by Paul Gooday

Economic update
According to the International Monetary Fund, the Tanzanian economy grew at 6.9% in 2012, and is projected to achieve an over 7% growth rate in 2014.

The National Bureau of Statistics announced that in the second quarter of 2013, Tanzania’s economy grew 6.7% (compared to 6.4% in the same period of 2012). The sectors that grew markedly included agriculture, electricity, construction, transport and communication.

Dr Honest Ngowi, business economics lecturer at Mzumbe University, commented that there were more indicators of growth than setbacks currently in Tanzania, that at 6.1% inflation was decreasing and that oil and gas licensing may stimulate further growth. (Tanzania Invest)

Tanzania and China promote partnership
On a recent visit to China, the Tanzanian Prime Minister signed five Memorandums of Understanding in Beijing with his Chinese equivalent. The agreements include partnerships in science and technology, tourism, textile manufacture, cotton production, and the construction of a new Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for the ‘soft’ loans provided to Tanzania, explaining that in comparison to loans from other countries, the terms have been easier. Tanzania would begin to pay China back a US $24.6 million loan that was used to renovate the Tanzania-China Friendship Mills.

Tanzania and China have also signed seven contracts, totalling US $1.7 billion, for investments in electricity, construction, and research. These include a renewable energy research centre and construction of residen­tial housing and business centres throughout Tanzania. (Tanzania Invest)

Bank of Tanzania treasury bond
The Bank of Tanzania has for the first time floated 15-year treasury bonds with a 13.5 % coupon aimed at further development of the country’s financial markets. This will raise funds for long term development projects and also be a point of comparison with market instruments such as mortgage financing and corporate bonds. (The Guardian / IPP)

Protests against Electronic Fiscal Devices
The government continued to pursue its policy of insisting on the use of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) by traders although businesses had objected to the tax recording machines. Traders in Kariakoo and elsewhere closed their business for several days in protest. The Ministry of Finance and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) said they were looking into reducing the cost of the device, but reiterated that businesses could not avoid using the EFD system as it was the best way to get accurate tax calculations and keep records.

Traders are against the EFDs, explaining that the device is too costly at TSh 800,000 per piece. The TRA said the actual price ranges between TSh 600,000 and TSh 778,000, depending on the model and type. The Deputy Minister for Finance noted that these are cheaper in comparison to other countries and were made specifically for Tanzania.

The parliamentary economic and trade committee has proposed a joint committee with traders to address the problem. The House team asked that the taxman raise public awareness, and the option of paying for EFDs in instalments was also proposed. The committee requested the government to remove import duty on the devices so as to lower costs. (Citizen)

Rapid rise on Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange
Data from the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in late November shows that the value of all 12 local listed companies – as measured by the domestic market capitalization – more than doubled to TSh 5.96 trillion (US $3.7 billion) at the close of trading from TSh 2.94 trillion (US $1.87 billion) at the close of last year.

The Dar es Salaam bourse said market activity was skewed towards foreign investors, with local investors making a minimal contribution focused on the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) and the CRDB Bank (formerly the Cooperative Rural Development Bank).


Roger Nellist

National Natural Gas Policy
Against the background of huge natural gas discoveries since 2010, the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Prof. Muhongo, announced in October 2013 a National Natural Gas Policy. This has been formulated over the last two years through what the Minister described as “a thoroughly consultative process which we did transparently and involved road shows across 12 regions of the country”. The international oil and gas industry, development partners and other stakeholders were also engaged in the process.
The policy provides guidance to ensure that the benefits to Tanzania from the development of natural gas are maximized and contribute to the accelerated growth and socio-economic transformation of the country, including an improved quality of life for Tanzanians. It lays out a comprehensive framework to guide the development of the gas industry in the country, in the expectation that gas will contribute significantly to the goal of Tanzania becoming a middle-income country by 2025.

The policy document runs to 34 pages and has also been published in Kiswahili. It covers the legal, fiscal and institutional frameworks for development of the gas sector and addresses major issues such as: the provision and security of gas infrastructure; domestic gas utilisation, gas exports and gas pricing; management of the gas revenues; meet­ing the needs of local communities; capacity building and investor responsibilities; environment and safety; links with other strategic sectors; transparency; and regional and international co-operation. The concluding chapter highlights the roles of the many stakeholders in the Tanzanian gas industry.

Petroleum Licensing
Also in October, President Kikwete launched the much-delayed Fourth Petroleum Licensing Round – inviting the oil and gas industry to apply for seven offshore deep-water blocks and for Lake Tanganyika North (which is onshore). Investors must bid by May 2014.

It is understood that two further license blocks have been reserved for the government, and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) is seeking partners in a separate process. Successful bidders will negotiate Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) with government and the TPDC. Negotiations proceed on the basis of the Petroleum Law and the Model PSA (recently revamped to provide for tougher terms for investors). The Ministry of Energy and Minerals expects the PSAs to be concluded by September 2014 – which some commentators think is too optimistic.

Lack of Tanzanian commercial involvement in the petroleum sector
Commercial involvement of Tanzanians in the natural resource sector remains a highly sensitive issue. President Kikwete stressed that the new Gas Policy (see above) will ensure that the future of the lucrative but capital-intensive industry will be in the hands of locals. He stated that under the Fourth Licensing Round Tanzania’s national interest is “more than safeguarded with TPDC as our representative”, adding that the PSAs with foreign oil and gas companies will not repeat the mistakes made in some mining sector agreements.

However, whilst acknowledging that the PSAs are good, the chairman of the Chief Executive Officers Round Table, Ali Mufuruki, called for the Tanzanian private sector to be more involved commercially in the potentially lucrative gas subsector – and that TPDC alone should not be left to represent Tanzania in such a big business. He criticised Muhungo’s Ministry for undermining the local private sector – and pointed to the need to learn lessons from successful petroleum economies like Norway and Malaysia.

There had been calls from the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, NGOs and the opposition party Chadema for the current licensing round to be postponed and for exploration blocks to be reserved for Tanzanians.


by Ben Taylor

Tanzania meets child mortality target
A recent report from the United Nations estimates that the under-five mortality rate has dropped by two-thirds between 1990 and 2012 – from 166 to 54 deaths per 1000 live births. This puts Tanzania among a select few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to have met the Millennium Development Goal no. 4, along with Ethiopia, Malawi and Liberia.

Progress on related measures has also been good. On Infant mortality (deaths at under 12 months), the number of deaths per 100 live births has dropped from 101 in 1990 to 38 in 2012, and the neo-natal mortality rate (deaths in the first 28 days of life) has halved from 43 to 21 per 1000 live births in the same period.

Chart to measure baby foot length

Chart to measure baby foot length

An initiative reported by the BBC aims to help identify premature babies, since in rural Tanzania about one in every 30 premature babies will not survive beyond four weeks. “There’s this grey area when the baby is between around 2.4kg (5lbs 5oz) and 2.1kg (4lbs 10oz) when the baby is more vulnerable to infection and other issues,” says Dr Joanna Schellenberg of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “But when a baby is born at home, there is no way of weighing them”.

To help solve this problem, Schellenberg and her colleagues at the Ifakara Health Institute have implemented a strategy called Mtunze Mtoto Mchanga (“protect the newborn baby”). Based on research into baby foot lengths carried out in Lindi and Mtwara, the newborn baby’s foot is compared against a laminated card. If the foot is smaller than the small foot (67mm), the mother is advised to take the baby to hospital immediately. Babies with foot size in the medium range are advised to take extra precautions such as carrying the baby “skin-to-skin” so that the mother’s warmth is shared by the baby. The project relies on volunteers to measure the babies and help educate mothers, and WHO estimate that 75% of deaths in preterm infants can be prevented in this way – without the cost and emotional upset of intensive care.

Heart treatment centre
A new ultra-modern Cardiac Treatment and Training Centre has been opened at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam. The facility cost $20m to build, shared between the Tanzanian and Chinese governments.

The government has paid for 326 people to go for heart surgery abroad, at a minimum cost of $10,000 for each case. The new centre should be able to deal with the majority of such cases locally at much lower cost.

Improved malaria testing
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare will make malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (mRDT) equipment available in both government and private health facilities. The Minister said that the equipment gives faster and more reliable results than microscopic tests.

The scheme, which has been introduced by the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the National Malaria Control Programme, reduces the cost of the equipment from TSh 9,000 to TSh 1,100. (Citizen)


David Brewin

Tanzania and Sri Lanka
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was held in Sri Lanka from 12 to 17 November. British Prime Minister David Cameron seemed primarily interested in criticising the Sri Lankan government for serious breaches of human rights in the final days of a vicious 26-year-long civil war that caused thousands of deaths, extreme violence, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances. The Prime Ministers of Canada and India boycotted the meeting for the same reason.

However, Tanzania and many other participants praised the Sri Lankan government for its remarkable post-civil war transformation since 2009. President Kikwete took a powerful delegation to Colombo, including several cabinet ministers and vowed to strengthen bilateral cooperation. Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa had paid a state visit to Tanzania in June 2013.

Tanzania, the DRC and Rwanda
The disorderly state of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has defied all efforts by a large UN peace-keeping force to re-establish control by its elected central government in the distant capital Kinshasa. The UN troops seemed to be in a quagmire and unable to solve the problem. The rebel force had had considerable success and a year earlier had captured the major eastern city of Goma.

The long controversy also badly damaged relations between Tanzania and Rwanda; Tanzania accused Rwanda of supporting the rebel army, an allegation consistently denied by the Rwandan government.

In recent months, however, things have changed. Tanzanian President Kikwete took over the principal role in the UN intervention, sending 1,200 troops to make up to 3,000 the ‘Force Intervention Brigade’, which includes contingents from South Africa and Malawi. Under a new UN policy, these troops were given extra powers, allowing them to undertake offensive operations with the Congolese army against the ‘M23’ rebels and other dissidents in order to finally restore peace. The new force has long range artillery (its Tanzanian commander is an artillery expert) and it also has South African snipers.

In a remarkably short space of time the new Tanzanian-led Force was successful. It is believed that Rwanda withdrew any support it had been giving the “M23” rebels, who admitted that they had been defeated and dispersed. A Tanzanian officer and two soldiers were killed in the fighting.

The three month tiff between President Kikwete and Rwandan President Kagame [TA No 106] seems to be over following a cordial meeting in Kampala in September.


by Enos Bukuku & David Brewin

We welcome in this issue a new contributor to Tanzanian Affairs. He has succeeded Frederick Longino who has other pressing demands on his time at present. We are very grateful to Frederick for steering us skillfully through all the complexities of the early stages of the revision of the constitution. The new contributor is Mr Enos Bukuku who will be covering the remaining work which still has to be done before a new constitution can be finalised. Enos Bukuku is a solicitor at Levenes in London specialising in personal injury, clinical negligence and general civil litigation. Born in Mwadui (Shinyanga), he moved to the UK with his family at an early age. He regularly returns to his hometown Mbeya and is involved in an NGO which seeks to empower women and children in Southern Tanzania. As part of a team giving legal assistance and advice to the Afro-Caribbean community, he spends time reaching out to the community and attending events to raise awareness of legal rights.

Constitution Review – update
Since the last issue of TA, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Mathius Chikawe has been in London and addressed a three hour meet­ing on the Constitution at the High Commission. Having been deeply involved with the Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC) during all its deliberations, he was able to deal effectively with numerous ques­tions from the audience.

In view of conflicting statements by leaders in Zanzibar, the Minister was asked what would happen if Zanzibar failed to accept the main principles of the draft constitution, specifically the degree of autonomy for Zanzibar. The Minister’s reply was clear. It would mean the end of the Union, he said.

On 16 November the Britain Tanzania Society devoted a major part of its AGM to the constitution. The speakers were TA Editor David Brewin and Frederick Longino.

On December 2 the Chadema Party stated that it would oppose the proposed Referendum Bill in Parliament. It listed issues on which change was required including the Zanzibar Permanent Residents Register and the decision to put the power to supervise opinion polls under the Electoral Commission.

Deadline postponed
In the meantime the National Assembly made a bold and unexpected move by making an amendment ensuring that the CRC would not participate in the debate on the draft constitution next year. The CRC was supposed to be disbanded at the end of October 2013 after sub­mitting its final report and preparing the second draft, which would then be delivered to the President. He in turn would present it to the Constituent Assembly which would take over the constitution drafting process. The original deadline, which had already had a previous extension, was then further extended by the President to 30 December 2013, at the request of the CRC.

The Constituent Assembly
The National Assembly has also passed the Constitutional Review (Amendment Number 2) Bill in response to criticism, chiefly from Chadema, in relation to the Constituent Assembly. The amendment will increase the number of non-Parliamentary/House of Representative members from 166 to 201. The 201 members will be drawn from fully registered political parties (42, NGOs (20), Faith Based Organisations (20), higher learning institutions (20), people with special needs (20), trade unions (19), associations of livestock keepers (10), fisheries associations (10), agricultural associations (20) and 20 from other groups.

37 Civil Society organisations complained that the Constituent Assembly was not representative enough of those stakeholders outside mainstream politics. Although there are over 100 people from interest groups, they amount to less than a third of the total Constituent Assembly. It remains to be seen whether there will be further changes to redress this.


by Peter Elborn

The Great Mosque, Kilwa Kisiwani

The Great Mosque, Kilwa Kisiwani

The Cessna landed on Kilwa’s grass airstrip, where two men were sitting in the deep shade of a big tree. There was no one else around. I stopped to talk to them. I knew I could walk to Kilwa Ruins Lodge, where I was going to stay for four nights; but – as they said – it would be hot work pulling a trolley case along a sandy road. One of the men had a car in the shade of another tree, and he took me on the short, bumpy ride to the Lodge.

Kilwa Kisiwani is an island just off the coast from the fishing village of Kilwa Masoko. Historically it was the southern point for sailing vessels going down the East African coast using the monsoon winds. They came to trade – most importantly gold and ivory from inland Africa. From the 11th to the 15th century Kilwa was a city-state with fine mosques and grand palaces. In their time, the Great Mosque was the largest mosque in Africa and Husuni Kubwa, the Great Palace, was the largest stone structure in sub-Saharan Africa. Kilwa had its ups and downs until the 19th century, when the slave trade ceased and it became a backwater. This once prosperous city-state fell into ruins.

The only guy around at the Lodge had no knowledge that I was coming, but cheerfully gave me a key to a thatched wooden hut. I was asked what I wanted for lunch. I thought it best to ask what they had. The reply, after some thought, and with some hesitation, was – fish. So I said fish would be very nice.

The next day I ambled around the town in search of the Antiquities Department to get the required permit to visit Kilwa Kisiwani, called ‘the ruins’ locally. Kilwa Masoko is a small place and I had expected to find the Antiquities Department by ambling. But I didn’t.

After lunch and an hour in the shade with a book, I guessed that I might find someone to talk to about getting to the ruins at the harbour, from where the dhows cross to Kilwa Kisiwani. There was not much there, other than an empty jetty and a few men under the shade of trees. One of them called over a young guy who had a dhow and could take me the next day. But today we would need to get the permit. We found the Antiquities Department in a compound behind a gate with a sign saying “Revenue Department”. After 10 or 15 minutes my name was entered in a ledger (including my passport number, but as I did not have my passport with me or any idea what the number was, I made it up). I paid a fee and that was that – a good day’s work.

As no one was around at the Lodge early next morning, I breakfasted on a honey crunch bar left over from the flight from London and walked to the harbour. There was a port fee, requiring another entry in a ledger, with another invented passport number. No boatman from the day before, so the man who had been helpful shouted to three people on a dhow, who agreed to take us. We waded out, climbed aboard and a patched triangular sail was hoisted. A gentle half hour later we got close enough to the island to jump over the side and slosh our way ashore.

A half an hour walk along the edge of a mangrove swamp brought us to the Husuni Kubwa perched on a low cliff by the sea. All very grand in its time, but now just enough left to see that it had indeed been a great palace. We weaved our way along sandy paths through lush tropical vegetation back to the main site, passing neat and tidy mud huts with people quietly drawing water from an ancient well.

The Great Mosque – 11th century in origin, and enlarged in the 14th century with money from the gold trade – is still impressive. Other smaller mosques are scattered around, as well as later buildings, including the fort built by the Portuguese during their short stay at the beginning of the 16th century. After they left the fort was enlarged, falling into disuse in the late 19th century.

Returning to the mainland we had to tack against a strong wind. The sail filled, the boat keeled over and waves flooded into the boat. One of the boatmen calmly bailed.

Over the next two days I explored Kilwa Masoko and adapted to the heat, humidity and the slow pace of life. I swam when the sun was low and less fierce, read in the shade, and enjoyed walking around the town and the market. And then it was time for a last stroll by the sea and a return to the airstrip. As we waited for the plane I watched the little ants crawl over my suitcase.

Two international aid workers arrived in a smart 4-wheel drive vehicle bearing the logo of a water project and talked on their mobile phones. Accompanying them were two Tanzanians. She was well-groomed in a tailored African print dress with puff sleeves. He wore a smart dark blue safari suit. They talked with confidence.

Then the plane arrived and I was off, back to Dar and on to London.

Thank you Jennifer Glentworth for putting us in touch with Peter – Editor

Peter Elborn spent four months in Dar es Salaam in 1991 and visited frequently from 2000 to 2004 when he was the British Council Regional Director East and Central Africa, based in Nairobi. However, it was only after retirement that he was able to get to Kilwa.


by Anne Samson

Primary school exam results
On 4 November, the National Examinations Council (NECTA) announced the Standard VII results. These showed that half of the pupils who sat this year’s primary school examinations had passed; this was an increase of 20% compared to last year. The pass marks for the core subjects were low: Mathematics 27%, English 33% and Sciences 46%. 427,606 out of 844,938 candidates scored above 100 out of 250. 13 pupils had their results nullified due to cheating, compared to 293 last year.

This was the second year of electronic marking. NECTA had sample papers to check for accuracy, which showed that the computer marking was more accurate than manual marking. Other benefits included 16 days of marking compared to 30 days and 300 staff were used in comparison to 4,000 in previous years. (Citizen)

O-level results
The 2012 Form IV exam results remain in the news as the report of the Prime Minister’s special commission is not yet in the public domain. The Citizen reported on 22 October that outdated questions, poor marking, inadequate time, lack of testing skills among those tasked to set exam questions and the removal of national Form Two exams in 2009 were among the key factors that caused the massive failure during the 2012 Form Four national exams. The next day MPs were calling for the release of the report, which had been handed to Prime Minister Pinda in June. Professor Sifuni Mchoma, who led the enquiry and has since been appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, stated that the challenges facing education are due to “poor performance by workers at the Ministry of Education …. teachers’ problems and school curriculums”. (Daily News, Citizen)

In November, the Government announced that a new system of grading would be introduced for secondary school students. The final exam will count for 60% of the final result with 40% determined from continuous assessment or coursework. The changes were implemented with immediate effect on the day Form IV students started their exams. 15 marks out of the total 40 will be earned from the National Form Two Examinations and 10 marks in Form Three, with two terms each generating five marks. During the Form Four mock examinations, students can earn up to 10 marks, with the other five marks from the project, thus completing the 40 marks for course work.” (Citizen)

“Big Results Now”
The World Bank has promised to support the Tanzanian government in improving the quality of primary and secondary education through its “Big Results Now” initiative. The US $100 million “Programme for Results” will start in 2014 and run through to 2018. The funding will be used for training teachers, ranking schools according to performance and providing incentives to schools. (Daily News)

Other News
An initiative to improve education, sponsored by Samsung as part of its “Tanzania beyond Tomorrow” programme, will support children between the ages of 3 and 9 in learning Kiswahili. It is called Tichaa and engages children to learn the words of common objects.

In September, it was estimated that 10,000 teachers faced deportation from Tanzania as they were working illegally. (Citizen)


by Donovan McGrath
To our readers: 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.

The poisoned chalice of Tanzania’s land deals
For more than ten years, Tanzania has encouraged foreign investment in land deals with its vision of modernisation and revival of the agri­cultural sector. 4.5 million hectares is being sought by foreign investors for biofuel or food production, encouraged by the 2009 Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First) initiative. However, inadequate land-management legislation has seen few success stories in the selling of land.

Extract: ‘… supposed beneficiaries, such as smallholder Ahmed Kipanga, a 37-year-old father of five from the coastal Kisarawe District, feel short-changed.

“I used to till my land and grow enough food to feed my family,” he told IRIN [UN news agency] in Mbeya, 600km south of a home he no longer has access to, adding that he was also able to earn around US$250 selling his surplus crop for each of the year’s two seasons. I just gave my land because we were convinced by a politician that it would make us rich. I knew I would get money for the land, and also get a well-paying job when the [investment] company began operations, they didn’t do anything and they sold our land to another company we didn’t even know,” he added. Kipanga now has no farm to grow food on and struggles to make ends meet by crushing rocks manually. A 7-tonne truckload brings in around $90, a sum he splits with two friends…

Some 27 agricultural investment deals have been signed since 2008, covering 274,228 hectare, according to data compiled by the Land Matrix. Of these, 11 projects have either been abandoned (including a 34,000 hectare Jatropha plantation in Kilwa District), or have yet to start production more than a year after contracts were signed. Just eight are operational.’ (IRIN UN Humanitarian News Network – 7 November)

Tanzania: the ideal destination for drug gangs
‘Tanzanian authorities battle to curb rise in drug smuggling into and out of the country’
Extract: ‘In his speech on the World Day against Drugs on 26 June, Tanzania’s prime minister Mizengo Pinda lamented that drugs are a national tragedy. According to Pinda, more than 10,799 Tanzanians have been charged with drug-dealing in the past five years. And the minister for foreign affairs and international co-operation, Bernard Membe, conceded last year that Tanzania is one of five countries in the Southern African Development Community implicated in illicit drug trafficking…

Last year more than 103 Tanzanians were arrested for cocaine smuggling in Brazil, and 200 in Hong Kong. A recent report of the Tanzania Drug Control Commission indicates that Tanzania has more than 4,684 registered addicts. The main market for drugs is Kinondoni in Dar es Salaam.

The 2013 report of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicates that East Africa is a major target for traffickers wishing to enter African markets because of its unprotected coastline, major seaports and airports and porous land borders, which provide multiple entry and exit points. Also attractive to the drug syndicates are inadequate customs controls and cross-border co-operation, as well as weak criminal justice systems… Most ship-borne narcotics are thought to pass through Zanzibar … where they are offloaded and then moved to the mainland in small consignments in boats.’ (Mail Guardian, South Africa – 30 August).

Tanzanian “Beach Boys” in Cape Town
The photojournal describes encounters with a group of up to 100 Tanzanian youths, mainly stowaways, who live rough “under Nelson Mandela Boulevard at the foot of Cape Town, where the high rise buildings end and the docklands begin … [One Tanzanian] …had entered [the UK] through the Port of Hull in 2003 concealed in a Maltese bulk carrier called Global Victory, which he had boarded in the Port of Richard’s Bay on South Africa’s north coast. In his first months in the UK he had lived in Sheffield with a benevolent Cameroonian before bussing to Birmingham, where the Jamaican gangsters around Handsworth had permitted him to hustle small amounts of marijuana. [The mother of his daughter], a second generation Jamaican immigrant, had tried to save him from the streets by convincing her own mother to take him in, but with no other way of making money [he] continued to hustle by day and was eventually done for dealing [and] put on a flight to Dar es Salaam.” ( Sept 2013)

Tanzanian ‘mules’ ply Jo’burg streets
‘Tanzania is a transit point for drugs and South Africa is a prominent destination.’ Extract continues: ‘As a Tanzanian, you can’t help but notice the amount of Kiswahili that is spoken in the Jo’burg inner city… Some work as hairdressers or street vendors; others have joined the city’s criminal underworld. A large number are jobless, addicted to drugs and desperate to go home … In July this year, two Tanzanian citizens, Agnes Masogange and Melissa Edward, were arrested at OR Tambo International airport with six bags of tik worth more than TSh7 billion (R42.6-million). According to the South African Revenue Service, this was the largest seizure ever at a South African border… Some Tanzanian mules swallow plastic sachets of drugs and retrieve them later. This can have tragic consequences. Last year, two Tanzanians, Hassan Wanyama and Ali Mpili, died … after the cocaine sachets they had ingested leaked… As a result, all Tanzanians are now coming under suspicion. “At the border, they call us by the name ‘drugs’ and we are searched attentively and differently from others,” a Tanzanian woman said…’ (Mail Guardian, South Africa – 30 August)

During August, September and October 2013, The East African newspaper included a series of articles on music, dance, theatre, poetry and fashion. The following articles have been selected for your interest.

A taste of live music in Dar

Chaba Thomas, Mzungu Kichaa and Jcb Makalla performing at the Triniti club in Dar es Salaam in April. Photo KaLuLeTe

Chaba Thomas, Mzungu Kichaa and Jcb Makalla performing at the Triniti club in Dar es Salaam in April. Photo KaLuLeTe

Caroline Uliwa shares her experience of live music in a city restaurant. Extract: ‘It is the must-attend event for lovers of live performance in Dar es Salaam. Held every last Friday of the month at Triniti Restaurant in Oyster Bay, “The Beat” brings together Tanzanian artists performing bongo flava, reggae as well as blends of Afro fusion. The gig, hosted by Caravan Records and director Epsen Olsen aka Mzungu Kichaa [Crazy White Man], was started as a platform for Tanzanian musicians to develop their craft. Anyone who has come into contact with Mzungu Kichaa will tell you that though he’s Danish, he could just as well be born and bred Tanzanian. With his fluency in Kiswahili and command of Maa, he is very much a local musician. The night I attended, Twetulobo Band, consisting of five musicians playing Afro fusion and “Kuchele” traditional music from the Coast, was the first act… Malfred picked up from where Twetulobo left off and played songs from his debut album Hisia Zangu (My Feelings) … Then Mzungu Kichaa took the stage … [and] performed songs from his previous album [and his latest album ] Hustle …’ (East African 3-9 August)

In memory of Shaaban Robert
Extract: ‘Tanzanian writer Shaaban Robert, even in death, has been a role model to many Kiswahili writers and scholars in East Africa. Fifty years after his death, his works continue to influence the Kiswahili language and its writers. To keep his literary star shining, Kiswahili scholars and writers from East Africa and beyond … gathered in the Tanzanian town of Bukoba to celebrate his contribution to Kiswahili literature. Hundreds of visitors from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana attended the conference dubbed Shaaban Robert Week at St Francis Hall.

Prominent Tanzanian scholars Prof Mugyabuso Mulokozi, Dr S. Sewangi, Dr Y. Rubanza, Dr Aldin Mutembei and Felix Sossoo, from the University of Dar es Salaam, attended the meeting and spoke fondly of Shaaban Robert… Mr Sossoo, a Ghanaian who is a master’s student at the University of Dar es Salaam, mesmerised the conference with his presentation on Kufikirika and Kusadikika, two novels by Robert that have been used as setbooks in schools and colleges all over East Africa. Mr Sossoo, who speaks Kiswahili fluently, studied the language at the University of Ghana for his bachelor’s degree. He now teaches at the University of Dar es Salaam… Robert’s son Iqbal Shaaban, who is a businessman, also attended the conference, in which scholars called for the award of a posthumous honorary doctorate to the writer.’ (East African 21-27 September)

Modern dance keeping teens off Dar streets
Contemporary dancer Isaac Abeneko has found a positive way of engaging the youth in Tanzania …’ Extract continues: ‘… Abeneko noticed the soaring numbers [of street children] and went out on a quest to understand why such children stayed away from the classroom… Abeneko came up with a simple solution – art! Local schools did not integrate art into the curriculum through which such children could express themselves, thereby making the learning experience more interesting… The dancer had just arrived from Senegal, where he had been attending a dance workshop with sponsorship from the Vipaji Foundation, a Tanzanian-based organisation that brings artists together to share their skills… Upon his return, he was expected to share his knowledge with local dancers. That was how Abeneko began teaching dance at Dogodogo Centre, an NGO that empowers street children… At a concert … at the Russian Cultural Centre in Dar es Salaam, the teens from Dogodogo Centre were the main act with their Elimu ni dance, choreographed by Abeneko. … the show stopper of the night was the group of six boys … their Elimu ni dance, whose setting was a classroom, had a clear message about the importance of education…’ (East African 12-18 October)

Dance, the modern way
‘Caroline Uliwa was elated to see contemporary dance group Haba na Haba perform in Dar es Salaam …’ Extract continues: ‘… Every year, Haba na Haba holds workshops at which it invites dancers across the country to join renowned choreographers and dancers in learning contemporary dance. It was initiated by Isaac Peter, who later recruited Shaaban Mugado and Malim Masafa to help manage it… Among the pieces that stood out was Maendeleo [Progress], choreographed by Emilie Asla from Norway… The Nyuki [Bees] and Wanawake [Women] sets, with their traditional African dance elements, were equally fascinating… This year, Haba na Haba was sponsored by the Russian Culture Centre, the Vipaji Foundation, Asedeva and the Lumumba Theatre…’ (East African 24-30 August)

Tanzanian model rocks top US fashion show

Flaviana Matata in a Tracy Reese creation at the NY show

Flaviana Matata in a Tracy Reese creation at the NY show

‘At the recent Washington DC Fashion Week, in a sea of long hair, black clothes and huge floppy black leather bags, Tanzanian-born model Flaviana [Matata, a 2007 Miss Universe finalist] stood out with a nearly bald head and fitted sleeveless dress’ Extract continues: ‘Michelle Obama did not attend the African-American design­er’s Cuban-themed Fashion Week extrav­aganza. But as [designer Tracy Reese’s] most important fan, the US First Lady’s spirit was evident… at the Studio at Lincoln Centre in Washington DC.’ (East African 14-20 September)

A stain on China’s ties with Africa
Christopher Lee calls on Hong Kong to do more to curb the bloody trade in ivory that is decimating Africa’s elephants – first by not buying it, then by doing more to stop the city becoming a node for traffickers. Extract continues: ‘… The visage of Africa is changing too, as more than a million Chinese guest workers now work and live there… Casting a dark cloud over the relationship is the illegal ivory trade, however, I say “trade”, but it’s not a trade. Really, it is theft; theft and exploitation of Africa’s natural resources.

More than 35,000 African elephants are now poached for their tusks every year. This type of killing cannot be sustained… This is the disheartening side of the China-Africa relationship…… authorities [in Hong Kong] seized on of the biggest hauls of smuggled ivory ever. This means Hong Kong is playing a key role as a transit and con­sumption hub for illegal ivory…’ (Sunday Morning Post 10 November)- Thanks to Ronald Blanche for this and the next item – Editor

Chinese in court over ivory haul
Extract: ‘Three Chinese nationals have been charged for possessing 706 tusks from poached elephants. Police and wildlife officers have cracked down on suspected poachers amid a surge of killings of elephant and rhino … The three accused – Huang Gin, Xu Fujie and Chen Jinzhan – were arrested … in … Dar es Salaam. They had hidden the tusks, weighing 1.8 tonnes and worth an estimated US$3.1 million in contain­ers… the trio were posing as garlic importers and marine product exporters…’ (South China Morning Post 11 November)

US embassy bombing suspect charged in New York
Extract: ‘The al-Qaeda terrorist suspect charged with orchestrating the bombings of two American embassies in East Africa in 1998 was led in handcuffs into a courtroom in New York … Twelve Americans were among the 224 victims of the twin bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania…’ (Times 16 October)

Rats sniff out TB
Extract: ‘… in 2000, APOPO [a Belgian NGO researching ways to detect anti-personnel landmines using rats] established a laboratory at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania that then developed an extensive training ground and test minefield… Since 2008, around 80 Gambian giant pouched rats have [also] been trained to sniff out the killer disease TB. This disease kills almost 1.5m people each year … [WHO] says a single technician, with a microscope, can do 25 samples a day. A rat can sniff out 10 samples in a minute! … rats are so accurate that they can often identify positive samples that have been overlooked by a clinic… The rats have so far diagnosed more than 3,500 cases missed by local clinics… They cost nearly $8,000 to train, but live up to eight years and are cheap to keep…’ (New African)

Dar plan for satellite city
Extract: ‘… In 2008, the government announced its intention to take over 6,400 hectares of land – [later] increased to 50,943 hectares – for construction of a new city, in an effort to decongest Dar es Salaam. But there was uncertainty over compensation of the 750,000 residents … Those affected by the project will be paid Tsh141 million ($89,000) per acre as compensation … government has been breaking the law, given the secrecy surrounding its implementation. Citing the Urban Planning Act, [Kigamboni member of parliament Dr Faustine Ndugulile] said the law requires government to convene a meeting with residents of the area … But the MP says the government made the announcement through newspaper adverts in October 2008 without convening any meetings with the people to be affected…’ (East African 12-18 October)

Reactions after Zanzibar acid attack
Extract: ‘… Like the rest of the dozen or so tour guides … in historic Stone Town, [taxi driver and tour guide] Mr Ola refused to believe that a local resident could have been behind the acid attack … on two 18-year-old British women… “We’re not that stupid,” Mr Ola said, referring to the islanders’ dependence on tourist revenues. Without the sightseers and beachgoers who swarm the island, he said, “at the end of the day we’re going to eat grass.” … “If we knew who it was,” said another, “we would be the first to punish them.”’ (Herald Tribune 4 September) – Thanks to Elsbeth Court for this item

Tanzania Ranks High in Governance Survey
‘The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance has ranked Tanzania number 17 out of Africa’s 52 nations in its 2013 survey.’ Extract continues: ‘The indicators include Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development. Tanzania received 5 percentage points higher than the African average of 51.6%, and ranked third in East Africa (after Seychelles and Rwanda). Tanzania’s biggest improvements have been in Human Development (welfare, education, and health); and it ranked 12th in the continent for Participation and Human Rights…’ (Tanzania Invest 10 October)

100 most influential Africans
Extract: ‘… How do we determine these people’s influence? One yardstick we used was to emphasise that influence is not about popularity … impact on public, social and political discourse, however, is what largely helps us to determine their influence …’ The only Tanzanian in the top 100 is Patrick Ngowi. Extract continues: ‘… [Mr Ngowi is the] 28-year-old CEO of Helvetic Solar Contractors – a Tanzanian company that supplies, installs and maintains solar panel systems throughout the northern circuit of Tanzania… Combining the abundant natural energy that the African sky provides and the high demand for power, this young man has positioned his business to ensure that demand and supply will have a continuous flow. The interesting story is that Ngowi started his business at the age of 15!’ (New African December)


by Philip Richards

The national team “Taifa Stars” ended their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign with a disappointing 0-2 defeat away in The Gambia, although they had already failed to qualify for the Brazil finals.

At the time of going to press, the “Kilimanjaro Stars” and the “Zanzibar Heroes” are competing in the Council for East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) regional tournament in Nairobi. Interestingly, this is one event where two separate teams can represent the United Republic; normally it is one, because Zanzibar is not a member of FIFA.

With a nod to longer term aspirations, a three-way partnership between the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, the English Premier League side Sunderland FC and the local electricity generator Symbion Power, will see a state of the art football academy set up in Dar es Salaam for elite youngsters. Stewart Hall, who has been coaching top flight local clubs such as Azam FC, has been appointed manager of the complex. The project has the backing of President Kikwete.

The President also welcomed the authentic FIFA World Cup trophy to Tanzania as part of its nine month tour of 88 countries. Speaking at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, where the trophy was on public view, he said that “we owe the world…a big debt….which we and the coming generation should pay at least once in a lifetime, by playing in the World Cup finals and winning the trophy.” (Daily News)

The Tanzanian women’s hockey team made their inaugural appearance in the Africa Hockey Cup of Nations held in Nairobi in November. It was fortuitous that they were there at all, given that they replaced the men’s squad who pulled out due to financial constraints. Although they were soundly beaten by South Africa, who went on to win the compe­tition, the Tanzanian coaching staff were happy with the experience gained during the tournament. (Daily News)

In a similar vein, the Tanzanian women’s volleyball team took part in their first World Cup qualifying tournament in Uganda in October. Despite losing their three games, there were positive benefits from their participation and development plans are in place to improve skills and awareness of the sport.


by Ben Taylor

Respected lawyer, human rights activist and politician, Dr Sengondo Mvungi died in Milipark Hospital, Johannesburg, on November 12th. He had been attacked in his home by bandits nine days earlier, in an apparent robbery. Though he was rushed first to Muhimbili National Hospital, and later to South Africa, Dr Mvungi never recovered from the attack. He died from his injuries a few days later.

Having begun his career as a journalist on the ruling party’s newspaper, Uhuru, Dr Mvungi later switched to the law. After studies in Dar es Salaam and abroad, he taught in the Law Faculty at the University of Dar es Salaam for over two decades. He had recently been appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor of the newly established University of Bagamoyo.
A staunch defender of media freedoms and human rights, his legal expertise and media background made him an obvious appointment to the founding board of the Media Council of Tanzania, where he was very active. He was among the founders of the Legal and Human Rights Centre, and practiced as an advocate of the High Court.

With the advent of multi-party politics, Dr Mvungi joined the opposition, running as the NCCR-Mageuzi Presidential Candidate in 1995. He knew he could never win, but saw value in making a contribution to the slow task of building a new political reality in Tanzania. It was a cause he continued to struggle for throughout his life.

Most recently, Dr Mvungi had been a prominent member of the Constitution Review Commission, bringing his sharp legal mind and unstinting defence of human rights once more to the service of his country.

“His untimely departure leaves us with a serious gap in a situation where we already had too many gaps,” wrote Jenerali Ulimwengu. “Our cumulative and collective actions have created around us an intellectual wasteland in which rather than blooms of flowering thought, angry shrubs produce only prickly and poisonous thorns, testimony to our degeneracy.”

“It may not explain the whole episode but Mvungi was killed by representatives of these shrubs, who may not even fully comprehend the enormity of their actions in terms of the loss inflicted on the nation. How could they ever understand, when all they were looking for was a little cash and some trinkets they could sell to get money to drink and to buy chicken and chips. The cheapness of life implied in their actions speaks to the cheapness of life generally, engendered by a nonchalant system that has manufactured disposable people who dispose of other people.”

Seasoned Tanzanian politician and diplomat, Ambassador Isaac Sepetu, died on October 27th, aged 70. Ambassador Sepetu’s career encompassed a spell as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs during the presidency of Julius Nyerere, Minister of Information in the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government in the 1970s and Minister of Economy and Planning in Zanzibar in the 1990s. He also served as Tanzanian Ambassador to the former USSR and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To many younger Tanzanians, however, Ambassador Sepetu is perhaps best known as the father of Wema Sepetu, actress, model and former Miss Tanzania. Wema has become a staple of the celebrity-obsessed tabloid media, not least for her relationship with bongo flava star Diamond Platinumz.

Lionel Cliffe: An Africanist scholar and global citizen
By establishing the Department of Development Studies in 1969, the University of Dar es Salaam was stepping into an uncharted territory. The main task of the new unit was to teach an interdisciplinary course on socio-economic development to all entering students. The course would challenge the conservative spirit of the traditional social science disciplines and reflect the goal of building socialism in Tanzania. The first head of this bold academic venture was Lionel Cliffe, a British scholar who had come to Tanzania in 1961.

After teaching at Kivukoni College and a spell in the civil service, Lionel had joined the Department of Political Science of UDSM in 1964. Lionel was a socialist, sympathetic to Mwalimu Nyerere’s policies, and a firm supporter of the liberation of Africa from external domination. Right from the start, he undertook pioneering socio-political research and became involved in the effort to make the university curricula more relevant to national needs. The book One Party Democracy: A Study of the 1965 Tanzania General Elections (East Africa Publishing House, Nairobi, 1967) that he edited and co-authored and which contains several detailed investigations and political analyses is regarded as a pioneering work in the field that also provides a bright insight into the political dynamics of Tanzania of that time.

Lionel was not just an armchair academic. As a leftist student activist at the UDSM at that time, I vividly recall him providing much needed support to progressive student groups in ways more than one. Our student magazine, Cheche, had no external funder and was perpetually short of resources needed for bringing an issue into print. Though we did the printing ourselves, paper was expensive. Lionel helped out by selling printing paper from the departmental stock to us at the wholesale price.

By the time Lionel left the university in 1972, Development Studies had become an integral part of the local academic scene, and universities the world over began to imitate the department. Lionel edited (with John Saul) Socialism in Tanzania: A Interdisciplinary Reader, which remains a standard reference work for anyone interested in the post-Independence history of Tanzania and a relevant text for present day students of development studies, economics, education and political science that focus on Africa.

I pen these words with a heavy heart because Lionel Cliffe passed away after a brief illness on October 23, 2013. Until his death, he was engaged in African issues. Among his many achievements, he was a founder editor of the Review of African Political Economy and the first Director of the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Leeds. Over the years, he had established a distinguished academic reputation, and published on a range of issues spanning from land tenure and reform to political affairs and external barriers to development. He remained a champion of social and economic self-determination for the people of Africa and took a sharply critical stand on the Western strategies that promoted continued domination over the continent.

I last met this fine, ever smiling, soft-speaking human being in April this year. He was in Dar es Salaam to attend the annual Mwalimu Nyerere Intellectual Festival at the UDSM. He had regularly visited many countries in Africa over the years, maintaining strong links with progressive African scholars striving for social and economic justice.

Lionel engaged with us on an equal footing; at times we critiqued him, and at times, he critiqued us; but in the spirit of comrades undertaking a joint long term journey. He had the outlook of and functioned like a global citizen. At his passing, Africa has lost a good comrade; an upright champion our people’s rights. Let us pay homage to this stellar specimen of humanity by drawing sound lessons from the work of activists scholars like him and begin to recreate an African academia that will challenge the neo-liberal establishment and truly champion the rights and needs of the people of Africa.

One thing I am certain of: Wherever in the heavens he has landed, Professor Lionel Cliffe is already busy establishing an inter-galactic Institute of Development Studies, and boldly challenging the status quo. Most likely, he has us within his sights too. Let us then once more elicit his usual broad grin by retaking similar steps on this planet.
Karim F. Hirji
(Abridged, with permission, from a longer obituary in Pambazuka News)