(Extracts from an article in ‘Habari’ the journal of the Svensk-Tanzaniska Foreningen translated by J. Roger Carter)

Tanzania’s sole state-owned commercial bank, the National Bank of Commerce recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The Bank was established as a sequel to the Arusha Declaration by the nationalisation of the existing foreign commercial banks. The largest of these were Barclays Bank, the Standard Bank and National and Grindlays Bank. In addition there were certain Indian banks, the Bank of India and the Bank of Baroda together with a number of small establishments of various ownership.

The Bank had, among other things, invited to its celebrations certain foreign guests among whom were to be found some of us ‘faithful servants’ from the Nordic countries.

It was a fantastic week. The programme included everything an old friend of Tanzania could hope for. Visits to game parks, cultural events, social gatherings and last, but not least, opportunities for discussion about the Bank’s achievements in the last 20 years and its prospects in the difficult economic circumstances in which Tanzania finds itself.

The Bank’s growth has been tremendous. Before nationalisation there were about 50 branches mainly concentrated in the main towns supplemented by ‘mobile branches’, vehicles that drove around smaller places one or more times a week. Now there is an established representative and one or more branches in every district in the country. In addition, there continue to be a large number of mobile branches serving the smaller localities.

This expansion has naturally created a big demand for staff training and development. The initial internship scheme has grown considerably and the Bank now operates its own college in Iringa. Side by side with this, and for higher training there is the Institute of Finance Management which operates in conjunction with the country’s public financial institutions.

The Bank’s personnel appear, however, to be unusually stable with little turnover. It was extremely satisfying to return after nearly 20 years and find so many old colleagues still in post. Many of our erstwhile young friends have now developed both in experience and stature and become important personalities in the Bank. This is important for the branches where so much of the activity of the Bank rests on knowledge of people, confidential and personal contacts, not least where foreign business is involved.

A great deal of the merit for these developments must be attributed to the present Chairman of the Bank, Ambassador Amon J. Nsekela. Under his leadership there has grown up an atmosphere and working conditions in the Bank, which have clearly proved stimulating for the staff.

The rapid expansion has also caused difficulties with the handling of the growing volume of transactions. All of us who have stood in the queue at the Bank’s counter seeking attention for the withdrawal of part of our balances know this situation well. One must, however, have some understanding of the need for a control mechanism that ensures reasonable security. The absence of a functioning communication system, not to mention mechanised accounting techniques, preclude an effective banking system of the kind to which we are accustomed. Add to this the fact that the tendency towards pilfering, unfortunately present also among certain members of the staff, can be substantial in a community living on the fringes of poverty and one has much of the explanation for the, at times, cumbersome and time-consuming procedures with which the Bank’s customers are confronted.

One of the Bank’s present problems is to decide precisely what technical apparatus it should now go in for. Accounting and book-keeping in general are not yet computerised. Old fashioned recording equipment of the fifties and sixties continues to be used. The problem is that servicing and spare parts are no longer available. One is compelled to go over to something else. Should one computerise in a society in which the infrastructure, energy supplies etc. are so unreliable? Otherwise, how can one manage to tackle the constantly increasing volume of transactions? That is bound to be one of the big questions for the coming years.
Sven Ohlund



Tanzania is facing a crisis as a result of the bumper crops harvested during the last two years and the inadequacy of storage capacity. The Government has indicated the importance it attaches to a resolution of the problem by putting the Office of the Prime Minister in charge of coordinating the campaign to improve storage facilities. A National Coordinating Committee has been set up and there were two well attended donor meetings in September and November 1987.

The Problem
In every decade there are approximately five years of good harvests and five years of drought. There was adverse weather, for example, from 1980 to 1984/85 but from 1985/86 Tanzania enjoyed two good seasons. Similarly, in the 70’s, the early years were dry; in the later years Tanzania had good rains.

As a result of the good rains in 1985/86, primary cooperative societies had to handle over 500,000 tons of various cash and food crops. In 1986/87 the quantity rose by 28% to over 640,000 tons. The 1987/88 season seems likely to produce crops totalling 760,000 tons. Needless to say, therefore, Tanzania’s existing storage capacity cannot cope and large quantities of crops have had to be left with the farmer to store.

Existing storage capacity at primary society level is estimated to be just less than 500,000 tons. There is a shortfall therefore of some 260,000 tons.

Government and Donor Action
At the household level: A US$ 3.2 million project has been negotiated with the UNDP to undertake research on improved household stores in ten regions.

At the Primary Society level: Government, EEC, West German and FAO assistance is being used to construct 75 godowns, each with a capacity of 300 tons in villages all over the country. This will only partially resolve the problem however as there are only 3,689 godowns available at present and an estimated need for 5,267. The 75 new godowns should provide 22,500 tons of additional storage capacity and it is intended that this will be a continuing programme. The EEC is also assisting in the provision of concrete slabs with tarpaulins at some 83 sites.

At the Cooperative Unions; these 24 Unions have, at present, capacity to store 138,000 tons compared with a need for 270,000 tons; the Unions plan, if they can raise the funds, to build 48 godowns with a capacity of 41,000 tons in the first year of their development programme.

At the National Level: Existing National Milling Corporation godowns are in need of rehabilitation. A World Bank project is underway but will not have adequate funds to support construction of the new silos needed in Tabora, Songea, Makambako, Mbeya, Sumbawanga and Dar es Salaam.

(Extracts from a Speech by Mr. Charles Kileo, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office).

Winning the Battle Against an Additional Threat “We are winning the battle” declared Dr. Peter Golob, the Director of the campaign against the Larger Grain Borer Beetle in Western Tanzania run by the Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute (ONDRI) under an FAO project.

The beetle, which is believed to have been introduced from Central America in a load of grain for refugees, is spreading into neighbouring Kenya, It has been decimating stored food crops, mainly maize and cassava since about 1977.

The Swahili name for the beetle is ‘Dumuzi’ but the Tanzanians, with their cockney-style humour, call it the ‘Scania beetle’ because of its facial resemblance to the front of a Scania lorry!

Dr. Golob told ‘Friends of Urambo and Mwanhala’, the Devonshire based aid group, at Tavistock, Devon, that the campaign against the beetle had at last ‘taken off’ and that although the pest could never be completely eliminated from Africa, its ravages were now being reduced to a manageable level.

He said they were hampered by the poor communications, both transport wise and educationally, by farmers’ reluctance to abandon traditional storage methods, by the tremendous distances and by the increased cost of pesticides caused by the devaluation of the currency forced on Tanzania by the IMF, The insecticide is now being produced in the country.

Dr. Golob praised the work of two VSO volunteers. Their number had now been increased to nine.

Among those present at the meeting was Mr. Malcolm Flory of the Bicton College of Agriculture in Devon which is currently negotiating with the Tanzanian Government about the setting up of a link between the college and villages in the Tabora area.
John Budge

Action in the Villages
It is now four years since Tanzanian extension workers, together with British and American volunteers, began tackling the problem of ‘Dumuzi’ at village level. The recommended method of control has remained consistent throughout this period whilst the extension techniques have been developed enormously. The result is that more and more families are now receiving the basic information they need to control ‘Dumuzi’ in a more appropriate and understandable form.

When the insecticide dust first became available in Tanzania in 1984 it was obviously an unknown commodity and the extension worker’s first task was to advise on its safe and effective use. A wide range of issues were raised at village meetings. “Was it really necessary to shell one’s maize?”; “Yes, the insecticide cannot kill insects already inside the cob if it is only sprinkled on the outside”. “How much insecticide do I use?” Initially, the chemical was in large sacks and dosages were recommended in terms of matchboxes full of insecticide. However, several tons of insecticide were repacked in Tabora into packets suitable for protecting six ‘debbes’ of maize, the equivalent of one large sack. This proved to be much more reliable. Currently, insecticide is imported in accurately weighed sachets with printed instructions in Swahili.

During the campaign much emphasis was placed on the need for building traditional woven stores which could be protected to some degree against rats and rain. It was usually possible to find an ‘Mgogo’ expert to demonstrate his skill in basket weaving to a predominently ‘Sukuma’ or ‘Nyamwezi’ village, or for the smaller baskets traditionally used for low volume crops to be adapted for storing shelled maize. In practice, it was not until some of the ‘entrepreneurs’ in a given Village had successfully stored maize for eight to ten months that any of the new ideas began to appeal to the majority of families.

One volunteer has experimented with drama as a medium of spreading the recommendations and in helping to allay the fears of villagers regarding the use of insecticides. This has proved to be most successful and, because of local participation in the acting groups, these events have drawn wider audiences than would be expected at village meetings.

For the hard pressed extension worker, who may be responsible for several villages and also for coordinating all the inputs for cash crop production, there can never be enough hours in the day to patiently explain the changes in storage practice which the ‘Dumuzi’ beetle has made inevitable in Tanzania. Caroline Hanks

Bringing New Technology to Bear
Prompted by the damage caused by the Larger Grain Borer and other storage pests, in early 1977 a British company, Rural Investment Overseas (RIO), set out to find a way to encourage timely and effective insecticide dusting of maize.

A large proportion of the country’s maize crop has to remain in store for several months in village stores holding 2-500 tons and operated by primary cooperative societies. Without insecticide treatment anything up to 30% of this maize is destroyed by insects

The normal treatment for insect damage is fumigation but this can only be done effectively under closely supervised conditions, in central stores.

In a project funded by the ONDRI, two manually operated machines were designed at Silsoe College and tested at the Tanzanian Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC) near Arusha. One is a pedal operated combined sheller/duster and the other is a bagged maize duster called the ‘Swinger’.

Field testing of prototypes in Songea district have been positive.

The ‘Swinger’ consists’ of a cage into which an open bag is strapped with the dose of insecticide dust sprinkled on top. The cage pivots on an A frame and has a drum above it into which the maize empties when the cage/drum assembly is swung vertically through 180 degrees. There is a mixing cone inside the drum, and it is necessary to swing each bag through two complete revolutions to effect adequate mixing. A team of four operators can comfortably mix 100 bags a day. This ties in well with the sequence of delivery of grain by the farmer – weighing, dusting and putting the bag into the store. The alternative dusting method is much more labour intensive and time consuming as it involves emptying the grain onto the ground and hand mixing the insecticide before refilling the bag.

It is intended that the ‘Swinger’ should be manufactured in Tanzania.

Robert Whitcombe


The Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning, Mr. Cleopa Msuya estimates that Tanzania’s population now totals 23 million, almost double that of 1967. The estimate is based on an annual population growth rate of 3.3% which the Minister described as ‘very high’. He noted that the economic growth rate was only 2.5%. “If the actual population coincides with the estimated figure” he said “it means that we have been getting poorer, year in, year out”.

The Minister announced that the next census would be conducted in August 1988 and that it would cost some 80 million shillings. In Zanzibar the Statistics Department estimates a population growth rate of 2.7% p.a. during the period between the last two censuses – 1967 and 1978. Zanzibar’s population should therefore be well in excess of half a million today. – Daily News.

Stowaways from Tanzania are turning up in various parts of the world and the Government is beginning to express some concern about the problem. In the most recent cases, three are understood to have died in a ship near Dar es Salaam; another group were thrown into the water off Mtwara; they were provided by the Greek captain of the ship with lifebuoys and survived to face prison sentences when they returned to land; and seven have been reported as being rounded up in the Atlantic Ocean islands of Sao Tome and Principe. Another group did not get so far. They were arrested in Maputo.

Mwalimu Nyerere, during a recent tour of Kilimanjaro Region, bitterly criticised parents, according to the Daily News, who encouraged their children to stowaway in the belief that the youths would thus easily acquire wealth and be able to buy luxury goods from foreign countries. The Party Chairman called for a joint drive incorporating parents, the Party and the Government to deal with the problem.

A probe team investigating the collapse of a building in Msimbazi Street, Dar es Salaam in August last year, which resulted in the death of two persons, has concluded that the Consultant, the Dar es Salaam City Council and its officials were directly responsible for the accident through negligence and technical incompetence.

The team said that it had also found irregularities in other projects it had studied. Architectural drawings were inadequate, land use requirements were not followed, the sizes of rooms were below requirements and in public buildings, such as cinema halls, toilets were not provided.

Since January 1985 some 3,000 building permits have been issued by the Dar es Salaam City Council but the probe team considered that “probably up to 95% of these … are incorrectly issued”.

The team suggested two ways to deal with the problem, There should be a quick re-appraisal by 15 registered architects and 15 registered engineers of some 3,500 projects; this should take six months. The second approach would be for another team of architects and engineers to do a detailed re-appraisal of some 700 selected projects over a period of nine months. In the meantime, all permits should be revoked except in cases where proof could be furnished that registered architects and engineers had been involved – Dai1y News.

A strongly worded letter from a reader (Mr. Satiel Mgalla) to the Daily News has taken the C.C.M. Party youth wing, VIJANA, to task. “Tanzanian youths are today a scandal to the old generation because of their participation in racketeering, murders, bhang smoking, stowawaying and, you name it, any criminal activities reported …. it puzzles me to read however in the newspapers the Party youth wing concentrating in condemning apartheid South Africa, MNR Mozambique, UNITA Angola bandits while Tanzania’s youths roam in urban streets creating terror to law abiding senior citizens. My advice to VIJANA is that building socialism is not dancing to the tune of ‘Mdundiko’ (Zaramo dance music) and that let it clean its own house before indulging in condemnations of other evils outside our border … ”

The day following publication of this letter however, Party Secretary General Rashidi Kawawa was reported to have praised VIJANA for its timely completion of the main platform, designed to seat 276 delegates, at Dodoma, in preparation for the Third Party Conference which was due to open four days later.


African Concord in its October 1st issue wrote about gold mining in the Lake region. It reported that in a hotel lobby in Mwanza there is a notice warning residents not to leave gold in their rooms and to deposit it with the hotel cashier. Mwanza, it reported, had become the trading centre for thousands of local and foreign fortune seekers combing lake region hills and valleys. They dig pits six to eight metres deep; two or three strong men enter with pick axes and begin to tackle the hard layer. A guard, armed with a club, bush knife or gun keeps an eye on the gravel shovelled out of the pit. Large caves have been made underground without any supporting pillars for safety.

The miners are said to sell their finds to both legal and illegal dealers at five times the price of Shs 27,000 an ounce offered by the State Mining Corporation. The local ‘godfathers’ use couriers at aiports, seaports or on donkey back to transport the gold to overseas ‘goldlords’ through a watertight ring founded on trust. The gold business accounts for a large part of the imported goods now abundant in the region – goods imported under the guise of liberation of trade. The once empty shops are full of commodities but at sky high prices to make up for the high risk in earning the dollars.


The African Economic Digest in its October 16th issue states that Tanzania has reached an agreement with commercial banks for a £50 million revolving credit to support coffee exports. The initiative, led by the US Bankers Trust, is the first internationally syndicated loan to be made to Tanzania. The loan, made to the National Bank of Commerce at 1 3/8 % interest margin over base rate will be drawn down in tranches according to shipment and contracts of sale. The African Economic Digest stated that donors have regained confidence in Tanzania’s economy and that commercial banks were impressed by Tanzania’s recent economic performance.

African Farming in its October/November issue published a table comparing the number of aids cases currently reported in 20 countries. The worst affected, on a per capita basis. is Bermuda with 1,071 per million of population followed by French Guiana. Based on a reported figure of 1,130 cases the proportion for Tanzania is 48 per million compared with 173 for the USA, 113 for Uganda and 56 for Zambia.

According to the October 9th issue of Marches Tropicaux, the
accounting situation in Tanzania’s para-statal bodies is beginning to show a ‘tendance encourageante’. The journal recalled that President Mwinyi instructed the para-statals in 1985 to get their accounts into good order not later than November 1987. Rumours were said to be circulating in Dar es Salaam to the effect that some 400 institutions are now showing positive progress but a further 100 were still showing deficits.


Under this heading African Business in its November 1987 issue stated that the Government is planning legislation which will clearly spell out the areas of investment open to foreigners and the policy on repatriation of dividends and profits by foreign companies and individuals. Economists at the Treasury were said to be blaming part of Tanzania’s ills on the wholesale nationalisation of private property in 1967 which some experts say led to a flight of capital and skilled personnel.

Party Chairman Nyerere was said to have acknowledged recently that in many socialist countries the state was withdrawing from direct control of the sensitive agricultural sector by giving a role to private firms. He had said that this is what he thought Tanzania should do to revamp its agricultural sector.

However, the journal reported that restive and growing adherents of Ujamaa, Party cadres known as “watoto wa chama waliolelewa na chama” (Party cadres who were brought up by the Party) were said to be unhappy with the Government’s flirtation with the West – “This noisy group who have made inroads into the Party’s top decision making bodies may derail President Mwinyi’s drive to attract foreign investors”. “The talk about making tactical reverses is nothing but an excuse for the capitalists to re-coup and settle old scores they suffered after the Arusha Declaration” one youthful Party cadre was quoted as having said.

Marches Tropicaux in its September 4th issue quoted Iringa’s Regional Planning Officer as having stated that unless rapid action is taken to control deforestation in Iringa, one of the country’s main agricultural regions, it will become a desert within 20 years. The case of Ismami, one of the districts in the region, was quoted. It was said to have been rich and fertile in the 1970’s, but then to have attracted large numbers of new people who had cleared off the trees to build their houses and to find a place to cultivate. Now the district could only be described as sterile, bare and dry. The Government was having to force people to cut down on the cultivation of maize and an Irish organisation, Concern, had been brought in to help reafforest the area. Some 340,000 trees had been planted in 1986 and 500,000 in 1987.

The Norwegian publication Sor-Nord Utvikling (No, 5 of 1987) had a lengthy article on a Swedish ‘Sister Industry Project’, This is a cooperative venture involving FIDE, a consulting firm, the official Swedish aid agency, SIDA and the Small Industries Development Agency in Tanzania. Some 20 Swedish firms have been involved in helping to set up about ten Tanzanian small firms during the last ten years, The article went on; “It is not often that sisters have children but the sister industry project defies the usual biological laws. With FIDE as midwife, three of the Swedish-Tanzanian sisters plan to produce daughters. The intention is that the Tanzanian sister firms are to help to start up further new small firms,”

Tanzania is now producing a new type of tractor – the Valmet 604 4WD. It has 4-wheel drive and is designed for rice farming where it has to operate in wet conditions and also for steep hillsides where extra traction and stability are important. The first of the new models came off the assembly line on October 18th 1987 midst much jubilation at the TRAMA plant in Kibaha, near Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian Government intends to ban truck safaris because they are economically not viable, ‘Tourism experts’ had advised that persons participating in these safaris brought their own food, drinking and sleeping facilities (thereby interfering with facilities provided by the Government) and contributed little in foreign exchange while damaging safari routes.

No sooner had this news been published in the Daily News than it brought an angry letter from a reader to the effect that the ‘tourism experts’ were making ridiculous allegations. It would be better if they thought more about improving the present hotel facilities and thus tried to ease the problems faced by tourists.



Tanzania: Crisis and Struggle for Survival. Edited by Jannik Boesen, Kjell J. Juhani, Koponen and Rie Odgaard, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Uppsala, Sweden. 1986. (distributed by Almqvist and Wiksell Ihternational. Stockholm) 325pp. Sw Crowns 185 (approx. £18.50)

This is an important book. It provides key insights to the underlying causes of the crisis, especially how different policies could have shielded the country from the worst effects of the world economic recession which has affected all countries – the less developed countries more than most.

The book consists of 16 papers written by Nordic scholars with many years of experience working in Tanzania, covering population growth, macro-economic policy, various aspects of agriculture (including agro-pastoralism and pastoralism), manufacturing industry (both. large and small scale), rural water supply and health services. They criticise the aid policies of Nordic governments (and other external advisers and aid agencies) as much as Tanzanian policies, wrong decisions of the one often supporting those of the other. However, they explicitly distance themselves from ‘much of the latterday criticisms of Tanzanian policies’ and their claim to share ‘a basic sympathy with Tanzanian aims and ideals’ was clearly demonstrated in their approach. Thus, their criticisms are of the practical and constructive kind that can provide the basis for developing new policies to solve current problems and avoid similar crises in the future.

In fact, the overriding cause of the crisis (or the degree of its Intensity) brought out in virtually all the papers was the extent to which the Tanzanian Government, during the years following the Arusha Declaration, went in almost the diametrically opposite direction to the declared policy of socialism and self-reliance. Thus, the industrialisation programme was almost totally dependent on outside support and imported inputs . To keep industries running, even the bulk of the small industries established during this period, required ever more foreign exchange. Unfortunately, the world recession, with the declining prices of primary commodities upon which Tanzania was dependent for its foreign exchange earnings, together with the dramatic rise in interest rates, coincided with the time the accumulated debts from this exercise had to start being repaid. Meanwhile, the administrative apparatus, and other parts of the managerial and service sectors had expanded vastly, which increased the demand for financial resources at state level. At the very time the Government needed the peasants to produce more, every incentive had been taken away, through low producer prices to pay for the tasks the state had taken on. The increasingly overvalued exchange rate also went against self-reliant solutions, making imports of goods (technology, industrial and agricultural inputs and consumer goads) cheaper than they otherwise would be , which undermined local supplies of these or substitutes.

Similarly, the approach to solving problems peasants faced was to make them more dependent on the state rather than more self-reliant. The excellent paper on rural water supply by Ole Therkildsen, For instance, showed how the Government committed itself to provide water supplies – a commitment in the end it could not fulfil – rather than supporting villagers to do it themselves. The technocratic approaches of Nordic and other agencies assisting the Government further undermined any steps towards self-reliant solutions. Recipients were the last people to be consulted, which itself is the antithesis of socialism.

Many of the papers showed that when the country had to be more self-reliant because there was no foreign exchange and a dearth of goods, it was the peasants and ordinary people rather than the policy makers who had the greater capacity to improvise and innovate in order to survive, developing their own local network of trade and barter to substitute for the unreliable and unrewarding state system. If socialism and self-reliance is to be put back on the agenda, the Government has to trust ordinary people to develop local solutions to local problems, and to create a stimulating macro-economic environment to enable them to do this. A start has already been made in the form of better producer prices. It is the organisation of production that has now to be tackled. The key to this is the newly created village structure. Unfortunately, most of the authors were rather negative about villagisation, blaming the policy for such things as environmental degradation, fuel shortages and long distances from fields. However, one may criticise the means used in some places, it is only by bringing people close together that true advantage can be taken of cooperation in production. Through cooperation, all those problems, and many others besides, such as financial support for village health workers, a crucial factor noted by Harald Heggenhougen, can be solved. But, above all, given the right sort of support to those who lack political and economic power, cooperation forms the basis for gradually increasing productivity and diversifying production, thus creating new financial resources in the hundreds of rural communities, Neither the authors of this book, nor the Government seem to have a very clear idea of the forms cooperation should take. Perhaps it should be left to the peasants and workers to work it out for themselves for a change – with a little help from their friends.
Jerry Jones

Collins Guide to the ‘Wild Flowers of East Africa. Michael Blundell. 1987. £12.95

Faced by a book describing 1,200 wild flowers, an amateur scarcely knows where to begin a review. However, when the three volumes of the Flora of Tropical East Africa are completed, this will probably cover about 11,000 species so one cannot but congratulate the producer of this present book on making a selection of plants which can be contained in a large pocket sized book. No doubt it will become essential to plant loving travellers and residents in East Africa.

Identification of plants is intended to be mainly from the beautiful colour photographs of which there are 864. Descriptions are given in reasonable botanical terms (there 1s a glossary and a guide to leaf and flower forms at the back of the book) and grouped together in families. Grasses and sedges are not included but flowering trees are. I was at first surprised to open the book and find the Baobab tree included but it does have a lovely white flower worthy of notice and quite unlike the tree’s massive form.

We must not expect to find in this book the ornamental flowering bushes which we are so familiar with, such as frangipani, Chinese hibiscus or jacaranda, as these are not classed as ‘wild’. Nevertheless, there are very many beautiful flowers to be found; some spectacular ones lie the Flame Lilly (Gloriosa superba) and others with fascinating form and colour.

Incidentally, the African Violet (Streptocarpus), I discover, actually does look like a violet when growing wild in East Africa (mostly in Tanzania)
Christine Lawrence


This appeared in TA issue 29 (January 1988)

German propaganda in Tanganyika
The Tanganyika Standard (March 5, 1938) reported on a question that had been asked in the House of Commons in London. “Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to the intensification of German propaganda in Tanganyika which was of an anti-British character and urged the transfer of the territory to Germany”. The Minister replied acknowledging the existence of some propaganda of the nature specified but added that the Government of Tanganyika had the matter under constant observation and would take any measures to deal with it which appeared requisite.

Seeing the country again after twenty years
The London representative of the Kenya and Uganda Railways and Harbours, a Mr. W.M. Hardy, was reported in the Tanganyika Standard of February 12th 1938 to have been visiting Tanganyika after an interval of 20 years. He noticed a few changes.

“The development of the gold mining industry has taken place since my day” he said, “as have the immense strides in aviation with the regular internal and trans-Africa services. Dar es Salaam has grown out of all knowledge and the number of buildings and fresh enterprises seems to be legion. As you know however, it is trifling things that strike one on returning to a place. One that surprised me (especially in the towns) is the tendency for people nowadays to dispense with sun helmets and even with hats altogether. In my day, no one would have dreamed of going on the street without a helmet or other cover.

The Wachagga Unrest
The Indian owned ‘Tanganyika Opinion’ in its leading article on February 4th 1938 attacked it’s contemporary – the Tanganyika Standard which it considered to be a Government mouthpiece.

“Our local European contemporary has at last been constrained to admit what we have been saying all along that, contrary to the statement by the Government that the recent riots in the Kilimanjaro area were the outcome of the mischievous activities of a handful of irresponsible agitators, there was widespread unrest among the native coffee growers …. and that the riots were the acts of a people who were driven to desperation owing to their inability of having a legitimate grievance redressed.

It is unthinkable that the omniscient Government with its costly ramifications throughout the length and breadth of the country can be unaware of the reports of victimisation etc which reach the much humbler organisations represented by the Fourth Estate. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the Government are fully aware of the malpractices of certain Chiefs but to be under the necessity of condoning them. And Why? We can only refer to the second part of King Henry IV in which William Shakespeare records the following dialogue:

Davy: I beseech you Sir, to countenance William Visor of Wincot against Clement Perkes of the Hill.
Sha1 (Mr. Justice Shallow); There are many complaints Davy against that Visor; that Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.
Davy: I grant your worship that he is a knave Sir, but yet, God forgive Sir, but a knave should have some countenance at his friend’s request. An honest man, Sir, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not. I have served your worship truly, Sir, this eight years; and if I cannot once or twice in a quarter, bear out a knave against an honest man, I have very little credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest friend, Sir; therefore I beseech your worship, let him be countenanced.
Shal: Go to; I say; he shall have no wrong.

The point of comparison is obvious. Granting that the Chiefs are in the habit of harassing the population, they nevertheless squeeze out the taxes from them and fill the coffers of the Government … therefore the Government must needs overlook their misdemeanours and countenance them. A Government that has mainly got to depend on Native taxation for its costly and extravagant top-heavy administration cannot afford to be over nice in such matters.