The sad task of bringing bodies ashore from the MV Spice Islander

A very large number of people – some estimate that it could be over 2,000 – died on 11 September 2011 after a ferry they boarded from Unguja to Pemba sank several kilometres from its destination. Rescue boats, helicopters and divers reached the scene hours later and some 600 were rescued. Most survivors drifted ashore clinging to foam mattresses.

The ferry, MV Spice Islander, began its journey in Dar es Salaam, where it was loaded with passengers and cargo. When it reached Zanzibar it took on many more passengers for the trip to the smaller island of Pemba. The boat was said to have been grossly overloaded and some passengers complained of loss of balance even when the vessel was still in Zanzibar port. Two prospective brides were among the passengers, accompanied by 36 relatives; only four were rescued. Comparisons were made with the sinking of the MV Bukoba in 1996 (TA 55).

Media Coverage

President Kikwete was forced to suspend a scheduled tour to Canada. Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein announced that there would be three days of mourning when flags would be flown at half mast. First Vice President of Zanzibar Seif Sharif Hamad announced that the government would launch a thorough investigation into the accident and take necessary actions – all media outlets featured this news very fully – Editor


Bulyanhulu mine, located in Kahama District, Mwanza

Gold is the most important driver of investment that Tanzania has ever seen. Foreign direct investment in gold exploration and mining totalled USD 2.5 billion from 1997 to 2007. Between them, African Barrick Gold (ABG), AngloGoldAshanti (AGA), and Resolute Mining Ltd currently produce over a million ounces of gold a year, worth USD 1.8 billion at the current (September 2011) price of USD 1,800 an ounce. Last year, gold accounted for nearly half of all exports. The three companies’ mines (Barrick has four, the other two companies one each) employ about 15,000 Tanzanians, with another 50,000 jobs created through local procurement of goods and services. The mining companies build roads, power supplies and water systems that serve local towns and villages. ABG has invested USD 100 million in electricity alone. The mines build schools and health facilities and pay local authorities to help run them. They are already among the biggest tax payers to the Tanzanian Revenue Authority (TRA) and they should pay more taxes as they finish paying back the loans that financed their mining operations.

With all this apparent good news, why do most Tanzanians consider the presence of foreign mining companies ‘a curse, not a blessing’, to cite a typical recent newspaper editorial? My recent research with the Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP) suggests the following explanation [1].

First, enforcing mining rights proved to be a protracted and divisive process, irrevocably souring relations between the foreign mining companies (FMC) and local artisanal and small-scale miners. In August 1994 Sutton Resources, a small Canadian company, signed a Minerals Development Agreement (MDA) with the Tanzanian government for Bulyanhulu, located in Kahama District, Mwanza Region. Sutton spent the next two years trying to enforce its mining rights against resistance from local small-scale miners (dubbed ‘illegals’), who refused to move from the site. On 5 August 1996 54 miners were allegedly buried alive following the bulldozing of small mines during the enforcement of an eviction order.

Subsequent investigations found no evidence to support the claim of over 50 dead through ‘extra-judicial killings’ (Amnesty International’s description), but the damage was done. Sutton’s uncompromising approach in clearing the Bulyanhulu ‘illegals’ without compensation prepared the way for increasingly hostile relations between the FMCs and their Tanzanian hosts. In 1999 Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining company in the world, bought Sutton, and further acquisitions made it by far the largest player in Tanzania, producing about three-quarters of Tanzanian gold [2].

Second, the public outrage triggered by Sutton’s unsubtle approach to acquiring mining rights galvanised both local and international civil society opposition to the FMCs’ presence. Local NGO and media coverage of instances of alleged water pollution, mine invasions and shootings and the destruction of property reinforced latent public antipathy to the FMCs, who were also accused of benefiting from overgenerous tax breaks, fuelling suspicions that the secretly signed MDAs involved corruption among senior government officials.

On coming to power in December 2005, President Jakaya Kikwete promised that mining contracts and laws regulating mining activities would be reviewed. Opposition parties were quick to make political capital out of the FMCs’ poor public image and suspicion of corruptly negotiated deals. When in August 2007 Chadema opposition party MP Zitto Kabwe challenged the government’s non-transparent approach to its dealings with the mining companies, he was banned from parliament and instantly became a popular hero. Realising its mistake, the government quickly launched a Mining Sector Review Committee, headed by former Attorney General Mark Bomani. The Committee’s recommendations to raise both tax and royalties were incorporated in a new Mining Act, passed by Parliament in April 2010.

To the FMCs, the new mining law simply worsened an already deteriorating investment and business environment. They claimed that the TRA did not respect the tax conditions contained in the MDAs and that TRA officials practiced extortion, leading to costly litigation and arbitration. Another major issue for the FMCs was the empowerment of the Minister of Energy and Minerals to enter into negotiations to obtain an equity stake in any new mining venture at any time. ABG considered that the 2010 Mining Act, by granting ‘ministerial discretionary powers to make or interfere with commercial decisions’, was the source of ‘insecurity and unpredictability‘, had a negative impact on ‘governance and transparency’ and gave ‘room for abuse of power.’

While gold exploration slumped after the 2008 financial crisis, fears of further financial turmoil pushed up the value of mining shares. Big Gold in Tanzania has benefited tremendously from soaring gold prices. For example, ABG posted net profits of USD 223 million in 2010, an increase of 237% over 2009. [3] Resolute’s Golden Pride mine was scheduled to close, but is still producing after posting record profits in 2009. [4]

Between the big three and the thousands of small-scale mines employing hundreds of thousands of miners there is a ‘missing middle’ of small-to- medium mines. The explanation for this anomaly emerging from my research is that only large foreign companies can afford the high costs of Tanzanian gold mining. Lack of infrastructure means that FMCs have to invest in roads, water and power. Skilled labour is in short supply. The costs of maintaining mine security are high. Theft and destruction of property are quite common. Tax assessments are unpredictable and extortion practiced. [5] ‘Negotiations’ are time-consuming and costly. Expatriate staff frequently have immigration problems. Last, the process of allocating exploration and mining rights is slow, corrupt and inefficient. It can take up to two years to obtain a prospecting licence.

The FMCs are waiting to see how the 2010 Mining Act will be enforced. The ruling party CCM and Chadema, the main opposition party, agree that the government should take a greater cut from FMC profits, and sky-high gold prices are likely to renew pressures to introduce a windfall tax on gold sales. In 2010, ABG made pre-tax profits of USD 309 million – more than double the previous year–on gold production of 701,000 oz. Yet the USD 86.5 million paid to the Treasury in taxes represented only a 28% effective tax rate, compared with 56% in 2009. [6]

The confrontational relations that have developed between the Tanzanian government and FMCs are not conducive to the long-term sustainability of ‘modern’ mining in Tanzania. One mining executive cited by the Fraser Institute (2010) put it thus:

“… Tanzania has changed from a country encouraging foreign mining investment to one which actively discourages new investment, constantly harasses resident foreign miners and keeps changing the laws and regulations or abusing the operation of current laws and regulations to the detriment of the foreign miner and the benefit of the corrupt government.” [7]

As long as gold prices stay robust, ABG will continue to earn fabulous rents from mining Tanzanian gold and exporting its profits. Whether or not this is sustainable or ‘developmental’ is open to debate.

Brian Cooksey

[1] Financed by the British and Irish governments, APPP (www.institutions-africa. org) is managed by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). ‘The investment and business environment for gold exploration and mining in Tanzania’, can be found at: and-business-environment-for-gold-exploration-and-mining-in-tanzaniabrian- cooksey-june-2011 [2] Excluding small-scale gold production, which may be the equivalent of another large mine.
[3] ABG Annual report 2010, www.africanbarrickgold.
[4] Resolute posted a gross margin of USD 71m on gold sales of 148,000 oz.
[5] ABG have outstanding tax claims with TRA of USD 120 million.
[6] ABG Annual report 2010, www.africanbarrickgold. In 2010, ABG paid only USD 0.5million in corporate tax.
[7] Fraser Institute 2010. ‘Survey of Mining Companies 2009/10, 2010 Mid-Year Update’

Dr Brian Cooksey, after teaching sociology at the University of Dar es Salaam, set up his own consultancy and research organisation. He has been actively involved in civil society and journalism and is a member of Transparency International.


Compiled by Anne Samson

President Kikwete talks to science pupils at Versity Secondary School - Photo State House

In September 2011 the Uwezo report on Education was released. This compares education in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The report compared pupil ability in English, Swahili and Mathematics. Tanzania did not fare too well on pupil ability – most standard 7 pupils operating at standard 2. However, access to education in Tanzania is easier than in the other countries. Many of the education announcements in the subsequent months have been in response to the issues raised in this report.

A new pass mark for Form II National Examinations will be introduced in 2012, although in November 2011 it was not clear whether the mark would be 21, 25 or 30. A new pass mark for Standard IV exams was also being contemplated. These changes are intended to “improve them [exams] and make them more competitive” (Daily News, 5 Sep 2011).

The move to single text books has been started. Government has already selected two textbooks per subject for primary Standards I-V and a single science textbook for secondary education. Minister for Education and Vocational Training Shukuru Kawambwa has said that these books will be used for a trial period of 3-4 years. Selection for other subjects is currently under way. The importance of books was reinforced by Vice President Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal at the opening of the book festival when he “challenged teachers to build a culture of reading books” and added that “students must read various text and reference books to improve in studies” (Daily News, 23 Nov 2011).

Primary education – big changes proposed
In November, a proposal was put to Parliament to change the structure of primary education. This would involve making one year of preprimary education compulsory and, in effect, removing Standard VII. Ministerial policy analyst Calistus Chonya explained: “This means one year for nursery school, six years for primary education, four years for ‘O’ level secondary education and two years for ‘A’ level secondary education. … A child reaching five years must attend nursery school and start Standard One at the age of six years. Talented, gifted and slow learners will be developed accordingly.” (Daily News, 13 Nov 2011).

Nursery school education would be a full day and free meals would be available. Swahili would be used as the medium of education in nursery schools and Swahili and English in primary and secondary schools. Other proposals included opportunities to enable girls who had missed out on education due to pregnancy to catch up and a review of the curriculum to ensure a smooth flow between primary and secondary school.

It was also hinted that continual assessment during the academic year could influence a student’s final grade. Distance learning would be more formalised and there would be greater alignment and harmonisation of curriculum and cost in higher education institutions . Local authorities will need to source funding to support education more fully, including the setting of school fees.

The proposals were challenged by a number of politicians opposing the reduction of primary education by one year. In addition, groups such as Twaweza, the Economic and Social Research Foundation, Ford Foundation International and the Foundation for Civil Society voiced concerns at the proposed changes, noting that the quality of teaching needs to be addressed to have a positive impact on education (The Guardian & Daily News).

The Ministry of Labour and Employment called on educational institutions to teach students skills and entrepreneurship to help reduce unemployment. The announcement coincided with the launch of the German Foundation for World Populations (DSW)’s three year “Working together for Decent Work” initiative.

Over 88% of teachers who sat exams in 2011, including the Grade A Teacher’s Certificate and Diploma in Secondary Education examinations, passed. However, there is concern that only 42% of students who applied for teacher training places in government and private teacher training colleges were accepted. Government is working to pay teachers’ pay arrears, depending on the level of available funding and verification of individual claims.

Funding for higher education
Provisional registration loans are being withdrawn, while interest of 6% on student loans has been introduced. According to academics, this is having a negative impact on Tanzania’s position as an ‘education hub’. They have called for a review of the funding of higher education (Daily News).

Dr Anne Samson is the education advisor to a small education NGO in Kilimanjaro Region where she has been supporting a whole school development programme in state primary schools for the past six years.


The Tanzanian government (and many of the Tanzanians who have commented) have made their views on what happened recently in Libya very clear. They were opposed to the NATO intervention (which was said to be designed to prevent the rebels in Benghazi from probable killing by Gaddafi forces); they objected to the involvement of Britain and France, especially as they considered that these countries were exceeding the UN and Arab League mandates for action. They then (in common with most of Africa) refused to recognise the rebels as a legitimate transitional government of Libya and expressed horror at the brutal way Colonel Gaddafi had been killed in the final days of the insurrection.

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Bernard Membe said that that the Colonel did not have to die, as his pursuers had ‘seized him alive.’

According to the Minister, those who boast of being pioneers of human rights and justice should have arrested him and allowed him to be tried in court instead of killing him point blank. “The killing of the Libyan leader might trigger an endless war since there are many people in that country who have lost beloved ones and could be keen on revenge…. experience shows that an undemocratic regime leads to insecurity.”

Some people however felt that Gaddafi’s demise should act as a lesson to other leaders across the world and that the desire of the majority was more powerful than any individual. Others said: “Gaddafi was a brutal fascist dictator who mixed elements of Islamic religious fanaticism with Arabic nationalism and who put up a pretence of being a Pan Africanist.”

Others accused the African Union of not acting while a member state was being attacked.

Tanzania decided not to recognize the new Libyan government because it believed that international laws were violated in the overthrowing of Colonel Gaddafi. Tanzania did not allow the Libyan embassy staff in Dar to fly the new Libyan flag. The influential African magazine ‘New African’ wrote of what it described as ‘the new British/French colony’ that had been established in North Africa.


Compiled by Valerie Leach

The main preoccupation of consumers in Tanzania has been the continued rise in the cost of living, caused by higher food and energy prices and exacerbated by the falling value of the Tanzanian shilling.

As illustrated in the graph in TA Issue 100, the Consumer Price Index has risen significantly over the last year. Overall, the consumer price index in October was 17.9% higher than it had been a year earlier. Food prices have continued their sharp rise. The National Bureau of Statistics reported that the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 22.8% for the year ending October 2011. Fuel prices have also risen sharply – by 37.4% in the same period. The increasing prices of food and energy contrast with relatively stable prices of other items in the consumer price index (

The exchange rate has been volatile. In mid-November 2011 the Tanzanian Shilling was around TShs 1,650 to the US $ and TShs 2,600 to the UK £ (Bank of Tanzania). Earlier in the month, it had depreciated to TShs 1,840 a dollar. The BoT Governor, Prof Benno Ndulu, announced measures to curb inflation and shilling depreciation that include tightening monetary policy, stemming volatility in the foreign exchange markets and curbing currency speculation. Some economists have faulted this stance, saying that these are simply short term measures and that the factors behind galloping inflation and shilling depreciation are more structural than monetary (Daily News).

Monetary and fiscal policies
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said sub-Saharan countries’ monetary policies need to firmly focus on bringing non-food inflation back into single digits and sustaining it there to prevent inflationary expectations from becoming entrenched. “A tighter fiscal stance would also facilitate monetary authorities’ task of getting inflation under control,” IMF said in its June Regional Outlook released in October (Daily News).

The need for a tighter fiscal stance in Tanzania was highlighted by Peter Allum, division chief at the IMF African Department at the conclusion of the IMF’s latest Policy Support Instrument (PSI) review early in November. He warned that Tanzania’s overall recurrent spending had out-paced revenues and grant financing, contributing to growing fiscal deficits and a rising public debt stock. “It was agreed that the budget deficit in 2011/12 should be allowed to exceed the earlier programmed level of 6% of GDP to help finance the emergency power plan and accommodate expanded social spending,” said Allum. Savings in non-priority programmes were expected to reduce the budget deficit to around 6.5% of GDP by the end of June next year, and help tackle inflation, he said (Reuters and The Guardian).

Government Liquidity Problems?
Signs were reported that State coffers are running dry. Reliable sources have confided to The Citizen that in October a number of government workers in some district councils failed to get their pay in time, while some received partial payment. But Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Mustafa Mkulo quickly dismissed the concern and maintained that the government was in a sound financial position and capable of meeting its financial obligations without any unnecessary delays. A source that asked not to be named at the Finance ministry said Geita was one of many councils whose workers either received their pay late or received less than what was due to them. The source also said the government had also failed to release funds for other charges (OC) for the second quarter of this financial year. According to the Finance Act, OCs for the second quarter are supposed to be released on October 1 (The Citizen).

Tanzania’s growth may top 6% this year
Tanzania’s growth this year may exceed the 6% forecast earlier due to the strong performance of its telecommunications, construction and financial services sectors, the IMF has said. The IMF cut this year’s growth forecast for the country to 6% from 7.2% in March, saying frequent power outages would hurt output. while food and fuel prices could push inflation higher. Tanzania’s economy grew by 6.3% in the first half of 2011 (Reuters and the Guardian).

Waiver of embargo on export of food crops
In mid-November, amid signs that there was no critical national shortage of food, it was announced that the government will soon waive the business embargo previously imposed on export of foodstuffs. Deputy Minister for the East African Community Dr Abdallah Sadalah revealed that the government would soon allow food transportation ahead of the embargo expiry towards the end of this year. Dr Sadalah said after signs of relief against the hunger threat the government was now looking at some possibilities to allow cross border food trade, especially to countries like Sudan and Somalia which were suffering from a severe food crisis. This follows President Kikwete’s mid-October directive that government institutions allow local traders to export surplus food to neighbouring countries, without causing any shortage. He also sanctioned selling of food to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), saying however, the country should remain with enough stocks. The President also urged government institutions to ensure surplus food in some regions is transported to urban areas to contain soaring prices and enable the poor to get food at affordable prices (Daily News).

But transport problems continue…

Youths in Dar es Salaam ferry passengers across Kigogo Road for TShs 500 per person. The area has become a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians, forcing commuter buses to suspend services along the route. (Photo by Fadhili Akida)

Section of the Arusha-Karatu road washed away by flash floods and landslides near Mto wa Mbu in November, causing communication routes to the Ngorongoro and Serengeti areas to be cut. (Picture Prisca Libaga - Maelezo)

Investment and technology
More promising news on economic development came from Kigoma, where Tanzania is about to have its own first ever copper smelter following an agreement between the Kigoma Regional Administration and an international firm, City Energy & Infrastructure, which has signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing itself to undertake a number of projects in the Region worth $500 million (about TShs 850 billion). Technicians are assembling a new power plant in Kigoma which is expected to make power shortage in the region a thing of the past (The Citizen).

Jatropha was in the news again. The Jatropha plant, which was previously avoided due to fear that it threatened food production, has reportedly gained popularity among smallholder farmers due to good prices offered in the market. Programme manager with Faida Market Link organisation, Thomas Silayo, said that over 19,000 smallholder farmers in central and northern Tanzania have started benefiting from the plant (The Guardian).

Telecentres – The government plans to build about 3,000 telecentres in underserved areas in a bid to narrow down the digital gap existing between urban and rural areas. At the telecentres the community will be able to access information through television and ICT tools such as the internet, fax and telephones.

Land – During the royal visit to Tanzania, pastoralists told Prince Charles and his wife Camilla that the current land tenure system was marginalising them. They also complained that foreigners were acquiring huge tracts of land in many areas for cultivating biofuel plants and for carving out conservation programmes at the expense of the indigenous people who were left landless (The Citizen).


Residents of Spenco Vingunguti area in Dar es Salaam escape the floods to reach higher ground (Photo Richard Mwaikenda/Michuzi Blog)

As this issue goes to the press in late December there are reports of severe flooding in Dar es Salaam following three days of torrential rain with 156mm of rain recorded on just one day, the highest since 1956. Over 30 people are reported to have died, with 5,000 inhabitants of low-lying areas such as Jangwani forced from their homes. Water pipes and other infrastructure have also been damaged. President Kikwete has promised TShs 3 billion to help resettle those affected to Madale, Kinondoni area (Gaurdian).

Flooding in Jangwani, Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam floods


Kilimanjaro Hotel
The State House has strongly refuted claims in leaked US embassy confidential diplomatic communications stating that President Kikwete accepted gifts from the owner of the Kempinski Hotel chain, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. It was alleged that in 2006 the owner flew President Kikwete to London when he was the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for a “subsidised shopping expedition” and made a $1 million contribution to the ruling CCM party. However, the cable accepts that the latter was a “legal contribution under current Tanzanian law”. The President was said to have authorised the company to construct two new hotels on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and another on the Serengeti Plains, overlooking the main animal migration routes.

The Director of State House Communications denied the allegations, dismissing them as outright lies. He also produced an e-mail message from a woman who is quoted by the former US ambassador denying to have told him so.

A presidential spokesperson said: there had never been a time, ever, when President Kikwete was flown by anybody to London on a subsidised shopping trip to buy suits. “All his travels to London or any other places in the world, have been duty assignments paid for by the government of Tanzania” he said.

On the reported authorisation to construct hotels, permission was given by the third phase Tanzanian government and not by Mr Kikwete’s administration. President Kikwete had declined to grant permission to Kempinski Hotels to build on the Ngorongoro Crater on the strength of environmental concerns. “The President is a modest man. He wears very simple suits. And the government has an adequate clothing budget for the minister for Foreign Affairs and the President. Contacted in Australia the US Ambassador said: “It was absolutely not true, a complete load of rubbish and an absolute defamation of my personal character.” The Kempinski management has since left and the former Kilimanjaro Hotel is now trading as the Hyatt Regency, Dar es Salaam – The Citizen.

Chinese businessman’s wife killed
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Bernard Membe, has assured the Chinese community in Tanzania that the killing of Han Bing, the wife of the Chairman of the Chinese Business Association in Tanzania, had been an incident of banditry and was not xenophobia. Han was carrying some TShs 30 million without any security escort. Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Suleiman Kova, said three people were being held over the incident – Mwananchi.


Compiled by Donovan Mc Grath

To our readers: We need to broaden the sources on which this column is based. If you see an interesting mention of Tanzania in the newspapers and magazines you read, please let us know or send us a copy. Many thanks. Editor.

Ali Sultani: The unrepentant Zanzibari revolutionary – East African (March 14-20, 2011)
This article, which includes a conversation between the subject and a US diplomat code named ZAO (carried verbatim from Wikileaks), graced the entire front page and the next two pages of EA.

Extract: ‘Ali Sultani was one of the leading figures of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution, but later spent eight years in prison as one of the conspirators of President Abeid Karume’s assassination (father of the current President Amani Abeid Karume)… He is outspoken and angry about the present state of Zanzibar. He hopes for political change, yet sees little difference between ruling party CCM and opposition CUF…’

Ali Sultani’s maternal grandmother’s first marriage was to Sultan Ali ibn Hamud ‘whom some say was deposed by the British for “decadent ways.”’ Extract continues: ‘… En route to King George V’s coronation in 1911, the Sultan was delayed in Paris. Back home the British engineered a new Sultan to take his place – Hamud’s brother-in-law Sultan Khalifa ibn Kharub (1911-1960). Sultan Hamud died in Paris in 1918, while Ali Sultani’s grandmother meanwhile remarried. From her second marriage came Ali Sultani’s mother, who wed a prominent Arab-Indian businessman from Pemba. Ali Sultani was born there but moved to the main island of Unguja as a child.

Ali Sultani’s childhood best friend was Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu (who became Secretary General of Zanzibar’s first political party, leader of the Zanzibar revolution and a renowned Pan-Africanist) … When Babu went to England on a scholarship in 1952, Ali Sultani followed him … One day in the mid-1950s, the two young Zanzibari students were passing Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park and heard an impassioned speech by a man from the British Communist Party (BCP). The speaker talked of liberating Africa from the “imperialist oppressors,” a theme that had resonance with the young Ali Sultani, despite his patrician upbringing. Ali Sultani joined the BCP shortly thereafter… Babu later joined the British Labour Party.

In 1957 Ali Sultani paid his own way to attend a Global Youth Conference in the USSR, where he met and befriended what became the pantheon of African anti-colonial revolutionaries: (Banda, Nkomo, Kaunda, Lumumba etc.)… Ali Sultani returned to Zanzibar in 1958 … He immediately became an organiser for, and senior member of, the Zanzibar National Party (ZNP), from which he later founded a sub-sect of Communists called the “Umma” (People’s Party). Ali Sultani claims he was one of the principal ideologues for the ousting of the Sultan of the short-lived independent nation of Zanzibar… In mid-1964, Ali Sultani was sent to be Commissar for Pemba to consolidate the revolution there post-Okello (a Ugandan and main instigator of the violent anti-Arab uprising targeting civilian men, women and children in Zanzibar).

Ali Sultani said he used to personally drive Consul Frank Carlucci [his closest US contact] around during his visits … in Stone Town Carlucci used to be in the habit of jogging in the pre-dawn hours and would usually stop by the back door of Ali Sultani’s house for an hour or so, “until neighbours complained … and fellow revolutionaries began questioning”… By the end of 1964, now Minister of Education of the Revolutionary Government, Ali Sultani gained popularity by securing scholarships for young Zanzibaris in Comintern countries and, later, China. As a delegate to an UNCTAD Conference in Geneva, Ali Sultani met Roberto Mondlane and befriended Che Guevara… Ali Sultani claimed that while he was in Geneva, he and his friend Babu were offered $10,000 by “American agents.” Ali Sultani told Babu that he should take it since “it didn’t change anything.” So they did, splitting the money three ways: Babu used the money to pay for his travels to the UK and Ali Sultani returned to Zanzibar where he gave the remaining third to President Karume…

By 1970 Ali Sultani was Minister of Health. He had picked as his Deputy a younger party member named Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi … In the 1970s, Ali Sultani and his Umma colleagues were starting to grow depressed. There was a chronic food shortage, and the public health situation under his watch was deteriorating. “Karume was moving too fast. Change had to be gradual. Furthermore, some of the decisions of the Revolutionary Government just did not seem to make sense. There did not seem to be a systematic or scientific approach toward social change, and the way in which decisions were made became more and more obscure.” His comrades of the Umma began to talk about how to re-align the Revolution back toward its “historical course.”

Ali Sultani said any number of people would have eagerly done-in Karume, but as far as he knew, the triggerman was “a young guy whose father had killed a politician during the British mandate” …
While the assassin’s motive might have been revenge, the Umma plotters’ plan was that after Karume was out of the way, the Army would restore order and restart the “proper revolution” … Ali Sultani claimed to have had nothing to do with implementing any of it. When Karume was killed, the army kept still, but the East German Stasi-trained internal police went to work with vigour… Ali Sultani was arrested while he and his wife were watching an evening movie at the Cine Afrique in Stone Town… He was held for eight years and treated very badly. He said he was beaten unconscious and almost died four times. He said his captors let him write his own confession used for his trial – the only one of the dozens of conspirators allowed to do so, he claimed proudly… In 1980 Ali Sultani was released and deported … on leaving Tanzania he made the Haj to Mecca and then to Britain to “recuperate”…

Ali Sultani had a British wife, but left her and drifted back to Zanzibar in the late 1980s. As a convicted “traitor of the Revolution,” his return was illegal, but his presence was apparently tolerated so long as he kept a low profile. His rehabilitation occurred when Ali Hassan Mwinyi (Ali Sultani’s old deputy at the Zanzibar Ministry of Health) became President of Tanzania and returned to Zanzibar for a “victory lap.” Ali Sultani said he was driving in a remote part of Zanzibar’s interior when Mwinyi’s vast motorcade approached. Ali Sultani said he pulled over, stood by the side of the road and saluted. Mwinyi saw him from the tinted window of his limo, recognised him, stopped the motorcade and doubled back. The two hugged each other on the side of the road. Ali Sultani said Mwinyi’s strap-hangers were shocked to see the president embrace a “known traitor,” but news of the event spread and people no longer shunned him…

Ali Sultani used his connections to Mwinyi and the “Revolution veteran’s network” to acquire land and build two hotels. He is financially comfortable, if not rich, and lives inland in a modest cottage in the “middle class” Zanzibari suburb of Bububu. There he counsels young wannabe politicians, “only when asked,” and settles local disputes, sponsors weddings and sometimes gives money to both the CCM and CUF, although he claims he would never join either party… Since both parties were close in ideology, Ali Sultani said he might support CUF “as CCM reformers,” if it were not for CUF Zanzibari leader Seif Hamad, whom Ali Sultani reviles. “If they could choose a better leader, they might go somewhere,” he said… What was needed was a true national government, “so we can at last fight for an independent nation and fulfil the goals of our revolution.” Ali Sultani is working with an American academic and hopes to publish his autobiography shortly.

Golf has strong roots in EA, going back to the beginning of the last century – East African (September 19-25, 2011)
‘… The oldest course in Uganda, and indeed East Africa, the Entebbe Golf Club, was set up in 1901, when Entebbe was the seat of government, by Sir Harry Johnstone, the British governor of Uganda at the time.’ Three Tanzanian golf clubs – TPC Golf Club, Arusha Gymkhana Club and Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club – are mentioned in this article :

‘TPC Golf Club, Tanzania (4 stars): Located a few kilometres from Moshi town on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro on an agricultural estate of 15,800 hectares, out of which 7,700 hectares are under sugar cane, This course is a nine-hole course … “In my opinion, TPC is the best golf course in Tanzania at the moment”, says Mohammed Sadiki [Secretary-General of the Tanzania Golf Union]… Arusha Gymkhana Club (4 stars) is a nine-hole course located in Arusha town … standing out for its scenic views and good course quality. “In my opinion, Arusha is tops in Tanzania when it comes to the scenery of the course, as well as the condition of the club house… Though it only has nine holes, it could have the capacity to host major tournaments.”

Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (3 stars): Established in 1926 as a horse riding facility for the then Tanganyika Governor Sir Donald Cameron, this club has an 18-hole course … “The views of the ocean are scenic, and though we’ve seen some improvements, the course still has some challenges in terms of maintenance,” says Sadiki. Over the past few years, the course has changed from its traditional brown to green …’

Bike work: How T-shirt slogan can save Tanzania – East African (September 5-11, 2011)
EA columnist Elsie Eyakuze offers a solution to city congestion.

Extract: ‘Dar traffic, as demonic as it is, has its uses… Recently I was at a junction where the workforce of Tanzania were all stuck waiting for some Honourable or other to slide on through … The Honourable was very late for work, which was costing us all revenue in terms of lost time – his and ours. And: Bicycles for Development! … I happen to be the proud owner of a collectible T-shirt … On the front of the T-shirt is a picture of Julius Nyerere … perched gleefully on an old-school bicycle … It is an iconic photo … During the fuel crisis . . . one issue that didn’t gain much traction in the press, was a push for alternatives that would help reduce our fuel dependence … How about if we inject some public funds … to make those awesome bicycles … a Chinese model … The next phase would involve some aggressive marketing to capture the biggest spender of them all: The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. A good entry point would be to distribute these bikes for free to public servants, in exchange for their government-provided Toyota Land Cruiser VXs. Yes, suggesting that senior employees of the Tanzanian government humble themselves so far as to ride bicycles in public is tantamount to calling for a civil war. However, I think that the T-shirt provides the ultimate weapon in justification: Nyerere did it… After that, a much more serious campaign could be mounted to get as many citizens and residents onto a bicycle as possible … The money that would result from the sale of the Land Cruiser VXs… would be put in a special fund used strictly to support the improvement of maternal health services in Tanzania. That way, every time you see a Mheshimiwa biking to work, you would be assured that one more newborn Tanzanian and her mother have a fighting chance to survive… And we could all thank that one T-shirt, and by extension, Nyerere. Foolproof, right?’

Dar to deploy troops in parks with poaching out of control – East African (September 5-11, 2011)
Extract: ‘The current price of rhino horn in Asia is $55,000 a kilogramme, making it more expensive than gold or cocaine… Last year poachers killed one of five endangered black rhinos that were relocated to the Serengeti National Park from South Africa. Latest statistics show that 1,370 poachers had been arrested in various national parks and game reserves, and 171 guns confiscated. . .a spokesman said poaching had reached such deadly proportions that the government could not continue relying on park rangers alone to combat heavily armed poachers. The idea of deploying TPDF troops was first floated by President Kikwete when he toured the Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry recently… The military engagement comes amid reports that Tanzania has lost 35% of its wildlife population due to poaching in the past decade.’

Never smile at a donor, he’ll be in your bedroom next – East African (November 14-20, 2011)
EA columnist Elsie Eyakuze writes: ‘… I don’t hold much truck with the word independence because I suspect it misrepresents a few things. First of all, how do we call ourselves independent when so much of our development budget comes from the donor community – especially the former colonial power? The government of Tanzania might be independent in the sense that it collects our taxes and recycles them in to Recurrent Government Expenditures (cars, houses and the other benefits of power that we don’t talk about in polite company). Tanzania’s people, however, are still heavily dependent on donor support for basic goods and services… Development is a heavily hierarchical industry that requires constant vigilance because of the not-so-hidden power dynamics. The attitude of gratitude has no place in these relationships, it creates freakish outcomes. Why else would a British premier get it into his head that he can tell African countries how to legislate their sexual politics and hope to get away with it?’

Eco dream of UK firm wrecks life for African village – Observer (30/10/11)
The collapse of a British biofuel company has left hundreds of Tanzanians landless, jobless, and in despair for the future. “People feel this is like the return of colonialism,” says Athumani Mkambala, chairman of Mhaga village in rural Tanzania. “Colonialism in the form of investment.”… A quarter of the village’s land in Kisarawe district was acquired by a British biofuels company in 2008, with the promise of financial compensation, 700 jobs, water wells, improved schools, health clinics and roads. But the company has gone bust, leaving villagers not just jobless but landless as well. Josie Cohen at development group Action Aid says: “Like it or not, everyone who drives a car or catches a bus is involved in this problem, as all UK petrol and diesel is mixed with biofuels.” …’ Thank you John Sankey for this item – Editor.

Tanzanians most secure people in EA – East African (October 17-23, 2011)
‘This article indicates that the country is committing enough resources towards safety of its people.’ Extract continues: ‘Tanzania leads other East African Community members in ensuring that its citizens are secure, a new report [based on a study by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation] has indicated. The study on national security covered such areas as cross-border tensions, domestic armed conflict and government involvement in armed conflict. On people’s safety, Tanzania ranked high, scoring 49 with Kenya coming last with 31; Uganda had 46, Rwanda 40 and Burundi 34… In the 2011 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Tanzania was again the top overall performer, coming in at position 13 out of the 53 African countries …’

So, Jay Kay was just a pretty face after all? Damn! – East African (March 28-April 3, 2011)
EA columnist Elsie Eyakuze expresses her opinion on Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete. Extract: ‘… I actually happen to like my Head of State… I am convinced that there is a strong correlation between the uniqueness of a head of state’s fashion statement and the amount of sanity said head of state is likely to display… It is a simple formula: the more accessories, the more outlandish the costume, the crazier the leader is. You will be happy to note that Jay Kay has a penchant for ankle boots, which is nothing to write home about… Just after the elections that enthroned him in 2005 … Jay Kay was the toast of the Swahili coast. He was a breath of fresh air in an establishment that seemed to be going down the drain. He was dynamic, charming, smiled a heck of a lot more than his predecessor. The media couldn’t get enough of him and neither could we. Sure, some of us heard rumours – about his lack of vision and resolve, his inability to control the party, a certain unfortunate disinterest in the nitty-gritty of governance… But he was pretty and he was fun …

Fast forward to 2011, and the picture is no longer promising… These days, the only papers that put Jay Kay on the front page as a matter of course are owned by the establishment… Jay Kay is looking tired and unfocused. Worse yet, I suspect he is being overshadowed by his prime minister, who projects mature leadership with such confidence it is hard to believe that they are only a year apart in age. Our handsome charmer is turning out to be exactly that – a pleasant and largely ceremonial ornament… I already know what I’ll remember fondly from the Kikwete years: His (mostly) fearless backing of media freedoms through personal example, his accessibility to the common man and his democratic nature… Kilimo Kwanza? Jay Kay’s Billions? … Maybe Jay Kay will go home without a grand opus to show for his stint at Ikulu. But you know what? At least he was as pretty as a cake in a bakery window.’

100 Most Influential People of Africa – New African (June 2011)
This is the headline that graced the front cover of the ‘bestselling pan- African magazine’. Due to space constraints, only Tanzanians will feature in the following extract:

‘Dr Asha-Rose Migiro: Appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2007 … the first black woman to hold this esteemed position. A lawyer by profession, she has a special interest in issues around peace and the elimination of violence and discrimination against women…

‘Dr Frannie Léautier: Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation [and a former vice president of the World Bank]… This powerful but softly-spoken and humble woman has totally transformed the face of the ACBF, to the extent that today, when she speaks, big men sit up and listen…

‘Ndesanjo Macha: A popular blogger, journalist, lawyer and digital activist. Ndesanjo set up Jikombe (Swahili for “Free Yourself”) the first ever blog in an African language…’

January Makamba: Parliamentary Energy Committee Chairman, Tanzania – The Africa Report (Dec 2011-Jan 2012)
Extract: ‘Becoming MP for Bumbuli at only 37, January Makamba is a rising star of Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and chairman of the Parliamentary Energy Committee. He is the son of the 46 Tanzania in the International Media recently ousted CCM secretary general Yusuf Makamba… He turns 40 in 2015, the year of the next presidential election, and bloggers have started discussing how his candidacy might transform local politics… He is the first Tanzanian politician to set up a corporation for his constituency. The Bumbuli Development Corporation will invest $10m, borrowed from Wall Street philanthropists, in East African treasury bonds and stocks.’

MV Liemba: The Oldest Operating Ship in Africa – Habari (Swedish- Tanzania Society, 3/2011)
The MV Liemba has already been featured in TA (Issues No 3, 4, 21, 29, 34, 64, 87, 98!). The following extract contains the latest development in the story.

Extract: ‘The Tanzanian Government is currently holding talks with the German Government to see the possibility of the latter financing major rehabilitation of MV Liemba. MV Liemba is of immense importance to Tanzania linking other neighbouring countries for handling passengers and transit cargo to Zambia, East Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. The technical status of MV Liemba needs to be improved so that she may continue providing the service. Thus, major rehabilitation of MV Liemba will improve performance of the rail system, bring down maintenance costs, attract more customers due to greater reliability of service and will encourage Zambians, Congolese and Burundians to use Dar es Salaam Port thus boosting the Tanzanian economy… Installation of new engines in the vessel will minimize emissions of hazardous smoke into the atmosphere and the present oil-spill from worn out engines will be minimized.’

Dikakapa Tour – Botswana Daily News, 17 November 2011
The Botswana traditional music group, Dikakapa, recently toured Tanzania performing in Dar es Salaam, Bukoba, Opunga, Nyimanye, Ndeya and Songea. Grace Ramaphoka, a member of the group, said more than 3,000 spectators attended each show. which was far more than they would have back home where they would normally count 100 people; “if only people in Botswana would be so enthusiastic then the industry would grow to become a global brand.” She also said that there were a variety of performances by Tanzanian traditional music artists.


Precision Air
Local investors have shown an impressive response to Precision Air Service’s initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. This was described in the Daily News as an indication of the growing interest in Tanzania in investing in shares.

The airline is selling its shares at TShs 475 to increase its capital and expose ownership of the firm to Tanzanians. The money raised is earmarked for the purchase of ground handling equipment and aircraft spare parts. The airline will remain with a 35.5% shareholding, Kenya Airways with 34.1%, and the public sector 30.4%. The airline plans to fly to 15 international and regional destinations in the next two years. It currently has a fleet of eleven aircraft serving 13 domestic and regional destinations, with five international routes (the Comoros, Entebbe, Johannesburg, Mombasa and Nairobi).

Air Tanzania
The national carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), whose planes had been grounded for several months, resumed operations at the end of October, flying to two destinations –Tabora and Kigoma.

The new ATCL acting Director General, Mr Paul Chizi, said that the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), had already granted ATCL an Air Operators Certificate after inspections proved that the company had fulfilled all the conditions. ATCL has positioned itself to compete in the aviation sector for the next five years.

The plan was unveiled by Deputy Minister for Transportation, Dr Athumani Mfutakamba, who said that the plan put ATCL at a good position to regain its lost glory in the aviation sector not only in Tanzania, but in the East African region as a whole. In the last budget the government set aside TShs 16.7 billion to enable ATCL to resume operations. The government has also promised to pay ATCL workers’ back salaries -The Citizen.


Prince Charles and Camilla celebrating VSO’s 50th anniversary in Zanzibar with Jean Van Wetter, VSO Country Director and school children.

50 years of partnership. VSO started working in Tanzania in September 1961. Since then, more than 2,200 international professional volunteers have worked in close partnership with over 500 Tanzanian partners in the fields of education, health, disability, agriculture, governance, community development and wealth creation.

The VSO approach has changed over time. While in the past, VSO volunteers (mainly teachers, doctors and agriculture specialists) were providing direct services to the most vulnerable populations in all regions of the country, the new strategy ensures capacity building and scaling up of ‘best practice’ in targeted geographic and thematic areas. VSO volunteers are also now more experienced and specialized professionals.

During the 50 year partnership VSO has had with the Government, Tanzania has made impressive progress in many areas. For example Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland are well on track to meet the millennium development goal on access to education, with over 80% of children being enrolled in primary schools in Zanzibar and over 90% in Tanzania mainland. Despite those tangible successes, several challenges remain and the current strategy of VSO addresses those, in particular in education, health and wealth creation. Through delivering change and sharing learning, VSO also directly contributes to the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategies (MKUKUTA and MKUZA).

VSO is currently reaching more than 500,000 poor people in Tanzania, with a relatively limited budget. During 2011 3,000 teachers were supported by VSO volunteers, which resulted in improved teaching that in turn will reach more than 42,000 children.

Jean Van Wetter, Country Director, VSO Tanzania writes: “At the occasion of our 50th anniversary, we want to celebrate successes, but also reflect on our own practices and role in reducing poverty in Tanzania. In December 2011, we therefore invited development leaders in Tanzania to come together to review progress in delivering change in the lives of poor people and share their ideas on how to do development differently.

“I want to take the opportunity of our 50th anniversary to also thank the Britain Tanzania Society for this support to our work. Our volunteers recently received significant support from the Tanzania Development Trust, the charitable arm of the Society.

“Last but not least, I would like to extend my sincere appreciated to all current and past volunteers for their continuous generosity and motivation in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable”.