The Swahi1i press seemed to be in agreement on June 19 in describing the marriage of former Vice-President, and former Prime Minister (and also former High Commissioner in London) John Malecela as ‘the best wedding ceremony ever in the country’. He married Anne Kilango, a CCM special seats MP. Former Prime Minister Cleopa Msuya oversaw the betrothal proceedings which were attended by ‘all the strong and mighty in Tanzanian politics including President Mkapa.’

Beginning on June 15 Dar es Salaam residents are being required to participate in vigilante groups, commonly known as Sungusungu, that will patrol their areas as a way of fighting crime. The decision was reached at a meeting of Dar es Salaam regional leaders chaired by Regional Commissioner Yusufu Makamba. Other measures to be taken include an order for all city bars to close at 11 pm and a house to house manhunt of foreigners in the city. ‘From now onwards any theft or robbery event will attract explanations from the particular local leader of the area. Also non¬≠participants in the patrols will be required to donate items like torches and batteries’ -Nipashe.

The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Dr Jacques Diouf, has appointed two Tanzanians to hold senior posts in the UN agency: Dr John Monyo, became the Deputy Director General for rural participatory development planning and Dr Geofrey Mrema became Director General for agricultural development in FAO’s department of agriculture. Dr Monyo was the Head of Department of Crop Science and Production at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Dr Mrema was the Executive Secretary of the common market for agricultural research of the defunct East African Community in the 1970s and later a Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Botswana.

The ¬£9,300 Caine (Sir Michael) Prize for African writing has been awarded to Yvonne Owuor’s story ‘The weight of whispers’ which tells the tragedy of a dislocated rich family on the run in Kenya. Ms Owuor lives in Zanzibar where she is Executive Director of the Zanzibar Film Festival-The Times.

British Airways has won the Tanzanian Tourist Board’s airline of the year award for 2003. The South African Reality TV programme ‘African Big Brother’ is attracting a 30 million continent-wide audience of viewers and has contestants from 12 African countries competing for the $100,000 prize money. Tanzania’s entrant was Mwisho Mwampamba (22) whose hobbies include swimming, mountain climbing, basketball, and other sports. He was allowed to take with him to the isolated house a striped Kikoyi, a Bao boardgame, two books, and twin drums.

A venereal disease is threatening to extinguish some 100 of the baboon population in Lake Manyara National Park. Scientists tackling the problem are puzzled as to why the disease targets the reproductive organs of the primate. The reproductive organs of affected male baboons simply rot way but it is believed that the elimination of sick baboons will not seriously affect the total population.

The Minister for Education and Culture announced on July 8 that students joining Advanced Level secondary education will, in future, start classes at the beginning of the year instead of July. Form Four students who sit for national examinations in November this year will start Form Five in February next year. Currently, Form Six leavers wait for 16 months before joining higher learning institutions. The Minister was also quoted in the Guardian as saying that there was a need to improve the education pyramid from the current 88% for primary school, 7% for ordinary secondary education, 1.8% for A level and below 1 % for higher education to 100%, 50%,25% and 12.5% respectively.

The University of Dar Es Salaam Governing Council at its 154th meeting held on June 20, lowered fees of courses offered by the university. According to a press statement, much sought after courses would attract more fees than less sought after courses. All Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences courses except Eonomics, Education, Engineering (except Computer Engineering, and Information) and Nursing will attract fees of up to Tsh. 600,000 for first and second-degree programmes. All Faculty of Science courses (except Computer Sciences, Electronic Sciences and Information Sciences), Environmental Sciences, Dentistry, Commerce and Economics will attract Tsh. 800,000 for the first and second-degree programmes. In the same category are courses offered by the University College of Lands and Architectural Sciences (UCLAS). In the third category, attracting fees of Tsh. 1 million, are first year courses in Law, Pharmacy, Information Science, Computer Science, Information Technology and Information Engineering. Second-year programmes in this category will require a Shs 1.2 million fee – Majira.

Neil Bairdwatson, 77, a Scottish businessman, has donated £15,000 to save the home of Dr David Livingstone in Mikindani. It will become a museum and gift shop -THE TIMES -July 17. (Thank you John Rollinson for this item -Editor.)

The Government has decided to go ahead with the purchase of a modem Shs 40 billion presidential jet plane. The opposition in parliament agreed to the purchase but warned that such a plane should reflect the economic reality of the country. However, President Mkapa may not use it; it lands in the country shortly before his tenure in office expires -Mtanzania

Mwananchi and Majira reported that some of their journalists were briefly detained and their equipment seized by Loliondo police in July. They were denied access to a United Arab Republic (UAE) royal family hunting camp (7 kms from the Serengeti Game reserve) and the opportunity to interview the more than 200 workers at the site. The police are usually stationed in Loliondo during the hunting season to secure the area. The media teams had gone there to investigate reports of Maasai morans invading Loliondo to stop ‘Ortello Business Company’ planes from landing there. According to reports reaching the media the local Maasai are furious that the UAE Royal Family, who have been given hunting rights in the whole of Loliondo Game Controlled Area, are not hiring the unskilled services of locals. A son of the UAE royal family, Mohamed bin Rashid al Mahtoum, who is also the UAE Defense Minister, owns the camp. The papers reported that there were persistent allegations of immoral activities, smuggling and environmental degradation at the camp.

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