Archive for September, 2009

FAITH NEWS

Both the Catholic Church and the Muslim hierarchy have been involved in controversy during recent weeks. The Church issued a pastoral letter which resulted in what Prime Minister Pinda described as a ‘hot debate’ because to Muslims it represented interference in the political process. Then the Muslim authorities stepped up their campaign against what they considered to be excessive Christian pressure forcing the government to ban the spread of Sharia law.

The Roman Catholic Church
This Church published an 18-page booklet entitled ‘Mpango wa Kichungaji Kuhamasisha Jamii Kuelekea Uchaguzi’ (A Pastoral Project to Sensitise People Towards the Elections) authored by the Catholic Professionals of Tanzania and the Tanzania Episcopal Conference’s Justice and Peace Commission which has caused great controversy. The aim was said to be to help their believers to be better informed on political issues and on how to question prospective holders of political office before the 2010 general elections. The document said that the country was experiencing ‘serious leadership problems’ and called on all Catholics to participate in the forthcoming elections to choose good leaders. The aim was to sensitise the people… to take action in rectifying bad things and strengthening good ones. The sensitisation project started in January 2009 and has 15 phases.

Veteran CCM MP Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru speaking in the National Assembly urged the Church to withdraw the document which was ‘divisive’, could spark ‘unnecessary chaos’ and was against the principles of unity. “I was surprised to see the document,” he said, “because, during the era of the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Nyerere and TANU, all leaders were united…. This time it is the Catholic Church, next probably the Evangelical Lutheran Church will come with its own statement and so will the Anglicans and the Muslims,” he said. The MP warned that the move was a threat to religious tolerance and could influence people to choose national leaders on religious grounds.

A senior state official told Raia Mwema that they were concerned about the letter, circulated to all parishes, which had poked holes in government and CCM policies. A young CCM leader, Nape Nnauye, told a rally in Dar that the Church had called upon Tanzanians not to elect corrupt leaders. “Anyone against the manifesto is playing into the hands of the corrupt” he said. CCM Secretary General Makamba said Ngombale was expressing his personal opinion and did not represent the party. House Speaker Sitta and CCM Party Vice-Chairman Msekwa also said they saw nothing wrong in the pastoral letter as it did not go against the law or constitution – Majira

The Church hit back at the wave of criticism. President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Archbishop Jude Ruwaichi, said that critics should not comment on the circular which they had not thoroughly read nor understood. Such people were viewing the letter with the background of the forthcoming elections “Our intention is to empower the voters to understand the value of their vote and how they can identify capable leaders.”

Prime Minister Pinda, speaking in parliament, distanced himself from showing whether the government supported the church initiative or not. He said the church should not ignore what the public were debating about its circular. He warned over the possibility of other religious institutions coming up with their own circulars to sensitise their worshipers on civic education. “I have not seen such a circular during the last two elections. Why now?” he asked.
However, he expressed his optimism that the controversy would not culminate in a deterioration of the political atmosphere.

The Muslim Council (BAKWATA) then entered the fray. The churches should not try and install their preferred political leaders by influencing the elections next year, because that would be unconstitutional. It would be wrong for them to establish the qualities of leaders to be elected, as it was not their job to do so said Mwanza Regional Secretary Mohammed Said Balla. He said that since January this year Christian clerics had been holding seminars telling worshippers whom to elect – Mtanzania.

Sharia Courts
Following the government’s decision not to allow Sharia courts in Tanzania, BAKWATA called upon Muslims all over the country to boycott CCM candidates in the forthcoming presidential, parliamentary and local government elections. The Chief Sheikh, Mufti Issa Simba, said it was obvious that the government was succumbing to pressure from Christian clerics. Muslims had been demanding a Sharia court for 20 years but all they got was empty promises. Several sheikhs supported the Mufti and one criticised Muslim MP’s who were ‘tight-lipped on the matter.’ Answering an MP in the National Assembly who asked why CCM had “cheated” the people by promising a Sharia court in its manifesto, Prime Minister Pinda called upon people to be patient. Since the issue was sensitive, government had to be careful. Speaker Samuel Sitta intervened to state that the manifesto had not promised a Sharia court but only said it would ‘look into the possibility’ – Mwananchi.

On July 9 a panel of ten Muslim clerics from several mainland regions gave the PM two weeks to declare when a Sharia court would be established. They warned if this was not done they would launch a country-wide campaign to convince Muslims not to vote for CCM. Mufti Shaaban Issa Simba appointed a special committee to pursue the matter, and called upon Muslims to stay calm.
At a meeting of 1,000 Muslims it was stated that they were more capable than BAKWATA to mobilise the Muslim masses. The meeting donated Shs 1.8 million to start the campaign. Several MPs said a Sharia court would ensure that women got their rights. Mgeni Kadida MP (Special Seats – CUF) said she couldn’t understand why the government was against the Court while it existed in places such as Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar which were multi-cultural and multi-faith societies. Defending the Court, she said: “Under a Sharia Court a widow would have the right to live in her husband’s house until she completed the four-month mourning period.” With a Sharia Court no one would dare throw her out she said – Majira.

Six Muslim organisations including Bakwata, the Istiqaama Community, the Dar es Salaam Islamic Club, the Ishnasheri Community and the Muslim Professional Organisation TAMPRO decided to hold a whole-night prayer session calling for a Sharia court. A protest march was planned in support of a statement by some 300 imams from various mosques who had met in Kariakoo. Former Minister for Industry and Trade Dr Juma Ngasongwa said it was a mistake for government to delay its decision on the Sharia court when the election was just around the corner. The matter had been discussed for 20 years and this had led to the present conflict with Muslims. The Sharia court had existed under colonial rule but then the government had dissolved it –Majira

Muslim political party introduced at mosque

Representatives of a new political party based in the Middle East, Hizb ut-Tahrir, arrived in Tanzania while the religious debate was continuing. It was introduced at a well-attended international colloquium at a mosque in Dar es Salaam. A representative from Mombassa told reporters that his party did not need to be registered because it “followed the teachings of the Koran.” He said that the party, founded in Al Quds (Palestine) in 1953, aimed at Islamic rule (Khilafah) in Muslim majority countries, while in countries such as Tanzania the aim was to “awaken Muslims through intellectual discourse” – Mtanzania.

Gays appeal to the UN
Gay rights activists in the country have complained to the UN Human Rights Commission, claiming that their rights are being trampled on in Tanzania, contrary to the country’s constitution. They want the Penal Code to be amended. But, according to Mwananchi, they were facing strong admonition from religious bodies which considered gay rights to be against religious teachings and moral values. Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Dar es Salaam Methodius Kilaini said: “If they were disabled then we would understand, but what they want is unacceptable. God has created two sexes and that is how it will remain.”

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PRESIDENT ACTS

According to Nipashe, while opening a tourist hotel in the Serengeti Park, President Kikwete was seen to be visibly annoyed with the Regional Commissioner for Mara, because of the way he was considered to be running his region. He asked the RC to leave the function and go and deal with his problems including tribal clashes in Rorya and Tarime districts and the environmental degradation caused by North Mara gold mines and his failure to submit a report he had been asked to submit.

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NEW TRENDS IN BY-ELECTIONS

There have been three by-elections in recent weeks:

Busandu, Geita
There was plenty of drama during the intensely-fought Busandu by-election which took place on May 24. Once again there was a poor turnout with only 55,460 voters (41%) casting their ballots out of 135,168 registered voters. CCM won with 29,242 and the leading opposition party on the mainland CHADEMA got 22,799. The other main opposition CUF party must have been very disappointed by its 957 votes.

Veteran CCM leader Ngombale-Mwiru, said the problem for CHADEMA was that it was facing CCM with its strong and organised network of branches and leaders right down to the village level, while CHADEMA depended on its helicopter, rabble rousers and cheer leaders. “At the end of the day people leave noisy rallies and go back to the CCM network. What CHADEMA lacks is a grass roots organisation. Among the opposition parties only CUF is well organised in Zanzibar,” Ngombale- Mwiru said.

However, CHADEMA Deputy Secretary General Zitto Kabwe pointed out that his party had increased its votes in Busanda from 4% in 2005 to 44% in 2009. He told reporters: “This time they won; now we are waiting for the next by-election in Biharamulo. I have called the CCM deputy Secretary General and congratulated him on his victory” – details were in all the Swahili newspapers.

Biharamulo
The CCM party came very close to losing the fiercely contested by-election in Biharamulo West. The CCM got 17,561 votes against 16,700 for CHADEMA – a majority of only 861. The by-election also illustrated the growing strength of CHADEMA which got 48.8% of the vote. The other major opposition party CUF, which rarely does well on the mainland, got very few votes.
An angry CHADEMA Chairman Freeman Mbowe said that the results had been doctored and warned that the “conspiracy” between the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and CCM was a recipe for “disorder and bloodshed” in the country. “In any case it shows we are now a formidable force ready to take over from CCM, especially if you compare this result with our past performances.” He said that his party didn’t intend to file a petition because the NEC had already announced that there would be no more by-elections until the 2010 elections, so even if CHADEMA succeeded in unseating CCM the result would be no MP for Biharamulo. Once again there was a low turnout – of the 87,188 voters on the permanent register, only 35,338 (41%) cast their ballots – The Citizen.

Magogoni, Zanzibar
At the Magogoni by-election, at which 13 EU observers were present, the CCM candidate, Asha Hilal, won comfortably with 2,874 votes compared with the opposition CUF’s 1,974. “The election was free and fair and I have conceded defeat,” the CUF candidate said. The Zanzibar Electoral Commission applauded the political maturity and tolerance shown by the political parties during the by-election and said that this was a manifestation that Zanzibar could conduct free and fair elections devoid of chaos. Since the introduction of a multiparty system in 1992, Zanzibar has held reconciliation talks twice following political instability in the
Isles resulting from alleged electoral misconduct – Guardian.

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TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Compiled by Donovan Mc Grath

After a Severe Birth Injury – New York Times 22.03.09

This article described the distressing pain and suffering experienced by Sarah Jonas and Mwanaidi Swalehe, two teenage girls hospitalised in Dodoma after developing ‘an internal wound called a fistula, which left them incontinent and soaked in urine.’ The young women are hoping surgeons can repair the damage caused by difficulties during childbirth.
Extract: ‘Pregnant at 16, both had given birth in 2007 after labor that lasted for days. Their babies had died, and the prolonged labor had inflicted a dreadful injury on the mothers.’
The article continues: ‘… Dr. Jeffrey P. Wilkinson, an expert on fistula repair from Duke University in North Carolina, noted that women with fistulas frequently become outcasts because of the odor… Fistulas are the scourge of the poor, affecting two million women and girls, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia – those who cannot get a Caesarean section or other medical help on time. …’ Thank you Liz Fennell for this article – Editor.

Bi Kidude book review – East African 13.07.09

A review of a book about Fatma Bint Baraka, popularly known as Bi Kidude, was published in The East African (13 July 09). The reviewer Mohamed Said says: ‘Bi Kidude needs no introduction to the people of the East African coast, from Lamu in Kenya to Lindi in Tanzania and beyond. This is the region where taarab music is a popular part of Swahili culture.’
Extract continues: ‘In this predominantly Muslim society, where elderly people are expected to live their last days in pious seclusion, the 80-year-old Bi Kidude wears make-up, enjoys a drink once in a while and still mounts the stage in packed concert halls in Zanzibar and abroad…. This book is an encyclopaedia of the life and culture of Zanzibar people… The book moves with ease from one epoch to the other, introducing readers to the “Zanzibar enlightenment” when young people were first exposed to Western dance, music, and cinema for entertainment.’

Borderless competition – African Report No 18 (Aug-Sep 09)
‘Borderless competition: The arrival of East Africa’s common market next year will be the first step to much more open trading in the larger Comesa [Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa] region; winners and victims are already getting ready’, reads the headline to this business article
Extract: ‘Even when tariffs strike zero on 31 December, a host of non-tariff barriers will persist, entrenched by vested interests. Much of the trouble is coming from Tanzania, where the authorities do not recognise harmonised regulatory standards already written into law. On the whole, Tanzania has been far more resistant to integration than any other EAC member. As its socialist past and lack of English-language training has kept Tanzanian businesses from becoming as competitive as those next door; fear of being overrun runs deep. It is questionable whether Tanzania will go forward with the EAC – it has until the end of 2009 to opt out.’

‘Expenses culture has high cost for world’s poorest nations’ – Financial Times 30.07.09.
Extract: ‘In Tanzania, one African country with a relatively well established if slow public sector, the problem is not simply corruption. It is a form of institutionalised, legal time-wasting that is endemic in the region . . .
‘At its root is the culture of the “per diem”, the daily payment made to officials attending meetings and conferences that is nominally designed to cover the costs of travel, food and accommodation… All too often [per diems] are a rational way for individual, underpaid and neglected civil servants to make ends meet, while doing little to help achieve any objective.
…The whole system rewards people on outputs not outcomes.’ Thank you Leocardia Tesha for this item.

Indonesia & Tanzania Illegal Logging – Developments 12.01.09
Indonesia-based NGO PT Triton and UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) worked together with the Moi people in West Papua, Indonesia to express outrage at the environmentally disastrous logging activities proposed for their district. The result was an 11 minute film, The Tears of Mother Moi, screened at the Bali climate change conference and an instant Internet hit. The idea is to give local people a voice to express their thoughts and concerns over their – and our – environment.
Extract: ‘EIA is now taking its unique brand of training and empowerment to … Tanzania … As in Papua, illegal logging is a serious problem. With 33 million hectares of forest land (about 40% of the country), Tanzania is one of the most heavily forested countries in east Africa – but up to 500,000 hectares of forest are disappearing every year, up to 90% of it illegally felled.
‘… EIA’s new project got off the ground [last] November with basic training for three Tanzanian partner NGOs. Eventually the training will cascade down to local communities which are being invited to participate.’

Malaria Resistance -Economist 11.04.09
This interesting article explained a new approach in evolutionary theory that may help fight malaria. Aside from insecticides, herb-based drugs and the possibility of a vaccine, ‘the traditional first line of attack on malaria, killing the mosquitoes themselves, has yet to have a serious makeover.’ This method has enabled resistant strains to evolve, consequently rendering chemical insecticides ineffective over time.
Extract: ‘The upshot is that discovering a way to retain the anti-malarial benefits of insecticides without provoking an evolutionary response would be a significant breakthrough. And that is what Andrew Read of Pennsylvania State University and his colleagues have done. They have rethought the logic of insecticides, putting evolutionary theory at the centre, instead of a simple desire to destroy the enemy…’ Dr Read started from the observation that it is old, rather than young, mosquitoes that are infectious. Only females can transmit malaria (males suck plant juices, not blood) but they are not born with the parasites inside their bodies. They have to acquire them from humans already carrying the disease, and that takes time… In theory, then, killing only the oldest female mosquitoes—those at significant risk of being infectious—could stop the transmission of the disease. Since these females would have plenty of time to reproduce before they died, the evolutionary pressure imposed by killing them would be much lower…
‘The model, which they have just published in the Public Library of Science, reveals that selectively killing elderly mosquitoes would reduce the number of infectious bites by 95% and that resistance to such a tactic would spread very slowly, if it spread at all, because mosquitoes vulnerable to a post-breeding insecticide would have a chance to pass on their vulnerable genes to future generations.
‘The problem, of course, is to find an insecticide that only kills the elderly… A trial involving spraying fungal spores on to bed nets and house walls in Tanzania, is being set up at the moment. If it works, it will be a good example of the value of thinking about biological problems from an evolutionary perspective. People will still get bitten, but the bites will be merely irritating, not life-threatening.’ Thank you Simon Hardwick for this item.

Michael Jackson Tribute – East African 6.12.07.
This tribute to Michael Jackson sought to vindicate the late ‘King of Pop’ for failing to perform in East Africa by emphasising his ‘special relationship’ with the people of the region. Reporter John Kariuki says, ‘His music and videos carry memorable clips of the region.’
Extract: ‘For instance, part of the footage on … “Earth Song” [Bad 1987] was shot at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania…’ Moreover, the Kiswahili verse … “Nakupenda pia mpenziwe” … appears in “Liberian Girl” … Originally, “Earth Song” was to be filmed at the Amboseli National Park, but since it involved darting elephants, “The Kenya Wildlife Services would not allow it”…‘Tanzania was more flexible and the filming was done on its soil.’ MJ did visit Tanzania in 1992, but there were ‘negative claims that he constantly held his nose … because of the country’s foul smell,’ which was explained as just ‘a nervous gesture’ by Robert E. Johnson, writing for Ebony (May 1992). Apparently, this is why producer Quincy Jones nicknamed him “smelly”.

Portraits of Success – Sir Stuart Rose – Times Mag 23.05.09
Readers of this article would have discovered that Sir Stuart Rose, Executive Chairman of Marks and Spencer, has connections with Tanzania. In a report featuring portraits of today’s high-flyers posing in their work spaces, among numerous items in his office, Sir Stuart Rose has an African shield hanging over the window frame. In reference to the shield, he said: “I spent my childhood in Tanzania and have real affection for it. I helped build the Mvumi Secondary School there three years ago, and was made an honorary chief of the Wagogo tribe.” Thank you David Morgan for this item.

Register your sim card in Tanzania – East African 13.07.09
According to Joseph Mwamunyange ‘Tanzania has become the first country in East Africa to start registering cellular phone sim cards.’
Extract continues: ‘The move is aimed at curbing misuse and keeping track of the owners… The practice in Tanzania, as in other neighbouring countries, is for mobile phone subscribers to buy sim cards like any other commodity. This has led to abuse of the cards. But now, one will have to produce some form of identification before buying a sim card. Mobile phone users have until December 31 to register their sim cards, after which time all unregistered numbers will be deleted from the mobile phone system.’

Should it follow on the path of health or weather – BBC Focus On Africa (Apr-Jun 09)
This is the ethical dilemma facing Tanzania today. Reporter Anthea Rowan asks: ‘Should [Tanzania] turn away from tobacco production or continue to reap its economic benefits?’ An estimated 1.5 million Tanzanians depend on the cultivation of tobacco for their livelihood, so will the country’s health lobbies convince citizens that smoking is bad for health?
Extract: ‘True, since 2003 smokers can no longer light up in public places and the sale of cigarettes to those under 18 is banned. But the country is emerging as one of Africa’s primary tobacco producers and non-governmental organisations like the Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF) want tobacco growing to be cut back in favour of alternative crops deemed more healthy…’ However, critics argue that alternative crops (i.e. export vegetables and paprika) suggested by TTCF are not ‘viable replacements since the tobacco-growing region of Tanzania lacks the necessary infrastructure to support the export of highly perishable crops like fresh vegetables which must have swift access to an international airport and cold storage facilities….
‘But what of the conflict between promoting a tobacco-growing industry and the responsibility to protect a population from smoking-related disease?’
The article ends by saying: ‘The reality is that tobacco remains a profitable crop. The shape of its market is changing – there are fewer smokers in the West but growing numbers across China and eastern Europe. Smoking – and its attendant health problems – is a choice. Poverty usually is not.’

Tanzania claims $58m war debt from Uganda – Uganda’s Daily Monitor May 09 (online)
Extract: ‘Thirty years since the Kagera war, Tanzania, which played a major role in liberating Uganda wants the paycheck for its contribution to the 1979 war that freed Uganda from Idi Amin’s leadership. According to the paper’s online edition, the bill sent to the Uganda government stands at $58m…’

Tanzania to solve murder by ‘ballot’- West Australian 07.03.09
Tanzanian police are continuing their efforts to stop the witchcraft-related murders of albinos. After issuing possible victims in Dar es Salaam with mobile phones and access to a ‘hotline’ using text messages (TA No. 93), the latest tactic is to ask ‘residents to write down murder suspects’ names and deposit them in ballot-type boxes.’ Thank you Douglas Gledhill for this article.

Tanzania rookie Thabeet now a Grizzlie in the NBA -East African 06.07.09

President Kikwete and Thabeet

President Kikwete and Thabeet


Extract: ‘Tanzania now boasts of the first ever international basketballer from the region to grace the world famous NBA, the US top basketball league. Hasheem Thabeet from Dar was on June 25 selected by the Memphis Grizzlies as the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft in New York and will earn $11.5 million in the next three years…. Born on February 16, 1987 in Dar, Thabeet at 7ft 3in and weighing 119 kilogrammes is the tallest player ever to play for the Huskies. ‘He did not begin to play basketball until the age of 15, when he began to watch pickup games in Tanzania…’ Thabeet began playing basketball when he was in Makongo Secondary School in Dar es Salaam.’

‘The Gem of Tanzania. The strange journey of the “jinxed” jewel’ – Financial Times 28.03.09
Jonathan Guthrie and Samantha Pearson analyse the complex chain of ownership of the 2.1kg ruby known as the ‘Gem of Tanzania’. Trevor Michael Hart-Jones, a South African-born businessman living in Winchelsea, East Sussex, is said to be the most significant former owner of the gem. Extract: ‘Mr Hart-Jones, 66, bought the Gem in 2002. It had been discovered by Ideal Standards, a company mining near Arusha … in which he had invested. The company sold him the gem for R200,000, or about £13,000… ‘Mr Hart-Jones exported the ruby to the UK in 2002 … It then came into the possession of Cheshire-based businessman Tony Howarth .. David Unwin bought the ruby from Mr Howarth in 2006, through a land deal, valuing the gem at £300,000 … The gem was recorded at the same value on the balance sheet of Tamar Group [owned by Unwin] that year. It received a gob-smacking revaluation to £11m in 2007 after the takeover of Wrekin [Construction]…’
According to the FT, ‘Wrekin enters administration’ 10 March 2009, and the ‘Administrators take possession of the ruby’ ten days later. Apparently, were it not for the recession, no one outside of the chain might ever have heard of the ‘Gem of Tanzania.’

The push to get all children into school – Guardian 10.03.09
‘The push to get all children into school has seen spectacular successes for Tanzania,’ reports Jessica Shepherd. ‘But’, she adds: ‘with up to 70 pupils to a class, and global aid faltering in the recession, can progress be sustained?’
Extract: ‘… [According to the Tanzanian government], the country is well on its way to achieving universal primary education by 2015 … The ministry of education … states in its statistics book published in June that by this year “all children aged seven to 13 can be enrolled”… But look deeper than the official statistics and education in Tanzania is an altogether different story.’ In her report, Shepherd goes on to explain in detail the overcrowded, dank classrooms and the lack of adequate teaching resources seen in one of the country’s schools. There are also ‘hidden’ costs for parents – the article continues: ‘While primary school tuition fees have been scrapped, Tanzanian parents are expected to contribute to other costs, such as uniform, a cooker for lunch, the cost of the school guards and, in some schools, a donation to the Aids bereavement fund for pupils who have lost one or more parents.’
Towards the end of the article the reader is informed that: ‘In the 1980s, Tanzania almost achieved universal primary education, but it had accumulated a crippling debt burden and by 2000 the proportion of pupils enrolled for primary school had dropped to 57%.’ Thanks to Liz Fennell and Sister Lusia for this article – Editor.

Waiting for a great leap forward – Economist 09.05.09
Extract: ‘The country already gets 40% of its government budget in aid, but now it wants even more foreign cash to help it through the economic downturn…’ President Kikwete, who has been accused of ‘spending too much time burnishing Tanzania’s image abroad and not enough fixing problems at home’ … hopes that aid will keep Tanzania afloat long enough for its economy eventually to make a great leap forward.’ Thank you David Leishman for this item – Editor.

Our apologies to Alex Renton who was wrongly described in TA 93 as an Oxfam reporter. He is a freelance journalist and the piece we quoted from was commissioned by the Observer – Editor.

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HISTORICAL PHOTOS ONLINE

The Northwestern University, Chicago has recently made a large collection of historical photographs available online at website http://repository.library.northwestern.edu/winterton/

The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 1860 – 1960 includes over 7,000 photographs from numerous sources, depicting life in Africa from 1860 – 1960. They include photographs of Zanzibaris and other Africans as well as the travels of European explorers, traders, colonialists and soldiers.

Group of British sailors posing in front of the Beit al-Ajaib - Bombardment of Zanzibar 1896 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 58-5-2

Group of British sailors posing in front of the Beit al-Ajaib - Bombardment of Zanzibar 1896 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 58-5-2

Dar-es-Salaam, (German East Africa) Kaiser St. & harbour. Aug. 23rd 1896 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 12-1

Dar-es-Salaam, (German East Africa) Kaiser St. & harbour. Aug. 23rd 1986 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 12-1

Machine gun in action, Bugaro, East Africa Campaign. Circa 1914-1918 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 8-6-3

Machine gun in action, Bugaro, East Africa Campaign. Circa 1914-1918 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 8-6-3

Sultan's Palace, Zanzibar with a crowd in the foreground circa 1893 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 64-12

Sultan's Palace, Zanzibar with a crowd in the foreground circa 1893 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 64-12

The Sultan being shown round a European-owned factory circa 1920-1930 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 68-2

The Sultan being shown round a European-owned factory circa 1920-1930 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 68-2

Sultan and other Zanzibari officials walking past cannon, Zanzibar 1905 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 72-3-38

Sultan and other Zanzibari officials walking past cannon, Zanzibar 1905 - Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 72-3-38

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KIKWETE ‘THE FIRST’

Presidents Kikwete and Obama

Presidents Kikwete and Obama

President Kikwete was the first African head of state to be invited to Washington by President Obama following his inauguration in January. During the May visit, President Obama said that his invitation was in recognition of the Tanzania’s leader’s impeccable credentials and his successful policies. “I want you to succeed in your leadership. Tell me how you would like us to assist you to continue on your successful path. I am really pleased with your leadership.’’ He praised Tanzania for laying emphasis on education, which he described as a pinnacle of good leadership. He promised to step up American assistance in the Millennium Challenge projects in Tanzania to ensure more prosperity. Mr Kikwete briefed his US counterpart on his efforts to bring about political reconciliation in Zanzibar and also discussed the situation in Darfur, the Congo, Somalia and Kenya and what America could do for Tanzania.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed Tanzania as a country which had made “so much progress and has an extraordinary potential that we wish to partner with and assist in every way possible. I myself have had a wonderful visit to your country, Mr President. And I am delighted that I am the Secretary of State at this moment and have this chance to commit our efforts to working closely with you. I’m here to reaffirm our commitment for continued cooperation.”

“I am here to give you an assurance of continued cooperation” Mr Kikwete said. Speaking later President Kikwete said, to enthusiastic applause: “Whatever area of investment one is interested in, rest assured that opportunities abound in Tanzania.” He told the gathering that Tanzania was a vibrant multi-party democracy and that political stability was guaranteed.

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MISS UNIVERSE TANZANIA

Illuminata James

Illuminata James

The 2009 Miss Universe Tanzania, Illuminata James, waves to the audience after being declared the winner over 19 other girls (photo Issah Michuzi). Apart from the crown she took home Shs3 million, was offered a one-year French course at the Alliance Francaise, cosmetics worth Shs 500, 000 and a Samsung Omnia cellphone. Someone from the audience, who was not named, gave her $1000.

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TANZANIA RAILWAYS LIMITED

The CCM MP for Nzega described, in the investigative newspaper ‘This Day’ how he saw the controversial goings-on within Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL), which has a long-term management contract with government as bearing all the hallmarks of something similar to the Richmond electricity corruption scandal. He alleged that new reports of a contract for the leasing of locomotive engines and coaches from India were ‘scandalous.’

Under this agreement TRL would eventually be forced to pay huge capacity charges for 25 locomotive engines and 23 coaches. In addition the financially-troubled TRL had already had to pay a substantial sum for the shipment of the engines from India to Dar es Salaam. He said that the contract should be terminated forthwith. TRL Managing Director Hundi Lal Chaudhary said these allegations were not true. He admitted that TRL was in a critical financial situation, but insisted that both the shareholders (RITES and the Tanzanian Government) are supposed to find a lasting joint solution. RITES Limited owns 51% of the shares while the Government has 49%.

The government said that a special task force appointed to review the TRL privatisation contract with a view to amending some of the key provisions, had already completed its task. Railway sources reported to ‘This Day’ that the TRL expatriate management had grounded seven Canadian and UK-made locomotives to pave the way for their replacement by leased engines from India. According to the sources, TRL planned to sell off the once-dependable locomotives of the 88-class, traditionally used by the railways since when it was a state-owned enterprise, as scrap in preference for the leased engines from India.

Some TRL workers are said to have accused the RITES management of sabotage in its bid to scrap the 88-class engines in favour of the costly and less reliable Indian engines. These reports were later confirmed by Managing Director Chaudhary.

There was an ongoing debate as to which type of engine was the more powerful. Some said that the Canadian and UK-type engines were still the best and most widely-used all over the world. They were still working and in good condition, compared to Indian engines which were said to “frequently malfunction” others said.

It has also been claimed that unilateral decisions by the TRL management to dispose of the old locomotives would amount to a breach of the lease contract between RITES and the Tanzanian Government. Some railway workers were said to have accused the management of planning to create a market for Indian-made locomotives and spare parts in Tanzania by hook or by crook. It has been alleged that the intention is that if the Government eventually decides to terminate the RITES contract, TRL will be left with leased Indian locomotives that will still had to be paid for, probably at inflated costs.

Managing Director Chaudhary confirmed the reports of the grounding of seven running locomotives and plans for their replacement with Indian-made engines. “We have decided to use the Indian-made locomotive engines because they are more powerful than the Canadian and UK types,’’ he said.
RITES Limited of India and the Tanzanian Government signed a 25-year concession agreement for the
2,700-kilometre state railway network in 2007. In parliament Zitto Kabwe MP said there had been few bidders for the railway corporation at the time as a result of which government was forced to hand 51% to the Indian firm RITES.

TRL said that it had started repairing its locomotives in a bid to improve services. Speaking to reporters during the offloading of two rehabilitated engines at the Dar es Salaam port, TRL executive director Mukesh Rathore said that the locomotives were overhauled to increase their pulling capacities from 20 wagons to 25 wagons each. The engines would be tested at the company’s major workshop in Morogoro before they started operating. He said that since 1973 when the engines were bought they had never been overhauled. He said the remaining engines would be repaired at the Morogoro workshop.

TRL said they had a total of 22 engines, though only seven were functioning properly. 26 passenger wagons had been repaired and the plan was to repair all the 82 wagons by mid 2010 – Guardian.

As this issue of TA went to press the East African reported that high level discussions were going on in India, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda on a possible restructuring of the railway to incorporate Rwanda and Burundi.

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DAR EXPLODES

Mbagala explosion

Mbagala explosion

Dar es Salaam was hit by a series of massive explosions on April 29. A Guardian reporter wrote: ‘Thunderclaps…Quiet moment… More thunderclaps… Another quiet moment…Yet more thunderclaps… Yet another quiet moment… the random interplay ran on for hours.’

Deafening blasts from the military armory site in Mbagala, 14 kms from the city centre, tore through the city’s skies and left both people and buildings shaking. Some 20 people were killed and 200 injured and up to 7,000 houses were destroyed. Rockets hit sites as far away as 23 kms from the scene of the explosion.

On August 1 Defence and National Service Minister Hussein Mwinyi said that he was re-confirming some sensitive details of the report which had been prepared on the tragic bomb blasts before making it public.

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MISCELLANY

A contingent of 875 Tanzanian soldiers headed for peacekeeping duties in Darfur received armoured personnel carriers, trucks and other equipment worth $6.2 million from the US armed forces.

The British High Commission, in conjunction with the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), is organising a media competition on climate change. Head of the Mission Diane Corner said that the competition would take place 20 days before the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen. The winner would attend the conference in order to cover it.

Members of CCM in Britain have been urged to promote Tanzania. The party secretary for finance and economy, Amos Makala, said this in London while opening an annual meeting of CCM members in Britain. He blamed Tanzanians in the diaspora who adopted “unpatriotic” attitudes towards the country by tarnishing its image. “I call upon you to work hard to counter these instigators who conduct negative campaigns for their personal gain,” Makala said – Mwananchi

A 17-year old British student in a school party in July was found at Dar airport to be infected with Swine flu. He flew via Kenya Airways with a stopover at Nairobi airport. He was in an advanced detachment of 350 students visiting Tanzania for tourism and training during the summer vacation. He was kept in a special ward at Muhimbili Hospital and his condition soon improved- Habari Leo.

The Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani is to be prosecuted in a Federal Court in New York. The charges relate to the August 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that killed more than 200 people. According to the transcript of a closed-door hearing in March 2007, Ghailani admitted delivering explosives used to blow up the US embassy in Dar es Salaam but said that he did not know about the attack beforehand and apologised to the US government and the victims’ families. He is considered to be a “high value detainee” at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba by the CIA. Ghailani was seized in Pakistan in 2004.

A British national caused the Manyara magistrate’s court to be suspended for a while after she broke into tears when she saw a man she claimed to have raped her. The volunteer teacher had arrived in Babati from Britain in February. According to Nipashe on 1 April at 3.45 pm the alleged rapist, a project coordinator with “Farm Africa”, entered the room of the complainant without her consent and sexually assaulted her. Neighbours informed the school management and the matter was reported to police who arrested the accused. The case was adjourned and the accused was allowed out on bail.

The Observer reported that University Vice-Chancellor Prof Rwekaza Mukandala had ‘torn apart’ his lecturers when he addressed them in April. They had blamed declining academic standards at the university on ‘semesterization.’At the end of the session, in which the lecturers had called for a ‘revamping and overhauling’ of the university (to the applause of the students) the Vice-Chancellor called the lecturers ‘lazy and money-hungry’ as they moved from institution to institution, often on the same day, in order to acquire greater income. He had asked them to send him revised curricula of the programmes they were teaching but had received responses from only six out of 1,200 faculties. Lecturers were simply not according their duties the seriousness they deserved, he said.

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