It was December 1975 and the big news in Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs No 1 (12 pages A4 size) was that on October 22nd of that year the first passenger train had left Kapiri Mposhi station in Zambia for Tanzania with representatives of China, Zambia and Tanzania aboard. It had drawn into Dar es Salaam station on Friday October 24th 1975. The great TAN-ZAM Railway had been born. The Chinese construction camps, once a familiar sight along the route, had gone. So had the doctors who had dispensed free medical treatment and the engineers who had provided new water supplies and roads to remote rural areas.

The other big news? In August 1975 the TANU Party had published a booklet which claimed that 9,140,229 people had been resettled in villages. Not everyone was happy however, according to the Bulletin, and there had been widespread reports, including many in the Tanzanian press, of resistance to villagisation. President Nyerere had insisted at the Party Congress that the policy of pressing ahead had succeeded; people were settling into their new homes and services were being provided.

The then editor (Dr T. O. Ranger) stated the aims of the new Bulletin, which was to appear twice a year. He wrote that it was difficult for even the most industrious and persistent to obtain information about Tanzania from the British press. Things haven’t changed? Dr Ranger hoped to bring to the attention of readers material of real interest which they might otherwise not see. He assured readers that the Bulletin would not consist entirely of ‘official handouts’ and that material critical of aspects of Tanzanian policy would be included on occasion. Subsequent editors have endeavoured to follow these first guidelines.

The first Bulletin and many of those which followed contained extensive extracts from the highly readable speeches of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. One, quoted in Bulletin No 1, had been given in the Guild hall in London: “…some very flattering things have been said about me since I arrived in Britain as the guest of Her Majesty the Queen….other things have not been said; in polite company it is not necessary to dwell on a guest’s errors or faults or the failures of the country he represents. I can assure you that I appreciate this convention – and propose observing it in reverse !”. But later in Oxford the President had himself dwelt on Tanzania’s weaknesses: “We call ourselves a democratic and socialist state. In reality we are neither democratic nor socialist…. democracy and socialism require a mature and popular awareness of the dignity and equality of men and women; a dynamic and popular intolerance of tyranny; a degree of maturity and integrity in those entrusted with responsibility for the institutions of the State and Society; and a level of national and personal affluence which Tanzania and Tanzanians do not possess….”

Bulletin No 4 (January 1977) announced the formation of the ‘Chama Cha Mapinduzi’ (Society of the Revolution) combining the two ruling parties – the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and the Zanzibar Afro-Shirazi Party and this Bulletin also contained news of the collapse of the East African Community.

Bulletin No 6 referred to the release from detention of Mr Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu and three others who had been condemned to death in Zanzibar, in absentia, for their alleged part in the assassination of the first President of Zanzibar, Sheikh Karume, in 1972.

Issue No 7 contained even more dramatic news, The Idi Amin regime in Uganda had invaded Tanzania in October 1978 and Tanzania was mobilising for war. And the Bulletin had a new editor – Mr John Arnold – and it had grown to 18 pages. The state of the economy has always figured prominently and Bulletin No 11 in December 1980 was a special issue devoted to the subject. Tanzania’s long period of negotiation with the IMF was under way.

No 15 recorded in some detail the story of the hijacking of a Tanzanian aircraft and the subsequent arrest of the hijackers in Britain. A tragic sequel to this event is described on page 4 of this Bulletin.

No 19, now under the present editor, recorded the untimely death of Tanzania” popular Prime Minister, Mr Edward Sokoine.

For the design of the cover of Bulletin No 22 we were fortunate in obtaining the services of an experienced artist (Richard Moon) and we have used his design ever since. This issue came down in size to A5 and was very special indeed. It included a 44-page booklet entitled ‘The Nyerere Years’ and featured appreciations by President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Shridath Ramphal, UN Representative George Ivan Smith, first Principal of the University College of Tanganyika, Professor Cranford Pratt and many others.

Subsequent issues have contained articles under such headings as ‘Tanzania After Nyerere’ , ‘The Maasai by a Maasai’, ‘Entire Cabinet Told to Resign’ ‘Witchcraft and Psychotherapy’, ‘The New Investment Code” ‘A Queen’s Scarf’, ‘The Makonde Carving – Its Essence’, ‘A Franco-Tanzanian Occasion’, ‘From Nyerere to Neo-Classicism’ ,’Why no TV?’, ‘KAR to TPDF’, ‘Tanzania and China’, ‘The Greatest Spectacle on Earth’, ‘Nine Holes in Mufindi’, ‘Digging Up Zanzibar’…..

Who are the readers? First and foremost, all those 600 odd Tanzanophiles who belong to the Britain-Tanzania Society. Plus some 110 individual subscribers and 44 university and other libraries in 18 countries around t he world.

And now we have reached No 40. We would very much like to hear from you readers about how you think we are getting on and what we should do in future to change or improve the Bulletin. Maybe it will eventually reach No 100. Who knows?
David Brewin


The recent collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) does not bother bankers in Tanzania according to banking sources. Officials of the Bank of Tanzania and the National Bank of Commerce stated that BCCI had no dealings in Tanzania – Business Times

Prime Minister John Malecela has stated that Dar es Salaam will continue to maintain its status as the commercial city of Tanzania even when the transfer of the capital to Dodoma is completed. The transfer in no way reduced the status of Dar es Salaam. It would always be the business capital he said – Sunday News.


The Government has given Tanzania’s banks greater autonomy in controlling credit and other business decisions to assist them to operate more economically and competitively. The banks will no longer be fully directed by the state and will have to act independently in assessing risks and returns associated with banking transactions – Daily News

At its recent Annual General Meeting in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzania Association of Consultants (TACO) approved its 1991/93 budget. It also announced a marketing strategy aimed at securing at least 10% of foreign funded national projects during the next two years and identifying the export potential of consultancy skills available in Tanzania. The Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mr William F. Shija, advised the members at the AGM that, in order to achieve professionalism, there should be interaction between various professional disciplines; there must be cooperation and there must be mutual understanding and respect. TACG Chairman Aloyse Mushi assured the Minister that the consultant members of TACO were a finished product which was ready for use, “They have spent many years in institutions of higher education and they are as good as any expert from America and Europe” he said – Daily News.

The National Open University will be launched in the 1992/93 financial year and the newly established Muhimbili University College of Medicine and Health Sciences will become a full university by 1995. Feasibility studies to elevate the Mkwawa (Iringa), Chang’ombe (Dar es Salaam) and Marangu (Moshi) Teachers Colleges to university college status have been completed and plans are underway to make the Nkrumah Teachers College, Karume Technical College and the Centre for Kiswahili and Foreign Languages in Zanzibar into constituent colleges of the University of Dar es Salaam – Daily News.


In what NEW AFRICAN (July 1991) described as a ‘sparkling address’ Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who was speaking as Co-chairman of a recent African Leadership Forum in Kampala, was quoted as having said that many African leaders had made serious mistakes in the past. “We thought that we could develop without involving the people” he said. He added however, that there was no need to be hard on ourselves. “Before independence we were thrown into jail for trying to form political parties – so what experience did we have of organising on a national level? Instead we tried to do what the Europeans did. We tried to build socialism without socialists; we tried to create capitalism without entrepreneurs! But we tried. The West should pay us reparations for all the harm some of their ideas have done to us” he said amid laughter.

A recent issue of WORLD BANK NEWS, in an article headed ‘Long Waits for Telephone Service Put Some Countries’ Development Efforts on Hold’, gave some rather extraordinary figures about the length of waiting lists for the installation of telephones in various countries in 1988. The waiting time in Tanzania was said to be 10.9 years! But this was by no means the worst case. In Ghana it was said to be 30 years, in Argentina 21.9 years, in Jamaica 22.3 years and in Egypt 27.1 years. The source of the information was said to be ITU, Pyramid Research Inc.

Under this heading the July issue of NEW AFRICAN stated that some 10,000 people, mostly women, were now making a living in Zanzibar from a new cash crop – seaweed. Some women were making up to US$100 per month. About 500 tonnes of dried seaweed have been produced in the past year worth US$150,000.
Industrialised countries use seaweed in pharmaceuticals, textiles, rubber, adhesives and various foods.
One Zanzibari, Mr Mwatum Ali, was quoted as having said that he had begun seaweed farming six months earlier and had already managed to buy a radio and seven pairs of shoes.

PRAISE FOR TANZANIA’S PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTING ECONOMIC REFORMS WORLD BANK NEWS (June 27, 1991) stated that the Consultative Group for Tanzania comprising 14 aid donor organisations and nine international agencies had praised, at a meeting the day before in Paris, Tanzania’s progress in implementing economic reforms. There had been increased agricultural production, growth in the manufacturing sector, a larger volume of exports of non-traditional goods and an average growth rate of up to 5% during the past five years. Tanzania’s economic development and adjustment programmes would receive up to US$ 980 million in donor support in 1991 and 1992.

But AFRICA EVENTS (August 1991) in an article commenting on the same news under the heading ‘Billion Dollar Bail Out’ warned of the deepening structural crisis in the Tanzanian economy. Parastatal debts were increasing at US$ 3million per week, the marketing boards, cooperative unions and commercial parastatals were virtually all technically bankrupt and the Consultative Group meeting had grossly exaggerated the success of Tanzania’s economic performance. Agricultural exports were the same last year as in 1985, which had been the worst year to date, the trade gap had doubled from half a billion to one billion dollars per annum in the space of a decade and donor money was now paying for nearly three quarters of Tanzania’s imports.

In an article under this heading in the June 1991 issue of THE SALISBURY REVIEW (‘The magazine of conservative thought’) Mr Oscar Kambona wrote very little indeed about Chairman Mao but a great deal about Mwalimu Nyerere. The year was 1965 and Mr Kambona, who was then Tanzania’s Foreign Minister, was accompanying Mwalimu on his visit to China. They had visited ‘the same commune as all foreigners were taken to’, a hospital ‘where the doctors said that they knew that the operation they had just conducted would be a success because they had read Mao’s little red book before the operation’, the Head of Security, who had explained about the system of ten-house cells, and various other persons and places.

President Nyerere, as he then was, had been impressed. On his return he had ‘introduced the ten-cell system and detained those who resisted’, he had changed into Mao costume, had said that ministerial portraits in the ministries were confusing the loyalties of the civil servants and henceforth only his picture should appear; Nyerere had ‘launched an attack upon the peasant economy and…… had forcibly transferred them into new villages’ he had ‘abolished the democratically elected municipal, town and district councils… along with the cooperative movement’ he had nationalised thriving white-owned farms ……… The article concluded by referring to the national debate on the one party system and the setting up of the “Tanzania Democratic Front” an alliance of six exiled political groups.

BRITISH OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT in its July issue announced that Britain had pledged a further £20 million in balance of payments support for Tanzania and was also providing a £2.0 million grant to help promote good government. ‘Good government’ was defined as sound economic and social policies including the introduction of market forces and competition, a strong private sector and individual enterprise as well as policies tackling poverty, illiteracy and disease…’governments should be open and accountable with pluralistic systems… military expenditure should not be excessive…there should be respect for human rights and the law with an open and fair legal system…”
The magazine quoted British Overseas Aid Minister Linda Chalker as having stated that the link between good government and development had been firmly established. Britain was leading the way in incorporating good government criteria into aid policy. “Some might call this conditionality’ she said. “I call it common sense. We are not using government as an excuse to cut the aid programme. We simply want to channel our aid where it will do most good”

At the farewell party given to the Tanzanian Ambassador in Tokyo (who has now become the Tanzanian High Commissioner in London) Mr Ali Saidi Mchumo, he was given, as a token of gratitude by the Japan-Tanzania Association, a clock. He was also presented with a testimonial by the Japan-Tanzania Association from the International Garden and Greenery Exhibition in Osaka in which Tanzania had participated in mid-1990, This was revealed in the June 1991 issue of the JAPAN-TANZANIA ASSOCIATION NEWS (No 14) which also listed recent visits made to each country by senior persons from the other country. The then Prime Minister of Tanzania, Mr Joseph Warioba, had attended the State funeral of the late Emperor Showa in February 1989 and Second Vice-President and President of Zanzibar, Dr Salmin Amour, had been in Japan for the enthronement of the new Emperor in November 1990. Amongst visitors to Tanzania had been W Kensuke Yanagiya, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
This issue also contained news of Japanese projects in Tanzania including the opening up of a large tract of land for macademia nut and other agricultural production and the completion of an agricultural storage and transportation project in the Iringa Region.

A readers letter in the August issue of AFRICA EVENTS referred back to an earlier editorial in the magazine which had dealt with Nigeria’s problems. The letter recalled that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania had been cited as an example of a leader who could inject ‘some sense of national purpose, unity and stability into the rather – patchy and broken texture of Nigerian politics’. The letter went on to say, however, that the fact that a leader had performed certain feats in one country did not entirely mean that he would be similarly successful in another country.

Following a small advertisement in the Guardian, 300 young Britons between the ages of 13 and 28 had indicated an interest in working for three months in Tanzania. So reported the NURSING TIMES in its June 19th issue. It was describing a new charity called ‘Health Projects Abroad’ which had just sent its first group of volunteers (who each had to raise £2,000 towards the cost of the trip) to work on health projects in two remote villages in Tanzania.

According to World Bank economist Darius Mans, quoted in a recent issue of the AFRICAN ECONOMIC DIGEST, there is a change for the better in the investment climate in Tanzania. He was speaking about the four-year-old African Project Development Facility (APDF) sponsored by the UNDP, African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation and 15 donor countries which is designed to assist indigenous people to develop their businesses. APDF’s Regional Manager, Ignacio Maramba, revealed that the Facility had helped to prepare and raise funds for seven projects worth US$14 million including a tourist hotel in Kilimanjaro, a sisal estate in Morogoro and a pineapple farm near Dar es Salaam.

Reporting on what it said had become a state of turmoil in Tanzania’s Catholic Church NEW AFRICAN (July 1991) quoted a member of the laity as having expressed the above opinion in connection with the storm in the Church concerning the banishing of the old liturgy. The article went on: ‘In half a dozen parishes in Dar es Salaam, with over 500,000 Catholics, priests have physically manhandled the faithful worshippers who continue with the old tradition of kneeling to receive the Holy Communion. The so- called ‘moderate’ priests insist that their communicants should stand and stretch their hands out to receive the Body of Christ….”What is wrong with honouring the Holy Communion as we were taught by white priests…why are they now turning their backs against it” query some disturbed faithful……Surprisingly however, the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference is so far cool about the fuss’.

Continuing on the same page the magazine went on to state that Tanzanian Bishops have banned the Reverend Felicien Nkwera from conducting services saying that his faith-healing was nothing but witchcraft.’The priest is allowed to do nothing except read and pray. He is not even allowed to mingle with fellow priests and is confined to the Bishop’s House in Njombe…. Nkwera says “I suffer a lot to see hundreds, perhaps thousands of people with problems that God, through me, can cure, but now I am refused”… A year after his ordination to the priesthood in 1968 he heard a voice telling him “Felician, my son, I am the Heavenly Mother speaking. I have chosen you to help my sick children whom I will bring to you… you will pray over them … through your prayers God will heal them”.

According to the FINANCIAL TIMES (May 9, 1991) Ciba Geigy, the Swiss Chemical Group, had admitted to selling an insecticide containing what was described as ‘deadly DDT’ to Tanzania in violation of an international code of conduct and the company’s own internal rules. A Ciba Geigy spokesman was quoted as having said that the company had ‘made a mistake’ in delivering 450,000 litres of a product called Ultracide combi to Tanzania’s Cotton Marketing Board.

Summarising recent economic trends in Tanzania the July 1 issue of AFRICAN ECONOMIC DIGEST pointed out that President Mwinyi’s reforms have permitted importers and exporters greater freedom, and reduced the economic role of the state. This is believed to have resulted in the growth of a substantial second economy. At the same time there had been political developments partly resulting from the events in Eastern Europe. ‘A number of regimes enjoying close links with Tanzania had been swept away. The destruction of the Romanian dictatorship was particularly influential as a senior Tanzanian ministerial delegation had been in the country at the time of the revolution’. One Tanzanian Minister was quoted as having said that the speed of Ceausescu’s demise had rung warning bells within Tanzania’s leadership about the need for reforms and greater political openness. President Mwinyi had subsequently sanctioned a national debate on the country’s political future.
The article concluded that this method of gradually opening up the political arena, freeing the press and guiding the process from within government and the CCM would be likely to ensure that the ruling party would retain power while opening the way for new political parties to form. Thus the debate could result in a relatively smooth transition to pluralism.

According to the August 1991 issue of AFRICA EVENTS the ‘crisis ridden’ University of Dar es Salaam faces another storm in October when it reopens after a six-month break. The removal of a very popular Vice-Chancellor in April had demoralised many ‘on the Hill’ and the attempt to transfer three senior academics at the beginning of June had added ‘new ingredients to perhaps an explosive brew’. The academic staff association had subsequently organised a seminar in honour of the ex-Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mmari, focussing on the role of the university in society and had launched a War es Salaam Declaration on Academic Freedom’.

‘The morning sun picks out the dense yellow flowers of the acacia trees and the craggy ridges of the upper slopes of Mount Meru. African pied wagtails and glossy, long-tailed, red-winged starlings perch, preen and strut on the hotel foyer roof. All scatter as five white-necked ravens, with bills like meat-cleavers, join them clattering purposefully and malevolently. Hadada ibis and augur buzzards flap overhead while other exotic birds animate the still sunlit trees – and all these before breakfast?’ So began an article in the July issue of WORLD WILDLIFE FUND NEWS which described WWF’s new education programme in Tanzania. At all levels there was an awareness that saving the Serengeti was as much about helping the Masai to resolve their problems as it was about giving direct protection to the elephants and rhinos.

The Autumn issue of TRAVELLER magazine states that there is now a twice-daily hydrofoil service between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar (fares for non-residents US$ 20 one-way). There is also a boat service 5 times per week (US$ 10) and a new vessel, the ‘Canadian Spirit’, is now serving the southern ports as well as Zanzibar and Pemba.

There is no longer any requirement to cash foreign exchange at the point of entry into Tanzania.

Chinese engineers are back in Tanzania studying the proposed 1,000 – kilometre railway link between Tanga and land-locked Uganda according to the July 15th issue of the AFRICAN ECONOMIC DIGEST. The engineers were in Tanzania to discuss a contract for engineering studies on the proposed line.

70-year-old Chief Abdulla Said Fundikira who was at one time Tanganyika’s Minister for Legal Affairs and who has been in the political wilderness for 28 years now feels that his time has come. Writing in the INDEPENDENT (August 8 ) Richard Dowden quoted the Chief, who was visiting London, as having written as follows in 1963: “I am no supporter of your proposed one-Party system for which you have, even before obtaining a mandate for it from the electors, laid foundations….I therefore tender my resignation from the Party and its parliamentary association”. He had felt that the one-party state was never necessary in Tanzania because the country already had a de facto one-party state and there was a culture of tolerance.
After the one-party state had been declared Chief Fundikira became Chairman of East African Airlines and went to live in Kenya. ‘It was in no sense exile” he said and pointed out that President Nyerere had supported his appointment. They had remained on good personal terms but politically they remained deeply opposed. “Nyerere was vicious with his one-party state…the leaders of the small parties were detained, jailed or sent into internal exile. Everything was subordinated to the Party”. The article went on to state that Mr Fundikira was now Chairman of a Trust set up to launch a nationwide education campaign on multi-party democracy and a National Committee for Constitutional Reform had also now been set up.


NAKUMBUKA. Frank Burt. Excalibur Press of London £6.95 (+ £l postage).

The author, a typical product of the English public school Oxbridge background, from which many hundreds of colonial civil servants were drawn, saw service in Tanganyika from 1922 to 1946, first briefly, in the surveying department and then in administration, He became a district commissioner and during his long stay in Tanganyika worked in almost every part of that huge land, with all its variety, from the hot humid coast and the island of Mafia to the cool spectacular highlands of Njombe and Mbeya and the wonders of Ngorongoro.

Burt’s reminiscences are eminently readable and, despite the rather flat style and the absence of descriptions of the natural landscape in any colour or detail, do succeed in evoking a past that, although recent, seems now so remote. Those who shared his working life and the older reader will find nostalgia here and perhaps regret the passing of what was in many ways a noble way of life – essentially simple, often hard, occasionally even dangerous.

Unfortunately, for those unfamiliar with the colonial system or ignorant of Swahili, some terms – ‘boma’ ‘baraza’ ‘banda’ ‘fundi’ will be puzzling. There should have been a glossary of such words. Further, since Burt travelled a great deal, both to transfer from one posting to another and about his own area, there ought to be a map.

The book takes time to get under way. The earlier chapters contain too much that is anecdotal and the general reader would need more background fully to appreciate the difficulties of living and travelling for a European at that time in Tanganyika, although it must be said, later in the book, Burt does write well and vividly about safaris. The sheer logistics of moving people and large amounts of luggage around such vast distances were daunting. Add to the vastness the appalling roads – dusty in the dry season, quagmires in the rainy season – and the uncertainties of obtaining food and water, then one appreciates how tough and resourceful the likes of Burt had to be. Sadly, Burt is not adept at portraying his fellow human beings. There are dozens of people – British, Indian, African, German – who figure in the book yet none of them is a three-dimensional character. Burt’s wife is at best a shadowy figure and, at the end of the book, the reader really has no idea about the kind of person Burt was. We must have been conscientious and he must have enjoyed his work but he says almost nothing about himself and the opinions he holds about ‘the natives’ and missions are relegated to appendices tacked on at the end. He devotes a chapter to the colourful dress and customs of the Barabaig tribe, a people he clearly took a liking to, but the local people throughout the book are, as it were, part of the background – there to cook the author’s food, carry his luggage, guard him in moments of danger, act as guides or trackers when he went on a game hunt, never coming through as fully drawn human beings.

However, there are many incidents worthy of recall here; the thrill of the big game hunt, the interesting descriptions of methods to deal with huge swarms of locusts, the celebrations for the coronation of the new King and the many exciting journeys by car – the chapter on travel is one of the best.

The outbreak of war in 1939 involved the author in a truly bizarre episode; the arrest and internment of his German neighbours on the island of Mafia. These Germans, despite their Nazi leanings, had become Burt’s friends but they had to be locked up. It was done in a civilised way, without rancour, however, one of the Germans even inviting in the author for a drink before the arrest was made.

To the general reader who has had no personal contact with the colonial service, this book might seem oddly old-fashioned. Despite Burt’s obvious basic decency, his referring to the Africans as either ‘natives’ or ‘boys’ sets a jarring note but then he was merely reflecting the speech and the attitudes of the times. Burt hoped he always left his district better than he found it – an unexceptionable sentiment. Perhaps many more years must pass before the work of such as Burt and his colleagues can be seen in true perspective.

RENAMO. TERRORISM IN MOZABIQUE. Alex Vines. Centre for Southern African Studies, University of York/James Currey/Indiana University Press. 1991. £7.95.

Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana RENAMO is a little known fighting force still controlling, after 14 years of fighting, large (but varying) areas of Mozambique. Very much more can be learnt about it by reading this carefully researched, fact-packed and detailed account of its origins (in Rhodesia), rapid growth (by 1982 it had infiltrated nine out of the 10 provinces of the country), its destruction of people and infrastructure (between 1980 and 1988 it had rendered inoperative approximately 1,800 schools, 720 health units, 900 shops and 1,300 trucks and buses), and its international ramifications, which included the involvement of Tanzanian armed forces in action against it.

The references to this Tanzanian involvement are few and far between but they are revealing. Several references are made to the very substantial contribution made by Tanzania in the original freedom struggle of FRELIMO against Portuguese colonialism – not the least of which must have been the patience needed by Mwalimu Nyerere in arbitrating between the unending series of FRELIMO splinter groups and coping with the internal and external intrigues described in the book.

We also learn that Tanzania is believed to have spent some US$ 3.5 million in aid to FRELIMO, that perhaps some 1,000 Tanzanian troops were stationed in Mozambique as long ago as 1983 and that the number increased later to some 5,000 to 7,000. Bulletin No 30 has further information on this. The troops were finally withdrawn in 1988 after a reported loss of some 60 lives.

RENAMO is said to have been active sporadically on Tanzanian soil. The author writes ‘It is thought that there is some sympathy for it amongst Muslims especially in Zanzibar and along the coast due to rumours of Islamic repression by FRELIMO. In 1984 the Tanzanian authorities foiled an attempt by Portuguese sympathisers to construct an airstrip in Southern Tanzania …… Tanzania was harbouring some 60,000 refugees in 1990’.

The author does not take sides and clearly aims, in a situation of continuing obscurity, to discover the truth. For example, in writing about the extent to which RENAMO’s support amongst the peasants might have been increased by the programme of Villagisation forced on them by FRELIMO, he states that this was true in some areas but not in others. “The issue that really lies at the heart of the villagisation policies is that they needed to be implemented with sensitivity especially in respect of geographical, regional and traditional structures….experiments were successful in the south amongst the Gaza-Nguni, who had historical experience of living in larger village units….but this was not the case in other areas. Here Villagisation actively encouraged the peasantry to support RENAMO (against FRELIMO’s over-centralised economy which displayed all the worst features of Portuguese bureaucracy and Eastern European central planning. While the programmes in health and education were dramatically successful the economic policies were ill-suited to a basically peasant society….” Shades of Tanzania perhaps?

Secrecy still prevails about Tanzania’s support of FRELIMO against both the Portuguese and RENAMO. Perhaps, if the negotiations which have taken place recently between FRELIMO and RENAMO, which are described in the book eventually prove successful, the wraps will be lifted and we can have another book like this in which Tanzanians would be able to express the same pride about their support to FRELIMO as they do about their destruction of the Idi Amin regime? – DRB.

LESSONS FROM TANZANIA’S EXPERIENCE OF RURAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM. M. D. Mutizwa-Mangiza. International Journal of Public Sector Management. Vol 3. No 3. 1991.

Nearly thirty years of time and a full swing of the pendulum from conventional local authorities, through a ‘deconcentrated version of decentralisation’ and back to local authorities – such is the story of local government in Tanzania since Independence. And in this article, remarkable for its combination of detail and brevity, we have the whole story in just six pages. Of course, Tanzania is not alone in facing problems in determining the most satisfactory form of local government – the poll tax issue has highlighted the extent of the differences of opinion in Britain. Perhaps we can all learn something from Tanzania’s generally rather unhappy experience.

The author explains that there have been three historical periods in Tanzania: 1961-1972 – the original British system modified after independence by the replacement of generalist officers by political appointees, the abolition of chiefdoms and the setting up of development committees; 1972-1982 – the ‘Decentralisation’ period during which elected district local authorities ware abolished and regional, district and ward development committees were established; and, post-1982, a return to classical local government.

The author mentions some of the lessons to be learnt from these changes. They might be summarised as follows:
– party politics and local government can only work together if they maintain separate identities and legal accountability;
– the financial dependence of local authorities on central government needs to be reduced;
– it is not true that central government knows it all, can do it better and can do everything;
– provision of adequate finance is essential and there is danger in leaving central government to obtain donor assistance for projects which local governments then have to maintain; – the fact that Tanzania has been able to experiment boldly (in an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary way) because of its political strength and stability, its willingness to admit mistakes and to chart new directions when necessary – DRB


This 11-page paper begins interestingly with the story of the historical growth of Kariakoo (a phonetic Swahili pronunciation derived from the ‘Carrier Corps’ who were stationed in the area during the First World War). Kariakoo is an area of 130 hectares immediately to the west of the Dar es Salaam harbour and the city centre. It developed from what used to be, in the 19th century, one of the coconut plantations of Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar. After Dar es Salaam became the headquarters of the German East Africa Company the population increased rapidly to 5,000 and Kariakoo was carefully planned on a rigid gridiron street pattern. In subsequent years Kariakoo became more and more densely populated and by the 1980’s the author describes it as having roads and drainage in a very poor state of repair, with erratic and irregular garbage collection, a very old water supply system widespread use of pit latrines, lacking totally in open spaces and suffering from environmental vandalism and the uprooting of any trees that were planted.

The paper then goes on to give the results of an interview survey of a small sample of inhabitants of Kariakoo – l18 owners and 337 tenants – in which, surprisingly, most people seemed to be well satisfied with their housing conditions. Amongst the complaints were of lack of space and privacy (an average of 2.3 persons occupied each room) and the need for repairs and maintenance.

The main object of the survey however, was to find out the extent to which the inhabitants would be willing to participate in urban improvement. 78% of landlords and 65% of tenants were willing and able to make financial improvements to housing conditions but only 30% were willing to contribute financially or through ‘sweat equity’ (an original turn of phrase!) to improvement to the neighbourhood. A quarter of the landlords insisted that the maintenance of urban areas was the sole responsibility of the Dar es Salaam City Council to which they paid monthly charges -DRB.

TANZANIA: DEMORACY IN TRANSITION. H. Othman, I Bavu and M. Okema (eds). Dar es Salaam University Press. 1990.

Readers of the Bulletin will be aware that Tanzania is currently conducting a Presidential Commission into whether it should abandon its one-party system and allow a multiplicity of political parties to operate. Haroub Othman, one of the authors of this book, is a member of that Commission. A long-awaited study of the 1985 elections, it asks on its very first page, ‘Can democracy be defined only as the right to have a vote, or the existence of a multy-party system?’ No answer is forthcoming, but the authors’ position seems to be that, within the one-party system, electoral policy and practice did allow for the exercise of a degree of democratic choice. In 1985 there was a high election turn out, considerable competition for election as candidates, and a choice of candidates for the electorate, even ministers being unable to stand unopposed. In this election 42% of MPs lost their seats, including one minister and several long-standing members. According to two of the contributors to this volume then: ‘the 1985 parliamentary elections must be seen as a serious democratic exercises; elections were not “stage-managed affairs in which the party hierarchy decides who will win”.

What is of especial interest in this set of studies is its focus on the response of the electorate: thwarted in Mbozi when the locally favoured candidate was not allowed to stand, the number of spoilt votes was the highest in the country; brutally frank in Rombo where allegations were made openly about one of the candidates appropriating the school Lorry to ferry his crops illegally across the border to Kenya; more generally cynical, believing that the real motive of candidates was to eat at their expense.

Set against the assertiveness of the electorate there is evidence of the way the electoral system under one-party rule rendered opposition illegitimate, or defused it within the Party embrace. Only 10% of the electorate were members of the Party but its ‘choice’ was limited to candidates chosen by the Party. The electoral process worked effectively to stifle debate on policy issues, with Party control over the questions which could be asked of aspirant MPs, and a ban even on applauding or jeering a candidate. As one study notes: ‘The state expects a docile audience’.

What I found lacking in this book was any attempt to arrive at conclusions in the debate over ‘democracy’, given the initial questions raised, or even to set this debate in a wider theoretical context. If, as many have argued, democracy is more than ideological posturing, if it requires a degree of economic development and relief from grinding poverty to allow the poor to do more than ask unpalatable questions, or sink into the paralysis of cynicism, then searching queries about social inequality and political participation need to be put on the research agenda. These issues are not entirely neglected here – and the evidence in the political domain was contradictory, On the one hand the proportion of peasants, workers and trade unionists amongst MPs was infinitesimal, but businessmen (sic) were also poorly represented; the government had undermined the capacity of MPs to abuse their position for personal enrichment, although this still remained the major complaint of the electorate. Women were guaranteed a proportion of seats, but as candidates they could be subjected to chauvinistic assumptions and ridicule. (In Morogoro Urban where this appears not to have been so, and where an Asian woman candidate won the election, the issue of gender inequality is not even raised). What is missing is an analysis of this data in relation to the question of democracy; will the Commission do better?
Janet Bujra


The stagnation which characterised Tanzanian agriculture for many years is not a simple problem nor does it stem from a single cause according to the author of this paper. Prof Nindi describes what happened in Rufiji District when the government tried, on a number of occasions, to arrest the serious decline in cashew production (it fell from 6,500 tons in 1973/4 to 1,276 in 1977/78 – for a variety of reasons which are explained in the paper). In 1975, after the failure of an earlier attempt to increase cashew production, a by-law was passed which prohibited the burning and selling of charcoal to force peasants to concentrate on working on their cashew nut farms. Marrket places were closed down, and restrictions on movement were instituted. 90 peasants were taken to court for not tending their cashew fields. But there was no increase in cashew production. However what happened was that peasants started to produce charcoal for storage until the cashew campaign ended and the ban on sales of charcoal was lifted. Thus, as the author points out, on the surface the peasants seemingly acquiesced but in reality they managed to avoid government directives. There is more in this paper than this particular series of events but this case does illustrate the unwisdom of organising agricultural development through civil service controls – DRB

Casmir Rubagumya. International Review of Education Vol 37 No 1. 1991.

This is a very valuable discussion paper for all those who are interested in the problem of whether to use English as an official language in Africa, or indeed for those who want to consider the use of English as an important second language anywhere. Unfortunately it raises far more questions than it answers, but that in no way invalidates its conclusions.

The historical analysis which the author gives is scholarly and well written. In the last part of British rule Kiswahili was still being devalued; indeed there were still instances of pupils being punished for speaking any language other than English in schools. This of course was by no means confined to the African colonies. In the earlier years of this century Welsh children were regularly beaten or otherwise chastised for the same ‘crime’ of speaking their own native Welsh.

During the 1969’s and 70’s however, under the impulses of a resurgent nationalism in Tanzania, Kiswahili was much improved. Then things changed. Tanzania had run into economic difficulties and the 80’s saw a great boosting of English as the language of economic advancement, even salvation. All this raises fascinating questions. Firstly, it really is essential in any consideration of this entire subject to lay what I would call the colonial myth. It may well be true that the Coloninlists down-graded the native language, in this case Kiswahili. But constant playing on this theme in no way helps towards a solution of present problems. The truth is that many other countries, especially relatively small nations and economies, are in the same difficult boat and they were not Colonial at all. Finland, for example, finds that, with few people outside its own borders speaking Finnish, its professional people literally have to possess a very good working knowledge of English for the country to survive in the modern world.

Secondly, one can’t evade the economic facts of life. The major fact is that for most technological and professional research over two thirds of the world (and that is probably an under-estimate) speaks either English or American English. The vital questions for countries like Tanzania are when you should step up your instruction in English and how many people should be affected. There is clearly no point, for example, in forcing peasant farmers to become fully professional in English if they are never going to need it. The whole question comes down to one of balance – and I freely concede that it is a difficult balance to strike.

I believe that Mr Rubagumya’s strong plea for secondary education to be conducted in the vernacular is probably sound but I would add a number of important caveats. English instruction should be available even in primary schools wherever possible. At secondary level the quality of English teaching must be enhanced and that does mean including at least one period of English instruction per day for all those pupils likely to pursue a professional career. Moreover, doctors, lawyers, and many businessmen (and all those training for such careers) are going to need more instruction than that, and some scheme should be worked out for such students in the top classes of secondary schools and in higher education. In short, there is no reason why you should not preserve your vernacular and keep it as the first official language, AND also make yourself fairly proficient in English, but if you fail to do the latter, it may well have permanent and damaging effects on your economy and international relations. Its a hard world, but those are the ground rules at the moment.
We mush, be grateful to Mr Rubnaglarnya for opening up such a vital subject with enthusiasm and skill.
N. K. Thomas

THE STATISTICS OF SHAME. Clive Sowden. Geographical. September 1990.

In this highly informative and concisely written 3-page article an analysis is made of some disturbing recent UNICEF statistics, particularly as they apply to Tanzania. The author first contrasts Tanzania” poverty as measured by Gross Domestic Product Par Capita – ‘Tanzania is getting poorer with that of other countries in Southern Africa, GDP in Tanzania in 1988 was S160 per person. In 1987 the figure had been $210. But in ‘Welfare Indices’ (eg: % of adult females literate, % of pregnant women immunised against Tetanus, % of one-year old children immunised against Polio) Tanzania compares well with many of its neighbours. But, the author notes that for one key indicator of development – the under-five mortality rate, the figure is high – l79 per 1,000 Live births compared with 11 in Britain.

UNICEF’s ‘Statistics of shame’ are selected indices of female welfare. Particularly grave is the gap in maternal mortality – Tanzania 370 per 100,000 livebirths, industrialised countries less than 10. The author refers to the contributory factors – the double disadvantage of being female and poor… the placing of women’s nutritional needs second to those of men…the lack of contraception…the burden of food production. Fertility rates are high in Tanzania – an average of 7.1 in 1987 but there are regional differences.

The article goes on to discuss the effects of malaria, marriage custom, religion, education, and population growth. The author points out, however that statistics are often unreliable – for example, many infant deaths and births are not recorded in Tanzania – DRB.

Nigel R Mansfield and Salum Mkulumanya I Sasillo, Project Management. Vol 8 No 2 May 1990.

This 5-page article, which summarises the results of a survey made in 1987 amongst private local contractors/consultants, international consulting engineers and the University of Dar as Salaam, may not contain much which is new to readers of ‘Project Management’ but, for others contemplating investment or construction activities in Tanzania it provides useful check lists of the problems likely to be faced and also some clear recommendations on possible solutions.

Problem are summarised in order of priority as follows:
– lack of funds, local and foreign;
– shortage of building materials, spares and fuel;
– disbursement procedures;
– lack of coordination during execution of the project;
– lack of proper establishment and failure to mobilise equipment at the early stages;
– poor performance by the contractor;
– bureaucracy;
– donor’s policy requirements;
– increased quantity of work.
After a discussion of these issues and the problems connected with currency restriction and joint venture the authors then go on to suggest improvements in which they put particular stress on the need for clear definition of various elements in the “engineering manpower spectrum” and strategies of technology transfer. They recommend inter alia complete package deals, enforcement of contracts, fair financial arrangements, avoidance of the awarding of contracts to contractors and consultants from the same country, greater recognition after on-the – Job training and a more businesslike rather than public service approach – DRB.


As a founder member of the Britain-Tanzania Society I have naturally followed with interest the development of the Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs and have no hesitation in congratulating you on the latest (No 39) – undoubtedly the best so far. The book review section was outstanding though I’m surprised Catherine Price did not comment unfavourably on such a horrible title as ‘Limitations on Women Managers’ Freedom to Network in the Tanzanian Civil Service’. To network?

I should add, perhaps, a personal note to the obituary of Ronald Cox. My wife and I were members of his congregation in Mtwara in 1956 and such was the force of his personality that he had no difficulty in persuading the whole congregation (of all colours) to spend the non-churchgoing part of their Easter weekend bent double clearing with pangas part of the sisal estate which was to be the site of the new church. And many was the time when we found him lifting his cassock to leap over the thorn-hedge rather than waste valuable time coming round by the path and gate on his way to visit us.
Finally, what’s happened to hyphens? Whatever modern word-processors may think they are often a help, indeed necessary. Surely, ‘leopard men murders’ is not as clear as ‘leopard-men murders?’ and ‘man eating lions’ is certainly not the same as ‘man-eating lions’….Ditto ‘in depth analysis’.
Paul Marchant
(We strive after perfection but it’s a poor workman who blames his tools. The word processor was not guilty! – Editor).

In my review of the splendid novel by William Helean (Bed in the Bush) in Bulletin No 39 I pointed out a number of proof-reading errors. I must therefore now apologise for misspelling the author’s name twice and leaving his country of origin, New Zealand with a small ‘n’ in my review. The errors were doubtless due to my inferior calligraphy.
Randal Sadleir
(Again it was not the word processor – or the reviewer. The fault was mostly right here in the editorial office- Editor)

Articles in the Bulletin refer often to Tanzanian activities being hampered or prevented by bad roads. A large country with exiguous resources like Tanzania cannot afford heavily constructed roads but lightly constructed roads require active, labour-intensive maintenance. Successful labour-intensive maintenance requires very skilful administration and Tanzania may well have been unable to provide sufficient skilled personnel to administer its road system. Articles in the Bulletin describing which Tanzanian roads are so bad as to hamper economic activity; how they have become so bad; and, what measures are necessary to improve them, would, accordingly, be very interesting.
S. A. W. Bowman

Regarding the obituary in Bulletin No 39 I remember Ronald Cox in Nachingwea …. as a practical Christian who treated his parishioners, both black and white, firmly but fairly which I am sure gave the Africans a feeling of confidence and religious security …. He took classes in Swahili which I attended on many occasions and when the then Governor, Sir Edward Twining, visited the area it was Ronald Cox who did the interpreting after the Governor’s customary opening of “Jambo, Watu Wote” when speaking to a large African audience – the only three words of Swahili he ever uttered!
A good friend of Tanzania, Father Cox will be well remembered in the old Southern Province.
Ronald W. Munns
Adelaide, South Australia

I found the article ‘My Father and the Useful Plants of Zanzibar’ in the last issue very interesting.
Zanzibar is at present suffering from the catastrophic drop in world clove prices – from £10,000 per ton ten years ago to £1,000 today – due to over-production and competition from other countries. The Die-back and Sudden Death diseases are still with us, though recently an ODA-Funded Research Team identified the cause but not the cure….a sad end to a story of a crop that Zanzibar once supplied to 80% of the world market. The Ministry of Agriculture is still looking (50 years on) for an alternative cash crop and will soon be assisted in this by an ODA-funded ‘Crop Diversification Project’. No immediate solution and/or crop comes to mind and I doubt if the rainfall is sufficient for cacao.

In the meantime a ‘Rainfed Rice Development Project’ is being implemented in an endeavour to save foreign exchange. Progress is not likely to be spectacular, however, since conditions for rice are far from ideal and the rainfall is erratic and insufficient. In the meantime there is a building boom in Zanzibar City as Zanzibar Omanis return to the land of their birth with their ‘petro-dollars’; this is an encouraging trend for the economy despite the strain that it puts on electricity, water and telephone services.
Patrick Smyth MBE (Zanzibar)


The following excerpts were included in Issue 40 (Sept 1991):

The Post office has announced that letter mail posted from Dar es Salaam between April 15th and 26th and mail from Tanga posted between 15th April and May 1st has been lost by enemy action – Tanganyika Herald, September 12. 1941.

On the occasion of Ramadhan His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar said in a radio broadcast: “We thank Our God that Our Island Dominions have, through His great mercy and the might of the British Empire been spared the horrors of war…. We rejoice when we recollect that the forces of the British Empire have, during this year, saved three Muslim countries – Syria, Iraq and Iran – from domination by the German tyrants. Now they are protected by their true friends and at the end of the war they will be free sovereign states” – Tanganyika Herald, September 12, 1941.

The British War Office has announced that, in order to improve the line of communications between South Africa and Kenya, a sum of £355,000 is to be made available to reconstruct the Great North Road from Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia via Tunduru, Iringa and Arusha to Nairobi. The road will be reconstructed to 24ft width of which 16ft will be gravelled and all water courses will be crossed by bridges or drifts. 50% of the funds for the two-year task will be allowed for the 809 miles of the road which runs through Tanganyika.. …. Owing to the high cost in money, manpower and in administering, guarding and rationing, it will be possible to use prisoners of war on only a few sections of the road – Tanganyika Herald, October 10, 1941.

The Government has stated that, in the interests of economy, sanction has been given for the wearing in government offices, for the duration of the war, of the following form of dress: White shirt, open at the neck, worn with shorts and stockings, which may be white or khaki or with trousers of ordinary cotton material. – Tanganyika Herald, November 7, 1941

Seven Italian prisoners of war who had escaped from the Athi River Prisoners of War Camp, Kenya, on 31st October were captured in Rufiji on November 7th. Their escape had been facilitated by the theft of a PWD lorry and an ample supply of petrol in large drums. On one occasion, asking the way from a Native and speaking in broken English, they said that they were Greeks, When necessary, all but the driver hid in the back of the lorry. But when they attempted to cross the Rufiji ferry after dark, an unusual proceeding, they were noticed by the sharp witted District Commissioner who took them into custody. Their destination had been South Africa where they intended to give themselves up – Tanganyika Herald – November 11, 1941.


The Acting Governor of Tanganyika spoke in the Legislative Council about Tanganyika’s contribution to the Second World War. The date was December 8, 1941 the day after Japan entered the war. The previous Governor, Sir Mark Young, had just been posted as Governor of Hong Kong. “Like every good general who is given the chance, he had marched towards the sound of the guns” the Acting Governor said. “We extend to him the thoughts, the hopes and the confidence of this Council”. The Acting Governor announced that there were, on June 14th 1941, serving under the General Officer Commander-in-Chief, East Africa, the following personnel from Tanganyika:
Europeans 450
Asians 330
Africans 17,500
At the recent last battle against the Italians in Ethiopia two Tanganyika battalions of the Kings African Rifles had played an important part and fought with great courage.
Tanganyika had also contributed to the war effort by paying the full cost of maintaining hundreds of enemy aliens arrested in Tanganyika at the beginning of the war. 475 had been sent to South Africa, 600 to Southern Rhodesia and 948, two thirds of whom were missionaries, and 200 of whom were Jews, both groups on parole, remained in Tanganyika.
£170,000 had been invested in war securities and had been put aside towards post-war work of reconstruction. Voluntary contributions during war Weapons Weeks had raised £51,000. Gold output had been increased by 12.5% compared with 1940 and 75,000 cattle had been supplied to the armed forces – Tanganyika Standard, December 12, 1941

During l940 42,724 men were called up for work on essential public
services. Of these, 4,660 worked on porterage and 37,550 for 10-day periods
of communal work against soil erosion and tsetse fly. The number of men
working to pay their poll tax was 22,205 in 1940 compared with 17,255 in
1933 – Tanganyika Standard. September 19, 1941