In the elections to the Legislative Council of 1960, the first held on a common roll franchise, the Tanganyikan African National Union won all but one seat, Tanganyika therefore entered upon independence as a defacto one-party state. This remarkable result was due as much to the outstanding leadership of Julius Nyerere as to the unifying influence of a common cause. Soon after independence the opinion gained ground t hat the monopoly of power should be retained by TANU and should be confirmed in law by the independence constitution.

The origins of this opinion were diverse. The role of TANU as the undisputed leader in the campaign leading up to independence and its spectacular recognition in the polls encouraged the opinion that TANU alone possessed the ability to govern. A desire to create a system of Government appropriate to African conditions and experience was no doubt stimulated by recollections of the tribal baraza and the habits of mind that went with it. And at a more self-interested level it was known that certain leaders having borne the heat of the day during the independence campaign, saw the one party state as a ready means of perpetuating their own authority – wrongly, as later experience showed.

Beneath these immediate concerns lay an instinctive fear of organised dissension. Et is easy for us in our island kingdom to overlook the mature sense of nationhood that has emerged from centuries of our history and the wide areas of consensus which have furnished us with the conditions essential for two-party government. “It is evident” wrote A.J.Balfour, “that our whole political machinery presupposes a people so fundamentally at one that they can safely afford to bicker; and so sure of their own moderation that they are not dangerously disturbed by the din of political conflict.”

Tanzania can make no such assumptions. As the history of Nigeria, Uganda and even Kenya has shown, centrifugal tendencies can be strong and dangerous. Tanganyika was the creation, not of historical evolution but of the ambitions of the European powers in the nineteenth century. For many years the only cohesion was that imposed by an alien administration. Even as the colonial period drew to a close, local and tribal loyalties often exerted a more dominant influence than the national interest. If Tanzania was to become something more than a geographical creation, positive steps were required to arouse a sense of common destiny. It was the judgement of Tanzania’s leaders that a political system based on the interaction of party rivalries could undermine these efforts and endanger the unity of the infant state.
The decision to turn Tanganyika into a one-party state was made by the National Executive Committee of the Party and on the 14th January 1963 this decision was announced by President Nyerere. The President made known at the same time that he had been empowered by the National Executive Committee to appoint a Presidential Commission to consider the changes of the constitutions of the Republic and of the Party that might be necessary to give effect to this decision. The Commission was appointed on 28th January 1964 and reported on 22nd March 1965. There were 13 members, two of whom were prominent Europeans and one Asian. The Commission invited written evidence and also took verbal evidence throughout the country. Its deliberations were guided by the terms of two important memoranda drawn up by President Nyerere and as a result the final report was deeply influenced by President Nyerere’s approach to the whole subject, an approach which, as it turned out, received widespread support during the course of the verbal evidence.

The Commission, following the President’s view, laid finally at rest the view that the party should be a small, elite leadership group and insisted that it should be a mass organisation open to every citizen of Tanzania. This decision finally established the character of TANU as constituting a national movement; indeed the word ‘party’, with its sectional implications, was no longer an appropriate description and the resulting pattern of Government, as Professor Pratt has suggested, “was in many ways closer to a no party system than to a one party system.” It is clear from the evidence that this concept fully reflected the mood of the people, who showed no interest at all in entrenching an ideologically exclusive elite, but saw the necessity for a single national movement to emphasize and safeguard the unity of the nation.

In his guidelines to the Commission the President laid down a number of ethical principles, which later were incorporated in the constitution of TANU and survive in substantial measure in the present constitution of the Party (CCM). They are also reflected in the Union Constitution as amended in 1985, where Part 3 endows certain important rights and duties with the force of law. The principles listed by the President relate to the fundamental equality of all human beings and their right to dignity and respect; the right to take part in government at all levels; the right of freedom of expression and movement, of religious belief and of association within the law, subject only to safeguarding the freedom of others to enjoy these benefits; the right of protection of person and property under the law and of freedom from arbitrary arrest, subject to a duty to uphold the law; the right to receive a just return for work by hand or brain; common ownership of natural resources; the responsibility of the state to intervene actively in the economic life of the nation in order to secure the wellbeing of all citizens, prevent exploitation and such personal accumulation of wealth as is inconsistent with a classless society; and to fight against colonialism and work for African unity and international co-operation.

In proposing these guiding principles the President foresaw some of the abuses that might pass unchallenged in a single party system. The Commission considered these dangers with the utmost seriousness and as one result of their deliberations a permanent Commission of Enquiry was established to perform the functions of an ombudsman and enquire into allegations of the abuse of power. The reports of the Commission show that- this function has been performed with considerable effect. The basic rights safeguarded in Part 2 of the constitution of TANU as amended also reflected the President’s proposals and acquired a certain legal status when the Party constitution was incorporated as a schedule to the Interim Constitution of the United Republic of 1965. In the Interim Constitution it was stated that ‘all political activity in Tanzania, other than that of the organs of state of the United Republic…shall be conducted by or under the auspices of the Party’. This position was reaffirmed in slightly different terms in the Constitution of 1985, in which the leadership role of the Party was also extended to the conduct of parastatal organisations. In practice, this has meant party responsibility for general policy and for monitoring the implementation of policy. The Party is not itself an executive organ of government, but in the course of formulating policy it has access to the personnel and the documentary resources of the Government departments involved.

Subject to such guidance, the executive arm of Government was free to govern as best it could and the National Assembly to legislate, to vote money and to monitor the performance of Government. In practice the National Assembly has been slow to exercise its powers of criticism, though there have in recent years been signs of greater liveliness and self-confidence. There have been a number of instances where Government proposals have been modified or rejected and one which led to the dismissal of a Minister and senior officials. The important consideration here is that protest is not organised on a Party basis and it is this aspect that makes the proceedings of the National Assembly so unfamiliar and puzzling. It is like Parliament without the whips.

The Tanzanian system is called a ‘one-party democracy’ and some may see this title as a contradiction in terms. In fact, however, the efforts made under the system to represent popular will are not negligible. Despite the limitation of candidature to two persons approved by the Party in each constituency, successive elections to the National Assembly have brought about widespread changes in membership, including the unseating of Ministers, and no leader can lay permanent claim to a position of leadership. The choice of President allows only for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote for a single candidate chosen by the Executive Committee of the Party and confirmed at a Party National Conference. But at least the right to vote ‘no’ has been freely exercised. In each national election hundreds of thousands of Tanzanians have voted against Nyerere (and in 1985 Mwinyi), whilst in 1985 no less than 41% of Zanzibari voters voted against the choice of Abdul Wakil as their President. While the tendency towards the formation of a ruling class is undeniable, it is not inviolable and there is constitutional provision which, it is hoped, will continue to be effective in safeguarding peaceful change.

Criticism of the one party system has recently come from no less a person than the Chairman of CCM himself, Julius Nyerere. In the course of his peregrinations around Tanzania he has found in party circles much slackness and indifference. With characteristic frankness he has admitted that in a multi- party system competition between p arties keeps them on their toes. This was not a suggestion that Tanzania should abandon its one-party system, but that alternative methods must be found to stimulate and sustain political awareness and activity. Nyerere has long been conscious of this problem and said so in a speech in 1974: now he is face to face with it in practice. Since the Party is predominant in matters of general policy, in the election of a President and in the choice of candidates for the National Assembly, the comment is important.

The criticism has also been expressed that the one party system as operated in Tanzania may have had the effect of muting legitimate dissent. There is danger here of passing judgement on the basis of British experience, overlooking the absence of a tradition of informed discussion, the very recent achievement of widespread basic literacy and the extreme scarcity of newsprint. Yet it is reasonable to wonder how far justifiable proposals for reform can accumulate support without the help of some kind of party machinery. It is noticeable that the important reform culminating in the Preventive Detention (Amendment) Act of 1984 seems to have been triggered, or at least promoted, by a symposium at the Faculty of Law in 1982, that is, outside the Party system. This is not the same thing as the formation of an alternative party, but it does suggest that there may be limits to the ability of a one-party system to give hospitality to the serious advocacy of reform. If so, then changes will ultimately ensue. Under the one-party system the voice of the Party has great significance and therefore it is the modulation of that voice which is decisively important. The present highly indirect system of election to the National Executive Committee may turn out to be the point at which reform is most needed.

J. Roger Carter


The television programme on the Groundnut Scheme sought to put the blame on Mr. Strachey but in fact there were many to blame. Leaving the apportionment of guilt aside why did things turn out as they did ? One might as well ask why a baby who can’t even crawl can’t succeed in the 200m hurdles. No-one knew how to do the job, and those of us who knew how to find out did not have the time to do it. I went to Kongwa on the same train as the first bulldozers. Had there been less pressure, more time, and a proper sequence of investigation, pilot scale trials, training and practical planning, the job could probably have been done (though not in the agricultural pattern intended at the start) in the Southern Province, Kongwa was too dry: it is cattle country; Urambo was too wet for groundnuts but we did well enough with tobacco.

Large schemes can be successful – do not forget the Sudan Gezira. Large mechanised rain fed developments can succeed if the limits of management are of such a size that individual entrepreneurs and producers can handle them as in Zimbabwe, Kenya, the semi-mechanised sorghum in the Sudan, and the Punjab on both sides of the Indus. But in all these cases the sequence of investigation and pilot scale trial (and error!) leading up to training and planning have been more or less followed.

Perhaps the saddest outcome of the Groundnut Scheme is that many observers have run scared of broad development thinking and have taken to seeing development as a process which seeks to conserve what is and fears to consider new ways in a changing world. The population of Sub- Saharan Africa 100 years hence, will be five times what it is now. The old ways won’t do; we must have new ones on a large scale. However much small scale producers may be able to contribute, we already see larger scale ones entering the action using their own capital and management competence. The jot of increasing output at lower unit cost of product seems likely to come increasingly from them. It need not, but I think in many cases it will.
Prof, A. H. Bunting.
Reading University


The British Council in its annual booklet “Statistics of Students from Abroad in the United Kingdom” for the academic year 1984-85 reports that there were 225 (including 29 women) students from Tanzania in British universities. Of these, 192 were post-graduates and 33 under-graduates and 172 were in their first year of study. A further 62 (13 women) were studying in polytechnics (28 in the 1st year) and 103 (26 women) were in other institutions of higher and further education (79 in the 1st year). The grand total of all foreign students in Britain in 1964/85 was 55,608 including 28,232 from the Commonwealth and 6,128 from EEC countries.


A ZOO WITHOUT BARS by T.A.M.Nash. published by Wayte Binding, 97 St James Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. £9.95 plus £l.50 p&p
On being given this book to review I wondered what made it worthy of a leatherbound edition of £55,00. Having read it I am reminded of a precious miniature portrait which is kept in a velvet lined box. It is in effect a microcosm of 5 years of one person’s life while he was Tsetse Fly Research Officer in Kondoa district of Tanganyika Territory from 1927-32. As such it is unique and a collectors item. The author says, “it is written for the reader who is interested in the living conditions, the wildlife, the peasant and the European characters who gave (him) so much to laugh at.” It is based on his 117 letters home and is generally non-technical and abounding in details of everyday life in the bush. In fact there are so many details and so many incidents that they are inclined to become overwhelming if the book is read for a long stretch. However as a lively record of bygone days it is very good indeed, and what emerges particularly is this young man’s tremendous vitality and ability to ‘get to grips’ with everything around him and enjoy most of it. I imagine that the author, writing over 50 years later, must have relived the whole experience with much the same enjoyment but far fewer physical trials!

Tam Nash was only 22 when he took up his appointment under a somewhat eccentric boss (C. F. M. Swynnerton) who “never slept for more than four hours a night and was always in too great a hurry to stop for food. He was a delightful person, a tremendous enthusiast but utterly exhausting. His native name was ‘Bwana Funga-Fungwa’ (Master packunpack)”. Tam does not say much about the tsetse fly experiments but what he does say indicates that they were along the same lines as those we recently saw on television in a Horizon programme about the very successful work now being done in Zimbabwe by Dr. Glyn Vale. Has progress been slow ?

Living in the African bush over 50years ago was no joke, and Tam underwent no particular training for it as recruits do today. For the first few months he had no proper house; he had no electricity, no refrigerator, no telephone; there was no airmail post until 1931; there were no insecticides as we know them and no antibiotics and only quinine for malaria. Somehow he adapted to the dreadful living conditions and delighted on the wildlife on his doorstep, his “Zoo Without Bars. ”

After 14 months a proper house was built for him out of sun-dried mud bricks by one of the interesting European characters around. This was a “stubby little man” named Tschope who had been chauffeur to Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck and later a Company Commander with the German forces, gaining the Iron Cross. I like his artistic streak: “He cut a stencil from a petrol tin and made a frieze of grey rhinos on a whitewash background, trotting along the top of three walls of the verandah, finishing at a grey pool of water.” Tam says, “it made an excellent background to show off my best antelope heads.”

This sentiment might not have been echoed by today’s animal lovers, but it must be understood that Europeans living in the reality of the African bush, shot animals as a matter of course, either for food or for self-defence and they took some pride over the way it was done. It was indeed usual for expatriate officers to shoot game to provide enough meat for themselves and their African employees, especially where there were no cattle due to the tsetse fly problem.

Tam’s encounters with animals led to many interesting observations of their behaviour. Besides being an entomologist, he was obviously interested in all aspects of the natural scene around him. Trees mentioned in the book are almost always given their latin names as well as their common ones. Kondoa district was on the edge of the Masai Steppe and the Rift Valley, and there seem to have been countless lions, rhinos, zebras, gazelles, buffaloes and such like around In 1929 Tan married a “small wife,” Wendy was only 4’10” tall but I imagine must have made up for lack of inches with courage and devotion! Her only complaint as far as I recall was that when she arrived, the doors and windows of her new home had been painted blue and it clashed with the curtain material she had brought with her. They had to stay with neighbours for a week while this was rectified.

At this time also Tam acquired a car – a model T Ford for which he himself designed a wooden box body and had it built in Dar es Salaam. This enabled them to make some enjoyable excursions, even into Kenya. Once, on the way to Lake Basuto, they “met Wa-ufiome women wearing t heir ruffs of concentric circles of highly polished brass wire around their necks, and later the Wambulu women with their soft leather shawls beautifully decorated with beads, shells and coins; in some cases the shawls contracted at the back of the waist and then widened out near ground level, looking like the tails of birds.”

On 16th February, 1931, the first R.A.F. planes landed in Tanganyika at Kondoa. There was great excitement and Tam was taken on a flight. Among the crew was Wing-Commander Harris, Pater to become “Bomber Harris” and Marshall of the R.A,F. Also that year they received their first airmail post: a letter from England took 20 days to arrive! Social life varied. Sometimes they had interesting visitors such as Dr.L.S.B.Leakey, Sir Julian Huxley, the Duke of Gloucester, and Sir Walter Johnson.
In April 1932 a son was born to Wendy and Tam, in hospital at Dar es Salaam. However, this event led to them leaving Tanganyika as Tam felt the time had come for him to seek a pensionable post. He spent the next 26 happy years in Nigeria.
Christine Lawrence

BICYCLES UP KILIMANJARO by Richard and Nicholas Crane. Published by Oxford Illustrated Press and obtainable from Brigit Plowman, J. H Haynes and Co Itd. Sparkford, Yeoville, Somerset. £9.95.
“Bike across the Sahara?”
“No good. Murph, and Tim have already done that”
“Swim up the Nile?”
“Don’t like water”
“Right. What about running somewhere. Cairo to Capetown? Up
“Did running last tine”
“Bike up Kilimanjaro then !”
“Mmmmm Could be a good idea. Could be BRILLIANT! Let’s do it”
Thus the genesis of the idea culminating in the ascent of Kilimanjaro by the Crane cousins, riding up and carrying bicycles, is described in their book “Bicycles up Kilimanjaro.”

The enthusiasm, energy, and zest of the pair catches the reader and leads him on to the final ascent of Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. The main author, Nicholas, seems to have been born on a bicycle (he is editor and author of books on the subject), and his narrative of the ascent leaves the reader feeling somewhat bruised and battered from all the tumbles that the pair take.

The book is well written, providing an interesting narrative of what is really a fairly straightforward hike (on foot!) up Africa’s highest Mountain. The Crane cousins’ desire to do something different results i n their resolve to ride and carry their mountain bikes up Kilimanjaro and to be the first people to cycle round the summit marker on Uhuru Peak at 19,340 ft, The exhilaration of attaining Gillmans Point on Kilimanjaro’s crater rim, following a 3,000 ft near vertical climb up volcanic shale from the mountain hut at 15,000 ft is well captured, as is the extreme difficulty of trying to cycle, or even think clearly, in the rarefied air at such altitudes. One has to admire the pair’s determination in trying to ride along the rim from Gillman’s Point to Uhuru Peak, gasping desperately for breath and trying to co-ordinate their movements. The ultimate reward must have been to freewheel from 19,000 ft to 7,000ft in double quick time !

The ample narrative of the book is complemented by some excellent photographs, which alone make the reader want to attempt the journey (albeit on foot !). There is little descriptive text outside of the everyday events and surroundings affecting the travellers, though one section is devoted to a visit to Wajir in North Eastern Kenya to see the site of the windmill pump to be purchased from funds raised by this expedition.

The authors have used their adventure to publicise the good work being done for developing countries by the Intermediate Technology Group, for which £20,000 has already been raised.

The book is good value, and as the authors’ royalties are being paid over to this worthwhile cause, a most pleasant manner in which to donate to charity.
Martin Burton

LOW COST TRANSPORT FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: POSSIBILITIES FOR THE BICYCLE IN TANZANIA by B.J. De Wilde, Centre for Appropriate Technology, Delft University of Technology. 1983
This study for a thesis shows its academic origins, but is written by what is rare these days – a grass roots observer of everyday life who can put things in perspective as seen by ordinary people. The lapse of time since its preparation in no way diminishes the value of his conclusion.

And how right and proper that this work comes from the Netherlands, proverbially the home of cycle users. Here is the “Old World’s” appropriate technology leaning towards the “Third World’s” appropriate technology.

The well known advantages of the bicycle are set out, and are applicable in Africa too:-
Low capital costs and no running costs;
Low maintenance costs and simple repairs;
Very little foreign exchange expenditure;
Useful in both town and country;
Relatively little cost for roads and tracks;
Plus convenience, durability, simplicity, and relative safety.

The study starts with an analysis of the “misfunctioning” of the
present personal transport system in Tanzania. This gives a misleading impression. It never has been motorised, The question is whether it should be, and the photograph of Mwalimu Nyerere on a bicycle with the caption “People must learn to use bicycles instead of relying on oil consuming vehicles” indicates that it isn’t national policy. Of course buses are necessary even in countries where cycles are plentiful, and the problems of UDA and KAMATA in providing a service for city and country (mainly due to maintenance difficulties) are not over-stated.

There is a discussion on design, drawing on the known success stories world-wide in countries where cycles are the means of transport for the mass of the people. Abortive efforts have been made in Tanzania to re-design yet again. The point is that the re is no need to redesign, rather import existing models from hither and thither, as described, and try them out. People will accept new products and foreign designs if they work well, and if they are reliable. For example , the best cycle trailers in Africa are said to be found in Cameroon. Their manufacture is a genuine local industry, and both design and manufacture could readily be repeated in Tanzania.

This is where the international Appropriate Technology organisations could and should help. It has all been researched and solved somewhere. The information exists. Successful designs should be circulated from country to country. Better still, actual examples should be sent and demonstrated to show their advantages.

There is an eye popping reference to the wooden bicycles of the Kigoma Region, “which are not fitted with a braking system, so downhill trips can be dangerous, Cow hides are sometimes used to make the tyres!”

The obstacles to greater use of bicycles in Tanzania are enumerated as : –
Price (now nearly equal to a years earnings);
Safety (suffering from intolerant car users);
Roads (especially road junctions in cities);
and Status.
The latter is an endemic problem in all developing countries, and applies to the whole concept of appropriate technology – not only to bicycles. The study says “Things could change as the concept of appropriate technology catches on.” But will it? Unfortunately psychology and pride are too often against it. The suggested answer is a pilot project. There would he few better uses for “bilateral aid” from a perceptive foreign donor. Tanzania could help all of East and Southern Africa too.
Mel Crofton