British Prime Minister Tony Blair has asked President Mkapa to serve as one of the 15 commissioners in the recently established ‘UK Commission for Africa.’ The Commission seeks to analyse prospects for Africa’s development and make policy recommendations aimed at generating increased international support for the ‘G8 Africa Action Plan’ and the ‘New Partnership for Africa Development’ (NEPAD). President Mkapa applauded the British PM’s efforts in giving priority to Africa’s issues and expressed his readiness to support the project – Sunday Observer.
Tanzania’s renowned diplomat, Ambassador Gertrude Mongella, has been elected President of the Pan-African Parliament. Reports from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the 53-member African Union (AU) launched its Assembly on March 18, indicated that Ambassador Mongella was unopposed after other contestants for the post withdrew their names following the reading by a representative from Nigeria of Ambassador Mongella’s impressive profile. The AU wants the Pan-African assembly, modeled on the European Union parliament, to give Africans a bigger voice in how they are governed – Guardian.
University of Dar es Salaam Professor Issa Shivji has created some controversy by publishing ‘Reflections on (local) NGO’s in Tanzania’. He said that they tended to focus more on enriching themselves from donor funds but had failed in their principal objective of helping the people. “NGO’s are top-down organisations led by a few elite and only urban based” he said. “Most NGO wallahs do not have any grand vision of society – Daily Times

Only 8.4% (2,905 out of 34,740) of the pupils who sat for the standard seven examinations in Dar es Salaam region last year were selected to join government secondary schools.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Omar Mahita has stopped importation of AK 47 rifles ordered by the Kahama Mining Company Limited (KMCL) for use by Nepalese Gurkhas who are in the country specifically to offer protection to KMCL employees and property. Company spokesman Deo Mwanyika said that, in his refusal, IGP Mahita had said that AK 47’s were used by the military only. He said the Gurkhas were given two-month business visas on arrival but had since been given work permits – Rai.
Zanzibar’s House of Representatives has passed a Bill that outlaws homosexuality and lesbianism and imposes stiff penalties, which include up to 25 years imprisonment, for those in gay relationships. The Attorney-General said they were determined to prevent Zanzibari culture from being corrupted – Guardian.
The restructured Muhimbili National Hospital under its new management (see above) has come under fire for imposing new rates of Tshs. 10,000 for outpatients, Tshs. 20,000 for inpatients and Tshs. 50,000 for surgical cases. The Government said the new rates and regulations would minimize the chances of corruption.

On January 30 the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) destroyed a total of 4,338 anti-personnel mines (APMs) at the Monduli Military Training Camp in Arusha Region in accordance with the 1997 Ottawa Convention.

UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has appointed the former Tanzania Ambassador to the UN, Daudi Mwakawago, to represent the UN in Sierra Leone.

Majira reported on April 17 that Police in Dar Es Salaam had seized military weapons including eight light machine guns, eight sub-machine guns and magazines. The consignment arrived in Dar three years ago and was stored at shed nos. 7 and 8. Apparently, good-hearted thieves broke into the sheds with intent to steal valuables only to find the weapons there. They then reported the matter to Temeke police without revealing their names!

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