Archive for September, 2003


(In order to make this part of Tanzanian Affairs as interesting and representative as possible we welcome contributions from readers. if you see a mention of Tanzania in the journal, magazine or newspaper you read, especially if you live or travel outside the UK, please cut out the relevant bit, indicate the name and date of the journal, and send it to the address on the back page. if you do not wish your name to be mentioned please say so. We cannot guarantee to publish everything we receive but if your item gives a new or original view about Tanzania we certainly will-Editor).

Under the heading ‘Hurrah for African Solutions’ Herold Tagama in the August issue of NEW AFRICAN praised the well-conducted and peaceful by-elections in Zanzibar and said that they represented a lesson for all Africa. It showed that African politicians could put their country’s interests first instead of personal aggrandisement. Back in October 2001 cynics had said that the agreement between the Government and opposition parties would not succeed. But three years on it was holding the -election laws that discriminated against the opposition had been repealed, CUF supporters persecuted during the days of political hostility had been compensated, CUF sympathisers who had been sacked had been reinstated and compensated and former ‘enemies’ now greeted each other as friends. Registrar of Political Parties John Tendwa was quoted as saying that a sense of political maturity was easily felt in Zanzibar.

The NCCR -Mageuzi party was reported (THE EAST AFRICAN, May 12) to want CUF Zanzibar leader Seif Shariff Hamad to be barred from running in the Zanzibar presidential elections in 2005 on the grounds that he was once detained. Article 69 of the Zanzibar constitution forbids any person who has been detained from entering any presidential contest. However CUF insists that Hamad was not detained but ‘put in remand prison’ -on a charge which was subsequently abandoned by the prosecution.

‘One of the success stories of Tanzania’s emerging private sector.’ This is how Vitalis Omondi in THE EAST AFRICAN (May 12) described the success of the Tanzanian founder of Precisionair, Michael Shirima, who had recently become the strategic partner of Kenya Air, which has acquired a 49% stake in his company. The agreement was said to have the potential of spawning Precisionair’s access to global markets through Kenya Airways’ comprehensive route network with its strategic partners, KLM and North­West Airlines. When he founded ‘Flight Africa Ltd’, the pre-cursor of Precisionair in 1987, Shirima had just two aeroplanes which he used as aerial sprayers serving large coffee and wheat farms. As his airline grew he went to the African Project Development Facility (APDF) which helped secure $333,000 in equity financing from the Tanzania Venture Capital Fund. He bought six new Cessna planes and started providing charter services to tourists. Later he borrowed $400,000 from the East African Development Bank and expanded his fleet. Today, the Arusha-based airline carries more than 76,000 passengers a year.

Michael Okema wrote in THE EAST AFRICAN (July 14) about what he described as ‘the heated debate which took place at the Zanzibar Dhow Festival recently.’ Participants were at each other’s throats over such issues as whether Swahili culture originated on the East African coast and whether the Kiswahili language had a Bantu base. The article went on: ‘Politicisation of history may help people build confidence in themselves. But it can prove harmful to the development of such things as a science of language…. African nationalism is behind this debate. There are people who feel uncomfortable acknowledging the Arab influence on Kiswahili given the historical Arab participation in the slave trade. There is a limit to which history can be rewritten …….. Today Africans are proud to differentiate themselves on the basis of their respective colonisers. A Ghanaian feels closer to a Tanzanian (because both are Anglophone) than to an Ivorian who is his next door neighbour. So, in spite of its negative motives, colonialism had some positive aspects. In short, there are two sides to a coin. This should apply equally to the Arab. There should be no difficulty in acknowledging Arab influence on Swahili culture …..

Under the heading ‘Sleaze without end’ Lawi Joel writing in NEWSAFRICA (31st July) said that President Mkapa seems to be fighting a losing battle against graft and fraud, an evil he vowed to conquer when he took office for the second time in 2000. The article went on: ‘His Prime Minister seems to be the richest premier since independence, and the acquittal of former Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Nalaila Kiula, has shown just how hard it is for Mkapa to crush corruption ….In a recent National Assembly sitting four MPs were suspended for falsifying Parliamentary Public Accounts. Many companies such as Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) were being criticized. But many people were asking why only the small fry are taken to task while the big shots get away with it.. … However, not all big fish escape Mkapa’s net. A prominent businessmen was jailed for five years in December for bribery together with six officials of the Ministry of Lands ….. ‘

‘They left in dhows and came back on a plane. But the journey back took over 700 years.’ So began an illustrated article in THE EAST AFRICAN (July 28) describing the Zanzibar festival reported above. The article went on: ‘Along the way, they lost their language, their culture and knowledge of their native land. But they retained their music and dance. They are the African Sufis of Gujarat, whose musical group, the Sidi Goma (first ‘discovered by the late Rajiv Gandhi) made a historic visit to their ancestral land of Africa last month. Their history is rooted in the slave trade of the 13th century and beyond, when many Africans arrived in India as slaves to the Maharajas and Nawabs of the day. They have remained racially intact choosing to marry only among themselves …..

They received a warm welcome in Zanzibar. At the Bombay International Airport however the immigration officer was baffled to see people looking like Africans but with Indian passports and speaking Gujarati. In Zanzibar one shopkeeper told the group he could not let them pay for anything because they had “finally come home after 700 years.”

AFRICAN MINING reported in June that Williamson Diamonds Ltd has installed a $2.3 million jig plant at its Mwadui mine, the first of its kind to be installed in a diamond recovery project in Africa. It is scheduled to re-treat 20 tonnes of tailings that were deposited in the mine in the 1960’s and 70’s.

THE INDEPENDENT (19th May) in a half-page article on the animal survival crusader Jane Goodall explained how she first went to Gombe on Lake Tanganyika at the age of 26 in 1960 at the instigation of her then employer, Louis Leakey, the famous palaeontologist. The most remarkable finding came to her that October as she caught sight of a chimpanzee squatting on the ground and inserting a stick, stripped of its leaves, into a termite mound and bringing out the termites as a tasty snack. Until then it was thought that only man made use of tools. It was one of the definitions of our specialness as a species. “I telegraphed what I had seen to Leakey” she remembers. “He telegraphed back that we would now have to redefine man, redefine tool, or accept chimpanzees as humans.” Jane Goodall still spends 300 days a year on the road raising money and co-ordinating the work of her charity -the Jane Goodall Institute -which, inter alia, is fighting the battle to preserve the few remaining chimpanzees in Africa –Thank you Liz Fennell for this item -Editor.

The FUNDAY TIMES, the junior section of the well known paper, has been featuring for the last few weeks a cartoon series headed ‘Wacky races in Trekking to Tanzania’ in which ‘Peter Perfect’, already in bandages, battles against killer bees and other hazards in pursuing ‘Dick Dastardly’. The series continues.

It can be expensive climbing Kilimanjaro. The Australian SUNDAY TIMES featured on July 27 a £7,000 ‘Africa adrenalin safari’ which also includes Victoria Falls, bungee-jumping, whitewater rafting and game viewing. But those purchasing tickets still have to find their own way from Australia to Johannesburg to join the tour –Thank you Douglas Gledhill for this item ­Editor

THE ECONOMIST reported on July 26 that since 2000 Mafia island has been a testing ground for a joint effort by the government, WHO and a pair of drug companies to eradicate the limb deformity known as elephantiasis. Extracts: ‘An annual dose of two cheap drugs can clear away the parasites causing the disease….. The main trouble is persuading poorly educated farmers that the drugs are safe and useful. Women fear a government plot to lower their fertility. Men worry about their libidos …. If the project succeeds however 12 million Tanzanians who live in infected areas could eventually be covered -and one of the country’s scourges might be on the way to being eliminated.

‘Land and who gets it is becoming a hot potato in Tanzania according to NEW AFRICAN (June). The Government’s attempt to change landlords in favour of foreign investors is arousing passions in the country …. The World Bank wants Tanzania to change its land laws to attract investors in agriculture and fight poverty. President Mkapa, once a strident supporter of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s land reform policy, was reported to be yielding to persuasion …. ‘He has become a disciple of World Bank President James Wolfensohn’ but Tanzanians were said to be suspicious. Land grabbing by influential politicians, business tycoons, bureaucrats and foreigners was said to be wanton, with poor villagers evicted right under the nose of the authorities.

David Leishman has sent us a remarkable article by Nick Gordon published in the South African BUSINESS DAY recently under the sub-heading ‘When cash-flush Gulf businessmen baled them out, marginalised Tanzanian Muslims did not ask questions.’ (Thank you for sending this -Editor) Brief extracts: “The extraordinary sequence of events that unfolded in Iringa holds deep resonance for the developing world and the West. The town was quietly subverted by incomers from the Gulf.. .. In the 1990s, and more than a century after slavery had been abolished, Iringa -which had been an Arab slave trading centre -had a Muslim population who were feeling isolated. The town’s mosques were decrepit and lacked funds; the congregations in those mosques were dispirited. Muslim schools were decaying…… But for another set of proselytizers, Iringa was fertile ground. When AI-Qaeda -or, as they were known locally ‘the men from the Gulf -arrived, they offered local Muslim businessmen loans under the informal hawala system. The loans came in cash in hard currency ……… What was the quid pro quo?

Businessmen who ‘signed up’ soon prospered as did the Muslim community in general, the mosques, the religious schools. Within a year preachers were arriving in Iringa and other towns …. As these proselytisers gained ground and confidence they began to use far less subtle techniques to seduce the population. Some families were being offered about $130 to convert to Islam. …. Meanwhile, messages from the newly invigorated mosques were becoming more militant… After the bombing of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam ….. the trail of subversion led back to Iringa. A welding workshop in the town was pinpointed by the FBI investigators as the place where the pipes that contained the explosives used to devastate the Dar embassy had been manufactured. The owner claimed that he had no idea they would be stuffed with plastique. He was never charged. Fears of further infiltration were triggered by the discovery of containers of black market uranium which were being offered for sale in Dar Salaam ….’

‘These weapons were not made of radioactive materials or armed with killer bacteria’ the writer went on. ‘They are far more resilient and damaging. The raw material they are manufactured from is easy to come by: poverty, dirt, despair, social and political exclusion. And the subsequent explosion, when it inevitably happens, goes off inside people’s heads, not merely in Iringa, but on any continent, anywhere’.

REPORTERS SANS FRONTIERES has reported that the first worldwide index of press freedom had some surprises. The USA came lower in the scale of press freedom than Costa Rica. The countries with least press freedom were North Korea, China, and Burma. Finland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands were top in Europe but Britain and Italy came lower in the scale than Benin. No Arab country was among the top 50. Eritrea and Zimbabwe (18 journalists were in prison there at the time of the survey) were found to be the most repressive countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Benin came out top in the 21st place out of 139 countries. Tanzania is in the middle of the table in 67th place ahead of most other African countries.

The CATHOLIC HERALD (13th June) added to other obituaries published on the death of the late Dr Leader Stirling (see Tanzanian Affairs No. 75). Extracts: ‘He had a lifelong interest in the scouting movement and was the Chief Scout of Tanzania for many years. His interest in the movement was with him to his death and it was appropriate that his coffin should be carried by a party of Tanzanian scouts. He was dressed in his Scout uniform and the coffin was draped with the Scout Flag …. His commitment to Tanganyika and then Tanzania was immense and it was his Christian faith that gave him this commitment….. Stirling’s involvement was with Africans and with the Catholic Church…. He married at a mature age a nurse but she was to die, sadly childless. Later he married a widow with six children and proved an admirable stepfather …. Thank you John Sankey for this item -Editor.

Mary Soderstrom who is working on a novel called ‘The Violets of Usambara’ filled two pages in a recent issue of the NEW YORK TIMES on her search for the source of these small, famous, blue-violet flowers. Extracts: ‘For years I’ve struggled to keep at least one African violet in bloom through Montreal winters, but it wasn’t until I started working on a novel about a Canadian politician and his wife who was passionate about African violets that I began to wonder about the origins of the pretty little flowers. In French, one of its names is la violette d’Usambara ….. Their story intrigued me, and when I got a chance to go to Africa last October I decided to check them out.. …… the mountain’s known as the East Usambaras, which were recently named as one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hotspots’, were densely forested until the beginning of the 20th century when Tanganyika became the centrepiece of German colonial aspirations in Africa….. the scientific name of African violets -Saint Paulia -reflects this German colonial past. Baron Waiter von Saint Paul found the plants in 1892 when he was Commissioner of Tanga province. He sent seeds back to his father, an amateur botanist in Germany, and within 10 years African violets had become a horticultural sensation throughout Europe …..Recently, Saint Paulia have played a key role in safeguarding what is left of the East U sambaras’ natural splendours. Most of them grow in damp, shady places and when the forest is cut down, they vanish. Commercial logging continued into the 1980’s but some 250,000 acres of the mountain forests have now been declared a ‘UN Man and Biosphere Reserve.’ The writer went on to explain that the nature reserve is a bargain. Open year round, its rustic wood-panelled lodge sleeps 20, with simply furnished single, double and triple rooms and shared bathrooms. Full-board -3 generous meals -and lodging is about $10 a night. (Thank you Elsbeth Court for sending this item -Ed.)

‘He is one of Scotland’s forgotten heroes: the man whose maps of Africa made David Livingstone one of the most famous explorers of the age. But unlike Livingstone, who was buried in Westminster Abbey, the remains of Keith Johnston still lie where he succumbed to dysentry and was buried on 28th June 1879 in a shallow grave somewhere near the village of Behobeho in deepest Tanzania. Now, 124 years later, a team led by cartographer Mike Shand of Glasgow University is planning to retrace the route that Johnston took in an attempt to find his grave …. In October, using satellite technology, he plans to locate the site and turn it into a fitting memorial. For Shand, Hon. Secretary of the Society of Cartographers, the search is a labour of love. “Johnston was a mapping genius” he said. “He was one of the first to map the continent and probably the most important to do so.” In 2000, Johnston’s dusty calf skin-covered diary was discovered at the Royal Geographical Society in Glasgow. Amid the minute spidery writing, the extraordinary story of his last expedition was revealed. In July, Jim McCarthy, a former Forestry Officer in Tanganyika will publish a book on Johnstone’s final trip entitled “Journey into Africa” -This is an extract from an article in the Scottish SUNDAY HERALD (May 11). (Thank you Jim McCarthy for this item. Please ensure that our Reviews Editor receives a review copy when your book is published -Editor).

‘The old man is drinking coffee in Stone Town. He sits on his baraza, a traditional place for sitting and chatting that can be found outside many Zanzibari homes. Like a lot of home-grown culture in Zanzibar, the baraza is fast becoming an endangered species. “This building used to be a dispensary and that house was once a stationery shop. Now everybody’s selling souvenirs. Tourism is cutting into the fabric of our close-knit society.’ So began an article in the VSO magazine ORBIT (June) which delved into the pros and especially the cons of tourism in Zanzibar. The article went on: ‘The tourists bring money, which the wood carvers and trinket sellers are only too grateful for, but along with it -much to the annoyance of some devotees … there are also the uninvited forays into the mosques and the sight of skimpy clothes and over exposed flesh, which are all too often interpreted as an affront to the strict Islamic beliefs prevalent on the island …. traditional livelihoods like fishing are no longer as attractive as they used to be. Social problems such as drugs and prostitution also go hand-in-hand with the tourist trade …. Some, like Mohammed Haji, 23, have chosen to add to their earnings by selling sex to female visitors. Hadji is known locally as a papasi, just one of the many gigolos who now patrol the beaches for business. “They (the tourists) stay with us and we make money. No one cares about cultural erosion,” he says ………. ..

In response to criticism, the Tourism Commission has now issued a seven­point code of conduct aimed at potential visitors to Zanzibar. This focuses on nudity, consuming alcohol in public, kissing and fondling in public, photographing locals without their permission, entering mosques as well as eating, drinking and smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan …… .



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 non­participants 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.



Reporting on the 2003 Zanzibar International Film Festival, Miguel Suleyman wrote in The Express on July 3 that, with their music reminiscent of the Kilwa era, Sidi Goma, the African Sufis of Gujarat, India, set the stage on fire at the opening of the Festival. ‘The group’s performance of ritual music and dance captioned qawali, dhamal and baithi, was clearly a reflection of the African root of call and response, improvisational talking drums and common Bantu phraseology. Sidis are African Sufis of Gujarat, India; they were brought in as slaves to Maharajas and Nawab families of the time. Yunus Babu Sidi, the group leader, told ‘The Express’ that there were many Kiswahili words in their songs, but none of them understood their meaning. “We have preserved the culture and dances of our ancestors for more than seven centuries ….. however, we think people of this region understand them better than we do and we rely on them to help us connect to our past…. We have preserved a lot from our ancestors, the word Goma (refers to Ngoma in Bantu language) represents dance to us. But we think our visit to our people here will bring some productive changes in our life” he said. Sidi Goma performs in a group of twelve, four lead musicians (drums/singers) and eight dancers. The performance centres around a dance zikr (remembrance), consisting of joyful, satirical praise dances to their Saint Bava or Bava Gor, who is attributed with giving them the joy they express in their dances. Intoxicating drum patterns that speak the zikr prayers in rhythm, support the dancers who perform virtuoso feats of agility and strength. They gradually reach an ecstatic climax which ended with a coconut being thrown high in the air and, when it landed on the head of Nazir Gulamhusein, broke into tens of pieces splashing its juice on the excited audience. The acts of Sidi Goma featured solos on malunga, an instrument resembling the Brazilian Berimbau or East African Zeze, while the circle dance, with people coming to the centre platform, was more exhibitionist dancing, indicative of the slave dances of Zanzibar. Juma Khamis Pandu, a resident of Zanzibar, told ‘The Express’ that the faces of the Sidi Goma group members resembled the Tumbatu people of Pemba, or those from the Tanga coastal line, mainly Pangani. The features of the musicians -thick lips, height between 5.4 and 5.6 feet and the general facial appearance -suggests that Sidi Goma are the descendants of the Kilwa empire, which ended in the 15th century when the Portuguese interrupted its trading activities.



The forester BERNARD GILCHRIST (83), who died recently, was appointed to the Colonial Service in 1943. On his first journey to Tanganyika his ship ran into a ferocious storm during which all the lifeboats, decking and railings were washed away. Later, in South African waters, the ship was torpedoed. In 1946 he moved to Mufindi to establish a large escarpment forest reserve and in 1948 to Morogoro where he was responsible for the management of the mangrove forest of the Rufiji delta. During his service he prepared a vegetation map for much of southern Tanganyika, determined the sustainable rate of yield from the West Usambara forest reserve and helped draw up a management plan for the Ngorongoro crater. In the 1960’s he became Deputy Chief Conservatory of Forests, drew up a pulp and paper production scheme and wrote a five year plan for forest development –Thank you John Ainley for sending this obituary from the Daily Telegraph -Editor.

Veteran politician JOSEPH KASELA BANTU (81) died on 29th April. He was among the 17 founder members of TANU in 1954 and later became a founder member of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) ­Guardian.

The Swahili press has reported that the University of Dar es Salaam historian PROFESSOR ISRAEL KATOKE has been killed by thugs at his home in Karagwe. His body was found bound and gagged and he had been strangled with a necktie. Some workers on his farm have been arrested as suspects. Prof Katoke was also a Consultant to UNESCO and, in his retirement, was working on developing a new university in Bukoba.

Mrs JOSEHPINE SHARP, wife of the late former Commissioner for Town Planning in Tanganyika, Robert Sharp, who has died of cancer, directed or took part in more than 39 of the productions of The Dar es Salaam Players at the Little Theatre. Her proudest moment was when, in 1964, President Nyerere attended a production of ‘Twelfth Night’ which she directed. She was also sometime President of the Women’s Service League. [this is corrected version see letters issue 79]

The London Guardian (22nd May) published an obituary on the influential World Bank development economist BEVAN WAIDE who has died at the age of 66. In 1969 he was seconded as Chief Adviser to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development Planning in Tanzania. He advised on Tanzania’s second five-year plan during the turbulent years when Julius Nyerere was consolidating his country’s socialist stance in development and the World Bank was less concerned than today about nationalisation and substantial state expenditure. While in Tanzania he also obtained a pilot’s licence and flew frequently to remote areas in the course of his work –Thank you Peter Yea for sending this obituary -Editor.



REVOLUTION IN ZANZIBAR: AN AMERICAN’S COLD WAR TALE. Don Petterson. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3949-9. £19.99

This memoir will instantly become required reading for every student of the Revolution. It is an incredible and fascinating first hand account of the Revolution in Zanzibar, a unique perspective on a unique period of history. Strangely though, the teller of
the tale does not seem to appreciate its drama. For those who know some of the history and debates surrounding the Revolution it will be hard to see this book as anything other than a classic and brilliant revisionist history. It is for this reason that the style disappoints, since without a sense of the context and the controversy that the book will undoubtedly provoke, the material is flat. The role of the Americans and the British in the foggy days of early 1964 has been the source of much speculation, even recrimination on the part of Babu and other leading opposition figures in the years since. Petterson’s detailed descriptions of his meetings with all the key players at the time provide a wealth of insights into the sequence of events and how the Great Powers at the time viewed this ‘Cuba of East Africa’. This is explosive history at its best, yet diplomatic showdowns and violent massacres are described in the same pedestrian style as trips to the beach.

In a sense, Petterson’s dispassionate style is the hallmark of classic diplomacy. Reportage allows the author to remain un-implicated in the story he is telling (not me guv, I’m just the messenger). The problem though, is that this is an illusion. At many points the story would benefit from a strong dose of opinion. Petterson is at his best when he is unafraid to contradict other sources. For example, in his telling of the formation of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Babu’s claim that the US engineered the Union and the British assertion that their influence on Nyerere prevailed are both shown to be false as he provides convincing eye-witness testimony of the cunning strategy of Kambona, Nyerere and Karume in doing it quietly themselves.

Similarly, the inside account of Nyerere’s expulsion of American diplomats from Zanzibar and Tanzania in 1965 is gripping historic stuff. Misinterpretation of a mundane US embassy telephone conversation, tapped by the Chinese and supplied to the Zanzibar government gave rise to the (now popular) fable that the US was planning a coup in Zanzibar a year after the Revolution. Nyerere mishandled the affair by going to the press before the mistake had been corrected, the consul was expelled and a myth was born. Nyerere appears an inexperienced and emotional figure and the early politics of the Union to have been especially fragile.

Petterson is literally rewriting history, but does not seem to be aware that he is doing so. Nevertheless, in the long run, and for anyone interested in the history of Zanzibar the facts should speak for themselves. Tales of Petterson’s family life at the time give a flavour of the social context of the diplomatic corps at the end of the colonial era and his loving descriptions of Zanzibar and its geography will surely strike chords with many.
Ben Rawlence

CONFLICTING MISSIONS: HAVANA, WASHINGTON AND AFRICA, 1959 -1976. Piero Gleijeses. University of North Carolina Press. 2002. $34.95, cloth.

This weighty volume of 550 pages uses CIA documents, diplomatic cables and other archival research (the notes on this stretch over 50 pages) much of which has not been seen before, to explain what Cuba was up to in its clandestine activities in Africa in the 1960’s and 70’s. It was Cold War time and anything to do with it was of intense interest to the USA. Cuba became involved in Algeria, Guinea Bissau and later, Angola, to which it sent 30,000 of its troops. All is described here. For readers of ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ however it is the chapters on Zanzibar and Zaire which will be of most interest. In order to reach Zaire the Cubans had to travel through Tanzania by road and then cross Lake Tanganyika by boat.

The author describes the panic which arose in Washington when Zanzibar exploded in the revolution of January 12, 1964. The US was worried that non-communist leaders of the new Zanzibar government would be manipulated by ‘subversive Communist elements.’ US President Lyndon Johnson urged the British to send troops to Zanzibar because Britain had the ‘primary responsibility for handling the problem.’ To the dismay of the Americans the British refused. In any case, the crisis subsided when President Nyerere and President Karume signed an agreement setting up the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and called it Tanzania.

By June 1964 however the situation in the Congo (later Zaire) was attracting the attention ofthe Cold War adversaries. Midst much turmoil ‘rebels’ calling themselves the Simbas (lions) armed with vaguely Marxist jargon and led by the man who became, many years later President Kabila of Zaire, had started causing considerable worry. They had taken over a major part of the country and Fidel Castro saw in them the possible beginnings of an African revolution, Cuban style. He decided to send volunteers, under the leadership of the famous guerrilla leader Che Guevara, to help the Simbas. President Nyerere, who was then at loggerheads with the Congo government of President Tshombe, agreed to allow Tanzania to be used as a conduit and staging area for this Cuban intervention.

As the civil war in the Congo had escalated, the CIA had created a naval patrol on Lake Tanganyika consisting of eight heavily armed boats which were assembled piece by piece on the shores of the lake by CIA agents. The Simbas also had several motorboats supplied by the Soviet Union, but the author says that they did not know how to maintain them. When the boats arrived the Cubans helped them in this. The author claims that America was determined to crush the Simbas but did not want to do so itself and called upon Britain and other countries to send in troops. This call was rejected but, meanwhile, foreign mercenaries, mostly from South Africa, came to help government forces attack the Simbas.

Men from Cuba in groups of three to six on scheduled commercial flights, claiming to be athletes, agronomists, engineers and musicians, arrived in Dar es Salaam and were whisked quickly from the airport to a small farm on the outskirts of the city that the Cuban embassy had bought. The volunteers were almost all black because this was what the Simbas had requested. In order to explain the presence of two whites it was said that one was a doctor and the other an interpreter. Che decided that it would not be appropriate for him to inform Nyerere of his presence before he told Simba leader Kabila who was at a conference in Cairo. The Cubans were disappointed at the very cool reception they received in the Congo. The local Simba leaders seemed surprised to see them and did not know what to do with them. A message was sent to Kabila who was apparently stunned to learn that Che was in the Congo.

On 29th June 160 Simbas and 40 Cubans attacked the town of Bendera but, according to the book, the Simbas fled in panic and left the Cubans to face the enemy alone. Four Cubans and 20 Simbas lost their lives. It was their bodies that fmally alerted the CIA to the presence of the Cubans in the Congo. Eventually, under intense pressure from the ruthless and increasingly numerous mercenaries, the Simbas began falling apart on the battlefield. Nyerere, pre-occupied with other parts of the African liberation struggle, in particular in trying to persuade the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson to send troops to prevent UDI in Rhodesia, began restricting the flow of weapons, medicine and other suppliers to the Cubans. The Simbas soon wanted to abandon the struggle altogether and resented the Cubans for urging them to keep on fighting. On November 21st two boats arrived to take the Cubans back to Tanzania after seven months ofhardship and frustration. Che wrote to Castro “I believe more than ever in guerrilla warfare, but we have failed.” He returned to Dar wanting only to write. He lived in a small apartment in the embassy in Dar Salaam for more than three months but, because ofhis security concerns, he never went out. However, he was full of praise for the Tanzanians. They had been very helpful; everything was well organised and well structured. When Nyerere withdrew Tanzania from the war he had done so with dignity. Surprisingly the Cuban embassy only informed Nyerere about Che’s presence after he had left Tanzania in early 1966. It was explained that the silence had been due to security considerations. According to the author the Tanzanians were angry, but relations remained friendly.

The Washington Post has described this book as ‘rich and provocative and downright entertaining.’ The Los Angeles Times wrote: ‘The author brilliantly describes deceits, disguises with all the accompanying blood and guts and glory. Over the 10 years it took him to research this book the author tracked down every lead, every participant, every document on all sides of the conflicts. This is a fascinating account of Cuban involvement in Africa.’ This reviewer fully supports these comments.
David Brewin.

EAST AFRICAN DOCTORS: A HISTORY OF THE MODERN PROFESSION. John IllifIe. ISBN 9970023039. 350pp. Fountain Publishers. £20.95. Available from African Books Collective Ltd, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl IHD.

The book has 246 pages of text and 92 pages of Notes referring to each page of the text, 17 pages of bibliography and an index. The need to refer constantly to the notes for clarification made for laborious and difficult reading.

The purpose for writing the book was not made clear other than a note on page two stating “the idea for this book came partly from reading David K. Leonard’s “African successes: four public managers of Kenyan rural development”, (Berkeley 1991). The author states that the book is a collective biography of East African doctors, dealing only with black Africans. The title of the book is therefore confusing and will disappoint the many European, Asian and doctors of other nations who served in East Africa in a tradition which started from the late nineteenth century, in Government service, in specialised fields including research, in the missions, and in private practice.

In the first sentence of the book the author opines that “not since the origins of Mankind has East Africa been so important to the world as it is to-day. This special importance comes from the AIDS epidemic”. But surely the opening up of central Africa in the second half of the nineteenth century, culminating in the building of the Mombasa-Lake Victoria railway, had a greater impact on the development of medical care and the growth of the medical team in East Africa than the outbreak ofAIDS in the early 1980’s? The text gives scant recognition to the amazing basic research work carried out in several centres in the territories on the major tropical diseases, nor to the leadership ofW.H.O. in the worldwide Smallpox Eradication Programme in the 1970’s, the Global Immunisation Programme in the 1980’s and 90’s and later again in the 1990’s in collaborative programmes for research and control of AIDS. Nor is the disparity between Zanzibar and other East African territories in the role played by African doctors noted. By 1961 the posts of radiologist, ophthalmologist, the specialists in T.B. and dentistry, and the two M.O.H. posts for the two islands were all filled by local nationals who had been trained and taken post-graduate qualifications overseas.

To sum up in the words of the author, the book “is not a contemporary sociology of the East African Medical Profession, but a collective biography of East African Doctors dealing only with black Africans”. It would be impossible to include biographies of all the black African doctors, but the names of many who contributed greatly to the successful delivery of medical care and the development of the profession generally, are missing.
William Barton

PRIESTS, WITCHES AND POWER -POPULAR CHRISTIANITY AFTER MISSION IN SOUTHERN TANZANIA. Maia Green. Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp.xiii/180, maps, index. ISBN 0521 62189 5 (hardback). £40.00

Many in the secularized north imagine that global Christianity is dying and leaving the field open to Islam. The reality is different. Christianity in the south is enjoying a boom. Much of Africa, during the past century for example, became quietly and massively Christian. Northerners who are aware of this new Christianity may not like what they see. Instead of being democratic, liberal, activist or liberationist, it is an authoritarian, morally conservative Church which is concerned with personal salvation and is absorbing the habits and thoughts of cultures very different from the European. Maia Green’s book gives us a fascinating specimen, the Catholic Church among the Pogoro people of Tanzania. In spite of the persistence of missionary Church structures, of continued economic support from Europe, of a clerical elite locally engaged in controversial financial operations, the Pogoro of Ulanga District, though poor and unempowered, are predominantly, even fervently, Catholic. Moreover, they have developed a popular, post-mission Christianity with its own theological nuances. Green sees both tension and ambiguity in this situation, and believes the gap between formal Christianity and popular practice is growing. On the other hand, the Pogoro have a deep sense of being Christian. Green describes a fluid situation in which authority and practice are changing.

German Benedictine monks before World War I and Swiss Capuchin friars afterwards established what was to become the Diocese of Mahenge. Both German colonial rule and the Catholic mission were challenged in 1905 by German colonial rule and the Catholic mission were challenged in 1905 by the maji maji rebellion which engulfed half the ethnic groups of Tanzania, including the Pogoro. German retaliation took the form of a scorched earth policy which resulted in side lining Ulanga District in the development process. The Church moved into the vacuum, developing a system of patronage and synergy with govermnent that continued under the British and beyond political independence in 1961. With the contraction of the Tanzanian state, Church influence has grown even greater.

Christianity is a religion of the book and, to ensure enduring conversions, evangelization was linked, as elsewhere, to education and literacy. The adult catechumenate, prevalent in other parts of Tanzania, does not feature in Green’s account. However, she sees the community-based Christianity led by village catechists as a counterweight to the clerical structures of diocese and parish. Green is silent about the extent to which the Catholic pastoral policy of jumuiya ndogondogo (small Christian communities) has been implemented in Mahenge.

Popular Christianity sees priests as a source of blessing and power, but women also engender power through the management of fertility in puberty rituals (unyago) and the removal of death pollution at burials. These roles inspire a female religiosity, which is focused on Mary, the bereaved and compassionate mother of Jesus. One wonders to what extent Pogoro priests are aware of this popular theology, especially in view of Vatican II’s interest in initiation rituals, and the proposals for unyago wa kikristu (Christian initiation) in Tanzania. Women also feature prominently in the witchcraft cleansing movements, which Green credibly associates with political rivalry and the critique of clerical power.

Anthropological fieldwork in Africa has traditionally been conducted by the lone foreigner, whose valid criticisms may be resented by the local elite. The latter can only be co-opted by means of a self-study. Moreover, condensed, technical language, while it suits the professional anthropologist, runs the risk of being misunderstood by the ordinary reader in Africa.
Aylward Shorter

ONCE INTREPID WARRIORS: GENDER, ETHNICITY AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF MAASAI DEVELOPMENT. Hodgson, Dorothy L. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2001. -from a review for Africa Today, by Peg Snyder.

Dorothy Hodgson explores “continuities and changes between the ideas and experiences of development in the colonial period and those of the post colonial period” in the lives of the Maasai of Arusha Region, the “once intrepid warriors”, as they were called by Harry Johnston in 1886. She shows how both being a Maasai, and being a Maasai man or woman changed over time. Delightful “Maasai Portraits” appear between the chapters.

Finding that failure of planned development projects only served to inspire another try at a similar model, the author judged that it was the ways of “seeing Maasai” rather than “being Maasai” that underlay failures, so she observes development efforts through the lenses of gender, ethnicity and cultural politics, and associations between development and state power. During the British colonial period, projects were directed to men, leaving women marginalized; “taxation classified women as property to be paid for by men”. By the eve of independence, after a half century of water development projects, the Maasai experienced a drought whose effects were exacerbated by loss of most of their dry-season pastures and water points that government had closed off or ceded to settlers. The colonial government shifted blame for their condition onto the Maasai.

After independence, government representatives in Arusha Region had no better image of the Maasai, and soon sought to impose a “modern” dress code on them. Women got angry, cursed their elites whom they thought were complicit in the campaign, and were preparing to travel en masse to Dar es Salaam to express their views to the President when Government dropped the campaign.

The follies of the famous, failed groundnut scheme pale in comparison to the multi-million dollar, USAID sponsored Masai Livestock Development and Range Management Project of 1969. Like the Masai Development Plan of the colonial 1950s, its evaluations were consistently negative and the Masai were blamed for the failure of something they neither chose nor designed. Hodgson describes the whole fiasco scathingly, pointing out the “marvellous ambiguities” of the term development, as when “in the mid-1970s, USAID discovered that people were part of development”.

Donors and NGOs were expected to accept women’s lessened status as “tradition”; elite men were the authentic and indigenous representatives of the Maasai. Young women confronted change in gender relations through spirit possession (orpeko) then converted to Christianity to remove the curse and achieve moral superiority over men.

This excellent book reveals how the legacies of development projects are far, far broader than their technical goals. The author cautions that “neither the Maasai of the present nor the Maasai of the past bear much resemblance to the stereotypical images of them that pervade, and have always pervaded, Western and African media.”

INTO AFRICA -THE DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE STANLEY-LIVINGSTONE STORY. Martin Dugard. Transworld Publishers/Bantam Press. 2003. 339 pages. £18.99.

Not another book about Livingstone surely! And about Stanley too! Yes, but this one, as is claimed in the title, is different. It will be found exceptionally entertaining by both those who already know the story and those who do not.

The author describes himself as an adventurer -one of his earlier books traced the ‘rise and fall’ of Captain James Cook -and the layout of the drama, as he narrates it, with alternating chapters on the two main characters, obliges the reader to keep on reading to see what happens next.

The author’s racy writing style may not be to everyone’s taste and is probably best described as evocative. Dugard describes Stanley’s writing as ‘purple and intimate; the sentences meandering, sparsely punctuated, sometimes lazily crafted -yet always evocative.’ Livingstone is described as possessing ‘a very human mixture of hope, dreams, longing, depression, spirituality, sexuality and regret.’

In contrast to some other books on the same subject this one gives quite detailed character sketches of the other key participators in the saga. These include the explorers Speke and Burton, Royal Geographical Society Presidents Sir Roderick Murchison and Sir Henry Rawlinson, the ex-slave Sidi Mubarak Bombay, British Vice-Consul in Zanzibar John Kirk and his adversary, American Consul Francis Webb, Royal Navy Gunnery Officer E. D. Young, the celebrated African Chief Mirambo who vanquished the Arab military leader in Tabora, Khamis bin Abdullah, the New York Herald’s James Gordon Bennett Jr, Prime Minister William Gladstone, Sir Samuel White Baker, and others.

The final chapters, with their moving description of the famous meeting, bring the book to an abrupt end. The remarkable loyalty of Livingstone’s servants Chuma and Susi and events subsequent to Livingstone’s death are dealt with all too briefly. The reader is left wanting more.

Readers of ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ will be glad to know that the major part of the book describes events which took place in what is now Tanzania 135 years ago.
David Brewin

‘MR. MYOMBEKERE AND HIS WIFE BUGONOKA, THEIR SON NTULANALWO AND DAUGHTER BULIHWALI: the Story of an Ancient African Community’ by Aniceti Kitereza. Translated from Kikerewe by Gabriel Ruhumbika. Published 2002 by Mkuki na Nyota 687pp. available from African Books Collective, Oxford. £29.95.

This 700-page novel makes a compulsive read. I found myself reading it simultaneously on two levels: first, on the level of narrative plot, and second, as a piece of closely documented social history.

The novel was written during the early 1940s. The author, born in 1896, had been a lifelong writer -involved with early Kikerewe translations of the Bible and a Kikerewe dictionary, as well as being a prolific reteller of local stories. This, however, was the climax of his life’s writing. The work was written with the explicit aim of preserving the Kikerewe way of life, which the author saw as increasingly threatened by change; although multilingual in a range of possible lingua francas (in Latin and Greek, German, Kiswahili and English), the natural choice of language for this intimately personal work was Kikerewe. The fate of the manuscript reflects the complexity of the ‘language map’ of Tanzania: initially archived overseas in Montreal by the White Fathers, the novel reached a wider public only in 1980 when the author’s Kiswahili translation was published in Tanzania. While the original Kikerewe manuscript remains unpublished, the work has now at last found an international audience, translated in this full-length English version by the author’s nephew Gabriel Ruhumbika, now at the University of Georgia.

Set in pre-colonial Ukerewe, the main narrative plot is tellingly simple, depicting the lives of a husband and wife whose misfortune it was to find themselves childless. While on the narrative level the unhurried pace sustains the reader’s interest in the unfolding events of the story, the reader is at the same time drawn into understandings of the rich and complex world of pre-colonial Ukerewe. The author’s declared intention to provide a record of all aspects of pre-colonial Kikerewe life, ‘from birth to death’, is clearly evident and might well in other hands have become clumsily obtrusive. In fact, the descriptive matter is skilfully integrated to complement and amplify the plot, and the two levels work together to provide a richly rewarding text ­albeit a long one, which demands time, attention, and a deliberately leisurely reading.

The volume contains an excellent Introduction by the translator. Particularly intriguing is the account of the way in which this ‘novel’, in written prose form, relates to the conventions of epic oral literature. The Introduction also contains revealing comment on translation issues. A genealogical table is supplied (a map of Ukerewe would have usefully supplemented this), and a glossary of names and their meanings. A further glossary of Kikerewe words would have been useful as meanings are back-referenced in the chapter notes to their first occurrence: an editorial irritation. The translation may occasionally jar (‘gatecrash’, for example, for an unexpected arrival, or ‘barbecue’ as equivalent for traditional cooking over an open fire). There are a number of typos. An invaluable resource, which will be of interest to all social historians, are the chapter notes supplied by the translator, who -in the spirit of his Uncle’s original intentions -has added a wealth of explanatory matter drawn from written sources and from recent personal field-study among the elders of Ukerewe.
Ann Brumfit

“ALMOST AN OXFAM IN ITSELF”: OXFAM, UJAMAA AND DEVELOPMENT IN TANZANIA, by Michael Jennings. Journal of the Royal African Society, African Affairs voll01, 509-530. 2002.

This article by Michael Jennings, currently Research Officer at the Well come Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford, is based on work undertaken for his PhD at the University of London, 1998. It traces the rise and fall of the ‘Ujamaa’ policy of the Tanzania Government in the 1960s and early 1970s Jennings shows how Oxfam thinking, at least in its Tanzania programme, became committed to the policy -in particular its emphasis on voluntarism, self help and grass roots democracy -and continued to support it, and even to advocate it as a strategy for other developing countries, for several years after the Tanzania Government had effectively abandoned it, in its actions if lot its words, and had shifted to a more conventionally individualistic Jrogramme of social and economic development.

Jennings describes in some detail the growth of the Ruvuma Development Association, established in Songea Region in the early 1960s under the leadership of the charismatic local secretary of the Tanu Youth League, John Ntimbanjayo Millinga. The RDA linked the first and perhaps ‘purist’ of Tanzania’s ujamaa villages, and supplied much of the practical experience on which Julius Nyerere based his early thinking and writing on ujamaa. Jimmy Betts, Oxfam’s first Field Director for Tanzania, was understandably impressed by the achievements of the RDA, as were most visitors to the RDA villages in the 1960s, including myself: Betts described it as ‘a physical manifestation of what Oxfam wished to promote on a larger scale’.

Yet by 1969, following a visit to Ruvuma by TANU’s Central Committee, the Government had declared the RDA an illegal organisation and had forced its disbandment. Jennings is not explicit on the reasons underlying this action -he explains it as an indication of ‘regional fears combined with political factions at the centre’. But banning the RDA was surely the predictable response of an insecure political bureaucracy to a peasant movement which tried to take its future into its own hands. The very name RDA is provocative, suggesting that the Association, rather than the Government, was the driving force responsible for the development of Ruvuma Region! With Oxfam’s historic commitment to equality and grass roots democracy, it is not surprising that Betts and his successors were reluctant to recognise the shift in Tanzania Government policy in the late 1960s and early 1970s -from voluntary towards compulsory villagisation, and from collective towards individual action and decision-making -and the widening gulf between the rhetoric and the reality of what was happening on the ground. This was surely a classic if understandable case of wishful thinking writ large.

As an objective academic observer of political developments Jennings is careful not to pass judgement on the rights or wrongs of Tanzania’s early dalliance with socialist development, nor on Oxfam’s extended backing of the ujamaa policy. Many observers at the time, and since, have, however, compared Nyerere’s “utopian idealism”, usually unfavourably, with the more pragmatic individualistic development strategies adopted in neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Congo. In the light of the political and economic chaos now reigning in most of those countries, compared to the relative political stability and steady (albeit socially divisive) economic growth experienced in Tanzania in recent years, one might be excused for questioning whether the roots of Tanzania’s recent success may not lie in the democratic and communitarian foundation which Nyerere strove to lay down in Tanzanian society in the 1960s. One might even wonder whether, had the Tanzania Government, as well as Oxfam, maintained its faith in such policies for a little longer, this foundation might have become even more solid.
Antony Ellman

FROM RACE TO CITIZENSHIP: THE INDIGENIZATION DEBATE IN POST-SOCIALIST TANZANIA, Ronald Aminzade, Studies in Comparative International Development Vol. 38, No. 1. 2003. Pp43-63.

Aminzade’s study seems to serve several purposes. First, he focuses on how anti-Asian sentiment during Tanzania’s post-socialist era was politicized as an indigenization factor rather than the stealth racist issue it represented. And, second, he offers it as a tool to explain electoral behavior of political parties as they attempt to create as well as mediate policy differences, conflicts and competition with the major party. He outlines the colonial and socio-economic factors establishing the Asian community’s separate identity as both envied and resented and thus susceptible to political exploitation in Tanzania’s new era of capitalism. Tracing indigenous identities as a means of distinguishing between citizens and foreigners, Aminzade outlines the evolution of this policy when anti­Asian sentiment was used as a political weapon, mainly by Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s opposition, to seek electoral support especially after 1992 when multiparty competition was institutionalized. Political parties across the political spectrum utilized anti-Asian sentiment as a political weapon after Reverend Christopher Mtikila, leader of an unregistered party and a candidate in another opposition party, opportunistically raised the “indigenization” issue, and thus not only unleashed widespread violence against Asians, especially shopkeepers, but also legitimized usage of the issue for other opposition politicians. As the liberalization and privatization process evolved in the 1990s, Government responses to these political demands included various economic policies limiting activities of “non-indigenous” investors that aided the emergence of an influential black, and sometimes corrupt, African bourgeoisie which often sent its profits abroad rather than re-invest in the local economy. Aminzade fails to note that while the government excluded non-indigenous peoples from trade it also permitted them to engage in banking, finance, and technology, and the Asians used this to their advantage. Government policies led to an increase in foreign investments, especially from South Africa, and the “dumping” of foreign goods sold at cheaper prices than local goods. The historically authenticated anti-Asian sentiment became a convenient weapon for opposition groups reluctant to make charges of corruption against the major political party. The more things change the more they remain the same.

Much of the evidence is based on sources published during the 1990s, and its worth noting that the author draws on material published in six issues of Tanzanian Affairs.
Marion E Doro, College New London, CT 06320.



I read the last issue of Tanzanian Affairs with great interest -as usual. And, also as usual, I found many comments with which I disagreed -e.g. Mr Musiba saying that he had never seen development arising from aid. Where has he been all his life? … where was he educated, and how, and would he have had the same opportunities if at that time aid had been scorned while we waited for private investment?…… I don’t claim too much for the first 25 years of independence but some of our greatest achievements -e.g. almost universal literacy and the system of basic education and health spreading almost everywhere and without religious or racial discrimination -would have not been possible without aid ….. .

But eventually I read my obituary of Judge Mustafa ….. I am now embarrassed by what I am sure is the kind of error which can easily be made when you have deadlines to meet. I wrote: ‘Judge Mustafa was dependent upon thrice-weekly dialysis for his last years, but continued to enjoy life with his wife Sophie. You wrote: ….. dialysis for his last years but continued to endure life with his wife Sophie….. Could some short acknowledgement of the error be published in the next issue?
Joan Wicken

I am even more embarrassed I can only blame too much use of modem technology especially dictation to the computer. Many apologies -Editor.

I read with interest Professor Pat Caplan’s criticism of my review of “Serving Class” published in issue number 74 of Tanzanian Affairs (here). I feel that her response was overly protective of the book and its author Janet Bujra, and lacked any substantive point. Professor Caplan asserts that the book is an academic study by a well-known development sociologist whose work on both Tanzania and Kenya is widely respected both in those countries and internationally. This surely does not render the work impervious to criticism. Are well known and respected people in the world always right? Cannot they be criticised? That is surely unacceptable in the academic field. If all authors are not to be criticised, how are they going to improve their work?

In response to my argument that the author Bujra had borrowed western ideas to fit into her research, Professor Caplan notes that the author pays tribute to Issa Shivji, who has written on class struggle in Tanzania. Professor Caplan goes on to make the general point that the author has taken great care to be historically, socially and culturally specific. Professor Caplan suggests that my review didn’t take these aspects into account. I do not dispute that Bujra mentions social, cultural and historical aspects in her work. What I vehemently argue is that Bujra has not commented on the significance of these aspects on the emergence of domestic services in Tanzania. Merely stating that domestic servants were working for missionaries and colonialists or foreigners in general, does not link up the sources of domestic services in Tanzania with traditional, religious, slavery and colonial practices.

Similarly I do not dispute that Bujra mentions women who are sexually abused by their employers, and that child servants are not neglected in the book. My point is not that the author does not mention these subjects, but that no critical challenge is made of common practices like parading child domestic servants along roads to sell ice cream, bread or cake for the household they work in. Nor is there any analysis of the reactions of parents whose children were made victims of child labour and abuse. Professor Caplan is incorrect to say that Bujra’s page 2 has answered my arguments. Page two only notes the existence of sexual and class exploitation as well as nomenclature of dominance.

Moreover, I stand by my criticism of Bujra for dropping some details from the English version, which appear in Swahili, thus losing certain areas of meaning in the process. I also feel that it is regrettable that there is no translated version into Swahili to give a chance for people who were involved in the study to read this work, compare the correctness of the findings and eventually gauge their reactions in the light of the past and current status of domestic services in Tanzania.

Finally, I am very surprised that the learned Professor Caplan wants to know what I have done before she hears about my criticisms. Nobody was born a writer, a university lecturer or famous person. Everything has a beginning and then develops. I don’t think it is appropriate to try to frustrate, intimidate and bully young writers so that they become afraid to review work of high profile people simply because their qualifications, celebrity and experience do not match. Other readers who can analyse text and write must be encouraged to do so in forthcoming issues regardless of their level of education, experience or fame in the Society. Please read the book and exercise your right to criticise or support it.
Frederick Longino

That’s what our friends and family said when we told them we had committed ourselves to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. For some reason they seemed to find it amusing that we would swap hairdryers for mountain blizzards, vodka bottles for water bottles, kitten heeled mules for blistering walking boots and the famous Indian curry for re-hydrated mash. Perhaps we are crazy, but when you discover why we’re doing it you will understand. We have committed ourselves to raising £2,800 each to help VSO with its work in Tanzania. There are currently 74 VSO volunteers working in Tanzania representing 12 different nationalities and they are concentrating on four key areas: education and health care, income security through sustainable livelihoods and employment and promoting the use of natural resources. If any of your readers can contribute to this challenge could they please call us: Ben Langdon on 020 xxx0 7218 or e-mail us on
Emily McEweb and Kate Backler

I refer to TA No. 74 and have to report that I received a response from one of your readers, Mr John Pike who was mainly employed in the southern province in the 1900’s and could be of help to Mr David Morgan of Alcester but I regret not to me. I am sure readers must be around who have photographs of Kongwa from 1946 to 1951. I do wish you could try again. I find explaining the Groundnut Scheme verbally is very hard going.
S G Carrington-Buck, 3 Glassenbury Drive, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN 40 2NY. Tel: 01424 -2xxxx11