MISCELLANY

The US First Lady Laura Bush arrived in Dar es Salaam on July 13. She visited the ‘Pastoral Activities and Services for People with Aids, Dar es Salaam Arch Diocese’ (Pasada) in Chang’ombe area where she pledged $500,000 to assist HIV-positive people and their families. Her host, Mama Mkapa, expressed deep appreciation to her for visiting the country to highlight the plight of people infected with Aids.
In Zanzibar the First Lady, Shadia Karume, led her to the Al-Rahma Madrasa, about 30km from Zanzibar Stone Town, one of several pre-primary schools that had benefited from $200,000 from USAID.
Under the heading ‘That American exclusivity’ the Guardian on July 18 wrote: ‘We take this opportunity to thank Mrs Bush for sparing some days and flying for more than 15 hours to jet into this poor part of the world. Yet, the protocol and security around her…. left the nation aghast. Granted the Americans would not take any chance, particularly after the recent attacks on London…but the security detail around her was contemptuous of the host country. The whole world watched Tanzania being utterly humiliated by the American Secret Service and FBI personnel as they pushed away local security personnel. One got the impression they were protecting someone from Mars and not a human being…..If Mrs Bush was so much in danger, was there any reason for her to even think of coming?’ …..Thank you Peter White, Keith Lye and Christine Lawrence for sending information on Mrs Bush’s visit – Editor

Immediately after the British election in May President Mkapa sent a congratulatory message to Tony Blair. He said that relations between the Labour Party and CCM and between the two governments had been long and rewarding. He went on: The Commission for Africa Report bears the stamp of your genuine concern for Africa. I hope that working together in 2005 may truly be the turning point in engendering a big international push for a strong, peaceful and prosperous Africa.

Liz FennelMrs Liz Fennell and Mrs Anna Mkapa

On June 29 British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock held a musical evening at his Residence to raise funds for Buigiri School, a special school for the blind (which the
Britain-Tanzania Society has helped in the past). Mrs. Anna Mkapa was guest-of-honour and in this photograph we see her with Chairman of the UK Branch, Mrs. Liz Fennell who was visiting Tanzania at the time (Thank you Nancy Macha for sending this news and the photo – Editor).

After a recent seminar at the University of Dar es Salaam, the Guardian quoted various dons criticising the government and foreign donors for ‘downgrading university education’. Market forces were dictating what teaching mode should be employed; public resources going to the universities were being siphoned off by the bureaucracy; university education had been turned into a commodity and this had given rise to ‘academic slavery’ sustained by the donor community….. Thank you Jairo Nyaongo for sending this – Editor.

A large piece of Tanzanite weighing over three kilogrammes was been mined at 270 metres underground at Mererani in Manyara Region. It measures 220x80x70 millimetres and weighs well over three kilogrammes. It is the world’s largest single piece of Tanzanite to have been mined in recent history. The piece has been named ’The Mawenzi’ after Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak – Guardian.
THE Zanzibar government has said it will not bow to pressure by international human rights groups that want it to legalise same-sex marriages and abolish stiff punishment for gays and lesbians. Minister for Education and Culture, Haroun Suleiman, said the government would never legalise such marriages – Daily News.
On July 17 Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye emerged best in an annual firing range exercise that involved nearly 30 MP’s “It is useless, and indeed dangerous, to keep a gun that you cannot use skillfully,” the premier said. Sumaye pumped 15 bullets out of 20 in the bull’s eye using a sub-machine-gun. He also did well with a light machinegun and a pistol. Some MPs, who used personal handguns, ended up as ‘outright washouts’ – Daily News.

The National Museum of Tanzania is hoping to make a film on the Majimaji war which pitted Tanzanian heroes against German rule a century ago. The war is being seen as the first stirring of nationalism and a unifying experience that brought together all the different peoples of the country under one leader in an attempt to establish a nation free from foreign domination – Daily News.

Tanzania filed a civil case in June in the Clerkenwell District Court in London against the British Government to demand the relocation of destitute people (sqatters) who have invaded one of the two official residences of the High Commissioner in Highgate. The High Commission is also asking for compensation for damage caused. The residence fell vacant after the High Commissioner shifted residence temporarily to facilitate repairs on his official house. Efforts were made to persuade the destitute to move on but to no avail – Guardian.
Entry fees for the Serengeti National Park and Kilimanjaro National Park will be increased from January to $50 per day compared with the present $30 but fees for the remaining parks will remain at $30 per day – Guardian

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