Archive for May, 2002


Exchange Rates: £1 = Shs 1,400. US$1 = Shs 990

At a recent Britain-Tanzania Society Seminar on development Ronald Fennel provided some useful economic data as an introduction to his presentation:

‘The population of Tanzania has increased fourfold since independence 40 years ago. At 32 million it compares with Kenya’s 28 and Uganda’s 20 million.

Tanzania is endowed with a rich resource base, easy geographical access to international markets; it has a peaceful and politically stable environment and has been able to forge a cohesive national identity. And yet it is among the 10 poorest countries in the world. GNP per capita is $280, compared with Kenya $360, Sub Saharan Africa average of $500 and East Asia and Pacific $970.

Yet there are encouraging signs in macroeconomic performance particularly since Mkapa’s presidency has built on earlier gains. Inflation is down from 30 percent in 1996 to 5 percent last year. Foreign Exchange Reserves have grown from the equivalent of 6 weeks imports in 1998 to 20 weeks in 200 1. Tourism has grown from 1.8% of GDP in 1997 to 7.6% in 1999 worth just under $600 million. Exports stand at $937 million but the trade gap is large with imports at $1.57 billion -including donor funded imports ….. .

Social statistics are not so encouraging. Tanzania’s place on the UNDP Human Development Index has slipped from 127th in 1991 to 156th in 1999 out of 174 countries. Real income per head is only thirty percent higher than at Independence. 50% of the population live on less than $1 a day. Life expectancy at birth is 45, compared with 48 for Kenya and 69 for East Asia and the Pacific.

Tanzania has been the largest recipient of donor aid in sub Saharan Africa in absolute terms: $16.8 billion between 1970 and 1996. Starting with $38 million in 1970 it reached $1.2 billion in 1992, fell to $830 million in 1996 when ‘policy reform wavered’ and is back up to $1.1 billion this year. This amounted to almost $40 per capita in the 80s and 90s, well above the average’ for Sub Saharan Africa and above the ‘successful reformers’ Ghana and Uganda.

These inflows have to be set against the debt burden, the present value of which was $4.9 billion in 1999. As the IMF reported Tanzania has established a solid record of economic performance over the past several years, thereby enabling it to access substantial debt relief. Annual debt service has fallen from $303 million in 1989 to $116 million in 2001, i.e. about 12 percent of current exports.

In a general sense Tanzania’s popularity with the donor community over the years and its recent willingness to engage in economic policy reform has resulted in a favourable flow of aid. There continue to be concerns about the reality of self-reliance, but we all live in a ‘joined up world’ as some leaders of the industrial world continually assert.

Compared with these aid flows, the impact of increased foreign direct investment has been much less significant in financial terms, although it has brought with it entrepreneurial skill and some training that can double the benefits. Foreign direct Investment in 1999 was $183 million and $193 a year later. Yet this investment has been focussed on three main areas -mining, tourism and services/consumption such as breweries and telecommunications. Some investors fear the lack of institutional infrastructure in the legal and fiscal areas. Some Tanzanians on the other hand perceive the infusion of Gulf capital and South African investors as infringing on their sovereignty. Both recognise the need to improve physical infrastructure, an area where the government with donor help is likely to bear the principal responsibility to introduce a maintenance culture.

There is little doubt that many of the economic policy prescriptions adopted by Tanzania over the last two decades (and even before that) have been prompted by the fashions of donor development economists. Tanzania has benefited from intensive study by highly qualified economists of differing political persuasions . …… Ujamaa villages tried to change society too fast. The move to effective privatisation in the 90s was too slow …… ‘

Development of a $600 million surface coal-mining operation in Ludewa district, Iringa region, close to the border with Malawi, is expected to commence at the end of 2003 following successful negotiations with investors. After commissioning in 2006 or 2007 it will have a production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons and is expected to generate 400 MW of electricity. It may also provide energy to a proposed iron ore project in the same district which will process vanadium and titanium concentrates for export and iron and steel products for local and international markets -East African.

Government has stopped issuing licences to clearing and forwarding agents, pending new shipping legislation. The agencies will be allowed to work until 30 June, after which the work will be taken over by the National Shipping Corporation (NASACO). The attorney general’s chamber is now preparing a bill to be tabled before the parliament -Mwananchi. (The Shipping Bill when it was presented to Parliament in April came under heavy fire from MP’s and had to be substantially changed NASACO was heavily criticised The Bill was still being debated when this issue of Tanzanian Affairs went to press -Editor)


France has added Tanzania to the list of 40 countries in its ‘priority zone’ in a strategy to gain more influence in East Africa. Tanzania will now be eligible for more grants than loans. As the first example of this there have been joint army operations in Tanzania financed by and participated in by French forces -East African.

Philip Magani, a CCM MP, has said that it was a well-known fact that Britain and India were the leading trade partners of Tanzania, yet South Africa now ‘determined the country’s economy.’ He said this was probably due to most of the gold going to South Africa. At a meeting of the Parliamentary Finance and Economic Committee, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance said that the Tanzania shilling had been declining due to the recent decline of the South African rand by more than 40% -Mwananchi.



Tanzania’s new High Commissioner in London is Mr Hassan Omari Kibelloh (54) who is presently Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Born in Tanga Region, Mr Kibelloh is a career diplomat who has worked as a Foreign Service Officer for several years. He was Ambassador to Sweden and, later, Director of Tourism in Tanzania. He took his Masters Degree in Social Sciences and also obtained two post­graduate diplomas in Sweden (Thank you Hildebrand Shayo for obtaining this information for us ~Editor).



In sending his condolences to the Queen on the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, President Mkapa described her as “a symbol of love and inspiration to many people throughout the world.” Former President Mwinyi and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minster Abdul Shareef represented Tanzania at the funeral of the late Queen.



Bank Holiday Weekend, Idd el Fitr.
lOam. I’m sitting on this balcony with a wrought-iron railing, nicely symmetrical and painted green. The floors are dark planks of wood and I feel it could be Cuba although I’ve never been there. Perhaps it is something about the mugginess in the air, the tropical heat. The goat-skin chairs give the game away: skinned branches curled to make an uncomfortable frame on which the skin of a goat lies stretched in two parts, the seat and the backrest. I am sure it took a long time to make. It is certainly handmade. Yet it cannot escape being a particular kind of tourist African kitsch.

In Zanzibar, the buildings carry the exotic elegance of old age and times past. The church opposite my Cuban balcony has lost its magnolia starting colours, now dominated by a sooty grey­blackness. It does not look dirty though, more experienced. Below the church, between it and my balcony, lies the old slave market. Now it is a quiet place, like a London suburb before the kids come back from school. It is still, calm, with a young tree gently swaying in the centre of a roundabout. The roundabout is large, and dominates whatever went on there before.

4pm. It was time for lunch. Paying a visit to the families we once stayed with on our respective study periods here, Linda and I started in Michenzani. We climbed to the first floor of the high grey block of flats that are something out of the Mao era. There we met Linda and family. The Honourable CCM MP Remedius Kissassi of Dimani Constituency was immediately obvious as a man of political power and stature. Stockily built, he had that magnanimous yet steely aura of a man used to social occasions and the proper reception of guests. The Hon. Kissassi keeps a humble home for his wife, but an active hand in island entrepreneurship. He is looking for investment in a number of tourist ventures here for someone with the capital and incentive. After eating we moved to the tin-roofed entanglement of Mwembetanga, to see Ibrahim, one of the family I stayed with in 1997, and the original conspiracy theorist. To Ibrahim, the Americans remain the bullies of the world, and the English the tricksters. The French he respects for at least resisting the States, while the Germans remain a silent entity who keep menacingly quiet after the scar they have left on the world. His life-long respect of sorts for the English is tempered by their weak leadership, which hangs on the arm and every word of the arrogant Americans. He says he smells in the air the scent of a third world war, because of that article in NATO that brings all members into battle. I say I think he is being a little pessimistic. He raises his eyebrows. He is concerned the Americans may try and bomb more sand, dust and poverty in Somalia. Ibrahim sees both America and bin Laden/AI Qaeda with one eye: as terrorists, and supports neither, if indeed bin Laden can be shown to be guilty. He says he supports no man or group that kills or injures innocent people. His support lies with the cause of social justice and representation. As a man once made to stand up to his neck in a room full of shit with only the flies for company, as part of a seven year sentence for his political associations, it is not hard to understand his fascination for power, politics and human rights.

So we put the world to rights and agreed to a celebratory lunch tomorrow for the second day of Idd el Fitr; the feasting after the fasting of Ramadan. A relaxed feeling grew with Ibrahim’ s generous manner of warm speech and open interest in people, and really settled upon us as we returned in the warm afternoon sunlight to the St Monica hostel for coffee on the balcony.

Ibrahim’s view of international politics was to some degree paralleled in an alleyway on our route home. Three wizened old men in long white kanzu said they did not take sides in this war on terror. They were just waiting for some evidence as to who had actually done what before they made judgement Another man, this time a Christian with a straw hat, sipping coca-cola, was fatalistic. We don’t have a part in what goes on abroad, it is nothing to do with us, he said, but we do believe in peace here. Back on the balcony, the church had become home to a practicing choir, and the dulcet tones of well-known Christmas carols took us downstairs and past the roundabout and into the church to hear the harmonies. Their soulful rendition of Silent Night with bases, tenors and sopranos perfectly pitched made me feel for once a long lost childhood spirit of Christmas. As the afternoon wears into evening and the call to prayer resumes, the mellow feeling will no doubt continue, but accompanied with a more exotic feel.

6.38pm. Dusk falls, and the muezzin (prayer callers) have begun, simultaneously with the revving of engines, and an alarm call to bring all men to the mosques for the dusk prayers of Idd el Fitr. At least three mosques near the balcony compete for maximum sonic vibration while the choir sings valiantly on. Their harmonies return to the ear in the gap between the call itself and the beginning of prayers, then are drowned again.

Zanzibar picks up at dusk, the place is cool enough for people to walk around again and visit friends and relatives; the deadening heat kept at bay until the morning. Celebrations for Idd should have begun now, but an outbreak of Cholera that is only just dying down, has meant the colourful candlelit stalls at Foradhani and Mnazi Mmoja have been called off.

With dusk, the birds and bats add their flying performances to an increasingly social fray, but unfortunately do not eat the mosquitoes whose sudden presence mean moving off the Cuban balcony to somewhere with a stronger sea breeze.
Paul Harrison



Few issues concerning Tanzania in recent years have received as much publicity in Britain as the air traffic control saga following massive coverage on the front page of the London GUARDIAN for three successive days (December 18-20). The banner headlines read: JUST WHAT THEY NEED ~ A £28 MILLION AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM; CABINET RIFT OVER SUPPORT FOR BAE SALE TO ONE OF WORLD’S POOREST COUNTRIES; RIFT OVER AGREEMENT WITH TANZANIA; SHORT LOSES IN AID ROW: £28 MILLION MILITARY DEAL TO GO AHEAD;

The London TIMES (March 29) said that last year Clare Short infuriated Cabinet colleagues by taking a high-profile stand against the decision to grant an export licence for an air-traffic control system being sold to Tanzania. Now, in what was seen as an open act of rebellion against her Cabinet colleagues, Ms Short had suspended a £10 million aid package to the country because of the sale. But the article went on to say that the international development secretary was generally regarded as ‘unsackable’, with one minister describing her as a ‘loose cannon that does not sink’.

The GARDIAN (March 20) said that Clare Short saw the issue as a cornerstone of her policy to persuade poverty-stricken and debt-ridden countries to stop wasting their cash on expensive toys so they could spend more on health, education and clean water. She saw her decision to block the project as essential but it had now emerged, following questioning by Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat MP, that when the deal came to the Cabinet committee it had already gone ahead. Most of the equipment had been built at BAE systems and £11 million had been paid as early as September 2000. The article linked the Barclays Bank loan at the low interest rate of 4.9 per cent with the decision of Tanzania on October 10 2000 to grant Barclays a lucrative banking licence to operate in Tanzania. The result had been a huge row at the Cabinet committee meeting with Ms Short demanding that the export licence be refused and the Ministers of Trade and Defence saying it should not. Ms Short was pressing the World Bank to tell Tanzania it was not going to get more help if it persisted with the scheme. The GUARDIAN reported that Ms Short’s action was causing consternation and embarrassment among some of her less independently minded Cabinet colleagues.

A letter in THE LANCET (5th January) quoted OXFAM as saying that the system would cost one quarter of Tanzania’s health budget. The funds could provide basic health care for 2 million people and pay school fees for 3.5 million children. The writer said that Prime Minister Tony Blair should be ashamed to have added to the burdens of Tanzania.

According to the EAST AFRICAN, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was due in Tanzania early in April to review the BEA System. DfID and the World Bank believed that a civil aviation type of air-traffic control system could have been procured for around $10 million. The cost of the system would be about half the country’s annual debt relief. The European Investment Bank was said to have been prepared to give Tanzania a cheaper loan but only for a different type of air traffic control system. Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete was quoted as saying that it was insulting to be told that they had to wait for the World Bank to prescribe what was best for Tanzania.

The SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (21st December) quoted the MP for the Isle of Wight stating that the system had already been built, Prime Minister Tony Blair saying that he would not oppose the deal and President Mkapa as saying that the new radar was needed to replace obsolete technology and that he could not leave air safety “in the hands of God”. (Thank you Ran Blanche for sending this item from Hong Kong ­Editor)

On 23rd March the London GUARDIAN came back again to the issue under the headline ISLANDERS PUT JOBS AHEAD OF SCRUPLES: The Tanzania deal posed an ethical dilemma on the Isle of Wight. The article explained that the factory in which the control system was made was in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. What did the workers at the factory think about the controversy? Most were reluctant to give their views and none wished to be named. Peter, who seemed to a represent the majority, said there were qualms about selling defence equipment to Third World countries but someone would always sell it to them. Another, David, a committed Christian and supporter of the Jubilee 2000 Debt Relief Campaign, said he almost quit his job. “I wanted to distance myself from gaining at the expense of one of the poorest countries”. He had written to the Prime Minister and to Clare Short demanding that the export licence be withheld. His faith and politics led to sleepless nights as he wrestled with his conscience.

THE TIMES reported that Ahmed Brahim (57), the alleged financial brains behind her Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network in Spain was arrested on 14th April. He has been linked to the financing of the car bomb attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998.

An article by James Meek headed “How aid took Tanzania to the classroom” in the London GUARDIAN (March 22) described how British and other foreign aid is being put directly into Tanzania’s central government budget, the only condition being that the budget goes towards reducing poverty. Extracts from the article (which explained the effect of aid on one primary school): ‘Once, Britain would have insisted that a Union flag waved over every pound it spent on aid. Now the cash is pooled with money from nine other European countries and the Tanzanian’s own revenue, losing its British identity….. The old way, grants to specific projects determined by donors made Tanzanians and their government passive, dependent, aid junkies -but it was easy to keep track of how the money was being spent. …The passionate belief of Clare Short is that when a poor country has followed the advice of rich countries by becoming more democratic and liberalising its economy -as Tanzania has done -its government and people deserve to be trusted with the responsibility of distributing aid by themselves …. .In the 1960s, foreigners in short-sleeved shirts came talking of “progress”; in the 1990’s they came in suits and ties talking of “reform”. Now aid givers and Tanzanians talk of many small changes -more modest, more cautious and more real.’

The EAST AFRICAN (March 25) reported that the 51-year-old Muhimbili hospital would soon undergo a $23 million rehabilitation programme being financed with help from the African Development Bank, the OPEC Fund for Development and BADEA. The rehabilitation would include expansion and construction of a new mortuary, new operating theatres, a new incinerator and remodelling of the in-patient wards to accommodate more patients in a clean environment.

THE TIMES (4th January) wrote that a woman who was brought up with a herd of wild elephants was the new face of BBC natural history programmes. Sarah Douglas-Hamilton had been chosen to succeed David Attenborough as the nation’s foremost wildlife presenter. She was born in Tanzania and her first encounter with elephants came when she was just six weeks old. (Thank you Christine Lawrence for sending this item ­Editor).

The LAW ADVOCATE reported in its winter 2002 issue that residents in Dar es Salaam were threatening court action against a cement company that was alleged to be releasing dangerous quantities of cement dust and sulphur dioxide. Residents living near the factory were said to be suffering from respiratory disorders and burning eyes. US E-Law Advocates in the Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team (LEAT) were representing over 5000 affected residents. (Thank you Corletta Johnson for sending this item -Editor)

‘There are plenty of coffee choices in the stores these days but starting today there’s another blend on the shelves. It tastes just as good as the others but it has a very different story’. So began an article in the Jacksonville (Florida) TIMES-UNION featuring “Sweet Unity Farms Coffee” which comes in 12-ounce bags, sells for about $4 and is from Tanzania. The article continued: ‘The new coffee is being brought to the United States by David Robinson (son of the sports great Jackie Robinson) who has lived in Tanzania for 20 years and has formed a farming co­operative which allows small farmers to combine their harvest and manufacture a product that is bringing electricity to their homes and money to their pockets. Starting with 48 farms in 1994 some 350 farms are now participating’. (Thank you Elsbeth Court for this item -Editor)

A new Imax film entitled “Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa” is now showing in selected North American cities. The enormous screen on which it is projected measures some 15 metres in height and 21 metres in width and creates an overwhelming visual experience wrote the EAST AFRICAN (March 25). Audiences are made to feel they are actually ascending the mountain along with a six-member climbing team (including two Tanzanians). The DALLAS MORNING NEWS had described the film as “sublimely photographed, it’s almost a religious experience”.



Government has refused to register two community newspapers. A statement by the Information Department (Maelezo) said it is the government’s policy to allow only Kiswahili and English newspapers. It said there is no law but in the past such newspapers had been rejected in the interest of “national unity.” The two newspapers were to be in Kihangaza, which is spoken in Ngara, and in Gujarati that is spoken by Asians -Mwananchi

Scout headquarters has banned foreign trips for its members. The Chief Commissioner of Scouts said that it had been necessary to take this step after many scouts had used the organisation to seek asylum in foreign countries -Mwananchi.

The new American ambassador to Tanzania, Robert Royall, was described by Secretary of State Colin Powell as a banker, a businessman and a personal friend of President Bush. The new Ambassador said that Tanzania’s support in the war against terrorism was not only appreciated, but indicative of her desire to work for peace and stability throughout East Africa.

The Kilimanjaro National Park Authority has awarded an Italian tourist Bruno Brunod a special certificate following his record-breaking climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in eight hours 34 minutes and 52 seconds. His personal physician said that this had been possible because Brunod was an experienced climber and had done a lot of preparation.

The highly successful Nation Media Group which publishes newspapers and has radio and TV stations in Kenya and Uganda is looking into plans to expand into print and broadcasting in Tanzania before the end of this year -East African.

The Bagamoyo College of Arts was razed to the ground in a fire in February. The Swedish government has offered to rebuild the college ­Guardian

BA has introduced new direct flights from Heathrow to Dar es Salaam. The flight between Dar and Heathrow has been reduced from 12 to 10 hours. At the inaugural flight ceremony British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Richard Clarke, said links between Tanzania and the United Kingdom continued to grow in business and tourism and added that the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Planning and Privatisation), Dr Abdallah Kigoda, had named Britain as the leading investor in the country. BA Manager for Tanzania Saada Juma said BA fights would be leaving Dar at 9.15am on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and arrive at Heathrow at 5.15pm and return flights would be leaving Heathrow at 7.20 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Government has announced its intention to ban the importation of used clothes and shoes. Trade minister Juma Ngasongwa said the aim was to boost local industry; it was degrading to depend on foreign used clothes when Tanzania had its own textile industries -Guardian.

The Temeke Municipal Council in Dar es Salaam has authorised Shillings
5.5 million to buy a gold chain for its mayor. Most of the councillors agreed except the one from CUF who said that municipal schools were in a pathetic condition and often 100 pupils were packed into one classroom without desks. The money should have been used for schools.

422 out of the 499 rare gold and yellow Kihansi toads which were sent to American zoos because they were facing extinction in the Kihansi Gorge because of the hydroelectric power project, have died due to lung worms. However, they have reproduced twice resulting in 348 offspring. Numbers at Kihansi had dropped from about 10,000 to only 100.

President Mkapa has decided to divide Arusha region, the largest in the country, into two separate administrative parts -one to be called ‘Arusha’ and the other ‘Rift Valley’. This will bring the total number of regions in Tanzania to 26 (including five in Zanzibar).



The CHEIF SHEIKH, Mufti Hemed bin Jumaa bin Hemed, died in the Intensive Care Unit of the Muhimbili National Hospital on April 8. The National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) said a special prayer and President Mkapa led mourners at the funeral in Tanga.

“It is with sadness, I am writing to inform you that my husband, ANTHONY GILBERT SHORT (83) died on 30th September, 2001. He and his first wife Jean, who died in 1989, spent about 20 years in Tanzania during the 1950s and 1960s living in Urambo and latterly in Dar Salaam. Tony went out initially to work on the ill-fated ground scheme and later helped to develop an African settlement scheme. He was a supporter of Julius Nyerere’s independence movement and was elected as MP for Tabora in the transition Parliament” -letter from Mrs Joan M Short.



We welcome to Tanzanian Affairs in this issue our new Reviews Editor. He is John Cooper-Poole who took Modern History at Oxford and then, after a Short Service Commission in the Royal Artillery, worked in the National Health Service in Britain. He was a Senior Hospital Secretary at a new referral hospital in Mwanza from 1970 to 1975 and a Hospital Development Co-ordinator in the Overseas Development Administration in London working in the Southern Regions Health Project from 1979 to 1986. He has held other posts in Nigeria, Botswana and the Caribbean .

We are also fortunate that Professor Marion Doro has kindly agreed to review for us American books and journals dealing with Tanzania. She is Professor emerita of Government at Connecticut College, New London, USA and has taught and done research frequently in East Africa. She was Professor of Political Science at the University of Dar es Salaam in 1995 and a UN Election Monitor in the October 1995 elections Editor.

. Ann Crichton -Harris. Keneggy West, Toronto. 2001. 231 pages and 36 illustrations.

In 1993 Ann Crichton-Harris was given a bundle of letters written by her grandfather, Dr (Edward) Temple Harris to his brother Tatham. Sixteen of these were written while Temple was serving in the Indian Army Medical Service in the 1914-18 war. The letters were clearly private ones, not intended for publication, but they gave a fascinating insight into the difficulties, dangers and (often) boredom of the military campaigns in East Africa. Temple gives a graphic description of the disastrous sea-borne attack on Tanga in November 1914, when the German defenders routed a far larger Anglo/Indian force. After the British withdrew he stayed behind to care for the wounded, but was repatriated to Kenya two days later under the terms of a local armistice.

The letters are particularly valuable for the light they throw on the stalemate throughout 1915, when the British generals were forbidden to mount any major attack (for fear of another Tanga-like defeat) and the Germans constantly harassed the vital Mombassa-Nairobi railway. Temple was stationed just north of the German East Africa frontier at Maktau, a bleak outpost surrounded by thornbush and regularly attacked by German patrols. It was a great relief when General Smuts took command in February 1916 and ordered a general advance into German East Africa. Temple, now Senior Medical Officer in the 1 st East Africa Brigade, reached Taveta (near Moshi) in March, Korogwe in August and Dar es Salaam in September 1916, when he proudly wrote to Tatham on captured German paper headed “Kaiserliches Bezirksamt”

Although extremely modest about his own exploits, there can be no doubt about Temple Harris’s bravery and dedication ~ he was three times “Mentioned in Despatches” and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in June 1917.

After the war he resumed his duties with the Indian Medical Service and was posted as Surgeon to Rangoon Jail. He died of enteric fever near Mandalay in 1927. Ann Crichton Harris is clearly disappointed that her grandfather did not give more details of the military campaign or of his medical duties, and in supplementing his account she is at times in danger of losing the wood (Temple’s letters) for the trees (memoirs of the German commander von Lettow-Vorbeck, the British Intelligence officer, Captain Meinertzhagen et al.). However William Boyd (An Ice Cream War) in his preface rightly describes the book as a “fascinating and beguiling account” and I warmly commend it, especially to those not too familiar with this important phase of the early history of what is now Tanzania.
John Sankey

ZANZIBAR STYLE. Over 200 Photographs by Javed Jafferji, Text by Gemma Pitcher. Gallery Publications (Zanzibar & London) 2001 pp174. Price £29.95. For BTS members £25 + £4 p&p

Javed Jafferji and his family are whole-heartedly engaged in the generation of contemporary culture on Zanzibar, and by association, on all the Swahili coast. Javed is clearly a talented photographer and efficient publisher who appears to be the catalyst for many of the Gallery’s productions, such as “Swahili Coast” the “international travel magazine to promote ecotourism in Tanzania” (from 1998, current issue 08) and the re-printing of vintage photographs and texts that convey the Isles’ plural heritage and evoke nostalgia.

The books authored by Mr Jafferji range from the general “Images of Zanzibar”(1996) and “Tanzania African Eden” (2000) to the particular “Zanzibar Stone Town: an Architectural Exploration” (1998), text by Prof. Abdul Sheriff, a fine quality pocket-size book with a good balance between photographs and informed text -my declared favourite. The mid-range focus of his compendium “Zanzibar Style” written with Gemma Pitcher concerns the Isles’ architecture and interior design which is claimed to be a distinctive compound style. Indeed ” … Zanzibar involves getting to know not just one culture but several, all so closely intertwined that the joins between them are invisible” (P12)

The co-authors boldly set out five kinds of “Zanzibar Style” by characteristic components, also termed “Style” (“influence” is preferable) with sub sections for Details. For example “Swahili Style” has “Details” referring to “Textiles” (e.g. the widespread khanga), “Baraza”, “Tinga Tinga” (painting style of a long established mainland co-operative that has expanded its production to ocean themes) and “Games” (e.g. the ubiquitous bao). Ouch: in my reckoning, the only “Detail” that is a distinctive Swahili characteristic is the “Baraza” as depicted in the photos as an entry way, stone bench (P 45).

The other four components of Zanzibar Style are “Indian”, Omani “Sultan’s”, European “Colonial” and “Land and Sea”. The latter comprises non-urban local people at work and ocean-side resorts, many of which feature staggeringly tall, woven roofs which would benefit from description beyond the material “makuti”: how are they fabricated? As well, no mention is made of similar, fantastic structures along the Kenya section of the Swahili coast, indicating these pavilions are a characteristic of eco-tourist architecture. Additionally, it is a little odd that well over half the photographs show hotel subject matter -like still life’s -with no visual reference to a living tourist or a commercial dhow, the long­standing cultural symbol.

Nonetheless, this book meets its own objective to provide “a glimpse into the glamorous world of “Zanzibar Style” found in the places where tourists or foreigners would visit or stay. The post-script is a list of Contact Addresses for nineteen hotels, rather than a Reference List of books to support the search for an actual Zanzibar Style. This fact suggests the reviewer might well have come from the tourist trade rather than from African art history. But, it is my task and so I take this opportunity to remind readers of the continued under-development of visual art studies in Tanzania, if not all of Africa. In this regard, Gallery Publications, and especially Javed Jafferji, have already made a huge contribution in their documentation of Zanzibari culture and the growth of eco-tourism. They have done no less than create a new generation of Imagery.
Elsbeth Court

NATURE NOTES FROM TANZANIA. Anne Outwater. Mkuki na Nyota, 6 Muhonda Street, Mission Quarter, Kariokoo, P.O.Box 4246, Dar es Salaam. ISBN 9976973748.

What would you expect from a book on Tanzanian wildlife with only 123 pages? In this book life emerges from every page. You can see and hear and feel the creatures in each little scene, and smell them too. Originally published as nature notes in the Daily News, Mtanzania, Kakakuona and the East African, they are here collected in one small volume, 52 episodes, set out month by month.

Anne Outwater’s book combines observation with beautiful prose and meticulous drawing. Each episode depicts in words the details of an intimate scene. It is the words that make the picture, and in each spread is an exquisite pen and ink drawing of a particular animal, leaf, or flower, to complement the text. The page layout is beautifully balanced and credit should be given to Petra’s Maridadi Ltd who designed it.

In one episode a chameleon crosses the road and climbs onto a branch; in another a flock of fruit bats waits in ficus, mango and albizia trees, but not passively, for nightfall; in another Guttural Toads attempt to breed in a puddle which will dry up in a few days -a feat that this species can often achieve by its amazing rate of development -eggs laid one evening will hatch the next morning.

As the weeks go by we visit grassland and forests, pools and rivers, beaches, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. The 52 locations are dotted about the country and islands, but mainly in the north east and around Dar es Salaam. In most of these visits there are just one or two creatures which catch our attention: one time it will be buzzards, another molluscs, another bush babies, another flying termites and their predators. Although much drawn to the smaller creatures, Anne Outwater does also take us to see a buffalo herd, hippos, crocodiles and elephants, and one night she leaves us alarmingly near a leopard in the dark.

The Illustrations, drawn by the author, are scientifically precise and artistically deeply satisfying. She is a master of stippling and other shading techniques. The book includes a list of the English, Swahi1i, and Scientific names of all the plants and animals mentioned. There is a reference list of fifty two books, twenty six of which are specific to east African wildlife, published since 1980. Anne Outwater is an American, resident in Tanzania.
John Leonhardt.

ZANZIBAR IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES, Robert Nunez Lyne, Zanzibar: Gallery, 2001 (1905)
SOWING THE WIND, Maulid M. Raj, Zanzibar: Gallery, 2001 Gallery Publications, PO Box 3181, Zanzibar or 32 Deanscroft Avenue London

Despite being written almost a century apart, these two books share more than the same publisher. They are both characterized by a deep love of Zanzibar, a sympathetic portrait of the British project, and penetrating insights into the salient social and political forces of their respective periods. Of course, the forces described by Raj and Lyne assume their relevance in widely different contexts: Raj describes Pemba in the period leading up to Independence in 1963; Lyne’s book is concerned with the history of the British in Zanzibar from 1798 up to the period when he lived there -1905. The very personal relationship that both authors share with Zanzibar and its administration yields a unique and fascinating perspective on events. It also obscures the more objective analysis of the historical record. Nevertheless, both texts are required reading for anyone interested in the history of Zanzibar and, by extension, the contemporary politics of the Isles.

The current political scene in Zanzibar has been dominated since 1995 by the dispute between the Civic United Front (CUF) and the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi -Party of the Revolution -(CCM). To many this conflict is the modem reincarnation of the divisions that existed at the time of the revolution between the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), the forerunner of CCM, and the Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP), the historical precursor of CUF. The dominant interpretation is that the British forced the Sultans of Zanzibar to end the slave trade without deposing them outright, using them as a proxy for British imperial interests. According to this view, at the time of independence the British tried to rig the elections so that the pro-Sultan ZNP would win, and ensure the endurance of British influence in the Isles.

Both books challenge this version of events by showing the tenuous nature of not only British control of the Sultan and his administration but more importantly, the limited purchase that the Sultan himself had on the population of the Isles. The most stunning example is the endless battle against the slave trade in the Indian Ocean.

The incredible history of attempts to suppress the slave trade is synthesized in Lyne’s book through primary evidence from the archives of the Foreign Office, the India Office and the Admiralty. Through the wealth of correspondence and anecdote emerges a picture of an almost impossible struggle. There are tales of Captains who sail in the opposite direction upon sighting a slaver to avoid the legal proceedings inherent in capturing a slave ship. Rogue slavers raise the French flag to prevent British crews from boarding them, while the French consul refuses to permit British policing of nominally French ships. Yankee slavers fire on the British, while Arab slavers run from them and on more than one occasion, British crew are killed trying to board suspect ships. The intricate politics of securing diplomatic agreements from Persia and then Oman as well as Zanzibar are related in detail, together with the political implications within the British empire of transferring the responsibility for East African shipping from the Indian government to the Imperial one in London.

The struggle lasted a full century and encompassed the policing of shipping, the 1845 treaty, the closure of the market in Zanzibar in 1873 and the abolition of the status of slavery in 1897. Even at the turn of the century, slaves were still being smuggled up the coast from Bagamoyo to the Gulf, either on land or by small boats. The Arabs of Pemba and Zanzibar -“semi-independent chiefs” (106) -had only submitted to the Sultan’s rule after General Mathews’ harsh retribution for the murder, in 1881, of Captain Brownrigg who died in pursuit of slavers. Previously the feudal chiefs had run their estates free from the Sultan’s interventions, with British actions merely inconveniencing their livelihood. According to Lyne, slaving continued through the turn of the century in Pemban waters. The Sultan was thus only recently in full autocratic control and even then purely as a result of British military power.

Such military power did not necessarily yield complete social control over the population. One of the triumphs of Lyne’s book is to show the slowly evolving relationship between the Sultans, the British and the other European powers, particularly the Germans. What began as a game in which the British consul was a pawn in the power politics of the Omani empire in the Indian Ocean ended in a reversal of fortune. Over time, the Sultan came to rely increasingly on the protection of the British, who cleverly exploited factions within the ruling family to assert control over the Sultan. However, by focusing on high politics, Lyne cannot give a sense of life under British administration. Instead, he gives us chapters at the end of the book on ‘The People,’ The Climate,’ and ‘The Plantation,’ as well as detailed figures in the appendices of trade deficits, shipping records, population, customs revenues, soil types, rainfall and crop yields. There are brief glimpses of the impact of British policies on Zanzibaris: Lyne describes the enduring difficulty of the manumission of slaves: apparently it was common to hear men say, “I want work; I am a slave of the government.” (162) Freed men, seeing no profitable distinction in their legal status, merely styled themselves slaves of another master. In the more remote areas of Pemba and Southern Unguja it appears that the situation changed slowly if at all since the request or the granting of freedom was voluntary and administrative control could only be achieved with a police force in tow.

Raj’s book on the other hand is full of rich description of everyday life as well as the machinations of the ZNP party in the run up to independence. There are wonderful stories of night fishing, parties of the young elite’s, and one unforgettably vivid passage about a bullfight. Raj himself is a visitor to Pemba from Unguja Island and his ignorance of local customs and manners is a useful entree for the reader into Pemban peculiarities such as the value of chickens and the tacit acceptance of smuggling.

In fact the administration’s half-hearted attempt to control smuggling is a fascinating insight into the roots of the disagreements that continue to structure Pemba’s relations with the Zanzibar and mainland governments. The young elite’s in the British administration perform their duties, but only investigating on days when they know that the smugglers will not be there or only after tipping off the guilty party. They cannot afford to alienate the powerful merchants and their friends in the government.

Raj’s story of the political developments of that time are less disinterested and suffer, at times, from such obvious bias that, for anyone familiar with the history of the period, it becomes tedious. Nevertheless, the familiar lament from ZNP members of the time about the treachery of the ASP party is related here with first hand information that does raise questions about the interpretation of the Revolution. Raj hints at the complicity of the British and Americans and gives an eyewitness rendering of the split within the ZNP that led to the creation of the Umma party. If the British were indeed on the side of the ZNP why did they not intervene during the revolution? Was the violent takeover really the idea of the ASP? And, why did the Umma party split with the ZNP to ally with what they had earlier caned ‘stooges of imperialism’?

These questions are perhaps only of interest to aficionados of Zanzibar history and the conspiracy theorists who continue to speculate about the origins of the Revolution. The beauty of Raj’s book is exactly the opposite: it is an entertaining and accessible personal history. It may well serve as an introduction into the politics of the revolution, but it is equally readable for its compelling characters, charming stories and loving description of Pemba before 1963. Lyne’s book though, is more self­consciously scientific in nature and therefore more appropriate for an academic audience interested in the history of the nineteenth century Indian Ocean or the ethnography of Zanzibar at the turn of the twentieth. Indeed, for either purpose it is probably indispensable.
Ben Rawlence

THE FLAGS CHANGED AT MIDNIGHT. Tanganyika’s Progress to Independence. Michael Longford. Gracewing. 459 pages. ISBN 0852445512.

This book must surely be one of the most candid and comprehensive Colonial service memoirs ever published. The greatest compliment my first District Commissioner, Donald Flatt, could pay to any of his colleagues was to describe him as a “straight up and down chap”, and the author, Michael Longford is a “straight up and down chap” par excellence, who always calls a spade a “spade” and occasionally a “bloody shovel”!

Nothing is too important or too insignificant to escape his eagle eye, as he frankly but sympathetically assesses the foibles of his fellow human beings like some latter day colonial Samuel Pepys or Horace Walpole. His career was unusual, in that his eleven years as a District Officer in Tanganyika from 1951-62 was but the prelude to a distinguished career in the Home Civil Service in the 21 years that followed, from 1962-83, giving him a better perspective than that of most of his peers. Above all he was blessed with a wife -Jennifer, a teacher at the Tabora African Girls’ Secondary School, whom he married in 1956, and who shared his ideals and love of Africa. The fact that she was also the step daughter of a great Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was neither here nor there … After 3 years or so in the Rungwe and Iringa Districts of the Southern Highlands Province and a few months at Mtwara in the Southern Province 1951-55, when the author vividly describes the varied and fascinating life of a District Officer; for a wonderful year, April 1955­April 1966, he is appointed Private Secretary to His Excellency the Governor, Sir Edward Twining, to whom he became absolutely devoted. The author achieved the rare distinction of not only passing the Higher Standard Ki-Swahili exam, but also obtaining interpreterships in two tribal languages -Ki-Hehe and Ki-Nyamwezi -a very real asset in dealing with the people entrusted to his care.

His spell at Government House Dar es Salaam gave him the opportunity to survey the wider political scene of the Territory as a whole in the run­up to independence, and he always accompanied the Governor, Sir Edward Twining, on his colourful progress throughout the vast country. Better still, he met and fell in love with his future bride while spending Christmas 1955 at the Governor’s delightful lodge at Lushoto in the cool Usambara mountains. He amusingly describes the desperate antics of Dar es Salaam social climbers anxious to secure invitations to Government House to meet H.R.H. Princess Margaret during her forthcoming state visit in October 1956.

The book is beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated by a profusion of evocative photographs, and delightful woodcuts by Stephen Goddard. A contemporary of the author, I must confess to wallowing in nostalgia, as the ghosts of the past drift through the pages of this delightful book, which I strongly commend to anyone remotely interested in the African Continent or the human condition.
Randal Sadleir

Michael Longford’s book will certainly evoke many nostalgic memories for an older generation. But it also gives a valuable insight into the way the country was administered under the British Mandate, which will be of value to a much wider readership. ~ reviews ed.

, 1890-1945 Laura Fair. Ohio University Press and James Currey. 2001. 370 pp.

The fate of freed slaves and other urban immigrants and their descendants in Zanzibar is told from the refreshing perspective of popular culture ­taarab music, fashion, football and Islamic ceremony. Instead of just delving into the often dreary records that usually inform political history, the author enlivens them with the texts of songs and stories and the spirit of sports. The result? You will close this book feeling that you have lived in post-slavery Zanzibar, in a community forged by real people of widely diverse religions, races and ethnicities whose politics rose from daily struggles for survival against poverty and unjust authority. This is history as it should be written ~ it integrates political, economic and social elements.

To assert one’s class status as citizen, no longer slave, one could select a new identity by donning a kanzu or colorful khanga, or a buibui in the Arab (Omani) mode. In the words of the author, as former slaves ‘changed classes and fabricated new identities they also changed their clothes’. For men, football provided an additional means to develop sources of power. Men and women could become property owners, but it was the women who faced up to the authorities. ‘The land is ours. Why should we pay rent?’ freed slaves asked. In 1928 the ‘maskini’ sought an end to advancing private ownership of land by staging a ground rent strike. Reporting a march to Kibweni palace, where three-fourths of the protesters were women, a colonial official found the men ‘perfectly reasonable’ (they were willing to halt the demonstration) but accused the women of ‘hysterical obstinacy’ because they insisted on their community’s rights.

Siti Binti Saad, a child of slaves who became ‘the most acclaimed musician in Swahili history’ personifies the author’s central theme of ‘the often dramatic transformations in personal identities that were negotiated in post-abolition island society’ and how popular culture furthered that transformation. Siti’s lyrics spoke from a working class, female perspective, giving ‘voice to the voiceless’. She sang about corruption, greed, class and gender, criticizing economic and political power, as British administrators, magistrates and Islamic judges ‘favoured the wealthy’ and ‘further institutionalized gender inequality’ . Siti (,lady’) and her taarab band played and sang as regularly for the Sultan and other elites as for the poor; 72,000 copies of their recording were sold by 1931. They recognized and praised the contributions of all cultural groups on the island, helping forge a collective ‘zanzibari identity’ that would not begin to erode until World War H.

“Pastimes and Politics” has endnotes, glossary, and bibliography of both primary and secondary sources.
Margaret Snyder

Report No. 22136. ISBN 0-8213-4941-4

This report focuses on the post-1996 ‘Country Economic Memorandum’, and features both positive and negative factors in Tanzania’s fight against ignorance, poverty and disease. Agriculture continues to be the main base of the economy with its subsequent susceptibility to unexpected crises. However, various macroeconomic policy reforms have served to stabilize the economy, decrease inflation and increase foreign reserves. Nevertheless, the economy continues to grow slowly. Factors causing these negative outcomes include insufficient capital accumulation and insufficient support for transforming agriculture, and “delayed demographic transition”. However, on the positive side the researchers found that there is steady progress toward a market-based economy, with the effect of creating space for a viable private sector that has the potential for sustainability. Topics include structural reforms, inflation rates, demographic transition, education and health care, income distribution, and export development.
Marion E Doro

TANZANIA: IS THE UGLY DUCKLING FINALLY GROWING UP? Arne Bigsten and Anders Danielson. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala. A report for the OECD. pp1l7. ISBN 91 7106 474 5. Africa Book Centre, London or Transaction Publishers, Somerset NJ, USA.

There have been significant steps forward during the 1990’s and there is some basis for optimism, but there is a long way to go before seif­sustained growth is established. Bureaucracy and poor infrastructure impede progress, and a multiplicity of externally initiated projects ties up recurrent costs and manpower. The mechanism for channelling aid needs to be changed in order to return authority, control, and accountability to the recipient country.
J. Cooper-Poole

ONCE INTREPID WARRIORS: GENDER, ETHNICITY, AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF MAASAI DEVELOPMENT. Dorothy L. Hodgson, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2001. ISBN 025333909X 320pp. 16 black and white photo’s, 4 figs.

The author provides a systematic analysis of various aspects of the Maasai culture: its identity and ethnicity factors, questions about land, labor and education, and perhaps most significant, gender and gender relations. Dorothy Hodgson utilizes archival sources as well as extensive fieldwork, and demonstrates how the interaction amongst these several factors have affected their evolutionary development which appears to be a dynamic one. Although government officials tended to promote continuation of the Maasai’s pastoral tradition and life style, their access to development produced new gender hierarchies, positive responses to forces of modernization, and changing attitudes toward education and local as well as national politics. In short, Hodgson’s work depicts the Maasai as a responsive, modernizing force rather than earlier characterizations -indeed, in retrospect, caricatures –which described them as fixed in their ways and immune to change. The author profiles five Maasai men and women in ways that reveal how their responses to external interventions modernized traditional behaviour and preserved a new identity.
Marion E Doro

. Ed. l. Desmond Clark Cambridge University Press. 2001. ISBN 0521200717.
This final report on the local basin in the Kalambo River valley near the famous Falls on the Zambian-Tanzanian border ranks among the most significant sites of man’s earliest activities in Africa. It records the successive human occupation for 60,000 years, and covers a series of cultural finds such as wood, vegetable remains, charcoals and pollens associated with undisturbed prehistoric camping places. Fourteen chapters and five appendices, deal with topics ranging from palynological data from Kalambo Falls, to the archaeological culture of the Falls. Contributors include l. Desmond Clark, who writes seven of the Chapters, as well as other authors of note such as David Taylor and Derek A Roe.
Marion E Doro

VILIMANI; Labor Migration and Rural Change in Early Colonial Tanzania. Thaddeus Sunseri. Heinemann, US.A and James Currey, Oxford. Pp xxvi, 223. ISBN 0852556489
The author is Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University, and this is a new title in the Social History in Africa series. Professor Sunseri tells us that “Vilimani” means “at the coast” as well as “in the hills”. It was the reply given to anyone enquiring where the men were at villages which appeared to be inhabited mainly by women and children and the very old.

Professor Suseri starts by examining the German industrial background to colonialism, in particular the drive to find an alternative source of raw cotton to the US.A The resulting “plantation imperative” dominated the early years in Tanganyika. Finding enough labour for the plantations was a continual problem, and the efforts to create a suitable labour force on the north east coast and its hinterland are examined in detail. The many competing demands for labour enabled the workers to have considerable control over the terms on which they would work on plantations. The author then moves south to the Rufiji delta to examine the effect of German conservation and economic policies on traditional farmers. These, which had complex and unpredictable effects, formed the background to the Maji Maji uprising.

The continual difficulty of finding enough labour for the plantations led policy makers, from about 1902, to concentrate on encouraging peasants to grow cotton on their own plots. This was unpopular, because it interfered with the peasants’ own priority of food self sufficiency. Many of them therefore tried to move to more remote areas. It was the women, in the absence of the men, many of whom had moved away as migratory labourers, who were responsible for subverting the peasant cotton campaign, and the way the Wanyamwezi women did so is examined in detail.

There are some nice little sub-plots, such as the story of the traction engines on the Otto plantation at Kilosa, which sounds like a dress rehearsal for the Groundnuts Scheme! We also learn about the problems of excessive numbers of wild pigs which resulted from the forest protection laws.

The study focuses closely on the local effects of what was a general problem in all new colonial territories -how to obtain enough labour for all the new requirements arising from European settlement, without unduly disrupting traditional societies and patterns of economic self sufficiency. It will be of interest to the historian as well as to those who have known the country and its people. The limitation of such a closely focussed approach is that it ignores the wider context which might be of more interest to the general reader.

Bitter experience teaches that “Social” histories often torture the language. This is not so in this case, apart from some uncomfortable jolts, such as “commodification”, “peasantization” and -wait for it -“re­peasantization” .

. Carolyn Baylies, London: Routledge, 2201. ISBN 1841420271. Pp 248.
This in-depth study is based on primary evidence and extensive investigations by British researchers in Zambia and Tanzania. Its major focus is on the gender factors in the struggle against AIDS. This is a unique and informative study highlighting the difficulties which African women cope with and describes the unique strengths they muster in their struggle against AIDS. Nine contributors provide a range of topics that create a useful comparative analysis of the problem. Topics include: perspectives on gender and AIDS in Africa generally; responses to the AIDS epidemic in specific areas of both Tanzania and Zambia-e.g., Rungwe, Kanyama, and Lushoto; gendered and generational struggles in AIDS prevention; reconciling individual costs and collective benefits; and modes of activism in Dar es Salaam. A timely study that adds dimensions to the understanding of gender and AIDS with original and well researched evidence.
Marion E Doro


EMPOWERMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE: The African Experience -Tanzania and Beyond. Zaline M. Roy-Campbell. Africa World Press, 2001. ISBN 0865437645. Focus on language policy in Tanzania; political aspects of Swahili language; language and education in Tanzania and Africa.


NYERERE: STUDENT, TEACHER, HUMANIST, STATESMAN. Eds: Tom Moloney and Kenneth King. Occasional Studies 84. Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. Pp. 100. £5.50.

TANZANIA MAINLAND: MEDIA, LAW AND PRACTICE. No. 13 in the Media Law and Practice series. Article 19. 2000. pp 27 £5.50. Available from Africa Book Centre.
JULIUS NYERERE. THE ETHICAL FOUNDATION OF HIS LEGACY. C. Pratt. Round Table 355. July 2000. pp. 9.



I am sending you a copy of ‘Pambazuka News 54, The Electronic Newsletter for Social Justice in Africa’. Assuming the information to be correct I find the contents very disturbing…… It is the sort of thing that happens when people in power seek to maintain their hold on power at all costs…. Is it in fact legally possible for this to be done in Tanzania?

Ralph Ibbott, Convenor, BTS Scottish Members

Extracts from the Pambazuka News editorial: ‘Jenerali Ulimwengu, journalist, activist and an example of committed citizenship, has been rendered stateless by the Tanzanian government in a move that is clearly motivated as a means of silencing an individual who has been brave enough to expose corruption and scandals of leading individuals in the government…. Jenerali has been a prominent member of Tanzanian civil society, having served as an active member of the ruling TANU and CCM parties. He was a member of CCM’s National Executive Committee from 1992 to 1997. All those who know him speak of his courage in expressing critical, yet constructive stances against those who sought to oppress the disadvantaged…… There can be little doubt that Ulimwengu has been denied citizenship because of his Pan Africanist, patriotic and progressive politics above factionalism and unscrupulous partisanship….. .’ The article goes on to compare the greatness of the Nyerere era which was said to have transformed the nature of citizenship from an attribute of groups considered indigenous to that of individuals with a residence in and membership of the political community called Tanzania… ‘This was why the denial of citizenship went beyond the injury being done to one individual.. .. We urge all readers of Pambazuka News …. to make their voices heard by writing to the government to protest. ‘

(During recent weeks the case of Jenerali Ulimwengu has been taken up by many other organisations and individuals. Amongst these are the CUF opposition party, 140 lecturers at the University of Dar es Salaam and various NGO’s. Jenerali Ulimwengu is Chairman of the Habari Corporation which publishes Mtanzania, Rai, Dimba and ‘The African’ newspapers. He was at one time a district commissioner and later an MP. In 1995 he took part in drafting a Bill designed to control corruption. Jenerali Ulimwengu also presented a Dar es Salaam TV programme on the day of the Zanzibar disturbances in January 2001 which shocked many viewers by showing scenes of police brutality.

The government has stated that the rejection of Mr Ulimwengu’s application for citizenship has nothing to do with his criticism of the government and that applications for citizenship from some 50 people were rejected last year. He “did not fulfil the laid down Tanzania laws and regulations” ­Editor}.

I was very pleased to read the article about the Village Museum entitled “And now we feel secure enough” by Colin Hastings in your last issue. However, I fear the article may give readers a slightly misleading impression which I hope you will find space to correct. The map is, in fact, quite new, having been painted recently by Fabien Limo, the Display Officer of the National Museum. Far from being “hidden away in an empty room” it was, in fact, displayed on the wall of the Assistant Curator’s office. There are no “empty rooms” at the Museum -space is in too short supply! When Colin visited, the map was not on open display merely for lack of a suitable place. However, the map now has pride of place in a new display area where it has been much commented on and much photographed. One other string thing struck me as odd in Colins’s article -the comment from Tatah Mlola that Tanzanians only now feel secure enough to talk about their different cultural roots. The Village Museum was set up in Nyerere’s time (1964) and only a short distance from his home, with the express purpose of enabling Tanzanians to celebrate the diversity of their cultures. This is what the museum has always stood for (its curators are social anthropologists trained at a the University of Dar es Salaam under Nyerere) and this is what it continues to do so effectively, as I witnessed not only on a daily basis, but when over 5,000 people descended on the museum during last September’s amazing Wasukuma Cultural Festival. The museum’s traditional houses (now renovated and with additions bringing them to a total of 18) illustrate the different ways of life of tribes and ethnic groups from right across Tanzania. For locals and tourists alike, they are a unique resource. In Dar es Salaam, at least, Cultural Tourism starts here!

Richard Wood, Education Volunteer,
The Village Museum, July-December 2001


I would be grateful if you would print the following request in the next issue of Tanzanian Affairs. You have a deservedly wide circulation, and I’m sure that our ready pool of readers will include someone who can shed light on this appeal:
Dr Clyde Binfield, Associate Professor of History at Sheffield University is researching “two decidedly remarkable characters” and would be glad to correspond with anyone who may have known them. He writes about the Rt. Rev. Neil Russell (1906 ­82) and his first cousin, Dr Leader Sterling. Bishop Russell was an Anglo-Catholic who became a (Suffragen?) Bishop of Zanzibar and had a genius for evading authority -not even becoming a Bishop cured him of that. He was a Scottish Episcopalian, whose father was a much-admired Congregational minister who had served in India and who became minister of the King’s Weigh House church in London. Bishop Russell’s somewhat quirky ancestry may have influenced his character to the end of his life; he did not enjoy his retirement with his order in Scotland and returned to Tanzania in 1982 to a parish at Makuyuni where he died. His cousin, Leader Sterling, also of firm Congregational stock, qualified as a medical doctor and went to Tanzania as a High Church missionary. He later joined the Roman Catholics there, and wrote three books about his work. He was twice married, each time to an African nurse. The story is told that he was summoned to see the President, and on going with some trepidation, was made Minister of Health!
Dr Binfield’s address is 22 Whiteley Wood Road, Sheffield Sll 7 FE.
M G Stokell Hon. Treasurer and Trustee, Tanzania Development Trust

I am an old ‘groundnutter’ (1946-1951) and find that in various clubs I get asked to give talks on the groundnut scheme which I do with difficulty. Have you any idea as to where I can obtain some photoslides that I could project on screen to make the whole thing more interesting.
S G Carrington-Buck, 3 Glastenbury Drive, Bexhill on Sea TN 40 2NY.