by Enos Bukuku

“The People’s Opinion”
I had hoped to be able to write about developments in the constitution making process, which has stalled for approximately two years. In early April, the Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, declared that the process would resume. Since then, however, there have not been any statements from him or President Magufuli as to when this important issue will be put back on the political agenda.

CCM Publicity Secretary, Humphrey Polepole, who was a member of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) which prepared the first draft constitution (known as the “Warioba draft”), has expressed his desire that the process should revert to Warioba draft, and therefore scrap the final draft constitution which caused such deep and irreconcilable divisions amongst those involved in the process. He calls the Warioba draft “the People’s Opinion”. The final version, “the proposed constitution”, was created by the Constituent Assembly (CA), which comprised a vast majority of CCM politicians, and made substantial changes to the Warioba draft, many of which are seen to be unpopular. By implication, the final draft may well be considered “CCM’s opinion”, or perhaps the opinion of the previous CCM government.

The legal process for the formation of a new constitution, which outlines very clear timescales and procedures, does not provide for the CA’s work to be ignored. The next step, according to the legal requirements, is for the final draft constitution to be put to a national referendum for whether it should be approved. If Mr Polepole’s wish is to be granted, then there will need to be a change in the legal procedures, which will not be a quick process.

Certainly, the nation is eager to hear Prof Kabudi’s plans. There is no expectation that we will have a new constitution any time soon. For this to change, the President must be the one to initiate the momentum.

At a time when many are complaining that the fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals are being trodden on, this is when a robust and reliable constitution is needed. There have been various human rights interest groups who have voiced their concerns over the way in which the government is exercising its power. This is supposed to be the people’s constitution – so the people, not just politicians, need to speak up (if they feel they are able to). The likely alternative is the status quo.


by Ben Taylor

Concern over rising diabetes burden
Experts on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have predicted that the cost of curbing diabetes in Tanzania and other eastern African countries will increase from $3.8 billion in 2015 to $16.2 billion by 2030. The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Commission on Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa, say the cost associated with the disease could more than double in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, with Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia especially hard-hit. They say that this is likely to happen if type 2 diabetes cases continue to increase.

“We conclude that sub-Saharan Africa is not prepared for the increasing burden of diabetes brought about by rapid and ongoing transitions,” said the commission’s report. “Effective management of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa will require careful considerations about the expansion of services to meet current and future burden, while ensuring that services are integrated with those for other chronic diseases. The health, economic, and societal consequences of inaction will be huge. Decisive action is needed now, by all stakeholders, to address the scale and urgency of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The report estimates that the economic cost of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 totalled $19.5 billion, equivalent to 1.2% of the region’s GDP. More than half of this economic cost is spent on accessing diabetes treatment, including medication and hospital stays. The remaining economic costs were a result of productivity losses, mostly from early death, as well as people leaving the workforce early, taking sick leave and being less productive at work due to poor health.

Rapid societal transitions that are producing increases in wealth, urbanisation, changing lifestyle and eating habits, more sedentary work practices and aging populations have led to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. (The Citizen)

Tanzania moves to put all people living with HIV on ARVs
TANZANIA officially started anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment for people living with HIV after testing positive effective October last year, with the government announcing that the new arrangement targets 1.2 million victims. The move comes in the wake of a World Health Organisation (WHO) directive in 2015 that any HIV-positive person must immediately be put on anti-retroviral treatment regardless of CD4 count.

The WHO directive followed studies that established that it was safer for patients to start using the drugs before the CD4 count dropped. Previously, Tanzania was applying a system under which only patients whose CD4 cell count had dropped to below 350 qualified for the therapy.

The Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, told Parliament that between July 2015 and June 2016, about 84,000 people who had tested HIV positive were enrolled for ARVs treatment.

“We will ensure that whoever is found with HIV, including children and elders, start taking the drugs straightway,” said the deputy minister.

The government also plans to include a new generic version of the antiretroviral drug Dolutegravir (DTG) in the national HIV/Aids treatment protocols. The Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, told The Citizen that the ARV had been lined up for registration and licensing by the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA). A generic of DTG, first approved in the United States in 2013, is already in use in Kenya and has the backing of Unitai, the global health initiative working to end tuberculosis, HIV/ Aids and malaria epidemics.

“Shipments are scheduled to start in January 2018 after the TFDA’s registration process is completed,” said the Minister. She added that Tanzania would start using the generic drug in combination with other ARVs. DTG, whose brand name is Tivicay, is produced by ViiV Healthcare, which is majority-owned by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

A total of 1.4 million Tanzanians were estimated to be living with HIV in 2015. An estimated 54,000 new infections and 36,000 AIDS-related deaths occur in Tanzania each year. (Daily News, The Citizen)

Government reiterates respect for traditional healers
The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, told parliament that traditional healers are legally recognised by the government through the Traditional and Alternative Health Practice Council, 2002. She said that the government has set-up a new registration system for herbalist and traditional healers, where they are supposed to register at their specific localities under the office of the District Medical Officers (DMOs).

The minister was responding to questions from MPs. Joseph Kasheku, Geita Rural MP, expressed concern with the level of education of some of the practising herbalists in the country, and called on the government to come up with an educational plan for traditional healers, especially since many Tanzanians depend on their services. Ushetu MP, Elias Kwandikwa, wanted to know why the government was arresting traditional healers in Ushetu District.

In 1974, the Traditional Medicine Research Unit was established at the University of Dar es Salaam, and in 1989 the government set up a Traditional Health Services Unit in order to unify traditional health practitioners and mobilise them to form their own association.

Traditional health services were officially recognised in the National Health Policy of 1990, and in 2002 the Traditional and Alternative Medicines Act was introduced. (Daily News)


by Ben Taylor

Dar port expansion underway

Launch of Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP) (World Bank)

In July, President John Magufuli laid the foundation stone to launch construction works at Dar es Salaam port to deepen and upgrade seven of the port’s berths.

Dr Magufuli was informed that at present, only ships up to 243m in length and with carrying capacity of between 2,500 and 4,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) can dock, but that following the upgrading works, the port will accommodate Post Panamax ships with 320-metre lengths and carrying capacity of up to 8,000 TEUs.

The Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) is supported by the World Bank, which has offered a USD $345m loan, and the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development (DfID) through a USD $12.4m grant. The Tanzanian government, through own sources, will provide USD $63.4m.

The upgrading of the country’s major port is expected to enable more ships to dock, offload and load shipments at the harbour at the same time, reducing dwell time and enhancing efficiency. Dwell time at the port is expected to drop from 80 to 30 hours.

President Magufuli was impressed by the project and instructed the contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), to fast-track the project from 36 to between 28 and 30 months.

“This project will benefit not only Tanzania but her landlocked neighbours like Rwanda, Zambia, Burundi, Uganda, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The envisaged Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will highly depend on the effectiveness of the port that handles 90 per cent of imported goods,” he said.

The entrance channel will have its depth deepened from 10.2m to 15.5m for a distance of 8km and its width widened from 140m to 170m, explained the Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Eng Deusdedit Kakoko. (Daily News)

Dar es Salaam wins Sustainable Transport Award
Dar es Salaam was announced the winner of the Sustainable Transport Award by the Institute for Transport Development and Policy (ITDP) in New York. This makes Dar the first African city to win the prestigious award.

ITDP notes that Dar had “launched a series of transformative improvements to transit, cycling and walking” in the past year, the most important of which is the Dar es Salaam Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, or DART. “DART is a high-quality, high-capacity BRT system incorporating best practice design and features, is the first true BRT system in East Africa. It spans 21 km of trunk route, and serves 160,000 passengers per day on average with the current fleet of 140 buses. By mid-2018, when the first phase becomes fully operational with over 300 buses, the system is projected to carry an estimated 400,000 passengers per day. DART has reduced commute times by more than half for residents.”

“Serving the key axis of Morogoro Road and running through the city centre, DART is more than a public transit system, it has brought improvements for pedestrians and cyclists as well. The project includes cycle paths, sidewalks, and improved pedestrian safety with well-designed, at-grade pedestrian crossings also complying with universal accessibility principles.” (The Guardian)

Eleven locomotives abandoned
The government has ordered Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) and Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to explain the circumstances that led to the abandoning of eleven locomotives at the Dar es Salaam port.

The deputy minister of Works, Transport and Communications, Edwin Ngonyani ordered a report in July, a day after President John Magufuli had hinted at “dirty games” in the procurement process of the locomotives that arrived at the port a week earlier.

TPA director general Mr Deusdedit Kakoko told reporters that the locomotives belonged to TRL. It seems, however, that TRL had a dispute with the suppliers of the locomotives that TPA was not aware of at the time of clearing the consignment, according to Mr Kakoko.

The Citizen newspaper reported that the locomotives were dispatched in fulfilment of the contract signed in 2013 between TRL and a US based firm, Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD). A statement issued by the then TRL director general, Mr Kipallo Kisamfu said TSh70.9 billion had been paid to the contractor on 13 locomotives which would be dispatched in three phases. (The Citizen)

St Lucky Vincent school bus tragedy
Thirty-five people died when a bus carrying pupils from St Lucky Vincent School in Arusha crashed into a gorge in Karatu District in May. Among the dead were two teachers and a driver, and thirty-two pupils. They were travelling to Karatu to take part in mock examinations.

Vice President Samia Suluhu led mourners at a communal mass. Three survivors were taken to the US for treatment, and have made good progress. They are expected to return to Tanzanian sometime in August. (Daily News, The Citizen, The Guardian)


by Donovan McGrath

African Billionaires: 30 under 30 (Forbes Woman/Forbes Life)
Jokate Mwegelo is one of the 30 under 30 class of 2017 in the June edition of Forbes Africa USA). A millennial who made her mark as a beauty queen, musician and actress in under a year and convinced Africa’s youngest billionaire to invest in her start-up company. Extract continues: Jokate Mwegelo has more followers than AKA and Bonang Matheba put together. She inspires girls from Angola to Zimbabwe without even trying. For an entrepreneur in a Tanzanian town, she has a celeb-style media following… It’s been a long road to here for 30-yearold Mwegelo. Her journey began in 2006 when taking a gap year after high school. To pass time, Mwegelo volunteered for the United Nations and entered the Miss Tanzania contest… She wasn’t crowned queen, but left an impression, which ushered in opportunities for acting; her debut was a role in a movie called Fake Pastors. The movie’s success was genuine. “This was a time when the movie industry was becoming more commercialized in Tanzania…” … It paved the way for more roles and earned her two awards in the Zanzibar International Film Festival and a stint as a musician collaborating with the likes of Nigerian multiple award-winning hip-hop star Ice Prince… “My parents were very strict and valued education…” … She graduated in Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Dar es Salaam… “As a former beauty queen, actress, media personality and fashion enthusiast, I felt I could do so much more with my image and for the industry… I felt like we needed a female billionaire…” … Five years ago, Mwegelo used her savings to found Kidoti Company, a lifestyle brand… She started designing clothes for popular artists, and then received a soft loan from Africa’s youngest billionaire, Tanzanian Mohamed Dewji. It changed everything… Kidoti designs and manufactures synthetic hair extensions, sandals and bags… [T]hey partnered with China’s Rainbow Shell Craft… The company promises to be a big success for Mwegelo, it doesn’t end here. She says giving back is a key part of her life. She launched ‘Be Kidotified’, a campaign which empowers young girls … She also launched ‘Msusi Wao’ translated ‘their hairsylist’, which connects hair dressers, financiers and customers. Africa certainly needs more female billionaires… (3 July 2017)

Everton’s Invasion in Tanzania Echo News (UK) online:
The Scouse invasion of Tanzania has begun… Koeman, Rooney and co flew direct on a special charter from Liverpool… Some went via Dubai, others through Oman and Qatar. The more creative opted for a night or two in Zanzibar before heading for Dar es Salaam … Everton players Idrissa Gueye and Leighton Baines, amongst others, visited Uhuru Primary School in Dar es Salaam. Extract continues: For the locals, though, there is no doubt who the main attraction [was], Rooney. … Keane, Tom Davies and Mo Besic headed off to meet members of Albino United Football Club, while Klaasen, Matty Pennington, Phil Jagielka and Dominic Calvert-Lewin embarked on a Tanzanian cooking challenge at the team hotel. The five-hour connecting flight from Dubai was routine enough, but what awaited fans at Julius Nyerere International Airport was anything but. A convoluted visa process led to lengthy, sweaty and frustrating delays crammed inside a tiny arrivals hall… [T]he delay meant fans were denied the chance to watch Rooney and co in action at Everton’s open training session at Tanzania’s National Stadium… In any case, they’d arrived, and could now take in a bit of Dar es Salaam… An ordeal at times, yes, but whatever else Everton’s historic African trip throws up, it’s already an experience! (12 July 2017)

Barrick Gold, Tanzania begin talks to resolve Acacia Mining dispute (Canada): To say Acacia Mining … is having a rough time in Tanzania is to underestimate the challenges the company, one of the largest gold producers in Africa, has been facing … The miner, Tanzania’s No.1 gold producer, is in the midst of a bitter dispute with the East African’s country’s government, which – among other things – has accused Acacia of tax evasion and illegal operations, served the firm with a $190-billion bill in fines and allegedly outstanding taxes, questioned staff and even blocked one of the firm’s senior executives … from leaving the country. “World’s largest gold miner Barrick hopes to reach an agreement over both the claims against its subsidiary and the current ban on mineral concentrate exports” (see TA117)… The Canadian gold miner said … it had formally begun talks [with] high-rank Tanzania’s government officials … Barrick’s chairman John Thornton and President John Magufuli met in June in Dar es Salaam … The stock, however, has lost more than 67% of its value since the export ban came in effect in March this year. The situation is so delicate that the miner warned … it would have to close its flagship Bulyanhulu mine by Sept. 30 if the prohibition is not lifted (31 July 2017).

Tanzania ‘witch killings’ claimed 479 lives from January – June 2017: report (South Africa): Five women accused of being witches and murdered by a mob … were among some 80 people killed each month in Tanzania this year by vigilantes taking the law into their own hands … Thousands of elderly Tanzanian women have been strangled, knifed to death and burned alive over the last two decades after being denounced as witches. The report published by the Dar es Salaam-based rights group Legal and Human Rights Centre showed 479 deaths related to mob justice reported in Tanzania from January to June this year, including women accused of witchcraft. While 117 deaths have been reported to have occurred in Dar (this year), Mbeya sits second with 33 people lynched followed by Mara with 28 and Geita with 26 deaths… Belief in witchcraft in the East African country dates back centuries as a way of explaining common misfortunes like death, failed harvests and infertility… The report comes a week after police in the western Tabora region launched a hunt for the suspected killers of five women in Undomo village. The women were accused of being witches, beaten to death and their bodies burned, police said (1 August 2017).

Tanzania president under fire for urging refugees to return to ‘stable’ Burundi
The Guardian UK (online): Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, has drawn fierce criticism from activists after urging thousands of Burundian refugees to return to their home country. Magufuli has ordered the suspension of the registration and naturalisation of thousands of Burundian refugees, and told home affairs minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, to stop granting them citizenship. “It’s not that I am expelling Burundian refugees. I am just advising them to voluntarily return home,” said Magufuli. “I urge Burundians to remain in their country, I have been assured, the place is now calm.”… But Joseph Siegle, director at the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington, said Magufuli’s comments were “at odds with the situation on the ground, as all available reports on Burundi by the East African Community, African Union and UN demonstrate that the situation is getting worse and refugee numbers are increasing”. Siegle is among a number of regional experts who have attacked Magufuli, pointing out that the situation in Burundi remains dangerous… Magufuli’s order came shortly after he held talks with Pierre Nkurunziza, his Burundian counterpart, at the border town of Ngara on 20 July. Tanzania hosts 241,687 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers [hosting] “… more Burundian refugees than any other country.” … “Tanzania has an ongoing obligation under international refugee law to ensure that Burundians fleeing violence and persecution can remain in Tanzania,” said Maria Burnett, associate director at Human Rights Watch… (29 July 2017)

School bus crashes in Tanzania killing dozens
The Guardian (UK) online: A school bus has crashed in Tanzania killing 32 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver after it plunged into a roadside ravine in the northern tourist region of Arusha, a senior police official has said. “The accident happened when the bus was descending on a steep hill in rainy conditions,” regional commander Charles Mkumbo said. “We are still investigating the incident to determine if it was caused by a mechanical defect or human error on the part of the driver.” The pupils killed in the accident, which occurred at about 9.30am in Karatu district, were aged 12 to 13, and from the Lucky Vincent primary school on their way to visit another school, Mkumbo said. Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, described the accident as a national tragedy in statement. Tanzania, the second-largest economy in east Africa, has a poor road safety network but buses remain the main form of public transport between towns. More than 11,000 people were killed in road accidents in Tanzania between 2014 and 2016, according to government data. (6 May 2017)

Cancer rates are soaring in Africa, yet Tanzania’s radiotherapy hub stands idle
The Guardian (UK) online: A state-of-the-art oncology clinic lacks the funding and staff to get its equipment up and running, despite thousands of people requiring life-saving treatment. The white bulk of the cobalt-60 radiotherapy machine is just visible inside the dark cement bunker. The electricity in the room at Bugando Medical Centre is shut off. The machine, donated last year by the Indian government, looks ready to go, but it has yet to deliver a life-saving dose of radiation. Medical staff at Bugando, a tertiary care and teaching hospital in Tanzania’s second largest city, Mwanza, are keen to start offering radiotherapy to the growing number of cancer patients arriving at the hospital’s doors… But getting the expensive technology up and running has been a long struggle…The World Health Organisation warned recently that non-communicable diseases are likely to kill more people in Africa than infectious disease by 2030, and Bugando is on the frontline of this fight… (20 March 2017)

Tanzania to lose $553 million annually if Acacia exits its market
The East African (Kenya) online: … In the report on Acacia’s economic and tax contribution to Tanzania, the mining company’s total direct, indirect and induced economic contribution in Tanzania last year included more than 36,000 jobs, about $339 million of labour income, and nearly $214 million in tax payments. “In total … Acacia’s total tax contribution last year was an estimated $214 million,” the analysis shows. The total workforce was 3,000, whose wages and benefits totalled over $101 million, with an average of $34,000 per employee. “About 2,800 were Tanzanian nationals who received an average annual wage of $20,000, up from $17,000 in 2015. The average annual wage for its Tanzanian workers in 2016 was over 10 times higher than the average earnings of $1,878 for other Tanzanian workers throughout the economy in 2016,” the report states… (1 August 2017)

John Magufuli: Tanzania’s rising star
New African (UK/France) online: This edition featured a profile of Tanzania’s current president under the subheadings: “The Magufuli magic”, “An unlikely candidate”, “The bulldozer swings his scythe”, “The backlash” and “Magufuli balance sheet”. Extract: In the 1970s, responding to taunts from socialists Tanzanians that neighbouring, capitalist Kenya was a ‘dog eat dog’ society, the Kenyans came back with ‘Tanzania is a man eat nothing society!’ They were not far wrong. Tanzania’s nationalised industries and collectivised farms failed miserably to meet demand and led to empty shops as shortages of virtually all products, including essentials, began to bite. This has become a dim and distant memory in the country today. The shops are overflowing, prices are some of the lowest in the East African region and there is a sense of optimism and wellbeing. The transformation has been brought about by successive presidents who succeeded the iconic Julius Nyerere… Each leader has stepped in at particular tipping points and by force of personality and style, moved the country along a notch or two… The big question now was what sort of leader Magufuli would make… The answer was not long in coming. Right from the word go, he not only set out to make good his elections pledges, he went further – to the delight of the masses, but growing concern among the establishment. He did the unthinkable – he cancelled Independence Day celebrations and all the extravagant expenses government traditionally splurged out. Instead, he wanted the day spent on street cleaning and enthusiastically participated, emulating Rwanda’s President Kagame. He slashed the budget for the usually opulent opening of parliament by almost 90% and demanded that the money saved be spent on purchasing hospital beds and on road works. He cancelled foreign travel for government officials and put a stop to the purchase of first-class tickets. He decreed henceforth, government meetings would be held in state buildings rather than in expensive hotels. He trimmed down the delegation of 50 set to tour Commonwealth countries to just four. He publicly warned those selected as ministers and other government functionaries that he would not tolerate corruption, laziness or excessive bureaucracy. He told them they should expect nothing more than to work tirelessly to serve the people of the country alongside him. He made it very clear that the gravy train had come to an end. Government posting no longer meant a life of ease, privilege and the opportunity to make money… He made surprise raids at government offices to see for himself who was at their desks, who was absent and who used the well-worn trick of leaving their jackets on the chairs to indicate that they had just stepped out for a moment when in fact they may have been gone for weeks… [O]peration ‘squeezing the boil’ as they dubbed it … While he was busy ‘squeezing the boil’ of incompetence and corruption, Magufuli and his team also rooted out over 10,000 ‘ghost workers’ from various government departments. A nationwide fraud audit had discovered that $2m a month was going to pay the non-existent workers. The swinging blade did not stop there… The public servants found to have fake certificates were ordered to resign voluntarily or else they would face prosecution for the crime, which is punishable for up to seven years in jail… Despite the president’s popularity with the masses … his blunt leadership style, sometimes controversial statements and impromptu decisions … have been criticised, mostly by the opposition and also, increasingly by the lay public… In this context, he came under fire for failing to travel to the northern town of Kagera where 11 people had died and 192 injured following an earthquake. His response to the afflicted, who said that as a result of drought they had nothing to eat, shocked many. He asked them if they expected him to cook food for them. The National Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) has accused him of deliberately kicking out Muslims from senior government positions … Despite such sentiments, President Magufuli remains hugely popular. Policies such as free secondary education, free health care for elderly people, tax collection reforms and giving the war on drugs serious attention have all made him popular, especially among the ordinary people who live in rural areas, who see him as their saviour… A senior diplomat in Tanzania says that the majority of civil servants now show up for work, while in the past, many were busy attending seminars, and rarely had time to stay in office and do the work… The opposition have described President Magufuli as ‘a dictator’ … [H]is critics say that Magufuli has personally threatened media owners of newspapers critical of his presidency at public rallies and over 10 people have been charged for criticising him on social media since he became president. John Pombe Magufuli ‘s supporters and critics both agree on one thing. Everything this president has done has been unprecedented in the history of Tanzania… (8 June 2017)


by Ben Taylor

Ambassador Clement George Kahama

Ambassador Clement George Kahama

After a period of deteriorating health Ambassador Clement George Kahama, popularly known as “Sir George”, died in Dar es Salaam on 12 March 2017, aged 88. His long political career – first in local government and then at the national and international levels, and covering both the colonial and independence eras – spanned more than half a century. He was the longest serving Minister in Tanzania’s history, holding a wide range of portfolios.

Born in November 1929 in Karagwe (Kagera Region), Sir George was educated at the Ihungu Secondary School and then the Tabora Government Boys Upper Secondary School, prior to undertaking his higher education at Loughborough College in UK between 1952 and 1954. He then returned to Tanganyika to become the First General Manager of the Bukoba Native Cooperative Union Ltd (responsible for the purchase, processing and marketing of coffee, tea and other agricultural commoditie

s) and also to serve concurrently as Chairman of Bukoba District Council.
In 1957, he became a Nominated Member of the Tanganyika Legislative Council (LEGCO), representing the then West Lake province (now Kagera Region) and from 1958 was an elected MP for that Region. In the two years leading up to Independence he served as Minister for Social and Co-Operative Development in the transitional government.

In the three years immediately following Independence on 9 December 1961, Sir George served first as Minister for Home Affairs and then as Minister for Commerce and Industry, Communications, Transport and Works. He then began the first of three career stints overseas, serving in 1965 and 1966 as Tanzania’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and to the European Economic Community.
He returned to Dar es Salaam to become for the next seven years the General Manager and CEO of the National Development Corporation, the largest holding company in Tanzania. It was the period immediately after the Arusha Declaration and, during his stewardship, 89 industrial, agricultural, mining and commercial parastatal enterprises were established (some of them as joint ventures with transnational corporations).

Then for the ten years after 1973 George Kahama had responsibility for the planning, development and building of the new national capital, Dodoma. He discharged these responsibilities concurrently as both Minister of State in the President’s Office and as Director-General of the Capital Development Authority. They were challenging times but today Tanzania’s functioning new capital city stands as a testament to Sir George’s determination to realise Mwalimu Nyerere’s vision.

Next, serving as Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism in 1983 and 1984, George Kahama turned his attention to developing and promoting the spectacular game reserves and national parks for which Tanzania is famed worldwide. Then, for the succeeding five years he served as Tanzania’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China, with concurrent accreditation to Vietnam, North Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.

From Beijing he moved to Harare, serving next as the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe in 1989 and 1990.

Then, as the domestic economic reform programmes took root and the Tanzanian government made moves to liberalise the economy and to welcome private and foreign investment, Sir George was recalled to Dar es Salaam in 1990 to establish and run the Tanzanian Investment Promotion Centre (now TIC). He was the Centre’s First Director-General, in the President’s Office.

Between 1995 and 2000 Sir George continued in Parliament as the MP for Karagwe. George Kahama’s last Cabinet portfolio was as Minister for Cooperatives and Marketing, a post he held for five years until his retirement from active politics in November 2005.

Sir George served each of Tanzania’s first three Presidents (Nyerere, Mwinyi and Mkapa). He was a man of many accomplishments, discharging each of his responsibilities with an almost boundless energy. Few people, even those in high office, are as fortunate as he to have such opportunities to lay the foundations for the development of a major new nation like Tanzania. Moreover, as a devoted Catholic, Sir George was honoured with two special Presidential assignments. In 1962, he represented President Nyerere at the inaugural meeting of the Second Ecumenical Council in the Vatican, returning to Rome in 2005 to represent President Mkapa at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Many in the older generation of Tanzanians remember George Kahama with fondness. In retirement he was Chairman of a number of private Tanzanian companies. He lived with his family in Msasani and is survived by his wife Janet and eight children. After lying-in-State at the Julius Nyerere Convention Centre, followed by a memorial service on 16 March at St Peter’s Oysterbay – a service attended by many government and CCM leaders both past and present as well as by other dignitaries – Sir George was laid to rest in Kinondoni Cemetery.

I had the privilege of working with Sir George in a Commonwealth advisory capacity in the early 1990s when he was heading the Tanzanian Investment Promotion Centre, and I came to know him and some of his family well. I am especially grateful to his eldest surviving son, Richard Kahama, for having provided his Father’s detailed CV and for his approval of this Obituary. Roger M Nellist with special thanks to Richard Kahama

Philemon Ndesamburo
The death of Philemon Ndesamburo; business tycoon, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) co-founder, and former MP, brought the town of Moshi to a standstill as thousands suspended their activities. Current Chadema National Chairman Freeman Mbowe led procession carting the casket through the town. Permission for the procession had initially been denied by the police, but the decision was reversed following a public outcry, though the planned route and destination were altered.

Born on February 19, 1935 in Old Moshi ward, Moshi District in Kilimanjaro Region, went on to become a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and seasoned politician. He was fondly referred by many as Mzee Ndesa while others, due to his sound financial situation, added, Mzee Ndesa Pesa.

With a degree in Agricultural Business from the University of London, UK, in the 1970s he was reportedly posted to a position he considered not conforming to what he studied. Instead, he opted for life out of the government system.

He first ventured openly in politics in pursuit of reforms in 1988 as one of a small group advocating for changes to the national constitution. With the advent of multi-party democracy, he was among the first ten members of Chadema. He lost two hard-fought electoral campaigns against Augustino Mrema, in 1994 for Councillor of Kiboriloni Ward in Moshi and in 1995 for Moshi Urban parliamentary seat, before eventually winning the same seat in the 2000 elections. He held the seat until his retirement in 2015.

But his influence within Chadema extended well beyond his own electoral career. Ndesamburo earned a position for himself as the kingmaker and the financier of last resort to opposition politicians, particularly in northern regions. He also served as Central Committee (CC) member, Kilimanjaro regional chairman, and a member of the Chadema Board of Trustees.

As an opposition politician, Ndesamburo preferred to tell the government what it should do in a persuasive manner rather than adopting the brash and confrontational style of many opposition politicians. Just a week before his death, he discussed President John Magufuli’s industrialisation drive, arguing that it would not attain the desired results if it was not linked to agriculture, which remains the backbone of Tanzania’s economy. “The two sectors have to complement each other for the economic take off desired,” he said in an interview.

Chadema Co-Founder and first Chairman Edwin Mtei, a senior official in the first phase government, attributed the success of the party to the late Ndesamburo. Mr Mtei who was. “We knew each other since our childhood; we rented and later built houses at nearby areas in Dar es Salaam. We collaborated for a long time since we were at Old Moshi Mahoma and later in the party. We initiated it as an empty set and now it is the main opposition party. … It is his courage and ability that got us here,” said Mr Mtei.

Brian Harris
Born in Neath, South Wales, in 1929, Brian Harris went to the Neath Grammar School for Boys and then to Aberystwyth University, where he studied agricultural botany and became an expert plant scientist. Later he undertook a PhD. He shared interests in natural history with his wife Sine MacLachlainn, from Mull, who was also a botanist. Brian was eventually appointed to teaching posts with his wife. Together they worked in several African universities including in Ghana, Nigeria and the University of Dar es Salaam, where Brian was Head of Botany.

Brian brought many positive, new ideas to the University of Dar es Salaam: he saw the need for a herbarium and saw to it that the herbarium had a staff, and was himself interested in the campus grounds. He was also a great naturalist and ecologist, including work on bat pollination in African plants.

Following his retirement in 1990, Brian relocated to Edinburgh. But his love of plants and flowers continued as he threw himself into a variety of community projects in the city.

Recently he had suffered from cancer of the larynx, from which he was recovering, but sadly he died after a short illness on 20th April 2017.
With thanks to Heather Goodare of the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links (FOMBL) in Edinburgh, and to Kim Howell.


by Martin Walsh

THE DELUSION OF KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER: THE IMPACT OF FOREIGN AID EXPERTS ON POLICY-MAKING IN SOUTH AFRICA AND TANZANIA. Susanne Koch and Peter Weingart. African Minds, Cape Town, 2016. xii + 384 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-1-928331-39-1. £40.00.

The aid industry has come under increasing attack in recent years. Indeed, use of the word ‘industry’ in this context already carries pejorative overtones. At first, large insufficiently supported capital projects were the main targets, leading to an increasing emphasis on technical support. In this book, however, the argument is that the latter is also inherently flawed. Are we to conclude then that all attempts to bring assistance to developing countries, no matter how well intentioned, are doomed to failure?

In fact, the authors’ critique is more narrowly focused. Their particular concern is the failure of expert advice to foster ‘the national capacity for self-reliance’. Rather, they argue, ‘the persistent interference by outside actors in our view undermines the development of young into strong democracies as it puts governments at risk of losing control over their own policy agendas (p. 2)’. Related to this, ‘we take it to be a core aspect of sovereignty that states govern themselves and define their own policies (p. 6)’ – shades of Brexit here! A sceptic might object that this rather purist position insufficiently recognises the possibility of governments (not just in developing countries) adopting and pursuing wrong-headed policies (think South Africa and AIDS during the Mbeki years) and that the democratic deficit in policy-making may be due as much to local institutional weaknesses as to over-influential foreign experts. Nevertheless, their ultimate conclusion that more should be done to harness local knowledge and to foster local institutions which can enable such knowledge to play a greater part in the policy process is well made.

In support of their thesis, the authors have carried out case studies in Tanzania and South Africa, covering policy development in education, health and forestry. These are fascinating and the extensive quotations from interviewees merit close study by anyone involved in technical assistance, whether as donors or recipients. In deference to TA readers, we focus here on the Tanzania cases.

In education, the conclusion is that the policy agenda in Tanzania has been ‘hi-jacked’ by the foreign experts involved in the Education Development Partners Group: ‘In a nutshell, the state of education governance in Tanzania could be sketched as follows: the need for foreign financing has legitimated an intense involvement of external actors in the policy space in which aid money has become the central preoccupation. The prevailing sentiment of being at the mercy of donors has paralysed leadership and administration which fails to set or refrains from articulating an agenda of its own.’ One consequence was over-enrolment in schools, beyond the available capacity of either buildings or teachers, leading to falling standards. In contrast, South Africa is found to have been more successful in exploiting outside expertise to create a local vision. This is attributed to: lesser financial dependence on donors; competition between donors, leading to greater responsiveness to local needs and priorities; the careful approach of the authorities towards advice and assistance; and participation of various local stakeholders to counterbalance influence from outside.

The story in health is somewhat different. A number of policy initiatives were taken in the 1990s to rescue Tanzania’s health services from the serious decline that had occurred under the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s. This culminated in most donors participating in a constructive ‘sector-wide approach’ with ‘basket funding’ under strong Tanzanian leadership. However, this benign arrangement was then disrupted by the entry of global health initiatives with massive financial backing, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS. Up to this point, Tanzanian policy gave priority to prevention and mitigation measures. With hundreds of millions of dollars on offer, the Tanzanians had little option but to go along with the programmes and policies imposed by the Global Fund, PEPFAR and the Clinton Foundation, which emphasised treatment with antiretroviral drugs, despite practical difficulties in implementing such a policy. Moreover, one of the most problematic issues related to the entry of global health initiatives in Tanzania was that ‘they not only shifted the bulk of the HIV budget to treatment but also skewed the overall resource allocation in health towards HIV/AIDS at the expense of other crucial areas and prevalent diseases (p. 249).’ In addition, ‘While the dialogue forums in health and HIV/ AIDS were actually established to reduce donor influence and induce a more distant form of advice, it de facto brought aid actors closer to decision-making insofar as it entrenched their participation in policy development, analysis and evaluation (p. 257)’. Meanwhile, South Africa was more successful in harnessing outside finance and advice in support of its own agenda (at least, once Aaron Motsoaledi had become Health Minister).

The third case covered environmental policy, particularly forestry. Here external advice played a large part in mainstreaming environmental policy in Tanzania and helping to secure passage of the Forest Act (2002) and the Environmental Management Act (2004), which was regarded as a model of its kind. However, disillusion soon set in. A combination of low priority for environmental actions in budget setting, misappropriation of funds and insufficient administrative capacity resulted in a situation where ‘environmental policies and legislation are hardly put into practice (p. 290)’. In response, donor support either faded away or was redirected into the new international enthusiasm for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Again, South Africa did better, thanks mainly to strong local expertise.

The concluding chapters of the book review the relative importance of financial strength, administrative capacity and the local knowledge base in the light of the case studies. They find that ‘it is insufficient to explain external influence on policy-making with a single factor.’ The final chapter heading nevertheless is ‘There is no substitute for local knowledge’ and the authors make suggestions to strengthen its influence. Evidently this cannot be a quick fix, leaving open the question how donors and recipients are supposed to work constructively together in the meantime. The case studies do however offer some pointers as to how the more egregious practices can be avoided. For those keen to learn more, the book includes a very full bibliography.
Hugh Wenban-Smith
Hugh Wenban-Smith was born in Chunya and went to Mbeya School. His career was as a government economist (mainly in Britain, but with periods in Zambia and India). He is now an independent research economist, with particular interests in infrastructure, urbanisation and transport.

THE ENDURING RELEVANCE OF WALTER RODNEY’S ‘HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA’. Karim Hirji. Daraja Press, Montreal, 2017. 134 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-0-9952223-9-7. £8.80.

Karim Hirji argues succinctly that Walter Rodney’s inspirational book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (HEUA), retains its long-term relevance because it articulates a strategy for the total economic independence of Africa as well as the emancipation of Africa and its people. Hirji knew Rodney personally and he explains that as the struggles for independence matured, a Marxist strand of political economy which demonstrated that Europe has an exploitative relationship with Africa emerged. Rodney was not a mechanical borrower of ideas from other progressives. He was a critical scholar and classical Marxist whose theoretical framework of analysis was based on Marxist political economy.

From the 15th century onwards African societies came under the hegemony of western imperialism, and colonial policies prevented genuine capitalist development. Rodney thought that the African masses must take the control of state power, disengage from the global capitalist system, adopt socialism, and use its wealth to develop society. He proposed a strategy of integrated economic development for the liberation of African nations, but his book became a target for elitist right-wing intellectuals for its anti-imperialist stance. Its content, methods and conclusions were scrutinised by many, including some progressive academics. Because Rodney advanced the Marxist idea that economic factors are the primary motor of African history, he is accused of economic determinism by conventional historians who fail to see anything wrong with the cultural and demographic determinism that they adopt in their own analyses.

Another criticism of Rodney’s book is its explanation of the role played by external factors in the transformation of Africa during the slave trade and after. Rodney understood capitalism as a global system and imperialism as an economically-driven phenomenon facilitating the extraction of surplus, and so the underdevelopment of Africa. However, some African and Western scholars argue that Rodney’s thesis is not relevant for the postcolonial period, and that poverty in Africa cannot be attributed to imperialism but instead must be blamed on corrupt leadership. Their proposed solution is the adoption of neoliberal policies with economic liberalisation and the promotion of foreign investment. As Hirji points out, this is an approach that merely pretends to scientific objectivity.

Rodney wrote about a continent that had been exploited for centuries. His work had to be exceptional because he was breaking the silence that had been maintained by academia itself. And in order to expose the truth of Africa’s underdevelopment he brought in new ideas and adopted a unique style. Rodney was a committed Marxist scholar and activist who continually enhanced his perspective through study and struggle. While engaging with local realities on ‘The Hill’, his views evolved. By the mid-1970s he had realised that the rhetoric of Tanzanian socialism masked the neocolonial dependency being implemented in the country.

He mingled with both intellectuals and the masses. I first met Rodney during his lecture on the Cuban Revolution at the University of Dar es Salaam. He was a very powerful orator and captivated the academic audience. Together with Hirji, Issa Shivji and other comrades, we went with him to the Ujamaa villages in Bagamoyo and Dodoma to work with the peasants. Personally, I treasure the few days that I spent with him when he had fallen sick while on his way to Njombe with his wife Pat and children, Asha, Shaka and Kanini. He stopped over at our humble home in Mzumbe, Morogoro, and my wife Salha and I were able to spend a few days with him and his family while he recuperated.

Hirji points out that the main theme of HEUA remains as relevant for Africa today as it did in 1972 when it was first published. The book enables one to understand the continent’s past and the path it is taking, as well as the grave social economic problems that Africa has faced. The result was a ground-breaking work of scholarship. For the first time the real causes of underdevelopment in Africa were exposed, and Rodney’s book was widely read in Africa and the Caribbean.

Today, however, there are conscious efforts in some quarters to disqualify Rodney’s thesis. Indeed, most historians now studying African history hardly ever make reference to him. Even in the university seminar rooms, HEUA seems to be completely forgotten. Students rarely read a fair depiction of the contribution of Rodney’s Marxist approach: instead he is often misquoted. It is therefore timely for Hirji to remind us of his magisterial work. He discusses Rodney as a humane revolutionary and radical scholar who supported student activism and radical writing in the campuses of different universities. Despite determined attempts to silence Rodney, his inspiration to change the society for the better and fight for a just and non-racial future remains strong.
Georgios Hadjivayanis
Dr Georgios Hadjivayanis is a retired Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology. He did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Dar es Salaam where he was actively involved in student politics. His memoir of that period is published in Cheche which was edited by Karim Hirji. He did his doctoral studies at Pantheon Sorbonne in France. He was one the founding Directors of Haki Ardhi, and taught at Mzumbe and Sokoine universities in Morogoro prior to moving to South Africa. He is currently based in London.

JOHN THOMAS MHINA SEPEKU, ASKOFU MKUU WA KWANZA, KANISA ANGLIKANA, TANZANIA. Augustino S.L.Ramadhani. Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2017. 287 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-9987-75-394-9. TSh. 25,000.

John Sepeku was one of the outstanding personalities in the first generation of church leaders following national independence. Born in Misozwe, Tanga, in 1908, he became first Anglican Bishop of Dar es Salaam in 1965, and first Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Tanzania in 1970. He was educated at St. Andrew’s College, Minaki, Kisarawe, one of the two best existing secondary schools. In his final year when Sepeku was Head Prefect, the Headmaster, Canon Gibbons, commented: “Has the courage of his convictions. Is a leader and has real ‘dini’ (that is, genuine religious faith). Cannot speak too highly of him.”

The author is himself an outstanding personality. Augustino Ramadhani was Chief Judge of Zanzibar from 1980-89, then Chief Judge of Tanzania from 2007-10, and finally President of Africa’s International Court of Human Rights. Before his retirement as judge in 2016, the author was ordained as an Anglican priest in Zanzibar in 2013. He knew John Sepeku very well, and this excellent biography has been written out of love and gratitude. It is now 34 years since Sepeku died. Inevitably there are a few gaps in the story, but the author has brilliantly succeeded in writing an extensive account of his life, by using a variety of written sources, as well as live interviews. As the author remarks, his book is more than a biography. It is also a brief history of the Anglican Church, tracing it back to the days of David Livingstone’s appeal, made to British and Irish universities in 1857, to send missionaries to rid Africa of the scourge of the slave trade, and to spread the light of Christianity. It was this historic appeal which led directly to the founding of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA), which in 1965 was incorporated in the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG). John Sepeku was nurtured in this ecclesiastical tradition, but never restricted by it. He formed friendships across church boundaries, and both as bishop and archbishop sought to bring harmony and break down divisions.

In 1960 the Anglican Province of East Africa was inaugurated, bringing together for the first time the two different missionary traditions of the UMCA and the CMS (Church Missionary Society) into one autonomous body. When the diocese of Dar es Salaam was founded in 1965, Sepeku became its first bishop. From the start he welcomed and made provision for Christians from the evangelical ‘CMS’ dioceses, and co-operated closely with Gresford Chitemo, his neighbouring bishop in Morogoro. Then, in 1970, just two days before the nation celebrated its National Independence Day, the Church of the Province of Tanzania was inaugurated. John Sepeku was enthroned as its first archbishop, having been elected by his seven fellow bishops in Tanzania. Chosen by the Archbishop of Canterbury to preside at the closing Eucharist of the Lambeth Conference in 1978, he stepped down as archbishop in the same year, and continued as bishop until he died in 1983.

Often called the ‘farmer’ bishop because of his ‘hands-on’ commitment to developing diocesan land for horticulture, John Sepeku was also instrumental in providing urban land in the city for educational and social projects, such as the Kichwele Women’s Hostel for single girls, St. Mark’s Theological College, and a School for Deaf Children.

As archbishop, John Sepeku travelled widely throughout Tanzania, building on his knowledge of the different backgrounds and church traditions to bring about a sense of a genuinely indigenous Tanzanian church, diverse but essentially one.

A natural leader, who could be authoritarian and stern, John Sepeku was widely acknowledged to be at heart a humble pastor, compassionate and just, whose advice was sought not only by bishops and priests but also by government leaders. Judge Ramadhani has written a masterly book in which he brings out clearly the exceptional qualities of this great church leader. He has written a brief English synopsis. The book is now awaiting a full translation, but meanwhile it should be recommended reading for all current and aspiring leaders of church and state.
Graeme Watson
Revd Graeme Watson worked as a missionary priest and teacher in Tanzania from 1967 to 1977. He was Tutor at St. Cyprian’s College, Lindi, 1967-77; Vice-Principal of St. Mark’s Theological College, Dar es Salaam, 1969-73; and Rector of St. Alban’s Church, Dar es Salaam, 1974- 77.