Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr Abdul Kadir Shareef told the National Assembly on 9th July that Tanzania now had 27 diplomatic missions abroad. They were in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, the Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, China, Germany, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, France Italy, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ethiopia, India, Canada, Russia, the USA and at the UN in New York. The envoys included three from Zanzibar (Mozambique, Saudi Arabia and Germany) and one woman (in India). He said Tanzania was also a member of 50 international organisations and regional groupings and had paid all its contributions to these organisations for the year 200112002 -Guardian.
Minster for Education and Culture Joseph Mumgai has announced that 1,614,212 children have been enrolled in Standard 1 in primary schools this year compared with 1,140,554 last year. The government planned to build 13,396 classrooms for the rapidly expanding enrolment this year -Guardian.
More than 80 students at Weruweru Girls Secondary School in Moshi have been deprived of their one-month holidays for speaking Swahili. According to the school regulation students must speak English while at school. Reporters saw the students gated at the campus while their parents were complaining. – Mwananchi
A week-long survey by the Sunday Observer (July21) revealed that the sale of dogs is mushrooming in Dar es Salaam because of the need for security and the unreliability of many watchmen. Some people used dogs to guard their cars by travelling with them. Most of the dogs were being sold by boys along the main streets of the city. One young dog seller, working along the old Bagamoyo Road, said that it was a lucrative business -prices ranged from Shs 5,000 (£4) for young dogs to Shs 20,000 for more mature animals. A resident of Manzese was reported to have said that sorcerers would not come to your house if you kept dogs.
The OAU Council of Ministers meeting on July 2 in Durban, South Africa endorsed a proposal by the Tanzanian delegation that Swahili should be used as one of the working languages of the new African Union (AU) which has taken the place of the OAU. Earlier the National Kiswahili Councilc-of Tanzania (BAKlTA) had called for harmonisation of vocabulary and promotion of Kiswahili literature as Africa prepared to give the language its rightful place in Africa -Daily News.
Official figures on the AIDS epidemic in Tanzania state that some 12% of the sexually active population in the mainland and 3% in Zanzibar were HIV/AIDS positive in 2000. 9.9% were men and 13.3% women -Guardian.
The Guardian quoted Tabora Regional Commissioner Abasi Kandoro explaining the difficulties being met in making people understand the need for the forthcoming national census. One man wondered whether the object was to privatise Tanzanians “because nowadays it is government’s policy to privatise each and every thing” he said.
The newly created Manyara Region will comprise Babati, Mbulu, Simanjiro, Hanang,and Kiteti districts with its HQ in Babati. The Arusha Region will comprise Monduli, Arumero, Arusha, Karatu and Ngorongoro districts.
The East African (July 22) quoted the results of research conducted in late 2001 by the Department of Traditional Medicine of the National Institute for Medical Research which confirmed that the roots and bark of 12 out of some 64 plants investigated in Kagera Region were effective in curing malaria without any side effects. There had been some problems during similar research in other parts of the country because some herbalists were unwilling to disclose information about medicines they had found to be effective in curing various diseases.
“Tanzania has no plans to abolish the death penalty. Those who kill must be killed” -Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bakari Mwapachu quoted in the Guardian.
A chimpanzee which had escaped from the Kitwe Game Reserve has ambushed and killed a resident in Kigoma town. The victim was a security guard on the beach. The famous Gombe Reserve has an estimated 100 chimpanzees but Kitwe shelters only four -The Guardian.
Michael Longford, the author of the book ‘The flags changed at midnight’ (reviewed in TA No. 72), who is fluent in two of Tanzania’s 120 ethnic minority languages (Kihehe and Kinyamwezi) is working on a project, in collaboration with the ‘Foundation for Endangered Languages’, to record and document mainland Tanzania’s endangered languages. President Mkapa, in a letter dated 14th May to Mr Longford, said he was pleased to hear of the project. “We are proud and relieved that we have in Kiswahili a lingua franca that unites us across tribal and religious lines. We will encourage the development and spread of Kiswahili …. but we have no intention of wilfully killing off any of our indigenous languages. That has always been the policy of all our governments and as far as I can see, it is going to continue to be our policy for which there is broad support among all political parties” the President wrote.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has nominated Tanzanian Professor Anna Tibaijuka as the first Executive Director of the newly formed UN human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). The organisation was quoted in the Business Times (lOth May) as describing Tanzania as Africa’s trail blazer in an outstandingly successful experiment in urban cooperation. Through its partnership with UN-HABITAT Tanzania was said to be championing the prohibitions of yesteryear -privatisation, land ownership and individual enterprise -to upgrade its nine cities and the living standards of urban residents. The first project was launched in Dar es Salaam in 1992 and the first target was to privatise the rubbish collection system after all sectors in the City, businesses and industry, agreed to a surcharge to underwrite a rubbish collection in low income residential areas. ILO helped Mkokoteni handcart owners to start small businesses to ferry trash along the narrow muddy lanes in the slums to collection points. Some 68 companies now employed more than 3,000 people in these enterprises; there were 17 recycling and composting enterprises.
Fletcher Mwambo (43) a Tanzanian poet has been chosen by the International Library of Poetry in Washington DC to be one of33 poets whose artistry will be recorded professionally in a poetry collection called “The sound of poetry” titled “Letters from the Soul”. Mwanga’s poem is titled “What is love”.
A conference scheduled for September in Bagamoyo may lead to it becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site -Guardian.
The government decided in June to sell 3,000 ofits houses at prices between Shs 1.5 million and Shs 180 million but buyers would not be allowed to re-sell them until after 25 years. The government indicated that the sale might realise some Shs 23 billion which would be used to build more houses for civil servants.
President Mkapa directed heads of government departments to turn in within seven days some 1,800 vehicles bought through donor grants and loans which bore private registration numbers. If they did not do so they would be sacked he said. Some 1,181 vehicles were quickly re-registered with government numbers and 1,000 more were also to be given government numbers. He said that the reregistration had enabled the Government to save Shs 10 billion. It was explained that some vehicles were being used to ferry children to schools, taking wives to beauty salons, fetching water and other private activities. Most of the vehicles were from UN-run projects and many, in spite of performing private business, were still enjoying free fuel and maintenance as in the case of other government vehicles. Opposition parties objected to restricting the sale of these vehicles to civil servants and at the low prices being charged. President Mkapa told donor organisations not to interfere with the issue by dictating how the vehicles should be used after they had been given to government institutions,
Dr Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist known for her ground-breaking work on chimpanzees in Kigoma’s Gombe Stream National Park, has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a UN Messenger of Peace. Messengers of Peace help to mobilise the public to get involved in work that makes the world a better place. Other messengers include Muhammad Ali, Michael Douglas and Luciana Pavarotti.
‘Thanks to you’ (Summer 2002), the journal of the British Alzheimer’s Society, reported how Alison Stirling, had been looking after her mother who was suffering from dementia for many years. After her death, Alison was persuaded by a friend to attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. She tried to back out of the trip not once but twice but eventually agreed and took a hazardous ‘non-tourist’ route to the top. Did she feel triumphant when she reached the summit? “1 felt ghastly” she said. “I suffered from altitude sickness, I didn’t eat for three days and it was so cold during the climb that my tooth paste froze! When I got to the top I believed that I would think of my mother. But I didn’t. I was just too exhausted”. At times she admitted to crying with fear but was determined to keep going because she had some £1,800 of sponsorship money to collect. She succeeded.
The Government has decided to reintroduce DDT in its battle to combat malaria. Health Ministry official Chacha Mung’aho said that although DDT was very harmful to the environment and some living things there was no scientific research indicating that DDT was harmful to humans. He said that in Tanzania malaria killed more than a 100,000 out of the 16 million people who contract the disease each year, many of them being children under five years old. Alternative chemicals were four to five times more expensive than DDT. The insecticide would be strictly applied under ‘residual house spray mechanisms’. It would be able to kill a mosquito settling on sprayed walls within five minutes and would be efficient for one year.
As a result of “rising operational costs,” the US Embassy has announced new rates for its visas. The tourist visa will now cost Shs 65,000 instead of Shs 45,000 -Majira.
The Tanzania Heart Institute in Dar es Salaam successfully implanted an artificial electronic pacemaker in a 75-year-old patient on May 22 this year. The Director of the Institute said that this represented a giant step towards performing heart transplant operations in Tanzania. The pacemaker was bought for Shs 1.5 million from South African agents of the US-based Meditronic Company.