by David Brewin

Politics and outdated livestock keeping
In a recent article by a (Tanzania) Guardian editor, views were expressed on the age-old clashes which occur between farmers and livestock keep­ers in Tanzania. This followed incidents in Kiteto district in October when four people were said to have been killed after a pastoralist was grazing his cattle on a neighbouring cassava farm.

Home Affairs Minister Mathias Chikawe said it was high time the political class met and agreed amicably on a solution. The editor went on: “The sense of law among livestock keepers is basically religious. The clan head, who conducts sacrifices or orders others to do so, would be the person to issue orders; not someone else. If one of them is arrested they can storm the remand prison or give bribes. They have more money than the peasant farmers… The situation was easier when Tanzania’s population was much lower and there was plenty of land for livestock keepers….with most land now under one or other form of use and grasslands much fewer, owing to deforestation and poor rains, to expect that habits built up over millennia can be ended by discussion is a forlorn hope. The government has to think up ways to end the present mode of livestock keeping and not rely on the stakeholders to solve the problem themselves.”

GM Crop controversy continues
The controversy about the use of genetically modified crops continues all over Africa. Only in South Africa, Burkina Faso and the Sudan can they be cultivated legally. Yet in 28 countries around the world and on 11% of the arable land, the growing of such crops has become the norm. About 90% of the maize, cotton and soya beans grown in the USA are now genetically modified. From the 1960s to the 1990s, yields of rice and wheat in many parts of the world have doubled; the average consumer began to take in a third more calories; and the poverty rate was cut in half. When Norman Borlaug, the famous plant breeder, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 the citation read ‘More than any other person of this age he helped provide bread for a hungry world’.

Tanzania however still stands back, claiming that there are safety and environmental effects. Advocates of this view, quoted in the October issue of the National Geographic Magazine, say that expensive GM seeds represent a ‘costly input to a broken system’. Heavy-input agri­culture has no future: ‘We need something different. There are other ways to deter pests and increase yields that are more suitable’.

Horticultural exports booming
Horticultural exports from Tanzania, mainly of cut flowers, rose by 86% between January and June 2014 compared with the same time in 2013. Horticulture now claims to be the third source of foreign exchange after tourism and mining. The boom has been greatly assisted by Kenya’s action in lifting its ban on flowers and the levy on vegetable exports from Tanzania through Nairobi airport.

Illegal forest products
According to a study published by the Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) and the East African Wildlife Society (EAWLS) the Kenya-Tanzania border is one of the most active transit routes for both legal and illegal movement of forest products. The Horohoro-Lunga border is said to be the main entry point for timber, charcoal and wood for carvings and some transporters are said to be falsifying documents, undervaluing their products or using unofficial routes to evade inspec­tion and taxation both in Kenya and Tanzania.

More fertilisers
By the end of 2015 a Norwegian firm Yara International (formerly Norsk Hydro) hopes to open a new $20 million 45,000 tonne fertiliser terminal as part of Tanzania’s Kilimo Kwanza project. This should help Tanzanian farmers to protect themselves from expensive imports. The project targets 350,000 hectares of land to be put under commercial production.

Blast fishing ‘getting out of control’
Blast fishing is illegal in Tanzania but still prevalent. Fishermen use locally obtainable fertiliser mixtures and small fuses to make explosives, which are then dropped overboard. The underwater shock waves stun the fish, rupturing their swim bladders so that they float to the surface and can then be easily swept in nets. There are fears that, unless this practice can be stopped, the artisanal fishing industry could collapse, more fishermen might be injured by the explosives and those fishermen caught by the police will continue to have to pay bribes to avoid going to prison. It is estimated by ‘Smart Fish’, a fisheries programme funded by the EU, that the profit made on each blast can be as high as $1,800.


by Roger Nellist

Statoil’s seventh Tanzanian gas discovery
Statoil and its co-venturer Exxon Mobil have continued their extraor­dinary drilling success by making another – their seventh – natural gas discovery offshore Tanzania. In October, Statoil’s Senior Vice President for Western Hemisphere Exploration, Nick Maden, announced the discovery of an additional 1.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas in-place, through the drilling of their ‘Giligiliani-1’ well, and said that this discovery opens up additional prospects for the partners’ on-going multi-well drilling programme. The Giligiliani-1 discovery is located on the western side of Licence Block 2, which Statoil operates on behalf of Exxon Mobil and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), and brings the total of gas volumes in-place to 21tcf in that Block. (For comparison: 1tcf = 180 million barrels of oil equivalent). Like the earlier wells, Giligiliani-1 lies in very deep water (in depths of about 2,500 metres), which will make the eventual commercialisation of these gas discoveries technically complex and hugely expensive. The consortium’s drilling rig “Discoverer Americas” has now moved to the central part of Block 2 to drill an eighth well on what is termed the ‘Kungamanga’ prospect.

Mnazi Bay gas sales agreement
In September the Tanzanian government signed an agreement with the licensees of the Mnazi Bay and Msimbati gas fields in southern Tanzania for the supply of gas through the long Chinese-built pipeline to Dar (see Tanzania & Extractives article earlier in this issue).

Petroleum contracts: TPDC officials arrested and released
The ongoing controversy over the undisclosed terms in 26 petroleum Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) negotiated between the govern­ment, TPDC and foreign oil companies came to a dramatic head on 3 November when the chairman of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Zitto Kabwe MP, had TPDC’s Board Chairman Michael Mwanda and its acting Director James Andilile arrested for failure to deliver to the PAC copies of the PSAs and certain other docu­ments. The two men were apparently arrested in a committee room in the Parliament building in Dar but, after questioning, were later released without charge. The police said legal clarification was needed from the Attorney General before any prosecution of the TPDC officials could proceed. The PAC believes that the PSAs should be scrutinised by Parliament in the interests of transparency and to ensure that the national interest is protected. Tensions arose earlier this year when the Gas Addendum to Statoil’s PSA was leaked publicly and the terms were then criticised (by Kabwe, among others) as being insufficiently favourable to Tanzania. However, like many other countries, the practice in Tanzania is not to disclose negotiated petroleum and mining agreements, which the par­ties agree to keep confidential for business reasons. It is understood that in Tanzania the terms of such agreements are usually negotiated by an inter-Ministerial GOT team and then approved by the Cabinet before signature. TPDC said it was bound by confidentiality provisions and could not hand over copies of the PSAs unless it got permission to do so from the oil companies concerned, and that it was awaiting guidance from the Attorney General and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals. Minister Sospeter Muhongo then confirmed that his Ministry would not submit the PSAs to the PAC, citing ‘technical reasons’. It is understood that the PAC then warned that it still intended to pursue the matter.

Tanzania to become a major rare-earths producer
Australian-listed Peak Resources Ltd is fast tracking the development of its 100%-owned ‘Ngualla’ rare earth metals (REMs) project in Chunya District, 150 kilometres from Mbeya. REMs are high-value raw materi­als used in the electronics industries and in other hi-tech applications. Discovered in 2010, ‘Ngualla’ is one of the largest and highest grade REMs deposits in the world. The company’s 2014 Prefeasibility Study indicates a maiden ore reserve in excess of 20 million tonnes, containing almost 1 million tonnes of rare earth oxides. The large, high grade and low radioactivity nature of the deposit, that can be mined through open pit operations and processed on site over a period of more than 50 years, should result in a low cost, low risk and highly profitable project. The company expects first production in 2017. (See for further details).

Tougher mining taxation terms agreed
It was reported in October that AngloGold Ashanti and Geita Gold Mine were the first companies to sign a new, tougher tax deal for mining companies – which for several years have been thought to be enjoying too generous a fiscal treatment. In 2008 President Kikwete ordered a review of mining company taxation and appointed a presidential committee to advise the government on necessary changes. The new deal reflects the committee’s recommendations and replaces the earlier Mining Development Agreement (MDA). The new terms are tougher for the companies in four respects. First, royalty will now be levied at the rate of 4% of the gross value of mineral production (instead of 3% of net profit), though the rate will be increased to 5% for gemstones. Second, the 15% VAT waiver has been scrapped. Third, the fee that mining companies pay for services they receive in the mining areas – the Service Levy – has been increased, from the previous flat rate of $200,000 to 0.3% of mine turnover. Fourth, the additional capital allowance of 15% that mining companies could claim in their tax computations under pre-2001 MDAs has also been abolished. When signing these new deals, Minister Muhongo said that Tanzanians were right to complain that the country was not profiting as much as it should from mining and that the situation had now changed. He estimated that Geita district in Mwanza region, for example, would now receive $1.8 million annually in Service Levy to fund development needs, up from $200,000 currently. It is understood that company executives expressed themselves “comfortable” with the changes.

Stamico to take over four mines
The Tanzanian government has decided to take over four mining operations which larger mining companies consider to be unprofitable. The mines will be run by the State Mining Company (Stamico) – a state-owned enterprise established in 1972 – through a newly established subsidiary. In an exclusive interview to The Citizen on 1 September, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Stephen Masele, named the mines as: Biharamulo Gold mine (formerly owned by African Barrick Gold); Buckreef Gold Mine in Geita Region; Tanzanite One; and Kiwira coal. Masele said that these mines would be beneficial to Stamico and make significant contributions to state coffers. He cited the Biharamulo Gold Mine (formerly known as Tulawaka) – which has about 100,000 ounces of gold left to mine, on which Stamico can make a profit of TSh 7 billion during the next three years but for which a mining giant like ABG finds the operating costs unduly high. Buckreef is now processing an Environmental Impact Assessment and mining license, whilst Tanzanite One and Kiwira coal are both still operational (the latter with expansion plans).


by Mark Gillies

China and Tanzania’s Elephants
“The current situation for Tanzania’s elephant population is dire in the extreme. The country has lost half of its elephants in the past five years and two-thirds since 2006. Available evidence indicates it has since lost more elephants to poaching than any other country in Africa and is the biggest source of illegal ivory seized around the world. Its once mighty herds are being devastated by remorseless criminal organisations.”

So begins the chapter on Tanzania in the recently published report, ‘Vanishing Point’ by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in which the country is described as the source for the vast majority of the illegal ivory currently being traded between Africa and Asia. The EIA is an independent campaigning organisation whose carefully researched report (available to download in full at http://eia-international. org/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Vanishing-Point-lo-res1.pdf) has laid bare the extent of the threat to the natural resources of Tanzania.

The publication of the report created headlines, many of which focused on the link with China and the peak in the price of ivory in Mwenge Market, Dar es Salaam, when ships from the Chinese Navy were docked in harbour and when official delegations flew in.

‘Vanishing Point’ makes for sad, but impressive reading. As a report, it clearly documents, in great detail, the ‘epidemiology’ of the current poaching epidemic going back to its resurgence in the early years of the last decade following a period of recovering from the slaughter of the 1980’s. This in itself is a positive thing because, as any doctor will tell you, understanding a disease is the first step to curing the patient and, let there be no mistake, Tanzania is sick.

The current poaching crisis is linked to pervasive corruption through all levels of society, starting with the park ranger who divulges the details of a patrol for a few dollars, right up to the powerful individuals with connections to the highest levels of government who benefit the most from the trade in illegal ivory. Archaic and ineffective executive structures in the Ministry for Natural Resources & Tourism and other government bodies contribute to making law enforcement very difficult to achieve.

While this report deserved the extensive coverage it received, many of the articles it prompted did not clearly describe the context in which the report should be read. Much of what ‘Vanishing Point’ describes happened over the past 5 to 7 years. The authors make the point that since the end of 2013 (and the waves caused by Operation Tokomeza), life is not as easy for the poachers in Tanzania as it once was. President Kikwete and his government have stopped lobbying CITES to down-list the elephants of Tanzania and so legalise the trade in their ivory; the current Minister for Natural Resources & Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, has successfully secured $50 million worth of international anti-poaching assistance; and the revenue protection scheme has been re-instated for the Selous Game Reserve, a first step in providing adequate funding for sustained and effective anti-poaching operations.

As reported previously, 2013 was the first year in which more contraband ivory was seized inside Tanzania, rather than outside of the country. On 2 November, the Tanzania Daily News reported how Tanzania had been congratulated for the fact that 4 months had passed in the Selous without an elephant being poached ( Local sources are not keen to endorse this fact, but all agree that the numbers being lost have slowed.

On 24 October, the Daily News also reported the creation of a Rapid Response Team to combat poaching in the area of Ruaha National Park under the SPANEST Programme, Strengthening the Protected Areas Network in Southern Tanzania, a UNDP-funded project being operated by TANAPA, the Tanzania National Parks Authority.

With committed and concentrated action, and assistance from the international community, it should be within the capability of the Tanzanian Government to combat the disease of wildlife poaching once again, but they have to want to. Even if the land mass to protect is vast; ports and roads are few; the masterminds are even fewer in number. And it should be remembered, that if they fail, it is all Tanzanians that will suffer, not just the elephants. But the fight is a tough one that sadly has human casualties, such as those who lost their lives when a recently donated anti-poaching helicopter crashed in Dar es Salaam, as documented by Wolfgang T Home.

Those who deserve the blame in this sad story are not the Chinese masses who buy the ivory, hopefully they can be educated; nor the poor people at the bottom of the production pyramid, who risk all for a handful of dollars. Those who deserve blame – and punishment – are the few individuals who have used power and influence to pervert the course of justice, to gain (further) immense wealth, to destroy a shared birth right and to undermine the name of a nation.

Those who must be remembered and supported are the brave men and women who will not be corrupted and who risk their lives to protect the natural resources of Tanzania.

Tanzanian Government spokesman Assah Mwambene termed the EIA report ‘questionable’. The government accused the West of trying to spoil the good relationship between Tanzania and China and said that EIA had no proof.


by Ben Taylor

Tanzania receives financing to expand port
Tanzania signed a $565 million deal in September with the World Bank and other development partners to expand the port of Dar es Salaam. This is part of plans to boost the country’s role as a regional trade hub.

Tanzania wants to lift capacity to 28 million tonnes a year by 2020 from the 14.6 million tonnes it handled in the financial year 2013/14. The World Bank said in May that inefficiencies at the port cost Tanzania and neighbours up to $2.6 billion a year.

“The Dar es Salaam port handles about 90% of Tanzania’s trade, but port delays have been worsened by limitations in operational efficiency. We believe that this programme will turn around the port,” said Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe.

Expanding air travel connections
Three airlines based in the Middle East, Emirates, flydubai and Etihad, have all, in quick succession, expanded their range of flights to Dar es Salaam. From 1 January 2015, Emirates will increase their weekly service from 12 flights to 14. Budget airline flydubai has introduced flights to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, and Etihad, based in Abu Dhabi, announced they would begin operating a daily flight to Dar es Salaam from December 2015. They have operated a cargo service to Dar es Salaam since June 2014.

Ambitious transport plans in Dar es Salaam
A series of rail and road transport plans have recently been announced in and around Dar es Salaam. In October the Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe announced that his ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a US-based investor, Robert Shumake, to set up a state-of-the-art railway service between the airport and the city centre. This announcement was met with much scepticism on social media, with many commentators noting Shumake’s chequered history as a businessman and lack of experience in the rail transport sector. In parliament, the opposition also accused the Ministry of by­passing procurement regulations in setting up the deal.

In November Minister of Works John Magufuli announced a TSh 110 billion project to construct a new bridge between Coco Beach on the Msasani peninsular and the Aga Khan hospital on Barack Obama Drive (formerly Ocean Road). The kilometre-long bridge will be 80% financed by the government of South Korea and construction will take two years starting in early 2015. The bridge will ease pressure on Selander Bridge, a current major bottleneck, and enable quicker travel between Oyster Bay and the city centre.
Also in November the Minister of State Stephen Wasira announced in parliament that 12 firms had submitted bids for construction of a new six-lane highway between Dar and Chalinze. The 100km road will be a toll-road, with the old road remaining available to those unwilling to pay. Previously Wasira announced plans to ease traffic congestion in Dar. “We are building four flyovers at Tazara, Ubungo, Gerezani and DIT junctions, and I promise the residents of Dar es Salaam that within three years, jams will become history.”

Road safety
Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe announced the formation of a 12-person special committee to develop strategies to curb road traffic accidents in the country. This followed the news that in just three months – June, July and August 2014 – 3,370 road accidents in Tanzania claimed over 1,000 lives. “This is a very serious situation, we cannot just sit down and watch innocent Tanzanians dying unjustifiably,” said Mwakyembe. Speaking at the same meeting Inspector General of Police Ernest Mangu attributed 90% of accidents to human error – speeding, drunk driving, tired drivers and lack of professionalism on the road.


by Ben Taylor

Secondary School fees to be scrapped
President Kikwete announced in August that his government plans to waive school fees for public Ordinary Level secondary education. This will mean Tanzanians receive free education both in primary and secondary school, save for the last two years of Advanced secondary education. The president made the announcement at a meeting with students and staff of Mzumbe University in Morogoro Region. “At the moment we are working on scrapping school fees in all public second­ary schools as a way of ensuring that every child who joins standard one reaches form four.”

Government changes policy on school books publishing
The government has resumed producing and publishing school text books after claims that private firms have failed to produce quality materials. The duties will now be handled by the government itself through the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) from September 2014.

Announcing the Minister of Education’s decision, Commissioner for Education Eustella Bhalalusesa said “Following the policy changes, the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) will produce and publish text­books (one book for every class and every lesson) for Early Education level, Primary, Secondary and Teachers’ Training”.

Primary School exam results
The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) on Wednesday announced improved performance by 6.3 % for Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) held in September.
NECTA Executive Secretary Charles Msonde said that of the 792,122 pupils who sat for the examination, 451,392 passed. The pass rate in 2013 was 50%, which rose to 57% this year.

Drop in Form Four entry
The number of students sitting the National Form Four Examinations has dramatically reduced from 427,679 last year to 297,488 this year as a result of many students having repeated in Form Two. Deputy Minister for Education Jenista Muhagama said that the decline was a result of restoring the Form Two National Examinations which at one point had been cancelled. It is expected that more candidates will sit for the 2015 exams to fill this year’s gap.


by Ben Taylor

Drug shortage
A serious shortage of drugs in public health facilities in November led to calls by some MPs for the parliamentary session to be cut short and for the money saved to be used to alleviate the problem. The crisis devel­oped after Medical Stores Department (MSD) stopped supplying public hospitals with drugs and other consumables, due to non-payment by the government. Sikika, a lobby group that advocates quality health services for Tanzanians, said that the government owes MSD TSh90 bil­lion, while CUF chairman Ibrahim Lipumba said that the actual amount was TSh120 billion. The crisis came in the wake of the suspension by the donor community of general budget support (see Energy Scandal Story).

Hospital ship for Lake Victoria

Jubilee Hope leaving the Clyde (Vine Trust)

Jubilee Hope leaving the Clyde (Vine Trust)

In October Princess Anne launched the medical ship Jubilee Hope on Lake Victoria. The 150-ton former Royal Navy tender has been converted to serve as a floating hospital. It arrived at Lake Victoria after six months at sea and 850km over land from Mombasa. The ship was fitted out on the Clyde by BAE Systems and has an operating theatre, two consulting areas, an eye surgery a full dental surgery and a laboratory.

The project, which com­memorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, will offer medical care to a population of 400,000 in isolated communities on islands and around the shores of Lake Victoria. Geita Gold Mine, a subsidiary of Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd, will refuel the ship until 2019 at a cost of $500,000 (TSh 825 million). “GGM is proud to participate in this noble initiative,” said managing director of GGM Michael Van Anen, “This is in keeping with our core value of leaving our host communities with sustainable futures.”

Willie McPherson, CEO of the charity Vine Trust which organised the project, said: “I’m delighted with the optimism and goodwill greeting the Jubilee Hope in Tanzania and the wide support amongst those concerned with primary health care in the island communities.”


by Donovan McGrath

Why Silence is golden for LGBT people in Zanzibar
by columnist Bryan Weiner.
On the north side of Stone Town the big all-night disco at Bwawani Hotel is getting started with their Tuesday gay night. On the other side of town, local women gather at a small barber shop to get their hair and henna done by the gay stylists. According to some accounts, same-sex relationships in this predominantly Muslim society are actually quite common, particularly as the male/female relations are so tightly con­trolled by culture and religion. I have been a gay mzungu (white person) living in Zanzibar for six months and have attempted to find the sort of gay community that exists here. It has been difficult. The gay commu­nity is hidden and secretive, but it is thriving in its own manner.
Tanzania is, of course, one of the 76 countries that penalize homosexual­ity. The penal code gives a minimum 30 years and a maximum life in prison for homosexuality, one of the harshest in the world. But no one has been convicted for homosexuality and the press only gives offhand mention to the topic. Silence on the issue isn’t a coincidence, but has been very strategically planned. Both the anti-gay voices and the LGBT voices are being silenced as Tanzania simply doesn’t want to address the issue, it is tied to many other issues at play in society. Historically, colonialists and missionaries brought the strict anti-homosexuality laws that are currently in place in many African countries, criminalizing many authentic indigenous homosexual practices. Now in 2014, these laws are brought up as indigenous and homosexuality is decried as a practice from the West. (RGOD2 online 29 August 2014)

21m children in rubella vaccination campaign
The symptoms of rubella can seem almost benign: mild, flu-like dis­comfort and a rash. But it can cause children to be born deaf and blind if their mothers catch the disease during pregnancy. And if the Ebola outbreak has taught the world anything it is perhaps that ignoring basic healthcare … can have devastating consequences. That is why a campaign to vaccinate 21 million children against measles and rubella in Tanzania is so important. (The Guardian – online 27 October 2014)

Campaigning for a child marriage-free Tanzania
A drive to end child marriage is underway in Tanzania. At the age of 16, Mahija Mwita was forced into marriage to a man 12 years older than her, so that her parents could get a bride price to help them solve the family’s problems. Mwita’s story mirrors the plight of hundreds of girls who are forced into early adulthood. The “Child Marriage-Free Zone” campaign was initiated by the Ministry of Community Development. Speaking in Dar at the launch of the campaign the international chil­dren’s rights advocate Graca Machel said that Tanzania’s ongoing constitutional review was an opportunity to change laws that facilitate gender-based violence. Wiltrudius Lwabutaza, a human rights lawyer, said the Law of Marriage Act of 1971, which sets the minimum age of marriage at 15 for girls, contradicts the Sexual Offences Act of 1998 which defines rape as non-consensual sex with a girl who is under 18 years.
(DW – online 1 September 2014)

Police officers fired for a kiss
When is it OK to kiss a colleague? Two Tanzanian police officers, whose kiss was widely shared on social media, have both have lost their jobs. The image was uploaded to the internet by a third officer, and drawn to the atten­tion of the Kagera police authori­ties. News of the punishment has surprised many on social media. Masoud George, a lawyer at the Tanzania Legal and Human Rights Centre, says that severe as the punishment seems, the decision is unlikely to be illegal. (BBC News Trending – online 14 October 2014)

Google gives a glimpse of Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees
Chimpanzees and their remote forest home in Tanzania have joined camels in the Abu Dhabi desert on the list of things you can see on Google Streetview. A camera team spent nine days mapping Gombe national park, where Jane Goodall made her ground-breaking discovery over 50 years ago of chimps not just using but making tools. The Google images show chimps riding on their mother’s back and the spectacular view from ‘the peak’ – reportedly Goodall’s favourite spot in the park, which sits next to Lake Tanganyika.
(Guardian online 23 October)

Old postcards tell history of East Africa

One of the fascinating postcards (Joel Bertrand

One of the fascinating postcards (Joel Bertrand

One of the fascinating postcards (Joel Bertrand
A website set up by Joel Bertrand entitled, uses postcards from a century ago to reveal the history of the region’s places and people. The visual record shows the fast changing face of East Africa, but one place that seems to have registered little change is Zanzibar. Many of the Zanzibar postcards could as well have been taken from today’s scenes. When Bertrand set out to collect the postcards several years ago, he searched all over the world. He got all of them from Europe, and did not find a single one in Africa. However, this is not surprising since they were created and sent “home” by Europeans. (East African 20-26 September)

Putin’s African hunter
Giles Whittell tells the story of Sergey Yastrzhembsky. Like many senior Russian personnel, Sergey wanted to give up his work with President Putin and escape from Russia – which can be difficult and even dangerous. He tried several times to get Putin’s permission to leave and eventually the President agreed. He had prepared himself and learnt to become an African hunter; his first hunt was in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve in 1997. He is also a top photographer, making films about Africa’s endangered tribes including the Maasai. He now stays strictly out of politics. (The Times 30 October)

Raid at Majira newsroom
Reporters of Majira newspapers are scared of doing investigative stories after unknown people invaded its newsroom and made away with com­puters and documents with crucial and sensitive editorial information. Sources within the newspaper connect the incident to its publication of an investigation into drug peddling and the captivity of Tanzanian youths in private homes in Pakistan. (Media Watch July-August)

Happy anniversary to The Citizen
Editor Joachim Buwembo recalls with pride the launching of The Citizen newspaper in Tanzania exactly 10 years ago. President Mkapa wrote a welcome message that was published on page one of the maiden issue. The following year, Mkapa handed over to President Kikwete. And next year, President Kikwete will hand over to his successor. So in just 11 years of operation, The Citizen will have covered three sitting presidents. (East African 6-12 September)

Chinese Company to Build New Satellite City
China Railway /Jianchang Engineering Company Ltd. will construct a $1 billion satellite city and a $500 million financial district in Tanzania. Under the accord signed with Tanzania’s National Housing Corporation, Salama Creek Satellite City will be built in Uvumba, a district on the outskirts of Dar. The new financial services district will be in the suburb of Upanga. (Bloomberg Businessweek online 24 October)

A Fish in the Sand
The film Samaki Mchangani [A Fish in the Sand] is scheduled to be screened at Mlimani City. Samaki Mchangani is the second short film by Kijiweni Productions, a Tanzanian-owned film company run by director and young filmmaker Amil Shivji, a Tanzanian of Indian ancestry and son of Issa Shivji, a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. (East African 13-19 September)

The Scottish Referendum and Tanzania by Columnist Elsie Eyakuze
The referendum on Scottish independence has had a ripple effect, raising the question of self-determination in other societies around the world that yearn for self-determination. Here in East Africa, there is something rather comfortingly familiar about the Scottish independence quest. In fact, just raising the topic naturally leads to a discussion about the beautiful islands of Zanzibar that may or may not be voluntary parts of the Union of Tanzania.

Tanzania came very close to managing the process of making a new constitution. Early on, it was bogged down by fundamental concerns about how many governments Tanzania should have if it was going to continue being a Union. Over the many decades of our coming together, rather than maturing into a complacent satisfaction with each other the Mainland and Zanzibar have developed a chronic condition of per­petual debate about what is fair of not in our agreement. It is taboo to even talk about the Zanzibari independence movement if you happen to be a Mainlander.

Tanzania has always prided itself – and with good reason – for flying the flag of the pan-African dream. The interesting contradiction is that we are also reluctant to join politically with any of our neighbours. One of the most compelling factors of the Independence movement in the sixties was its ability to rally disparate peoples under the banner of freedom. And isn’t it interesting that this very same notion of freedom can be used to tear apart existing territories to give rise to new ones based on identities that more often than not pre-date our countries? Generation Independence may have rewritten our histories to suit its nation-building agenda, but somehow tribalism refuses to die. Maybe that is because our tribes are who we really are. The Scots seem to be suggesting so… (East African 20-26 September)


by Ben Taylor

Former High Court Judge and first chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Judge Lewis Makame, died in Dar es Salaam on 18 August 2014. Born in Muheza District, Tanga, Judge Makame was a key figure among the country’s small group of intellectuals at independ­ence. He had a BA from the University of London, and was a Barrister in the UK. In Tanzania, he served as a High Court Judge and a Justice of Appeals, before taking up the high profile post of chairman of the National Electoral Commission in 1993, just as Tanzania made the shift to multi-party democracy.

In this role, Judge Makame had a no-nonsense approach to issues that earned the wrath of a section of the opposition, some of whom accused him of being part of a ‘’grand plot’’ to enable CCM to retain its grip on power. Nevertheless, he remained a widely respected figure, known for his composed, calm manner, commitment to duty, and fierce intellect. He stepped down as NEC chairman in 2011. President Kikwete said that Justice Makame’s leadership had contributed tremendously to strengthen peace, harmony, unity and solidarity in the country.

Major General Herman Lupogo died on 18 October 2014, aged 76, at Lugalo Military Hospital, Dar es Salaam, where he was receiving medi­cal treatment.

He served in Tanzania People’s Defence Force for 28 years, from 1965 until he retired in 1992. Following his retirement from the army, he became a highly respected administrator, serving as Regional Commissioner for Iringa, Director General of Arusha International Conference Centre, Chairman of the Tanzania Commission for HIV/AIDS (TACAIDS) and Board Chairman of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation.
Major General Lupogo will be remembered warmly by all who knew him. With a sharp wit, ability to recall decades-old anecdotes in rich detail, and love of English literature and Scottish single malt whisky, he was a truly memorable character.

Epidemiologist, researcher and expert in HIV and genitourinary medi­cine, Dr Gilly Arthur, has died aged 47 of a brain tumour. Gilly was born and brought up in Derbyshire as the youngest of six children. Her research on HIV in Zimbabwe, while studying medicine at Nottingham University, inspired a lifelong commitment to working in Africa. After spells in Nairobi and at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, she moved with her husband Stevan and their two children to Tanzania in 2007, to take up the post of science chief for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

A hugely respected doctor and researcher, Gilly provided emergency medical assistance after the US Embassy bombings in 1998 and when the MV Spice Islander sank off the Zanzibar coast in 2011. She is survived by her husband, Stevan, their children Stan and Joni, her mother and siblings.

The untimely death of model, shoe designer and leading light of Tanzanian social media, Betty Ndejembi, is a thoroughly modern tragedy. Aged just 24 at the time of her death in August 2014, Betty had made a name for herself online, primarily on Twitter, using social media to market her shoes.

But the source of her fame and her livelihood was turned against her when she became a victim of cyber-bullying, with an anonymous crowd attacking her on twitter, threatening her and accusing her of all manner of sins. In her final days, her online posting became increasingly frantic, desperate and despairing. Her unconscious body was discovered in a ditch, with reports that she had been sexually assaulted.


Edited by John Cooper-Poole

John Cooper-Poole, who has run the TA reviews section since 2002, covering 38 issues, has decided it is time to hand over the role to someone new. The TA editorial team wishes to express its gratitude to John, who – as we’re sure you will agree – has done a wonderful job.

This means we are now in need of a volunteer to take on the role of reviews editor. Please contact David Brewin or Ben Taylor if you are interested.

UJAMAA – The hidden story of Tanzania’s economic development from the grassroots Ralph Ibbott, Crossroads Books £15.99 In the 1960s the Ruvuma Development Association (RDA) was formed by new villages that were being run as genuine cooperatives. The villagers grew their crops by collective work and the villages were run democratically through open meetings and elected officials who had no payment.

Development in the RDA villages was slow but real, with improvements in food supply, health and education and most significantly in the confidence of the villagers as they learned to manage their affairs. The villages exemplified the policies that Julius Nyerere was expounding in his ‘Socialism and Rural Development’ and he gave the RDA his personal support.

RDA villages were probably the most successful of the various forms of collective farming being attempted across the country and the RDA attracted support from international aid agencies.

Although collective villages and cooperative farming were party and government policies, in 1969 the TANU National Executive decreed that RDA be dissolved. Why? Andrew Coulson gives an explanation in his ‘Tanzania, A Political Economy’: TANU regional and national politicians became fearful that their position and power would be undermined if independent, politicised villages became the norm. Ibbott provides detailed experience to support this conclusion. In addition he has evidence that at least one minister and member of TANU National Executive was not just opposed to the RDA but also to Ujamaa, which was supposedly party and government policy.

Ibbott was an advisor to RDA and lived in Litowa, the first RDA village. He was closely involved with the work and life of the villages until the dissolution of RDA and on his return to Britain was invited by the Commonwealth Secretariat to write a report of his experience with RDA which they intended to publish. However, his report was never published, perhaps because the Commonwealth Secretariat did not want to offend the government of a member state or possibly it was the victim of a change in personnel. The report has been available to academic researchers, and now becomes accessible to a wider readership.

Ujamaa is Ibbott’s record of events, reports by visitors to RDA villages, sections on specific topics and Ibbott’s letter to Nyerere after the dissolution decision (to which there was no reply). He has added a recently written Epilogue which brings together later research on the subsequent history of the ex-RDA villages.

The original report “The Origin, Growth & Disbanding of the RDA” has severe criticism of successive Ruvuma Regional Commissioners. They did not understand the philosophy on which the villages were based and became opposed to something that they could not control.

The last of the sections on specific themes is a profound critique of Nyerere’s failure to turn his political ideas into practical policies. He passed implementation over to party and government officials who had no understanding or experience of promoting voluntary small- scale collective villages. They wanted quick results from large state-organised schemes and were all too ready to fall back on compulsion. Nyerere must have known this.

This is a report prepared to inform and guide those involved with rural development and is probably a unique source for researchers and historians. The general reader who is not familiar with the background might struggle with, for example, the references to Peramiho, the Catholic mission complex near Songea.

Ujamaa makes uncomfortable reading for those of us who uncritically and enthusiastically championed Tanzania through the 70s and 80s. It also has a harsh message for those who are “not interested in politics, I just want to help” – effective development is always political.
John Arnold

(John Arnold, was Regional Secretary, Ruvuma Region, 1963-4.)

NYERERE – The Early Years, Thomas Molony, James Currey 2014. ISBN 9781847010902 £25.00

This book from the pen of the Lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh aims to present “the first truly rounded portrait of Nyerere’s early life”. There has been little opportunity to learn accurately about the development of Mwalimu’s early thinking and this is a valiant effort to fill the gap.

Even here descriptions of the background to his early upbringing rely on much anecdotal evidence. The need to include even the smallest detail, in an effort to lend more substance to the narration, can give the early pages the air of a doctoral thesis.

This improves in value as the narrative progresses, so that the inferences which are dependent on other studies of the social mores are increasingly replaced by facts more relevant to Nyerere’s particular circumstances. Nevertheless there are many statements asserting that much more evidence about incidents cited must exist somewhere.

The key question that is always asked about great men from humble and at first sight unpromising origins is “Who first realised that this exceedingly bright, above-average young person was not after all destined to blush unseen?” With hindsight we might say that Nyerere would probably have fought his way out anyway, but this book reveals how he caught the eyes of the White Fathers, with their paramount influence and encouragement, and followed this when in relatively privileged positions in Kampala and in London.

The final chapter of this book, titled “Legacy and Reappraisal” is lucid and authoritative. After several pages which may appear “sparsely informed and predominantly uncritical”, the author can rightly claim that this is a valuable piece of research which clearly amplifies the little that was previously published about Nyerere’s early progress. Ending as Nyerere moved away from teaching to active politics, it lays the basis of our understanding of what he came to regard as significant for his country: education, agriculture – and independence.
Geoffrey Stokell

(Geoffrey Stokell first went out to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1953, serving there for thirteen years as an “old-style” merchant trader. After qualifying as an accountant and building an internationally-successful career, in 1983 he went to Tanzania as a missionary with the Moravian Church and was later head of finance for the Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service. He became Treasurer of the Tanzania B-T S Chapter and on his return to the UK in 1996 and was TDT Treasurer.)

HADZABE: By the Light of a Million Fires, Daudi Peterson, with Richard Baalow and Jon Cox. Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2013. ISBN 978-9987­08-212-4, 230 pp paperback (with music CD). Tsh50,000

It is difficult not to be fascinated by the Hadza, speakers of a unique click language and one of the last remaining groups of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. It is easy to sympathise with their struggle to retain control over their customary lands in the Lake Eyasi basin, near Ngorongoro. By the same token, it is not hard to like this handsome volume, which is much more than a coffee table book with excellent photos; it strives to give the Hadza a voice and support their right to choose their own future. The window it opens onto the world of the Hadza is enough to make you envy the ethno-tourists and researchers who visit Hadzaland , if not the hapless folk who have to entertain them.

Hadzabe: By the Light of a Million Fires was compiled by Daudi Peterson with the help of a number of Hadza and Hadzaphiles, including the venerable anthropologist James Woodburn. A limited hardback edition has been sold to raise money for the Dorobo Fund and Ujamaa Community Resource Trust, established by the Peterson family’s eco-tourist enterprise. The paperback and accompanying CD of Hadza music that have now gone on sale are very good value. They are not without their flaws: a tendency to romanticise the Hadza and to demonise their neighbours and an uneven mixture of topics and styles, including a Swahili paean to Nyerere and villagisation on the CD. But I would much rather possess this engaging book and its vibrant music than not.
Martin Walsh

(Martin Walsh is Oxfam GB’s Global Research Adviser. His seminar presentation to the Britain-Tanzania Society on ‘Tanzania’s (agro)pastoral headache’ is available online at

VIOLENT INTERMEDIARIES – African Soldiers Conquest and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa, by Michelle R Moyd, Ohio University Press, 2014; ISBN 978 08214 2089 8, 328 pp, softback.

The author of this exhaustive and authoritative account of the German colonial years in East Africa was indeed an acknowledged expert on the period even before this book was published. Now the reader has the full story of those years from 1891 to 1918, with the emphasis on the locally-recruited askari, who fought for the Germans almost as if they were of them.

The askari take centre stage throughout the book, indeed from the cover onwards, with an askari, rifle on shoulder, about to take his leave from his family to return to the Schutztruppe, the German colonial army. Chapters show how and where the askari were recruited; the military training and “socialization”; the wars fought by the askari (such as the Maji Maji conflicts of 1905-7); life on the stations within the country; and the inadvertent role of the askari in German colonialism. We learn, among myriads of facts, how many Sudanese initially became askari but how eventually all tribes became merged within the askari hierarchy; how the “legal” wives of askari detained for transgressions were given an allowance for their “household stability”; and how the scorched-earth policy adopted by the Schutztruppe during Maji Maji rebellion disrupted crop cycles and led to labour movement away from the Southern Highlands.
The author takes us through the 1914/18 War from the first campaign to the final 1,200 askari who surrendered to the British in November 1918, effectively closing a definitive chapter in the history of German East Africa and signaling the end of the Schutztruppe.

Although the book is, relatively speaking, hot on the heels of Anderson (2004), Paice (2007) and Samson (2013), it provides not only a great read but a quite different slant on the history of the period. The three maps – produced by Brian E Balsley, an American cartographer – are very illustrative and useful. An extremely full bibliography is of considerable fascination in itself. The index runs to a mere six pages, this being more an observation than a criticism. This work is a marvelous example of how long-term research can come to fruition in a superlative way.
David Kelly

(David Kelly has been involved with East Africa since he wrote the first history of cricket in the region in the 1960s. He is now a book dealer, with Africa a speciality subject; still researches cricket; and is a director of a Dar-based company in the beverage sector.)

TRANSITIONS OF A LIFE, printed and published for private circulation by J K Chande KBE

I first met Sir Andy Chande in the late 1980s, since when, though we now meet less frequently than before, he has become a close personal friend. Transitions is his own collection of speeches on an immense range of topics, all reflecting the dedication he continues to bring, even in retirement, to the management, in its widest sense, of enterprises and organisations with which he has been connected.

The volume is self-published, and to that extent it could probably be classified as a vanity publication; but it deserves none of the sneers which that title often evokes. It naturally lacks the fascination and raciness of his autobiography A Knight in Africa, but it underlines the way the author has been able during his lifetime, modestly but effectively, to participate in and influence some significant social decision-making. Sir Andy has been appointed to at least 100 public positions; his support for the Britain-Tanzania Society has been exemplary; and it comes as no surprise that the most significant chapters reflect his summons to all to dedicate themselves to community service. This is a celebratory volume exemplifying the practical application of two battle-cries of great public principle: Rotary’s “Service above Self” and Freemasonry’s “Love, Charity and Truth”.

TANZANIA; Strength in Unity, Strength in Diversity, published to mark the 50th Anniversary of the United Republic of Tanzania by FIRST Magazine 2014., 56 pages.

This is a glossy publication which the publisher tells me “was promoted by the Tanzanian Government and High Commission in London but financed by FIRST via advertising sponsorship. It is being distributed by the High Commission/Foreign Ministry and agencies such as the Tanzania Tourist Board. It is intended for presentation to VIP guests, distribution at investment fora/conferences etc. It will also be printed in FIRST magazine which is made available, on a complimentary basis, to first class passengers on British Airways and other airlines”. I quote this at length to explain why, unless you fall into one of these rarefied categories, you are unlikely to see a copy. Which is a pity.

There are articles by many different people, ranging from President Kikwete to the manager of the Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam – who incidentally is still an expatriate 40 odd years after the hotel was built. (Not the same person!). Some contributors rely heavily on unexplained TLA’s*. None the less, a proud story can be extracted, which is perhaps best summed up by John Malecela when he says “During the 50 years of existence, Tanzania has been a centre for peace and liberation in Africa. All in all, the role played by Tanzania in international and African affairs has been commendable beyond imagination”. Malecela’s piece is perhaps the best of the lot, as one might expect from someone who was at or near the centre of affairs for most of the relevant period.

Professor Mwesiga Baregu writes a thought-provoking piece about the challenges to be faced in working out a new constitution. Another is the last in the booklet, by Walter Bgoya and appropriately titled “The Last Word”. He warns of the dangers currently facing publishing in Tanzania, particularly of school text books; he fears a possible return to the state monopoly arrangements of the 1960s to 1980s, when in rural areas there could be one text book for every 15-20 pupils, and even in urban areas there might be one book for three pupils.

Our own David Brewin has a useful feature about the army mutiny and the Zanzibar revolution of 1964, the “two shocking events which triggered unity”. Incidentally it is a pity that throughout the publication the Britain-Tanzania Society does not get a mention.
*three lettered acronyms, in case you wondered.