,” says John Kiango, the institute’s deputy director. The institute recently proposed three or four possible renderings for each, and will choose one depending on the feedback it gets.

Every year the institute gleans from the news media, or creates on its own, several hundred new Swahili words. For example, a Swahili word for “globalization” sprang up last fall: utandawazi. It comes from two words: utanda, or “open,” and wazi, or “spread out.”

The UN publication AFRICA RECOVERY (June) included a map of Africa indicating the prevalence of HIV in various countries. Botswana had the highest rate at 36% of the adult population affected followed by Zimbabwe at 25% and South Africa (19.9%). By contrast the prevalence in Tanzania was 8%, the same as Uganda. In Senegal the figure was less than 2%. This was due, it was said, to the country’s early response to the disease, vigorous preventive action, the mobilisation of people at all levels and free discussion following Senegal’s long experience with democracy and the freedom of its press which made it possible to openly discuss the problem.

The first words in a feature headed ‘Security in Africa’ in AFRICAN DECISIONS (May/June) were as follows: “I don’t like answering questions about things going wrong -it feels like you’re tempting fate” -Simon Mears, Assistant General Manager of the Security Group in Tanzania, a company specialising in securing homes, businesses and cash-in-transit. “Touch wood, we haven’t had any serious trouble in Tanzania, although there was one incident in Arusha where our guy managed to dash through the door of a bank with his cashbox, followed by a hail of bullets from six attackers. One of them followed him into the building with a pistol and knelt down to pick up the box, but our guy kicked him in the face and he ran away”. The article went on to explain how the private security industry had mushroomed across Africa in recent years.

South Africa’s BUSINESS DAY (May 30) explained how the South African gemstone company African Gem Resources (AFGEM) last year acquired the rights to mine two thirds of the Tanzanite reserves at Merelani in northern Tanzania. It seemed like a perfect deal. Construction was said to be proceeding according to plan, the aim being to extract some 22 million carats of Tanzanite over the next 20 years. The government was keen to see an end to decades of smuggling and finally to see some tax revenues from Tanzanian exports. Exports of Tanzanite had been estimated at no more than $10 million each year while annual imports into the US alone were worth about $300 million. The article went on the describe the opposition of local miners to AFGEM as explained in another article above. (Thank you David Leishman for this item -Editor).

The people of Msolwa took some persuading that planting trees would be good, not only for the environment, but also for their own pocket. Yes, they could see that trees could provide them with firewood. Okay, so some of the varieties seemed to be good for the soil and, certainly, they were useful for preventing erosion and providing wind-breaks for their homes. But that’s what we’ve got the forest for, they were quoted as saying in the WORLD WILDLIFE NEWS (Winter 2001). Msolwa is one of dozens of villages strung out along the eastern boundary of the 1,900 sq km Udzungwa National Park in southern Tanzania. Msolwa lives in the shadow of a vast mountain range blanketed in a forest of ‘almost unbelievable richness and variety’. Yet WWF and the Tanzanian National Parks Service (TANAPA) have been talking thousands of farmers and homesteaders into planting more and more trees. The need for more tree planting is acute -there may be a vast forest on their doorstep, but it can only take so much deforestation. When the population was smaller, the amount taken for firewood and house building could be sustained, but since a new electricity supply and massive sugar plantation combined some 20 years ago to attract new people to the area by the hundreds of thousands, the toll on the forest has become unbearable. (Thank you Christine Lawrence for sending this item -Editor).

The EAST AFRICAN (May 21) reported that former British army Ghurkhas with terrier dogs have been employed to provide security at Dar es Salaam port. Between November 2000 and March 2001 four containers disappeared from the port soon after being offloaded from ships.

Liv Haram writing in the May issue of NEWS FROM THE NORDIC AFRICA INSTITUTE described her new research project ‘Modernisation and Stress in Men’s and Women’s Lives: African Experiences’ The study is to be conducted in Arusha and the surrounding Arumeru district. She writes that, as in many other African countries, an increasing number of women in Tanzania have chosen not to marry. This option is part of a more general quest for freedom and a desire to pursue their individuality and to live a modem life in town. By avoiding marriage, women refuse to comply with gender ideology, which subordinates women to men, in their capacity as fathers, brothers and husbands. However, to remain unmarried has wide ranging consequences, economically, socially and emotionally. As women traditionally have limited access to scarce resources, such as education, and job opportunities and land, the options for economic independence are few. In contrast to their unmarried mothers and sisters, the ‘unattached’ or ‘single’ women cannot draw on the social and economic support of their in-laws. Nor can they take parental support for granted ….

This was the nickname given to Congo President Joseph Kabila
(30) when he was at school in Tanzania. His recent official visit to the country was described in the EAST AFRICAN (May 21) as more of a ‘home-coming’ to the land where he was raised and educated. The press baptised him ‘Mtoto wa nyumbani’ and he was given a rousing welcome. He went to school in Mbeya, and served for a while in the Tanzanian National Service. He recalled being dropped off from a bus on one occasion at Mikumi National Park where he barely survived being mauled by a lion. During his visit he went to Butiama to lay a wreath on the grave of Mwalimu Nyerere.

As our boat rounds the headland, a couple of dug-out canoes skim out of the bay, tell-tale lines trailing. “People are not supposed to fish here” says Aaron Conrad, one of Chumbe Island’s two resident managers. If local fishermen can’t be here, then what am I doing? I’m scarcely sure and already I’m experiencing twinges of that guilt familiar to weedy liberals who holiday in fragile Eden. But Chumbe, eight miles off the coast of Zanzibar’s Stonetown, is different. It offers its visitors that rarest of tropical holiday luxuries, the option of a conscience that is not merely clear, but positively smug. Declared Global Winner for 1999 in British Airways’ Tourism for Tomorrow Awards’, Chumbe Island Coral Park has created a model in which small-scale eco-tourism funds the island’s conservation and research projects as well as an education programme introducing local schoolchildren to marine biology, ecology and environmental management. In doing so, it turns its foreign visitors into the goodies rather than the villains of the eco-saga. What’s more, it manages to pull this all off without any of the dampening worthiness that so often hangs over a conservation project. “Paradise” peppers every page of the island’s visitors book…… -Juliet Clough writing in THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH on April 29. (Thank you Donald Wright for
sending this item -Editor)

The February issue of the publication COUNSEL contained an article by Andrew Hall following visits to Tanzania to speak at a course for the Department of Public Prosecution’s commercial fraud and white-collar crime section. The article began: ‘June 1999 was auspicious for Joina Siwakwi. The Court of Appeal of Tanzania allowed his appeal against conviction for murder. He was fortunate to be allowed to live, but then he was lucky to be alive having spent eight years in prison, four years on death row. The killing occurred on the 23rd August, 1991 and the victim was his sister-in-law, a widow. She had died of head injuries caused by being struck with a rock. The son later told police that there was, as far as he knew, no enmity between his mother and the accused. No scientific evidence was called to confirm the blood found at the house. Four years after his arrest Siwakwi was convicted and sentenced to death ….. The court-appointed defence lawyer would have been paid the all inclusive fee of Shs 500 -approximately 40p. No defence witnesses were called or other investigations apparently conducted. On appeal four years later the defence argued that the evidence was simply too weak for the verdict to stand. The Senior State Attorney was forced to agree ….. ‘ The article went on: “I asked the Registrar of Appeals whether such delays were uncommon”. “Not at all” he replied. “We discovered in June this year a backlog of 2000 homicide cases awaiting trial. The delay is often five or six years and in one case 11 years where the judge moved district after the trial had started. Our courts are overwhelmed. We simply have not had the funds to try these cases and to find travel and accommodation expenses for judges and witnesses”. (Thank you Mr R S Cumming for sending this item -Editor).

In March the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH published some articles under the heading ‘An Englishwoman abroad’ by Lindsay Hawdon in one of which she described her mugging in Dar es Salaam: ‘My feet kick out hard against the man who has just ripped my earring from my ear and is now trying to pull my rucksack from the cab. I kick him on his right thigh and he punches at my leg. I kick him in the stomach and he stumbles back with a groan. I lock the door. The cab diver is nowhere to be seen. He left me five minutes ago in the heat and dust to ask for directions for the bus to Tanga …. Next day the cab driver finds me again and assures me that he knows where to find my bus. We set off through the tangle of streets. After half-an-hour of honking and screeching brakes the cab stops. “I cannot find this bus. You must pay me now”. I give him his money. I have no idea where I am….. It is then that the motorised rickshaw appears in a cloud of dust thrown up by a passing lorry. “Where we might take you?” the driver asks with a smile that stretches his fat cheeks into two-tight balls. I shout my problem at him and climb in. “Ha Ha” he laughs. “See the wonders of Dar es Salaam” and points towards the walkways, the colourfully dressed people, the bric-a bac stalls, the open barber shops and the fruit and veg piled too high on the slanting shelves …. He takes me to the bus station the following day … I try to give him money. He refuses “Tell people my name is good luck” he says “All I ask is that you remember me to them so that they will know Tanzania is full of good people” ….. (Thank you Roger Searle for this item end for your letter in which you describe your return to Tanzania after 26 years as a sad experience and go on to say: ‘At that time Tanzanian Affairs avoided any criticism whatsoever in its reporting. At least now the articles ring true -but I have no present intention of checking them out! -Editor).

The last issue of Tanzanian Affairs reported, under the heading ‘Until death do us part’, the case of Kirstin Cameron (40) a German national, who had been charged in Arusha with the murder of her estranged New Zealand husband Cliff. The SUNDAY INDEPENDENT (May 12) published the verdict, which was acquittal. The report went on: ‘In his four hour opinion Judge Rutakangwa exonerated Mrs Cameron, suggesting that her husband, a New Zealander, had committed suicide and lambasted the prosecution for failure to produce more than the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence. He further implied that Cameron’s body had been tampered with once it was returned to New Zealand so that a murder scenario could be concocted -the final irony in a case laced with accusations of skulduggery and conspiracy. For two months the dilapidated courthouse amongst Arusha’s jacaranda trees had resounded with complex forensic issues such as ‘high velocity and macro blood spattering’ and ‘blood drops with gravity run off -issues never before presented in the country’s courts ….. In delivering his opinion, peppered with references to Shakespeare, the judge was meticulous in discrediting the prosecution witnesses, including its American forensic science expert and was particularly venomous in his criticism of the Arusha police, who, in failing to secure the crime scene properly, had opened Mrs Cameron to suspicion from her husband’s family. No corroborating evidence was collected and after less than two hours it seemed the CID had allowed the bedroom to be cleaned and the mattress to be burnt. Even the bullet was left to be swept away by Mrs Cameron’s maid …. The Judge’s opinion reflected the anger of many in the community and the judiciary that the outside influence of both the Cameron family and the New Zealand Foreign Office had been brought to bear on the case. Cameron had apparently been troubled by debt and alcohol; he was having an affair with his best friend’s wife and was under considerable stress. (Thank you Liz Fennell for this item ­ Editor).

The TIMES (4th August) reported that nine British passengers on a cruise on the ‘Royal Star’ who had disembarked for a picnic on the island of Shungu Mbili, 20 miles off the Tanzanian coast, suddenly found themselves surrounded by 30 fishermen. They formed a semi-circle shouting and threatening the passengers with a mixture of knives and cudgels. But before the fishermen could attack, a dinghy from the ship reached the shore and six crew members stormed up the sandy beach and rescued them. They had been advised not to take any valuables with them.



The FINANCIAL TIMES, under this heading, gave some prominence in mid-August to a proposal that the UK government is considering issuing a licence under which the British company BAE Systems would export to Tanzania a state-of-the-art $40 million (£28m) air traffic control system. The World Bank and IMF had criticised the scheme as too expensive (they said it should cost about $10 million) and because it had an unnecessary military capability -hence the need for a licence. It would cost about half the annual income received by Tanzania in debt relief. Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry was said to favour the scheme but other ministries opposed it so that a decision might have to be taken by the Prime Minister. Tanzania was reported to be determined to go ahead with the scheme and to have made a down payment of $5 million. Oxfam had opposed the scheme because of what it described as a ‘threat to Tanzania’s sustainable development’. Admitting that, if the British Government refused to give a licence, it could stand accused of acting as a colonial power, the Financial Times insisted that the British Government should stick by its proclaimed principles and should support sustainable development in Tanzania. (Thank you Jill Bowden and Roger Carter for sending this important and topical information ­Editor).



At the end of the three month long trial in New York of four followers of the Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, allegedly involved in the bombing of the Dar es Salaam and Nairobi US embassies that killed 11 Tanzanian, all were convicted on May 29. The jury was out for 12 days before reaching its verdict. The Tanzanian who was involved, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed (27), who admitted helping to make the Dar bomb, got life imprisonment after his mother had flown to America to plead for his life. He was said by his defence counsel to have acted out of ‘deep, deep religious beliefs’ thinking that it was part of a holy war. Among witnesses at the trial were: a former Nissan service manager who is Japanese; a Tanzanian driver who reported that he had sold the Nissan truck used in the bombing for $6,000 to Ahmed Ghailani and Skeikh Ahmed Swedan; a Tanzanian welder who said that Swedan had hired him to alter the truck, make containers for batteries to be stored in the back and drill holes to attach partitions that he was told were for storing fish; and a cleaner who cooked and cleaned for some of the accused at their Amani Road residence. After the bombing Mohamed told an FBI agent that he was not sorry that Tanzanians had been killed. He said “Allah will take care of them.” The US has offered $5 million reward for Osama bin Laden and other fugitives.



The Guardian reported that the government has banned eight magazines and suspended three tabloids for allegedly publishing indecent photographs that corrupt the society and thwart campaigns to combat HIV/AIDS in the country. The Swahili tabloids which have been banned for six months include Cheko, Zungu, Kombora, Mama Huruma and others. The statement cited five issues of Cheko which showed half­naked women. This demeaned them, he said. ‘Publishing pictures of half naked persons seen making love shows that it promotes amorous behaviour and frustrates the move by the government and the society to fight against the killer disease, AIDS. However, the Media Institute of Southern Africa, the Association of Journalists and Media Workers and the Tanzania Union of Journalists jointly expressed serious concerns about the ban and said that the Minister’s action had been “draconian and a negation of freedom of the press and freedom of expression which are core pillars of any democratic and tolerant society.”

Mtanzania reports that the government has decided to supply hospitals and dispensaries with the anti-malaria drug FANSIDAR instead of Chloroquine which is being phased out.

The government has started registering special villages for the Hadzabe community in Arusha region. The community has for many years been living in the bush. Government hopes to educate the Hadzabe Community so that they realise the importance of farming and livestock keeping ­Guardian.

Under the heading ‘Turning henna painting into an art’ Ashura Kilungo writing in The Express (August 5) described the work of Zanzibari artist Shawana Mohamed, who earns her living by painting women with henna, a type of dye used to decorate women with figures and patterns. Extracts from the article: ‘Shawana Mohamed, who was born in Zanzibar and now lives in Dar es Salaam, started enhancing female beauty with henna seven years ago after she had curiously studied older gurus excelling in the intricate art of henna decor, and shot to fame at a very young age. The steep fees for henna demands that the painter be careful, as most people expect to have value for their money after coming out of the painting session with nothing less than what bewitches the male eye ….. the dye gives a reddish-brown finish. Henna, like other traditional cosmetics including wanja, for eye lashes and mdaa which reddens the lips and tongue, is widely used by women living in Bagamoyo, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Kilwa and Zanzibar. Although it has nowadays gained a liberal use among different types of women, it was originally used by female Muslims brides out to attain a gorgeous look during their wedding ceremony. Shawana charges brides Shs 10,000 to Shs 15,000 and women coming to be decorated as a matter of routine between Shs 5,000 and Shs 7,000. In most cases, Shawana creates the designs herself to marry the complexion of the woman.

During celebrations in March on the 50th anniversary of the British Council in Tanzania, Parliament thanked the Council for its assistance. The paper quoted Speaker Msekwa as saying that he was satisfied with the cooperation between the Council and the House and wished it to continue. Council Assistant Director Sharon Crowther launched a ‘Directory of Tanzanian Alumni in the UK’ and said that more than 700 Tanzanians had studied in Britain over the last 50 years – The Guardian.

Minister of Defence Philimon Sarungi told MPs in June that some 15,000 Tanzanians joined the Army during the Second World War of whom 2,225 died. He said that in 1999 the Tanzania Legion with the help of district commissioners had collected the names of 426 surviving veterans. They were given Shs 29.5 million by the British Commonwealth ex Services League.

The School of Oriental and African Studies hosted an exhibition in June entitled ‘Princess Salme – Behind the Veil: the Life and Writings of Sayida Salme’ put together by Said El Gheity, Director of the Princess Salme Institute. The Princess was the only known woman in the 19th century Zanzibari Court, who breaking the tradition, taught herself to write, which she did in secret by copying calligraphy from the Koran onto a camel’s shoulder blade.

Tanzania has been officially admitted to the International Cricket Council (ICC). This means that the national team will now compete in the world championship as an independent team in the same arena as such cricket giants as Australia, Pakistan, India and South Africa.

The Guardian reported on July 20 that during recent months a special police crackdown had identified 103 stolen cars, many stolen in South Africa. Some Tanzanian owners of the cars were protesting that the cars were being identified by South African Insurance agents rather than the legitimate South African owners who had probably claimed the insurance and then sold the cars.

Majira (August 6) reported that young Muslims were trying to take over the management of mosques in Dar es Salaam. The paper quoted leaders of the mainstream Muslim Council (BAKWATA) as saying that the youths were extremists influenced by Iranian ideology and were accusing BAKWATA of being government puppets. Meanwhile, in Zanzibar, according to Mtanzania women have been warned that they would be flogged in public if they were to wear short dresses. The message came in a clandestine letter circulated by a Muslim group calling itself “Lions of God”. In early August this group cordoned off Darajani Street and started attacking women wearing short skirts saying that they were indecently dressed. They beat up one woman and tore her dress before she managed to escape into a shop. She was rescued by police.

Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete has told Parliament that the government had purchased 66 buildings for its embassies to avoid heavy rental payments. Arrears of rent had reached $550,000 in New York, $192,000 in Moscow and $40,000 in Lagos -Mtanzania

An item in the Guardian on August 10 indicated that the MP for Muhambare, Mr Chrisant Mzindakaya’s interests were not confined to sugar (see articles above). He pointed out in the House that research in some countries had revealed that boys grow big breasts after eating chicken because the chickens are fed with drugs meant to be taken by women for birth control. Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye responded by advising poultry keepers to check the feeds they were using for chickens so as to avoid the side effects experienced by men in other countries.

There will be a concert of sacred music in aid of the Mazinde Juu Girls School in Lushoto on September 30th at 3pm at the St Joseph’s RC Church in Wembley. The soprano Una Barry, who has raised money for water and educational project in Tanzania over many years, will give the recital with organist Tim Story. Details: 020 8902 008.



RH R (DICK) CLIFFORD who died in June served for many years with the Tanganyika Government and was in charge of security in the then Chief Secretary’s office at the time of independence.

MZEE SAADAN KANDORO (76) one of the founding members of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and a renowned poet whose writings are widely used in schools, died on July 10. Only six of TANU’s founding members now survive -Daily News.

A former Management Consultant and later Minister for Labour and Youth and MP for Bukoba Rural, SEBASTIAN RUKIZA KINYONDO (57) died from high blood pressure on August 14. He was taken ill at the Parliament building in Dodoma, flown to Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam and then to the Intensive Care Unit at Nairobi Hospital but died before the consultant could see him.

Tanzanians were shocked when President Mkapa announced the sudden death of Vice-president Dr. OMAR ALl JUMA on July 6. Hours before his death, the 60-year-old leader, who had a history of heart problems, was seen in public bidding farewell at Dar es Salaam airport to Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila at the end of his state visit. He had also spent several hours in the afternoon at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair. Thousands of grief-stricken Tanzanians led by President Mkapa and members of the diplomatic corps took part in the sombre funeral ceremony in Pemba conducted on July 15 in accordance with Islamic traditions and with full military honours. After condolences, Wawi residents carried the body to the Mosque and later to the burial site about 200 metres from his home where the army, led by a brass band, took over. Other leaders present included Zanzibar President Amani Karume, Zanzibar Chief Minister, Shamsi Nahodha, former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, former Zanzibar President Salmin Amour. Chief Justice Barnabas Samatta, Chief of the Defence Forces, George Waitara, and opposition leaders including CHADEMA leader Bob Makani, NCCR-Mageuzi Chairman James Mbatia, TLP Chairman Augustine Mrema, Civic United Front (CUF) Chairman Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba and Secretary General, Seif Shariff Hamad and a UDP representative.

At his burial President Mkapa was quoted in the Guardian as calling upon Tanzanians to inculcate love among each other irrespective of differences in political affiliations and religious beliefs, saying that that was what the late Vice President had stood for. “And when we differ, we should still be able to crack jokes, laugh, work together to build our country… ” appealed the President. The President praised the co-operation shown by religious and political leaders during the funeral arrangement and service saying that was a true image of Tanzanians. The Institute of Production Innovation (IPI) of the University of Dar es Salaam had earlier expressed its sorrow after losing one of its principal partners in technological development, the environment and poverty alleviation issues. Dr Omar used to invite 15 to 20 sheikhs to his house each month to pray for peace and unity, resolved many quarrels between Muslim factions and, as one Sheikh put it: “He did not use his position to enrich himself”.

ROBERT (ROBIN) C H RISLEY (84) who died on June 28, was in the administration in Tanganyika from 1940 to 1965 and spent his last years there as Deputy Commissioner for Cooperative Development when the cooperative movement was expanding rapidly. He did much to help in the development of cricket in Tanzania.

BRIAN J J STUBBINGS (85) who died on July 8 was in the administrative service in Tanganyika from 1939 and was the last British Provincial Commissioner in Arusha. In his final years he held a senior position in the Tanzania Sisal Growers Association. (Thank you Randal Sadleir and Nigel Durdant­Hollamby for providing this information -Editor).

SIR ROGER SWYNNERTON CMG, OBE, MC (89), who died on December 30 2000 was President of the Tropical Agricultural Association from 1983 to 1989. He worked in agriculture in Tanganyika from 1934 to 1939 and again from 1945 to 1951 before moving to Kenya where he gave his name to the famous Swynnerton Agricultural Development Plan.




SELECTED STUDIES OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN TANZANIA. Eds. Waheeda Shariff Samji and Alana Albee. Dar es Salaam: Department for International Development, 2000. 103 pages.

TANZANIA WITHOUT POVERTY. Arusha: HakiKazi Catalyst, 2001. 36 pages.

These two booklets are funded by the British ‘aid’ department DFID, but the editors and writers are Tanzania based and the focus of both publications is the poverty reduction programme in Tanzania. ‘Selected Studies’ is an academic treatment of several aspects of the current approach to civil society, while ‘Tanzania without Poverty’ is a popularising version of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper which emanates from the Vice President’s Office (it also exists in a Kiswahili text). Both are enhanced by ‘Masoud’s hard hitting and sometimes agreeably cynical cartoons.

In Selected Studies the overview of civil society in Tanzania by Stefan Kossoff is the most accessible article for a non specialist reader. The author writes with the confidence that comes from a staff post under a major donor, and states the downside as well as the favourable aspects; typically for Tanzania, the picture is a mixed one between pluralism and authoritarianism. He discusses the numerous categories of civil society organisations: human rights and legal aid, democracy and political empowerment, the churches and the media, anti corruption, independent research organisations and the political parties. The dominance of donor strategies in the field is clearly established, and the risky area of donor involvement in ‘political empowerment’ is touched upon. The second chapter (Dangor and Nadison) is written from a South African base, and draws interesting experience from there to illuminate the Tanzanian problem. It is perhaps a little optimistic about the results achieved, and emphasises the special areas of gender and disability which are subsumed in Tanzania by the general term ‘vulnerability’. Other chapters deal with the means of supporting village groups and organisations (Hobbs) and the field experience of SAW AT A (Saidia Wazee Tanzania) working with the elderly in Kagera District (O’Donoghue).

Tanzania without Poverty is more clearly a government based policy document, though infinitely more open to public opinion than were earlier ‘official handouts’. Political reform is touched; upon, but regarded as outside the core interest of poverty reduction. The language of the booklet is modest, and it amounts to a serious attempt to set out the whole government approach to development and poverty reduction, in simple language. Targets, activities and indicators are explained, together with a section on the sources of funding.

Civil society has been ‘flavour of the month’ in the development field for some 10 or 15 years now. As Hyden analyses it, earlier thinking was about development -for the people, then with the people, until it became development by the people with the thinking was about development -for the people, then with the people, until it became development by the people with the support of governments and donors. This was not so much a change in ideology, but rather a pragmatic response to the failure of the former’ aid’ efforts to achieve useful objectives. It slowly became apparent to donors that bureaucracy and inefficiency in government prevented any cost effective results. By the 1980s this conclusion was reinforced by general financial breakdown, which made even governments anxious to hand down responsibility to other groups in the society. Community inputs were required if any progress was to be achieved towards the aim of poverty reduction but could they be obtained if the state itself was centralising and clientilist?

The problem is that civil society organisations are not equipped for the essential tasks of questioning state officials and defending individual freedoms; having no defined position in the state they easily become coopted by the rich and powerful elements in their community. By their nature they are not competent to practise legitimate, inclusive and accountable decision making over public resources. This is the role which local government is designed to play, yet donor agencies have currently left local government on the back burner while they pursue development through non-state organisations. In this reviewer’s opinion it is a dangerous choice. Popular energies will be released, if at all, through political decentralisation: voting by electors, budgeting and service administration and development planning by councillors. If poverty reduction programmes are to be self sustaining, they need to give more attention to the political. To quote Markovitz, state and society do not stand apart in Africa, (on the contrary) all interests seek the support of the state. In the final assessment it will be local democracy, in whatever form, that alone can give lasting results.
Philip Mawhood

REASON FOR HOPE. AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE. Jane Goodall and Philip Berman. Thorsons 2000.282 pages. £8.99.

Jane Goodall’s autobiography (structured by Philip Berman) is a ‘book and a half packed with so many interesting stories, thoughts, happenings that I dare not miss a paragraph but had to read the whole book before venturing to review it. lane is probably known to most of us as the lady who went to live among the chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania. Her interest in all living things began early; at 18 months taking a handful of earthworms to bed, she hurriedly returned them to the garden on being told they would die in bed. At four years old she hid in a hen house for four hours in order to discover how hens laid eggs.

Her dream of going to Africa was realised in 1957 when she was invited by friends to Kenya. This led to a meeting with Dr Loius Leakey and she became his personal assistant, accompanying him to Olduvai Gorge. Louis was interested in research into chimpanzees who are man’s nearest relative. He wanted someone with a ‘mind unbiased with scientific theory’ but with a love of animals and ‘monumental patience’. Jane filled the bill and went to Gombe, near Kigoma, in 1960 aged 26 and accompanied by her remarkable mother for the first five months, as required by the British government.

During these early days Jane made the amazing discovery that chimps used and ‘made’ tools; that is to say they selected and modified twigs or grasses to extract termites from their earth; mounds. Hitherto it was thought that only man was a toolmaker. Now Louis was able to obtain a grant from the National Geographic Society for Jane to continue her research.

In the book Jane describes her observations and her growing empathy with the chimps, pointing out that personalisation of animals was rather frowned upon in scientific circles at that time.

Between 1964 and 1974 lane obtained her PhD in Ethology (Animal Behaviour) from Cambridge and later became an adjunct professor at Stanford University. She married Hugo van Lawick, Wildlife photographer, and they had a son, commonly known as Grub. Together they built up the research station at Gombe which was to become ‘one of the most dynamic interdisciplinary field stations for the study of animal behaviour in the world’.

Jane’s second marriage was to Derek Bryceson, whose story she tells briefly. He was then a much respected Tanzanian MP and Director of National Parks. Very sadly, Derek died after four years of marriage. Jane found healing in the forests of Gombe, in the wonderful diversity and resilience of nature, and in the spiritual power she feels so strongly is around us. The book contains a lot of philosophical thought about life and death, good and evil. Jane has a tremendous ability to recall and relive her very full life. Personal encounters with many interesting people make fascinating reading and indeed help us to put life into perspective. The back cover of the book calls Jane ‘one of the most extraordinary and inspiring women of the 20th century’. I think I agree.
Christine Lawrence

NOTE: the Jane Goodall Institute, with branches in several countries, comprises a) the Gombe Research Centre; b) TACARE (Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education) established in 1994 with funding from the European Union; it addresses the inter-related problems of poverty and unsustainable land use in 30 villages; c) Sanctuaries for Orphan Chimps in Congo Brazzaville, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania; it rescues chimps illegally taken from the wild and d) ‘Roots and Shoots’ -programmes for young people started in Tanzania in 1991 and now in over 20 countries.

The Jane Goodall Institute-UK is a registered charity number 327858, and is open for membership. Jane’s books may be bought from it -15 Clarendon Park, Lymington, Hants S041 8AX


Bill Sutherland became well known in Tanzania from 1953 when, among other things he was a special assistant to the Sixth Pan African Congress in Tanzania. This book includes contributions from many leaders in the fight against colonialism including Julius Nyerere and Salim Ahmed and examines the strategies and tactics they used in their struggles.

Melinda Robins. This book is said to ‘take a critical feminist approach in an effort to recognise the complex relationships among economic and political systems, the media industries and those who produce its content. .. male and female journalists speak candidly about their experiences … we are taken home with the researcher (who lectures at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts) as she struggles with the ethnographic tradition and the realities of her day to day experiences.’

GENDER, F AMIL Y AND WORK IN TANZANIA. C Creighton and C K Omari. Ashgate. 2000 308pp. £50.

ZANZIBAR: THE BRADT TRAVEL GUIDE. 4TH EDITION. 2000. 296 pages. £12.95. Obtainable from the Africa Book Centre, Covent Garden. Tel:020 7240 6649.

POLITICAL CULTURE OF LANGUAGE. SWAHILI, SOCIETY AND THE STATE. A new edition. Ali and Alamin Mazrui. USA. Institute of Global Cultural Studies. 305 pp. £12.95. From Africa Book Centre. Comprises essays on Swahili and its uses in markets, mosques and politics in East Africa.

SWAHILI-ENGLISH; ENGLISH-SWAHILI DICTIONARY. Nicholas Awde. Hippocrene Books Inc. New York, 2000. 586 pp. Large pocket size. $19.95; in London it can be obtained at prices varying from £13.99 to £17.50. It claims it has over 35,000 entries.

The second edition of the TUKI ENGLISH SWAHILI DICTIONARY. Institute of Kiswahili Research, University of Dar es Salaam. 924 pages compared to the first edition’s 882 pages. London price of £30. (Thank you Peter White for letting us know about these two dictionaries -Editor).

TANZANIAN ARTS DIRECTORY. UK. Visiting Arts. 1999. £10.00.
A PLAGUE OF PARADOXES: AIDS, CULTURE AND DEMOGRAPHY IN NORTHERN TANZANIA. Philip Setel. Chicago University Press. 2000. 308pp. £13.50 (paperback).

BY THE SEA. Abdulrazak Gurnah. Bloomsbury. This well known Tanzanian novelist’s latest novel tells the story of a journey. Of necessity Saleh Omar has fled Zanzibar to seek asylum by the grey waves of the English Channel and this is the story of his experiences.


EXPANSION OF PRIVATE SECONDARY EDUCATION: LESSONS FROM RECENT EXPERIENCE IN TANZANIA. Gerard Lassibille, Jee-Peng Tan and Suleman Sumra. Comparative Education Review, February 2000.

The education scene in Tanzania is depressing. The post­independence attempt to link enrolment in schools with manpower projections, at a time when manpower planning was in a crude handicraft condition, has been disastrous. ‘Tanzanian children’ the paper states, ‘have amongst the lowest probability of attending secondary school of all children in the developing world.’ The enrolment rate has increased from 3 per cent to about 5 per cent! And the ones who get there have often been robbed of their opportunity of making adequate progress by the low quality of the primary schools they attended. The children are already so handicapped when they arrive at their secondary schools that they cannot make rapid progress there, without remedial attention.

This is not surprising. In common with many African countries, the share of the budget spent on education has been in steady decline. Since the brave days of the 60s and 70s, the amount of the budget spent on education has declined from 17 per cent to about 11 per cent between 1985 and 1994. The assumption is that it has continued to decline from the 66 per cent enrolment figure of 1996. Universal primary education seems to be further away every year, however many statements of intent to provide education for all are enthusiastically signed.

Private education is usually available for one or more of three reasons. The first is that there is not enough public education to go round. Since virtually all parents worldwide would like their children to have a better education than they have had themselves, they are ready to make any sacrifice to send their children to school. The second reason, which applies in countries where there is already adequate provision, is to provide an education of a higher quality than is to be found within the public school sector. This is usually done by attracting the best teachers by paying higher salaries, teaching in smaller classes and providing superior facilities. The third reason is to provide an education which gives access to the higher social classes in society. Where the fees are very high, only the rich will have access to the schools, and the next government and commercial ruling elite can be formed in schools to provide the next generation of rulers.

The third type can be found in most cities and large towns in Africa, as in other countries, by seeing which schools have the largest number of expensive cars parked outside, when children leave at the end of the school day. Nor are these schools necessarily private, though they generally are. It would be surprising if these schools do not exist in Tanzania.

For the most part, however, private schools in Tanzania are in the first category. They are simply filling a gap, making available a number of school places, which would not otherwise be available, ensuring that some children are going to school, who would otherwise not be able to do so. Unsurprisingly, the quality of education they provide is not always superior to that provided in the public schools.

They are governed by government regulations which are as restrictive as those which apply to public schools. They depend almost exclusively on school fees and private contributions to defray both recurrent and capital costs. While they pay slightly more to their teachers than public schools, most of them find it -impossible to give permanent contracts; the 39 per cent holding such a contract in the private schools compares poorly with the 95 per cent in the public schools. Consequently they depend very largely on new teachers, who are not faced with the necessity of sacrificing an existing contract. Consequently most heads in public schools are better qualified than those in the private schools, most of whom have no other experience of being head of a school.

Nevertheless the private schools are fulfilling their purpose in creating opportunities for many more children to go to school than would otherwise be possible, and while their results are not on the whole as good as those in the public schools, the difference is marginal. ‘In terms of examination results, students in both sectors perform equally poorly, with students averaging no more that one-third correct on the Form 4 examinations.’

The authors of the paper have the usual difficulty in accessing statistics that are really up to date, and in making adequate comparisons between the two systems they are studying. But they make a valiant attempt, and their paper provides a good deal of information which is highly suggestive for future decision making, while their final section provides some important proposals. Let us hope that they will be read not just by those who read journals like Comparative Education, but by policy makers who can actually provide change.
John Turner



I enclose my cheque to renew my subscription to Tanzanian Affairs for two years. The time I spent in Tanganyika from 1950 to 1962 was perhaps the happiest and certainly the most interesting part of my working life and I value greatly the link that Tanzanian Affairs represents with that time. I’m sorry to say, however, that the space devoted by TA to politics seems to me to be excessive. Politics is after all largely concerned with sharing out the economic cake and I am personally more concerned with the wealth generation that the economic cake represents rather than with its division. When there is plenty of wealth, all citizens benefit, but if there is not enough wealth the citizens are impoverished. Mentions of economic activity in TA are very broad brush -how, for example, are the old economic staples of cotton, coffee, cashew nuts and sisal faring nowadays? My particular interest lies in transportation, which is rarely mentioned although economic activity can only take place effectively in the presence of properly functioning transportation systems. One of my fondest memories is of the train from Dar es Salaam arriving punctually at Kigoma station in the early morning; I wonder if it still does so. TA sometimes mentions aid money being provided for some road or other, but rarely deals with the tiresome business of road maintenance. Is a road project added to the transportation capital by aid valued properly and cared for, or is it neglected and allowed to deteriorate until another lot of aid capital is needed to refurbish it? I found the review of ‘Complimentary Water Systems in Dar es Salaam: the case of water vending’ absolutely fascinating. But I should very much like to know the reasons for ‘the inability of public utilities to provide secure water provision to Dar es Salaam households’ .
Stephen Bowman

I am indebted to you for this constructive criticism which has been noted. A questionnaire sent to readers of TA some time ago indicated that political development was the subject readers were most interested in. You will be pleased to note that our Subscriptions Manager, Mary Punt, has persuaded Janet Horsman (many thanks to her) to write a piece for us on the roads of Tanzania as they appeared to her in July this year. As this article arrived just as we were going to press we have had to squeeze into two places. Meanwhile in Parliament much praise was bestowed by opposition MP’s on Minister for Works John Magufuli for striking off the register 859 out of2,210 road and other construction contractors for failure to abide by the conditions of their registration. The Minister told parliament that his budget allocation for this year of Shs 167,508,471,600 would cover, inter alia, rehabilitation and maintenance of the central corridor and Mtwara road projects, the 508km Dar-Kibiti-Lindi-Mingoyo road and major bridges -Editor.

Thank you for another excellent bulletin. The item on p.24 [TA 69] is seriously dismaying and indicates that political lobbying is still needed -any expert comment you can include on this matter will be appreciated. Archbishop Mtetemela is concerned about current education in Tanzania -perhaps the Christian Council of Tanzania should challenge the government over it. May I add a note to the obituary of Eliewaha (NB spelling) Mshana (p.31)? He was the first Tanzanian to write an original work for the Swahili theological textbooks programme. It was a commentary on Ga1atians entitled ‘Tumewekwa Huru’, Completed in 1975, it included his own translation from the Greek text and was based on his lectures delivered at The Baptist Theological College, Arusha. His desire was that African culture should be properly recognised and that Christians should work out culturally appropriate ethics and lifestyles for contemporary Africa. I received much personal encouragement from Eliewaha in our endeavours to develop the theological book programme in Swahili.
Roger Bowen