The first edition of the “Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs” contained an introduction from the editor (Professor T.O Ranger), coverage of Nyerere’s speeches in London and at the OAU in Uganda, an economic review of 1974-5 and a digest of news covering the Tanzam railway and Villigisation
It is very difficult for even the most industrious and persistent to obtain information about Tanzania from the British press. We hope in this Bulletin to bring to the attention of members of the Society material of real interest which they might otherwise not see. Several members have remarked that they hope the Bulletin will not consist entirely of what they call ‘official handouts’, and that material critical of aspects of Tanzanian policy will be included on occasion. It would be a strange sort of bulletin concerned with Tanzania in which this was not true.
President Nyerere in his recent state visit told the audience at a banquet in the Guildhall that ‘some very flattering things have been said about me since I arrived in Britain as the guest of Her Majesty the Queen… Other things have not been said; in polite company it is not customary to dwell on a guest’s errors or faults, or the failures of the country he represents. I can assure you that I appreciate this convention – and propose observing it in reverse!
But in the less polite company of academics in Oxford the President himself dwelt for a moment on Tanzania’s weaknesses: ‘We call ourselves a democratic and socialist state. In reality we are neither democratic nor socialist. The Patrons of democracy and the Cardinals of socialism have no idea how much sympathy I have with them when they ridicule and dismiss Tanzania’s claim to democracy or to socialism. Democracy and socialism require a mature and popular awareness of the dignity and equality of men and women; a dynamic and popular intolerance of tyranny; a degree of maturity and integrity in those entrusted with responsibility for the institutions of State and Society; and a level of national and personal affluence which Tanzania and Tanzanians do not possess. Many of our people suffer from permanent malnutrition and all the mental and physical illnesses which go with it; their poverty and general ignorance make a mockery of talk about human freedom . We have the village tyrant and the insensitive bureaucrat. We have the habits of arbitrariness; some as the lingering vestiges of colonial rule, some of our own making. We have judicial procedures which, to say the least; leave a lot to be desired. We have a law on the Statute Book under which an individual may be detained without trial. We have the traditional prejudice and discrimination against women. We still have a love of exerting authority, and an intolerable degree of submission to authority. And we also have a level of incompetence, and even irresponsibility, which often makes nonsense of our claim to be implementing policies in support of equality and human dignity’. I imagine that few members of the Society would wish to be more critical than that!
A good deal of this Bulletin will consist, however, of what could be called ‘official handouts’, that is to say the texts of President Nyerere’s speeches while in Britain, and some of the more important statements of Tanzanian policy in previous months. What Nyerere said during his state visit was addressed particularly to people in Britain and it should certainly reach at least all members of the Society. So this issue will begin with extracts from these documents*; will continue with reviews; and conclude with compiled items of news.
It is hoped to issue the Bulletin twice a year in June and December. Please let us know what you would like included and please submit material for inclusion.
* Verbatim copies of the President’s speeches at Oxford and the Royal Commonwealth Society are being prepared and will be made available to members of the Society in due course.
Extracts from a speech given by President Julius Nyerere at Oxford University, 19th November 1975.
‘Tanzania’s interest in the freedom movement of Southern Africa does not arise out of any belief that our people have a God-given mission to free others. If that were the case the world would rightly look upon Tanzania as the African danger to its peace; Messianic concepts of duty have done more damage to real liberty in the world than any deliberate evil intention. And, as I hope to make plain before I finish speaking, we have not yet solved the problems of making freedom a reality within our own borders. Yet we are free in one sense. We govern ourselves. We elect our own government and Parliament; we determine the direction of our own development. We make our own mistakes and achieve our own successes … We benefitted from the fact that colonialism had become unacceptable to the world; its inconsistency with the principles of human equality and freedom had become widely acknowledged. And even now, our continued independence owes more to broad acceptance of the principles of national freedom than it does to any defence capacity of our own. So anything which strengthens the acceptance of the principle of national independence is important to us; anything which weakens it is of concern to us.
‘Thus, as we see it, the right to independence either exists for every nation or it does not exist for Tanzania. Tanzanians have no superhuman virtues which are denied to the people of Tanzania … and black men in Dar es Salaam or Lusaka or Lagos have neither more nor less right to human dignity than those of Pretoria or Johannesburg or Capetown. What we claim for ourselves we have to accept as the right of others. While others are denied such rights our own hold over them must be insecure.
‘But although our weakness and our blackness makes obvious our responsibility to support other Africans when they struggle for freedom, the same connection exists for other nations and peoples of other colours. Europe has had the evils and dangers of racialism terribly demonstrated within its own borders …. Africa is not unique in its problems. Nor is it any more possible to confine them to Africa than it was to limit the effects of the European conflict to the borders of that continent. Racialism and colonialism in Africa are of world wide relevance. The question which has yet to be clearly answered is how the rest of the world is going to react to the freedom struggles in Southern Africa.’
Nyerere went on to stress that the peoples of Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa have tried every peaceful means of redress. ‘Serious people are very reluctant to revolt against their government, however unrepresentative and unjust it may be …. But when all hope of change is denied because the very principle of freedom and equality is denied, and when the laws prevent the peaceful expression of opinion, then the people are confronted with a clear choice. They either acquiesce in their oppression and humiliation, or they commit themselves to an armed struggle.’
The President described the Lusaka Manifesto of 1969 as ‘a twelfth hour offer to talk’. It was ignored by the governments of Rhodesia. South Africa and Mozambique. So the guerrilla struggle intensified. ‘Independence in Mozambique appeared at first to achieve what the Lusaka Manifesto had failed to do. The Government of South Africa indicated a willingness to talk on one subject, on the basis we had set out – that is on the basis of how, not whether, majority rule would come in Rhodesia. In accordance with the Lusaka Manifesto the Governments of Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana therefore accepted the responsibility of acting as intermediaries with the Rhodesian Nationalists, with Vorster ‘accepting a similar function with the Smith regime. It is these discussions which gave rise to talk of a detente by South Africa, and our denial of detente.’
In theory, said Nyerere, Rhodesia is a British colony and Britain should deal with it. ‘But in fact … it is quite obvious that the issue in Rhodesia will be decided on the basis of comparative power. and the contenders are the minority regime of Ian Smith backed by South Africa, and the nationalist movement backed by the other independent states of Africa and non-racialists elsewhere in the world.
When the South African government let it be known that it was willing to accept the principle of majority rule in Rhodesia and implied that it would use its influence to that end it was therefore logical for the free African border states to investigate further ….. I do not need to go through the twelve months of alternate optimism and realism since then. It has become quite clear that even now Smith is not prepared to negotiate meaningfully. He has not accepted the principle of majority rule in Rhodesia. And it would be absurd to expect that South Africa will fulfil Britain’s responsibility, and will use force to bring about majority rule. South Africa is still refusing even to apply economic sanctions against the illegal regime.
‘Unfortunately, but inevitably, the armed struggle in Rhodesia will have to be resumed and intensified until conditions are ripe for realistic negotiation. We very much regret the need for war. It can only bring dreadful suffering to the people of Rhodesia – both black and white. It will therefore leave a heritage of bitterness which will make the eventual development of a non-racial democratic society in that country very much more difficult. But we can no more refuse support for the Rhodesian Freedom Fighters now than Britain could have refused support to the Resistance Movements of Europea during the 1940s.’
Nyerere then turned to Namibia, where he pointed out that South Africa could herself bring about independence without any complications from an Ian Smith. ‘It has now become clear, however, that the South African Government is not thinking in terms of true independence for Namibia. It is not willing to relinquish control to the United Nations; it is not willing to negotiate with the nationalist movement of the country. Instead South Africa is intensifying its attempt to divide the people along tribal lines; and it is trying to retain control of Namibia at the same time as posing as a convert to the cause of anti-colonialism. ‘The evidence for this assessment has mounted in the last few weeks. For South Africa has been using Namibia as a base for its troop incursions into Angola, and as the staging post for mercenary activity in that country.’
Thus, the President declared, it was plain that the armed struggle will have to be intensified in Namibia too. But what about South Africa itself? ‘South Africa is an independent state. It is absurd to pretend otherwise. And the whole world has accepted – at least in theory – the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of independent states . Nevertheless, Africa in general, and Tanzania in particular, claims that the world cannot ignore what is happening within South Africa, and that it should act to secure change within that independent state.
This is not just because South Africa is a tyranny, for ‘it is not the only tyrannical police state in the world, nor even in Africa. There are too many of them. Yet we do not urge external intervention in these other states; on the contrary we have bitterly opposed it. At the height of Tanzania’s expressed hostility to the atrocities and the injustices in Uganda, we made it clear th8t we would nevertheless condemn external intervention’.
There then followed the passage cited in the Introduction to this Bulletin in which Nyerere makes it clear that he is not claiming that Tanzania is Utopia. ‘But we are seriously trying to build a democratic and socialist state … I think we have some thing we can show for our democracy; and something we can show for our socialism.’ When Tanzania is criticised it is ‘for failing to live up to the principles which we ourselves have proclaimed. We believe this is true of Britain, the USA, the USSR, China, India and all other countries which call themselves democratic – however they define that word. Our self criticisms, and the criticisms of others, are related to the ideal we proclaim and to which our nations are committed.
‘South Africa has no such gap between its principles and its actions – or if there is such a gap it is one about which all free men rejoice. For the South African government is the only one in the world which has, as its fundamental purpose, the separation of men according to their physical characteristics, and the perpetuation of domination by one race over another. It is colour, an accident of birth, and the only thing over which no human being has any control, which is the basis of South African tyranny .. In this way, and in no other way, South Africa is unique. Yet this singularity is so fundamental that it cannot be disregarded.
‘If you think a man has smallpox you do not mix with him, treat with him, and ask him kindly to cure himself without passing the disease to you. However sorrowfully, you isolate him; and if he refuses to take medicine for his disease you force it down his throat for your own protection. No other single nation state has the right to intervene militarily in South Africa, and certainly Tanzania is not planning a Liberation War against that country. But the racialist government of South Africa is, by its daily actions, preparing the conditions for an internal revolution .. We in Tanzania believe that those who are genuinely opposed to racialism should help those who fight racialism. Because South Africa is an independent state, some governments and organizations may feel inhibited from direct support of those who seek to overthrow the South African system. But nothing in international law demands that the rest of the world should support the South African government in this conflict of principles .. At the very least they should refrain from strengthening the supporters of apartheid. Yet all those who invest in South Africa, or trade with South Africa, or otherwise treat it as a respectable member of the international community are giving support to apartheid … Opponents of apartheid .. have no honest choice but to isolate South Africa. That seems to be the least which a non-racist can do to help those who are, and will be, fighting racism on our behalf with great cost to themselves.’
An official statement on the O.A.U. (Organization of African Unity) meeting in Kampala.
To balance the President’s Oxford address another document of Tanzanian foreign policy seems appropriate to cite, even though it is now some months old. The statement was issued on July 25th 1975.
‘The African independence struggle was waged by the people of Africa, not just by a few leaders. The people were, and still are, fighting for human dignity, for equality, and a right to live in freedom. The purpose of the struggle for African Unity is exactly the same. Unity is desired to complete the liberation of Africa, to strengthen the freedom of Africa, and to further the development of the African people. The Organization of African Unity was set up in 1963 to promote this objective. It is an organization of states, but its purpose is the service of the people of Africa – all the people. It is not surprising that the whole of Africa cries out against the atrocities of the colonial and racist states. Individually as Africans, and through the O.A.U we condemn the murderous acts of these regimes on every possible occasion and in every possible form … The strong and public outcry from Africa on all these matters is justified, correct and necessary.
But when massacres, oppression and torture are used against Africans in the independent states of Africa there is no protest from anywhere in Africa. There is silence, even when such crimes are perpetrated by or with the connivance of African governments and the leaders of African states … Just occasionally an individual African leader will make some muted criticism of events in other independent African countries. Sometimes a few other states will temporarily withdraw their friendship and support for an administration after a particularly blatant act of murder or oppression. But the O.A.U. never makes any protest or criticism at all. It is always silent. It is made to appear that Africans lose their right to protest against state organised brutality on the day that their country become independent through their efforts. For on all such matters the O.A.U. acts like a Trade Union of the current heads of state and government, with a solidarity reflected in silence if not in open support for each other.
It is not only in the independent states of Africa that people are oppressed, tortured, or massacred by their governments. The shameful record of state crimes against human beings includes those of nations in every continent and of every ideology. But Africa is in danger of becoming unique in its refusal to protest against the crimes committed against Africans, provided such actions are done by African leaders and African Governments.
When people of proved commitment to human justice try to raise with African leaders clearly authenticated and deliberate outrages against humanity, we sit in embarrassed silence if the case involves African states acting against African people. When such information is submitted to international meetings by agencies or affiliates of the United Nations , we endeavour to exclude the item from the Agenda. When independent agencies publish their findings about mass murder or blatant unhumanity we rush to condemn if the accused government is, in our eyes, imperialist; we ignore the report if it produces twice as much evidence against an independent African government. Sometimes we even attack as imperialists those who hold up to public scrutiny the immoral actions of Africans in a position of authority in Africa.
Yet we know that many of the allegations which have been made about inhumane oppression within independent Africa are true. The evidence is too strong: the cases have been too numerous. This refusal to protest against African state crimes against African people is bad enough. But until now Africa has at least refrained from giving public support to the worst perpetrators of such crimes. Now by meeting in Kampala the Heads of State of the O.A.U. are giving respectability to one of the most murderous administrations in Africa. For this meeting will be assumed to have thrown the mantle of O.A.U approval over what has been done, and what is still being done, by General Amin and his henchmen against the people of Uganda.
No one in Africa can be ignorant of what has been happening. The International Commission of Jurists has published a 63 page report of offences against human rights in Uganda since Amin seized power, with horrifying details of some of the actions which have been committed. The killings have not been done in the heat of a revolution or a coup d’etat. They have happened month after month, year after year …. To give the imprimatur of implicit O.A.U support to a government like that of General Amin is to betray twice over the principles of human justice, human equality and human dignity. Tanzania cannot accept the responsibility of participating in the mockery of condemning colonialism, apartheid and fascism in the headquarters of a murderer, a black fascist and a self confessed admirer of fascism.’
Economic Review for the Year 1974-5 (Hali Ya Uchumi wa Taifa katika mwaka 1974-5) Government Printer, Dar es Salaam, price 20/-, 109 pp.
Internally the past year has been one of crucial importance to Tanzania. We print here a review by Mr. T.R. Sadleir of the annual government report on the economy:
‘This concise, clearly presented and well documented report, vividly illustrates the struggles of a developing country caught up in the current economic typhoon. Nor do its editors make any attempt to gloss over the harsh realities of a difficult situation, made worse by widespread failure of the rains (in 1974) leading to serious food shortages.
An admirable short summary in Part I enables the layman to appreciate both the extent of the problems posed by the twin blows of world inflation abroad and crop failure at home, and the countermeasures introduced so swiftly by the government to meet them. Thus we read that the poor harvests brought in their train the added difficulties of using up precious foreign exchange reserves for food imports, while the foreign exchange earnings themselves were depleted by reduced exports of cash crops, with the resultant foreign currency drain precluding the purchase of adequate new materials and machinery for industry and thus increasing production costs.
World wide inflation high-lighted by the doubling of the price of petrol together with the instability of major international currencies, reduced the amount of goods purchased overseas. Indeed the local rate of inflation reached 17.9% with the result that the national income only increased by 2.2%, the lowest growth rate so far in any year of the second Five Year Development Plan. Since population growth is estimated at 2.7% per annum, average output per head has also declined.
Although most of the main food crops, especially maize, rice and wheat were hard hit, (as were coffee, sisal and pyrethrum) cotton, tea, tobacco and cashew nuts actually yielded increased crops. The serious food shortages led to the launching at the beginning of 1975 of a national “Do or die cultivation campaign” (Kilimo chakufa na kupona) which required every able-bodied citizen, as well as government departments, parastatals and commercial companies to cultivate food. Initial results of this drive are said to be encouraging. (See below). The report points out that great strides were made in village development and that ‘more than half the population now live in planned villages’.
The balance of payments position also worsened during 1974. Although exports rose in value by 10.8% to a total of £143 million, imports rose by 54.3% to reach a total value of nearly £269 million – a deficit of £126 million compared to £45 million in 1973, largely because of the sudden increase in expensive food imports, the increased price of petrol and world wide inflation. Members of the Society will be interested to hear that imports from Britain were up by 20.8% to a record £30 million and that Britain still takes a larger share of Tanzania’s exports, £21 million, than any other single country, heading both import and export tables as Tanzania’s principal trading partner for the past 12 years. During the same period wages rose by 15.4%, being wisely perhaps kept 2.5% below the rate of inflation. Capital growth not surprisingly remained static.
Amidst the array of statistics human facts emerge. ‘Many health schemes unfinished because of a shortage of both builders and building materials; industry faced with shortages of raw materials; water, electricity, transport services, low standards of efficiency and high cost of spare parts; building projects delayed by shortage of experts and rising prices; electricity and water schemes behind schedule’ and so on.
More hopefully, educational expansion continued to make rapid progress. Parastatals increased their combined surpluses by 58% from £29 million to £47 million, whilst in 1974 the number of tourists rose by 32,000 to a new record of 177,000 and the first stage of the KIDATU higher-electric scheme was completed. Above all the great TAZARA FREEDOM RAILWAY from Dar es Salaam to Zambia was completed and was scheduled to start commercial services from the beginning of July 1975 (see below). Other items of good news were the discovery of natural gas on the island of Songo Songo, the start of an oil search in the Indian Ocean, and remarkable 287% increase in the output of tinned meat as a result of improved cattle marketing.
The report mirrors the entire Tanzanian scene and its 68 tables of statistics graphically convey a fascinating variety of information , ranging from retail price indices of food for low income groups in the capital, Dar es Salaam, and the future capital, Dodoma, through the sales of precious stones and the numbers of students in various faculties in the University, to the 87,750,000 dispensary out-patients treated in 1974! More important it succeeds in portraying the excitement and heartaches of the battle against poverty, ignorance and disease, whose initial impulse is being maintained ‘against all disaster’, and the sense of urgency gripping the dedicated few charged with implementing the Development Plan.
President Nyerere’s speeches at the Guildhall and at the Royal Commonwealth Society, November 1975.
The background provided by Mr. Sadleir’s review helps to explain the issues addressed in these two speeches. At the Guildhall, where President Nyerere was entertained with elaborate civic ritual, he was speaking to an audience representative of those who sell and buy more to Tanzania than anyone else – ‘Sell dear and buy cheap’ as he reminded them was their motto. He was also talking to an audience suspicious of Tanzania’s socialism and resentful of nationalisation.
So he explained to them why these nationalisations had taken place: ‘All the positive economic decisions of Tanzania were being made outside the country. And it was obvious that if we pursued the capitalist path that situation would continue. If any new investment was going to be made, that also was going to be foreign investment … Gradually we realised that under that system the government and people of Tanzania could not determine the direction of their own development. Any private foreign investment would be made in things which would bring a profit to the investor, regardless of our priorities and needs … We could not force an investor to build decent houses for our workers, because low cost housing is not profitable. And it was not much use telling the foreign private commercial banks to make credit available to our peasant farmers, reasonably enough as they saw it they replied that peasants could give no security, and that the cost of operating in the villages was very much higher than the cost of servicing expatriate owned sisal or coffee estates. You, as businessmen, will understand this point of view very well. But I hope you can understand ours also.
We wanted to be independent; to govern ourselves. And you cannot be independent if your whole economy, the whole extent and direction of your development, is controlled from outside. So in 1967 we decided to make our independence a little bit more meaningful … The real effect of all the nationalisations was to bring into Tanzanian control the commanding heights of the economy and to get it into a position where it is responsive to our wishes in a positive way. Our actions were motivated by both ideological and nationalistic purposes. You may not have sympathy with the former, you cannot fail to understand the latter! But nationalising a miniscule economy does not make that economy any bigger; and building a dam against the expropriation of the surplus from a few small enterprises does not convert poverty into riches. The economy still had to be built. And as we have so little capital, we still have to look for external finance to be used in our development. It was this realisation that in future we would need cooperation from foreign financial centres that made us agree to pay compensation for the enterprises we took over. We did not do so because we were convinced that there was much justice in the claim!
‘I have taken note of the feelings you expressed on this matter, my Lord Mayor, and we shall try to come to some mutually acceptable solution to any outstanding problems. But there is a saying that “hard cases make bad law”. We do not want to be unfair to anyone, Tanzanian or non-Tanzanian. But we are not a particularly wealthy country; values of properties within Tanzania must be judged in a Tanzanian context.’
The President assured the company that they could rely on two things – Tanzania needed to go on trading with Britain; ‘and we are too poor to be able to afford to default’. He was given a standing ovation.
At the Royal Commonwealth Society his address was heard by the largest audience ever to attend a meeting there. He spoke of the need to construct a new economic order; he spoke in terms not of aid or relief but of justice; he spoke of the agony of the cultivator who finds that year after year he has to produce and sell yet more and more crops to buy the same machinery; he asked the audience, anxious as they were about the rising number of unemployed in Britain, even though the unemployed received an allowance which ensured them of food and clothing, to imagine the thoughts of a man who in fact worked all day long and still could not be sure of obtaining enough to feed his family . It was an unusually sombre address, unlightened by humour, so that it was odd to hear the first questioner ask whether the President was ‘really serious in expecting the hard-pressed British tax payer to subsidise Tanzanian ideology. Would it not be more sensible to create a climate in which people would be prepared to invest?’ Nyerere said quietly that he had indeed been serious, and that the climate the questioner meant was one in which people were enabled to exploit. A second questioner introduced herself as from ‘the gin and jaguar belt’ and asked if the President was really serious in saving that Tanzanians should not have more than one house or more than one car. ‘You can only sit in one car at a time’ he replied.
On October 22nd 1975 the first passenger train left Kapiri Mposhi station in Zambia with representatives of China, Zambia and Tanzania aboard. It drew into Dar es Salaam station on Friday, October 24th. The magazine Africa reports: ‘For the comfort of a first class journey (over the 1,160 miles) the passenger pays K 28.17, second class fare is less than half that at K 12.68 and the third class fare – designed for people making only short journeys is exceptionally low, just half the second class fare. For a trial period until next year this passenger service will run once a week between the two terminals. Then the line will be fully operational and the number of departures will increase substantially, as will the number of freight services which at the moment run once a day in both directions . ‘
Africa continues; ‘The Chinese construction camps once a familiar sight along the route have gone. So have the doctors who dispensed free medical treatment and the engineers who provided new water supplies and roads to remote rural areas. But the friendship between the countries still prevails and aid is still given by China. Some technicians have remained to supervise the final work on the railway and to help with its administration, but the Chinese have already trained 200 Tanzanians and Zambians at their own Communications University’. According to Africa, ‘Malawi is enthusiastic for a line to be built through the Luangwa Valley to connect Serenje, on the Uhuru railway, with Mchinji, which will shortly be the western end of the line to Nacala (on the Indian ocean)… A more likely scheme is a railway through Solwezi from the Copperbelt. New copper deposits are to be exploited in North-Western Province and this line would be viable, carrying copper to Luso in Angola.’
In August the Tanzanian press reported enthusiastically a record harvest, after a succession of very difficult years. The Daily News commented: ‘ Last week the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania said that our country may not import food this year. Reports on our farming performance in the past season indicate that our main problem now is where to keep all the food we have grown. The people responded so enthusiastically to the Tanu call for increased agriculture we are now satisfied with the mere sight of the food in the fields. A glance at yesterday’s newspaper reports gives us an idea of how much food we can expect at the end of the harvest this year … The National Milling Corporation has reported a tremendous flood of food crops at selling points. And that is two months before the usual time of crop sales! The corporation has already bought thousands of bags of produce. And an official of the Ministry of Agriculture gave these figures for the expected tonnage this year; maize over 120,000; wheat 20,000; paddy over 50,000; millet 10,000; beans 10,000 and sorghum 6,000. Let us make this kind of farming part of our life so that never again are we victims of hunger.’
The success was not achieved without some costs, however. As the Daily News also reported in August, ‘Cotton production in Mwanza this year will drop by almost half of last year’s output … This is mainly because most of the emphasis was placed on the production of food crops to avert famine which was threatening the nation.’ Lawi Sijaona, who announced this shortfall said that ‘cotton was very important to the country’s economy in terms of foreign exchange earnings’. Clearly it is hard to get the balance between food and cash crop production right. Speaking in Upare in August, Nyerere ‘warned that not the whole country would have a bumper harvest to last the nation … because some areas had not sufficient rains despite the fact that they had cultivated enough acerage …. “It is imperative that we double our efforts and apply proper planning and more skill during this season”, he said. Pointing out that the foreign reserve position of the country had not improved, Mwalimu said the nation had only about Shs. 260 million in foreign reserves, “A figure we cannot be proud of”.’
At the end of August the operating budgets of many government financed institutions, including hospitals and the university, were sharply reduced
The Tanzanian Government responded to the droughts and depressed economic conditions of the past two or three years by placing a greater urgency on the policy of regrouping people in village settlements. In August TANU national headquarters published a booklet which claimed that 9,140,229 people now lived in villages on the mainland of Tanzania; Mwanza region alone is said to have a million people in villages. Last year there were widespread reports, including many in the Tanzanian press, of resistance to villagisation and of strongarm methods in some areas to overcome that resistance. Apparently this was most acute in the Njombe area. Visitors to the south-eastern region of the territory report that almost 100% of the people there now live in newly created village settlements, there has been some resentment at the destruction of houses outside the new settlements and some delays in payment of compensation; there have also been delays in getting water piped to some of the new settlements and some are thought to be already too large. It was freely predicted in the South-East, and elsewhere, that there would be a larger negative vote in the Presidential election as a reflection of this resentment. In fact the no vote did increase in the recent election, doubling from 3% to 6% but this hardly represents a massive repudiation. President Nyerere claimed at the Party Congress that the policy of pressing ahead with villagisation despite the risks had succeeded; people were settling in to their new homes; and services were being provided.
Jonathan Power, writing in Encounter for November 1975, gives the following version of the villagisation process; ‘Since the beginning of 1974 the Government has placed great emphasis on the need to move people into ujamaa villages at any cost. Moving is no longer a matter of ‘providing incentives’; it is just compulsory … However at the same time the government has given up its insistence on communal production. This is a response to the sharp drop in food production which these sudden shifts of population combined with drought have brought about. The World Bank, attempting to put into practice its new commitment to the small farmer, has been investigating the potential of these Ujamaa villages; and its observations on their potential are encouraging for Tanzania. The Bank is now strongly supporting an ujamaa scheme involving 250,OOO people in the Kigoma region. Its financial contribution will be spent on the inputs of new improved seed and fertiliser, marketing and credit systems, extension services, irrigation and access roads. This aid will amount to 225 dollars per family, of which Tanzania will provide 25%. The World Bank officials .. appeared to be confident that within ten years village-and-family-income would be doubled. (At present per-capita annual income in Kigoma is 20 dollars, well below Tanzania’s average.) They also reckon that the economic rate-of-return on the project will be 23% a year – which is of course well above what a private investor would hope to get out of the average industrial enterprise.’ (Jonathan Power, ‘The Alternative to Starvation: Despair, Dogma and Hope in the Third World’, Encounter, November 1975).
Meanwhile, we have been sent two accounts of visits to Tanzania which include a description of life in an Ujamaa village. One writes: ‘The village had recently harvested a considerable crop of wheat which was to be sold on behalf of the community. Village affairs are run by an elected body of twelve officers (in this case 7 women and 5 men) who are responsible, amongst other things for allocating private land to each family and deciding how long each day an individual must work on the communal lands. The wealth created is kept in the village by sales through a co-operative shop, which in this case was well stocked with essential items of food and clothing. Piped water ran from a dam constructed by the community, and the women were thereby spared their traditional trek of miles a day to fetch water. The primary school teaches Swahili, English, mathematics and science, and over the whole village lay a sense of purpose in communal activity that could never be generated among a scattered rural population. It was stressed that the village must be self-reliant … no government handouts to lame ducks!’ The second account is very probably of the same village, which is situated near Iringa. It is equally enthusiastic. ‘The people seem proud of their achievements … The children in school are keen to ask us questions. ‘What will you tell about us in England? How can you help us? If so many people live in the towns how can you grow enough food?’ We also meet the villagers at the end of the day in the barn. One of them proudly shows us the sacks of wheat. “We could not have produced so much individually”.’
The University has also been involved in the drive to grow more food. There are little shambas all over the campus and lecturers proudly display sacks of rice in their studies. The Agricultural Faculty at Morogoro has gained great praise for ‘turning into a productive unit instead of just being a demonstration piece’. On the 1,073 hectare farm the Faculty produced a bumper crop, estimated at 30,000 bags of maize, 1,800 bags of rice, 1,200 bags of sorghum and 450 tons of cassava. This was being harvested by volunteers from the Defence Force, secondary schools , Corporation employees and others.
The University is also in the first year of the new system of student intake. This means that students do not enter straight from secondary school but only after they have been in employment for some years and then with the recommendation of their employer and the local TANU branch. Arts and Social Science lecturers speak with pleasure of the increased maturity, responsiveness and questioning of these students; the Science Faculty is worried about the danger of students becoming very stale in the gap between school and university; meanwhile an unintended result is the drop in the proportion of women students entering the university, many women having become mothers during the period since leaving school and finding it difficult to leave their families.
The University has to seek to make do with a considerable reduction in its operating grant. At the same time there has been announced a plan for major extensions, to be constructed at the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Agriculture, and the main campus. Developments will include further student accommodation and dining rooms; a new surgical unit with two operating theatres; the building of an aquarium at the Marine Biology Station at Kunduchi, and many other projects.
A catalogue of ‘publications produced by the departments, institutes and bureaux of the University’ has been issued. This most useful listing is some hundred pages long and indicates which publications are available free and the price of the rest. It can be obtained from Aidan Turner Bishop, Librarian, Acquisitions Department, University of Dar es Salaam Library, P.O. Box 35092, University Hill, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The publications themselves may be ordered from the University Bookshop, P.O. Box 35090.