Category Archives: Issue 42
WHAT IS MAGEUZI?
The word’ mageuzi’ seems to be on every lip and is also being widely used in English language publications in Tanzania at present. If you look into the ‘Teach Yourself Swahili Dictionary’ the translation of the word is ‘fluctuations’. But ‘mageuzi’ means much more than ‘fluctuations’. The word ‘change’ does not quite fit the bill. ‘Volte-face’ is better, but is it English? It seems that there is, in fact, no precise English translation of the word. But those interested in Tanzania need to understand what it means. Hopefully, the headlines from recent Tanzanian newspapers featured opposite and the explanations given on the following pages will help readers to clarify the matter – Editor.
THE HISTORIC DECLARATION
(From the National Executive Committee of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) – the Ruling Party of Tanzania)
CONSIDERING that at this Ordinary Meeting held in February, 1990, the National Executive Committee (NEC) examined in detail the question of changes taking place in Africa and the world as a whole, and later decided to initiate a national debate on either to continue with a one-party political system or embark on a multi-party system in Tanzania;
AND CONSIDERING that the President of the United Republic of Tanzania had set up a Presidential Commission to co-ordinate the debate and advise on the need, wisdom, and consequences of continuing with the one-party system or changing this system;
AND CONSIDERING that at the end of the debate the Presidential Commission has presented to the President its Preliminary Report recommending that a Multi-Party Political System should now be introduced in Tanzania;
AND CONSIDERING that after deep examination of the recommendation of the Presidential Commission which was presented to us by the President of the United Republic, which we agree to unanimously;
THEREFORE we the Members of the NEC who met in Dodoma on 17 – 21 January, 1992, in accordance with Article 74(3) of the Constitution of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM):
1. Agree with one voice to present to an Extra-Ordinary National Party Conference the Presidential Commission recommendation that a Multi-Party Political System should be introduced in Tanzania.
2. In order to ensure that the transition from the present system to a multi-party state takes place in a peaceful, politically stable environment and in the spirit of national unity, the NEC recommends that the Extraordinary Party Conference should direct that:
(a) The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, in co-operation with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, should amend the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania so that the question of registration of political parties and other related issues, should be a Union matter.
(b) The new political parties should be guided by the principles that they are national in character, taking into account the two parts of the Union; and should not tend to divide the country or the people on the basis of one part of the Union, or seek to divide the country or its people along tribal, religious, regional or racial lines or on the basis of sex …
DRASTIC CHANGES PROPOSED IN PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION REPORT
The Bulletin has not yet been able to obtain a copy of the full three volumes of what is becoming known as the ‘Nyalali Report’ (after the Chief Justice who headed it).
The Commission heard opinions from 36,000 people and groups. It studied other political systems. It concluded that it was now possible to have a genuine multi-party democracy in Tanzania without endangering its unity, its security and its peace. From the extracts being published at intervals in the press, it is clear that it is filled with revelation and contains innumerable recommendations, which, if approved at a National Assembly meeting planned for April 28th 1992 will change Tanzania in fundamental ways.
The Presidential Commission made the following recommendations:
The country should have THREE PARLIAMENTS for a Federation (50 members), for Tanganyika mainland (160 members) and for Zanzibar (60 members): this recommendation is being much criticised because of the disparity in size of the proposed governments vis a vis the Federation; the recommendation also divided the Commission; 12 members voted in favour of three governments, seven voted for two governments and one decided not to vote at all;
Both sides of the Federation should be led by PRIME MINISTERS:
POWER OF THE PRESIDENT: The Federal Parliament should ensure that the President is made accountable; the Parliament should be able to pass a vote of no confidence or impeach the President; under no circumstances should the President be allowed to dissolve Parliament; Parliament should be declared dissolved, either after its expiry date, or, following the downfall of the ruling party;
For thirty years Tanzania’s DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL SECURITY has been working without legal status; a law should be passed making it legal and defining its work, limit of operations and accountability;
The appointment of the Chief Justice and other judges should be done by the two Prime Ministers in consultation with the two Judiciary Appointments Commissions;
The recently established Organisation of Tanzania Trade Unions (OTTU) is not independent as the President has powers to cancel its registration; it has been established from the top (the Government) and not from the masses; the Trade Unions Ordinance should be looked into;
The Commission has proposed the scrapping or amendment of a large number of LAWS including Acts dealing with the Acquisition of Buildings, National Security, Economic and Organised Crime, Criminal Procedures, Peoples’ Militia, Powers of Arrest, Registration and Identification of Persons, Stock Theft, Collective Punishment, Resettlement of Offenders and Removal of Undesirable Persons.
NYERERE SPEAKS TO THE CCM
Father of the Nation Julius Nyerere addressed a Special National Conference of the CCM on February 18th 1992. The following are quotations from his lengthy speech.
‘The one-party has served our country well … it has built up and strengthened national unity while still providing the citizens with an effective means of choosing their leaders … there is no ‘safe seat’ for any M.P! … but times have changed. Tanzanians are better educated … they have greater expectations than we had in the past. We are struggling with severe economic problems. ‘Njoo Kesho’ was always a problem but is now a disease. The poison of corruption remains a problem. In the light of these conditions some changes in our policies are necessary …
I am pleased that the majority of Tanzanians (80% according to the Commission) would like to continue with a single party CCM system. But we cannot wait until the majority of people have lost their faith in CCM before the Party itself seizes and uses its responsibility to usher in change …. True democracy requires that minority views be respected. It also requires that citizens accept that they disagree and then go on arguing with one another in a spirit of respect and toleration.
The change must be made under the leadership of a united and strong CCM. I ask you to believe me in this. I am saying it from deep conviction. But I ask you to believe me also when I say …. that (under multi-partyism) if some people decide to leave the CCM … we would be making a big mistake if we treat them as traitors … to lead is to show the way.
Mr Chairman, I am urging this conference to agree to political change … I hope you will welcome future opposing political parties as a good soccer team welcomes a worthy competitor …. ‘
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING
‘Everybody, even the dimmest political observers, could see that it was no longer possible to rule any country in Africa on the basis of a one party system; but it has taken massive pressure at home and a threat of aid withdrawal from abroad to force Tanzanian authorities to begin to have a glimpse of the obvious … above all, it was the humiliating defeat of our good old friend Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia that has alerted the reluctant power holders to the impending showdown …. this is sad because Tanzania has always been innovative and constantly taking the initiative on major issues concerning Africa… ‘ former Cabinet Minister Abdul Rahman Babu in ‘Africe Events’:
‘We have adopted political pluralism to strengthen democracy in our country – not for the destruction of our nation …. had we refused it we would have given the opposition the opportunity to seek more riches from outside and perpetuate their agitation underground’ – Zanzibar Chief Minister Dr Omar Ali Juma;
‘New political parties will not be harassed or intimidated …. CCM is for a fair contest and peace, love, tranquillity end solidarity are in the blood of Tanzanians’ – President Mwinyi.
‘After 30 years of groping in the dark, of trial and error, of experimentation, Tanzanians will now stand up and say, like Karl Marx said 144 years ago, ‘we have nothing to lose but our chains … but we have the whole world to gain’. Indeed, monumental changes are in the offing’ – Robert Rweyemamu writing in the ‘Business Times’;
‘It is a grave mistake to underestimate your opponents’ – President Mwinyi;
‘We will not invite foreign nations to monitor and supervise the general elections because Tanzania is mature enough for the task’ CCM Secretary General Horace Kolimba;
‘Democracy may mean independent newspapers but it also means radically raised school fees’ – 79-year old Barbro Johansson, former Headmistress and distinguished Member of Parliament interviewed in Bukoba:
‘My region expects to recruit 60,000 new CCM members. If you, my subordinates, let me down so that we get less, I will weep’ – Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mary Chipungahelo quoted in ‘New African’;
‘The CCM will never forsake its Ujamaa and Self-Reliance Policy even though it has embraced the multi-party system’ – CCM Secretary General Horace Kolimba;
‘Former President Nyerere’s demand that political parties …. must draw members from both the mainland and the Isles is unconstitutional. … political parties are not stipulated in either the Union or the Zanzibar constitutions as being Union affairs …. Zanzibar is for Zanzibaris and it is a nation’ – Shabaan Mloo of KAMAHURU;
‘I do not care what is happening in CCM as long as get my bread peacefully and I can sell my shirts and sunglasses; Achia wazee wafanye vitu vyao’ – a street vendor in Dar es Salaam (Daily News);
‘As CCM celebrates its 15 years of existence it can boast of one thing. It has forced the majority of Tanzanians into a brainwashing ideology of socialism. Look at any corner of the population …. people who have been grilled through CCM colleges …. getting favours after becoming members of the Party …. scholarships for Party cadres …. ‘ Givic Kuandika in the ‘Business Times’.
‘Things are only just beginning. The changes …. have given our cause A higher profile and a greater sense of urgency; there couldn’t have been a better moment for pushing our case’ – recently released from detention former Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Shariff Hamad, interviewed in ‘Africa Events’.
‘Whether a country has one party or two parties or three parties, the present economic trends will not dramatically change …. (but) …. the democratisation of our societies will harness the energies of our people and so will ensure (their) more meaningful participation in the development process – Organisation of African Unity Secretary General Salim Salim speaking on the BBC.
Outlining the procedures for the introduction of multipartyism at a huge rally in support of Mageuzi in Dodoma on March 10th, President Mwinyi said that persons intending to form political parties would have to submit to the Registrar of Societies the proposed constitution of the party and list of leaders. The registrar would determine whether the party had a tribal or religious inclination. The party would not be recognised if it did and would only be registered if it had 200 trustees in each of 10 regions of Tanzania which must include Pemba and Unguja (Zanzibar main island). Parties would be given six months in which to fulfil this latter condition. “If they fail in six months to get the necessary trustees, then we will know that they are not serious and they will be disqualified.”
PLETHORA OF NEW PARTIES
A wide variety of groups want to form political parties but until the appropriate legislation is approved such parties remain illegal.
Amongst the aspiring groups are the following:
UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVMEMENT (UDM) formed by former Government Minister Chief Abdallah Fundikira.
NATIONAL CONVENTION FOR CONSTRUCTION AND REFORM (NCCR); as this is not easy to translate into Swahili, the party proposes to add to this title the word ‘Mageuzi’ so that the party would become NCCR-Mageuz1.
James Mapalala’s CIVIL AND LEGAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT (CLRM).
The Reverend Kamara Kusapa’s DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
Mabira Marando’s NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM (NCCR) which is said to be actively recruiting members at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Emmanuel Makaidi’s NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR DEMOCRACY (NDL).
Munua Mughuni’s PRAGMATIC DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE.
Sheaban Mloo’s ZANZIBAR SPECIAL COMMITTEE TOWARDS FULL MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY – or KAMA HURU which has the support of former Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Sheriff Hamad:
Former Foreign Minister Oscar Kambona’s TANZANIA DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE.
Exile (in London) Yassin Member’s YOUTH DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT which took a four-page advertisement in the ‘Family Mirror’ in Dar es Salaam to publicise its manifesto.
The TANZANIA AFRICAN NATIONAL UNION (TANU) following an announcement by Joseph Nyerere, Mwalimu’s younger brother. But, according to ‘Africa Events’ (March 1992) ‘the mind behind the project is the veteran philosopher King Julius himself … ‘.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CCM
The Bulletin understands, but this has not been confirmed, that members of the CCM party were far from enthusiastic about supporting multiparty politics until they were addressed by Father of the Nation Julius Nyerere. They did not have long to wait, however, to see how democracy in the Party would affect them and the sacrifices they would have to make to compete in a multiparty system.
On March 19th the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) announced sweeping changes in the Party’s constitution and structure. The changes included:
– the introduction of two Vice-Chairmen – one for Zanzibar and one for the mainland;
– closure of all CCM branches at work places, factories etc; Party branches would be set up only in villages, residential areas in towns and in institutions directly controlled by the Party;
– Branch, rather than district, executive committees would have the power to decide on applications for membership: branch secretaries would be elected by branch executive committees and not nominated by the central committee;
– salaried officials at all levels would be reduced in number to save funds; the number of delegates to the National Conference would be reduced to 5 instead of 10 from each district; elected NEC members would be cut from 90 to 70; nominated members from 15 to 10: the number of sittings would be reduced; the Defence and Security and Disciplinary Commissions would be abolished; ‘CCM to lose thousands’ headlined the ‘Business Times’;
The next day the NEC announced that members of the Defence and Security forces would cease to be members of the Party. Soldiers wishing to continue to serve would have to surrender their party membership.
Property given to the Party at branch level, including buildings would have to be returned to the former owners. District and Regional Commissioners would no longer also have CCM Party functions; they would be appointed by the President of the party in power.
The following day CCM members were told that the Kivukoni CCM Ideological College would be turned into an academy of social sciences and the seven zonal ideological colleges in the regions would be closed to bring about a saving of Shs 200,000 per year.
TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
SOMETHING GOOD HAS HAPPENED
AFRICA EVENTS had a six-page special feature on Tanzania in its March 1992 issue. In the introduction it wrote that ‘Informed Tanzania watchers … point to fresh sprigs sprouting off the economy, distinctly hinting that a new spring of surging prosperity is finally approaching. Economic growth, for example, has regained its lead over population growth. Standards of living, long frozen, are stirring towards modest improvement. Record export crops are reaching outlets on upgraded roads. Donor confidence and foreign investor interest are both on a cheery upturn. Monopoly politics is giving way to reforms which should stiffen up the benefits of this economic change. In broad measure, the sense that something good has happened is fair enough. Equally fair must be the sense of optimism that tinges the future. However, Zanzibar might turn out to be a gadfly ….
TANZANIA LIFTS CURBS
The Johannesburg WEEKLY STAR (April 1, 1992) announced on its front page that Tanzania’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Diria, had stated that Tanzania was to lift sanctions on air travel and sports relations in recognition of the changes brought about by President de Klerk. Economic sanctions would continue for the present he said.
LIVINGSTONE’S LAST RESTING PLACE
BRITISH OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT had an article on Bagamoyo in its January 1992 issue. It recalled how David Livingstone had died in 1873 in what is now Zaire. His heed had been buried in Africa end his embalmed body had been carried to Bagamoyo on a journey which took nine months. The last resting place of the body on the African mainland (before burial in Westminster Abbey) had been the Bagamoyo Catholic Mission. Britain is now paying for the restoration of the tower of the mission.
BASKING ON THE BEACH
The Johannesburg STAR gave publicity to a recent statement quoting Tanzanian Prime Minister John Malecela to the effect that South African tourists might soon be basking in the sun on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean beaches. “Don’t be surprised to see Boers coming here or Tanzanians going to South Africa” he had said in Parliament. Air Tanzania subsequently announced agreement on the start of a regular service to South Africa.
IMPORTANT DRUG SEIZURE
Tanzanian Customs authorities have seized 5.5 tons of illicit drugs according to AFRICA EVENTS (April 1992). The authorities in Dar es Salaam were said to be worried that Tanzanian drug traffickers might begin to play a role similar to that of their Nigerian counterparts in West Africa by acting as a conduit for drug transfers to Europe and North America. Police records showed that in the past six years more than 10,000 people had been arrested for alleged involvement in drugs.
A MEMORY OF LUSHOTO
In its series ‘A Memorable Wine’ the WINE SOCIETY’S BULLETIN for February 1992 contained a story by a Dr C. Granger in which he exercised some poetic licence in recounting a tale of many years ago. He had carried a quarter bottle of champagne in his rucksack – first by air (with the bottle in the decompressed hold), then across two frontiers by train, then by bumpy road for 18 hours to join his wife, who was working in Tanganyika, to celebrate their first anniversary of wedded bliss. The destination was Lushoto ‘a small verdant valley which the British Governor of the then Tanganyika had tried to buy (!) as a summer refuge from the heat’. ‘Our hotel’ he wrote’ overlooked the town, which, with its German missionaries and Bavarian churches, might have been in the foothills of the Alps. On the day of our thirteenth (month) anniversary we walked along the mountain crest to a spot known as ‘The View’ and sat on a rock overhanging a plunging cliff. Far below, the plains of Africa stretched away under the great sky …… I pulled the bottle from my rucksack triumphantly. My wife whooped with delight, I ceremoniously unwound the wire cage. Jill dug out our plastic mugs. I popped the cork. Only there was no pop, no bubbles. Just a hollow plop, and an evil smell. The champagne, like the anniversary, was overdue. It had probably undrinkable for a decade. (Thanks to reader Patrick Duff – Editor).
‘A PEARL OF MANY BRILLIANT COLOURS’
In a colour illustrated article in the April issue of NEW AFRICAN, the origins of Tanzania’s famous ‘Tinga Tinga’ paintings was told. Former fisherman Edward Said Tinga Tinge (who died in 1972) had started painting in his distinctive style using household gloss paint, rescued from abandoned tins, end commonplace surfaces such as hardboard, plywood or tin instead of costly canvas. The result? ‘A riot of multi-coloured images of African life; animals, birds, butterflies, flowers and tropical vegetation’. Now, one of the persons he taught, Rashid Bushiri, is teaching others in Swaziland under a project supported by the European Community; later this year, he has been commissioned to do murals on the wall of a hotel in Denmark.
Many newspapers around the world catalogued the ill-fated visit to Africa of the American mega star Michael Jackson. For example, the BOTSWANA DAILY NEWS reported on its front page that Jackson had arrived in Tanzania on February 17th after visiting Gabon and Cote d’Ivoire where he had been greeted by tens of thousands but had upset Many of them. ‘On arrival in Dar es Salaam, the paper wrote, the singer ran to a waiting car, clutching his nose and hiding his face with a handbag, ignoring Tanzanian Foreign Minister Ahmed Diria who was waiting to welcome him’.
The DAILY NEWS in Tanzania gave many more details of the visit. Michael Jackson had visited the Sinza Centre for Mentally Retarded Children where he had left fond memories and had, later, met President Mwinyi who had asked him, after his proposed visit to the Serengeti, to become Tanzania’s envoy abroad and explain about the country’s tourist potential. However, the Singer suddenly cut short his visit and left for London, leaving thousands of admirers in Arusha and Kenya disappointed. The apparent reason was that he could not fly in any plane other than his own (which was too large for the Serengeti airstrip) and could also not drive in a car for more than one and a half hours. He was said to be allergic to dust.
The general response in Dar es Salaam was said to have been ‘good riddance’. Others agreed with earlier comments from Abidjan which had described Jackson as ‘a recreated being, bleached, neither white nor black, so delicate, so frail …’
A COUNCIL OF ELDERS
The London TIMES in its March 24th issue reported that former African Presidents had decided at a meeting in Tanzania to form a Council of Elders to tackle the continent’s perennial conflicts. The meeting was attended by former presidents Pereira of Cape Verde, Kaunda of Zambia, Obassnjo of Nigeria and Nyerere of Tanzania.
SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPHY TO MONITOR DEFORESTATION
WORLD BANK NEWS in its February 13 issue stated that Tanzania is to obtain an IDA Credit of US$ 18.3 million in support of a project to stop rapid deforestation through preparation of maps showing forests, agricultural areas and grazing lands and establishing a National Resource Information Centre to coordinate the collection of information on resources, land use and environmental conditions. The project would also support measures to improve land tenure systems, and, in the Mwanza and Tabora regions, help improve the management of 45,000 hectares of forest.
AIR TANZANIA SUSPENDED FROM MEMBERSHIP
Air Tanzania has been suspended from membership of the International Air Transport Association because of its financial problems according to the March 16 issue of the INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE. The paper said that the IATA members would not now honour Air Tanzania tickets. The Tanzania DAILY NEWS reported on February 22nd that the Government had ordered the Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) to cancel flights to Europe and India following serious losses on these routes using a plane leased from Ethiopian Airlines. The newspaper reported that ATC had had to ground its planes on April 1st because it apparently could not renew its insurance cover. It is also understood that the Government has decided to privatise the airline.
DAR THE MOST SATISFACTORY
In an article on shipping services between East Africa and Europe the AFRICAN ECONOMIC DIGEST (February 24) quoted Steve Barlow, Commercial Director of the ZAMCARGO organisation, as saying that, of the East African Ports, Dar es Salaam generally gave the most satisfactory performance. “The port itself functions quite efficiently following recent heavy Investment” he said. Similar comments in AFRICA EVENTS (April 1992) which reported that Mombasa’s efficiency had somewhat slumped and That it was meeting robust competition from Dar es Salaam which was fast modernising.
CHEESE MANIA IN TANZANIA
In its February 15th issue the DAILY TELEGRAPH gave considerable prominence to an apparently insatiable appetite for cheese which had suddenly developed amongst Tanzanians and others. So great was this demand for cheese, in fact, that Dutch customs officers had become suspicious. Thousands of tons of Dutch dairy products had apparently been shipped outside the European Community but had later found their way back to traditional market such as Germany thus allowing certain persons, now being investigated, to obtain attractive export subsidies from the Community.
TANZANIA TO GET A REDUCED ALLOCATION
The first issue in 1992 of HABARI, the Journal of the Svensk-Tanzeniska Foreningen in Stockholm, revealed that Swedish aid policy is in the process of change. Tanzania, Mozambique and Vietnam have had their allocations reduced. A change in ideological course in Sweden was said to be plainly evident. In the case of Mozambique, the reduction was attributed to poor uptake capacity. The same was said to be true of Tanzania, which was considered to have had too large a programme. The reduction would be of the order of £5.5 million. The State Secretary responsible had said that in his opinion the whole Tanzanian aid programme had been too greatly dramatised. He dwelt long on the question of democracy. ‘The Government unmistakably equated democracy with a multi-party system irrespective of the considerable differences in historical, political, social and economic circumstances of the different countries’ the Journal wrote.
JUST A HANDFUL OF NUTS
NEW AFRICAN (March 1992) reported that drinkers in Dodoma are up in arms about a blanket ban on locally brewed liquors. The ban had been imposed following a cholera outbreak which had caused 200 deaths between November and January. Local producers of ‘Wanzuki’ – a fermented honey liquor – had got around the ban, however, by putting the liquor into commercial wine and beer bottles end pretending it was something else. This had confused the health inspectors (and presumably also the customers) for a time, but then the Police found out and began to seize illicit stocks. But the brewers showed considerable ingenuity. They started hiding the liquor in other ways. In one case alcohol was stored in a coffin. Customers were told to join the ‘funeral procession’. Others soaked nuts for a long time in illicit grain (gongo). It was said that people could get drunk on just a handful of nuts.
HYGIENE AT THE KIGMANBONI FERRY FISH MARKET
The SOUTHERN AFRICAN ECONOMIST in its December/January issue featured Dar es Salaam’s well known Kigamboni fish market. ‘The fish and food vendors have been supplying meals at the affordable price of Shs 70 for some time. But they noticed that their clients often had to go away to answer the call of nature, usually not to return. They therefore raised Shs 50,000 to build a latrine. At Shs 2/- per shot the clients were happy but the project lost money for lack of management’. Now the Tanzania youth Development and Employment Foundation has undertaken a feasibility study designed to improve overall hygiene at the Ferry Fish Market.
HOW TANZANIA LINES UP
In a lengthy article on the man it described as the ‘Einstein of bee breeding’ the SUNDAY TIMES
THE BBC AND TANZANIA
Tanzania figured prominently recently in two significant and totally contrasting broadcasts.
The first was a four-part weekly series of talks on BBC Radio 4 under the title ‘AFRICA: DEADLINE FOR THE DARK CONTINENT’ by the well-known presenter Michael Buerk in which one whole programme was devoted to Tanzan1a. Such was the interest in the series that the BBC received over 1,000 letters about it from listeners.
The second was a television programme broadcast on Channel 1 at the peak hour of 9.30 pm on April 17th 1992 which must have had an audience of millions. This was called ‘THE COMIC RELIEF SNAPPILY TITLED AND UTTERLY SPONDITIOU5 STAB OF EXPLAINING WHY SO MANY PEOPLE IN AFRICA ARE S0 DAMN POOR’. It turned out to be powerful advocacy of continued foreign aid and it was filmed in Tanzania. Christine Lawrence has reviewed it as follows for the Bulletin:
This BBC programme is a novel way of raising funds for needy causes. People who contribute wear absurd red plastic noses. The presenters of the programme play on our sense of the ridiculous and attempt to let nothing be boring. Their success last year raised £20 million, every penny of which has gone to deserving causes in the UK and in Africa.
The recent programme was a look ‘Behind the Nose’ and included a documentary on poverty in Tanzania. We followed Tony Robinson as he travelled from the slopes of Mt. Meru, through Arusha to the Maasai highlands, Ngorongoro, and then to a hot, dry village miles from anywhere”. In Meru there was the coffee market problem; in Arusha dreadful shanty town poverty; in Maasai-land permanently sick children and a school without books or pens; Arusha hospital lacking drugs and equipment; in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maasai, suffering from hunger and their cattle dying but forbidden to grow crops on their traditional land; and, in the hot dry Village, a young man explained in beautiful English that all they could do was to sit and wait for the rain.
In between these scenes from Tanzania, we were returned to the UK first to witness farcical interviews by Peter Sissons (Newscaster) of a so-called British Government Minister (Kenneth Winelake), then to hear comments from a comfortably well-off family lounging in their sitting room guzzling chocolates. It certainly made one think. And ask why? Statistics of disasters in the Third World compared with those in the West had the same effect. How much is the West responsible for? Imposed terms of trade; misplaced loans and interminable interest payments; Western politics and the arms trade and big business all come into it and the’ trickle-down’ effect is felt by the poor who are not helped by corrupt and bad government.
In Tanzania, will multi-party elections give the poor more of a voice? Will they result in more justice for the oppressed? And how much more can we in the West do to influence our governments? Will the coming UN Earth Summmit help at all? I fear it 1s very much an up-hill struggle but I think that Comic Relief’s documentary must have had a more positive impact on viewers than the usual straightforward programme and so there should be more reaction.
The radio broadcast perhaps redressed the balance, as many felt that the TV programme had been biased in not paying enough attention to faults on the Tanzanian side. Both programmes had a point to make, however, and both tended to exaggerate in order to do so.
Michael Buerk’s contribution was much more serious, more specifically critical and more sophisticated. It was designed to ‘see how the First World’s solutions for the Third World’s problems are working out’.
The third paragraph of the transcript set the tone: Inside my African taxi the music’s jaunty, reassuring; outside it’s different. This is Dar es Salaam, the ramshackle capital of a bankrupt country, where Tanzania’s dream of African Socialism turned into a nightmare of economic collapse. In colonial times this city, with its wide harbour and palm-fringed beaches was one of the most beautiful in Africa, Now, my taxi picks its way through the potholes, down unlit streets, past dirty and decaying buildings; I sometimes think the most obvious difference between the First World and the Third is fresh paint. I remember, when I used to travel this region in the eighties, Tanzania, though not quite the poorest, was the most depressing place on the continent. No colour, no life, nothing in the shops, an epidemic of apathy. Two decades of defining profit as economic sabotage had destroyed all incentive. The slogan was self-reliance; the reality, the highest per capita dependence on foreign aid in the world.
Next we turned to the IMF and the World Bank. Tanzania had had to start running its economy on lines prescribed by these organisations. A quiet, undemonstrative Englishman was ‘now one of the most powerful men in Tanzania’ – Ian Porter, World Bank Representative. Not so, said Tanzanian Finance Minister Stephen Kibona – “There is no question about it – their (the Bank’s) approach is quite acceptable. We are not “going along” with the World Bank. Much of what we are doing is our own thinking. We want to liberalise the economy. We want to create new initiative. We want people to have ownership ……”
There followed a discussion with coffee farmers in which the pros and cons of foreign intervention were well explored. Populist Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema (‘a disconcerting figure, in his black suit and flat dog-toothed hat’) expressed his views as forthrightly as ever – “We are trying to implement the policies of the IMF and the World Bank ….. but the prices (of coffee) are determined by you. So things will never change. So long as you’re benefitting from our economy, so long as you’re getting what you want from us, we’ll remain your labourers really forever”.
Michael Buerk’s conclusions? “After six years of determined Western intervention the formal economy is only a little less hopeless than it was …. Down on Kongwa Street the black market is booming. It’s a neat irony that the World Bank’s most obvious success has been to promote an underground economy which can’t be recorded in its statistics. Tanzania is a good place to go, to realise how resilient Africans are, how what we see as the continent’s slow march to doom isn’t the whole picture, and how the West has never been able to remodel Africa into its own image – DRB.
PRAISE FOR TANZANIA
Mrs Lynda Chalker, who, in spite of being defeated as a Member of Parliament in the recent British elections, remains Minister for Overseas Development, praised Tanzania recently for having the courage to bring about economic reform. She said that, during the last six years, she had seen Tanzania undertake serious reforms and that that was why Britain had decided to cancel debts owed by the country – Daily News.
JUNIOR DOCTORS ON STRIKE
A strike by some 70 junior doctors at the Muhimbili Medical Centre (MMC) Hospital which started on January 24-th 1992 soon escalated. The doctors had a number of grievances about allowances and insisted that they would not return to work until, as a minimum, their full On-call allowances were paid. On January 26th they were instructed to return to work on pain of dismissal. Meanwhile, senior doctors worked overtime to fill in the gaps. The junior doctors were then sacked and the Government ordered private hospitals not to employ them. By January 30th riot police had to be deployed to evict some of the doctors from the hostels, The sacking of the doctors then resulted in a general strike involving hundreds of nurses and workers at the MMC and a boycott of classes by students at the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences. Following a march on the Prime Ministers office, a protest at Government actions by the Organisation of Tanzania Trade Unions WTTU) , and the setting up of a grievance investigating team, Prime Minister John Malecela ordered the unconditional reinstatement of the striking doctors. By February 1st all were back at work.
However, five weeks later, following a civil case by 76 doctors and 8 pharmacists, the Acting Director General of the Medical Centre Professor Mmbaga found himself sentenced to 14- days in jail for disobeying an earlier order of the Magistrates Court prohibiting him from evicting from the hostel the persons concerned. The next day, however, his sentence was suspended pending an appeal to the High Court. He was released on Shs 2 million bail – Daily News.
WARIOBA BACK AGAIN
Former Prime Minister and First Vice-President Joseph Warioba has regained his seat in Parliament in a by-election. He won 21,038 votes compared with 10,136 for his opponent. His previous election had been nullified by the National Electoral Commission. – Daily News.
Serious disagreements involving members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ameru District, Arusha Region have resulted in the death of one man and the injury of others. During a meeting at the Usa River Rehabilitation Centre a crowd of some 1,500 people started hurling stones. One Bishop was slightly injured and had to be rescued by Police.
CAPTURING HEARTS AND MINDS
How a Devon man and his engineer colleague captured the hearts and minds of Tanzanian villagers was described at the recent annual meeting of the ‘Friends of Urambo and Mwanhala’ at Exeter University. The Devon-based group’s technical training officer, Martin Gilbert, and Mark Holdsworth spent a long time repairing and reconstituting mill and pump engines in villages in the Tabora region. “The fact that we put the machinery back into working order was not the most important factor” declared Mark. “What really mattered was that we gained the confidence, respect and friendship of the people”. Their work is now being continued by VSO engineer Chris Lowey, the newly appointed technical tutor under the group’s village mechanics training project which cost more than £37,000 last year – John Budge.
BANKING MONOPOLY ENDED
President Mwinyi signed into law 1n February 1992 the ‘Banking and Financial Institutions Act No 12 of 1991’ which ended the 24-year old monopoly of commercial banking in Tanzania by the National Bank of Commerce. Applicants for licenses to operate private banks are now being prepared. The Government hesitated for a long time before implementing this change which had been one of nearly 200 recommendations made in 1991 by a Presidential Enquiry into the Monetary and Banking Systems of Tanzania. The Bulletin had hoped to publish an article on this matter in this issue but problems of time and space prevented this. It is hoped to do so in the next issue.
HISTORIANS TO MEET IN ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar Museum and Archives Director Hamad Omar has announced that the Zanzibar Government is organising an international conference on the history and culture of the Isles to take place in December 1992. Some 150 participants are expected to attend – Daily News.
TANZANIA TORTOISES FLOWN HOME
Some 450 tortoises from Tanzania which had been illegally exported to the Netherlands last year were repatriated to Tanzania in January by the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). They are to be ‘rehabilitated’ before being returned to the wilds – Business Times.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE CHANGES
The Government has allowed Tanzanians and foreigners to bring into Tanzania any amount of convertible currency and open accounts with local financial institutions or ‘Bureaux de Change’ which were to be opened from April 21st 1992. No one would be asked how they earned the money. Nationals travelling abroad would be allowed to take out of Tanzania the equivalent of US$ 100 (Shs 30,000) – Daily News.
CYPRESS TREES DYING
Experts at the Morogoro-based Tanzania Forestry Research Institute have stated that thousands of cypress trees (Cupressus lusitanica) on which forest based industries such as Fibreboard Africa Ltd at Arusha depend are dying. The cause of the problem is not yet clear but mention has been made of drying through drought, aphids and deficiency of mineral nutrients in the soil 8S possible contributors to the problem. There are about 15,000 hectares of cypress trees in Tanzania mostly in Arusha, Mbeya and Kilimanjaro regions – Daily News.
STUDENTS PROTEST COST SHARING
Students in higher education institutions are becoming restive yet again. This time the protests are about the new Government policy of ‘cost-sharing’. As Prime Minister John Malecela explained on February 26th to students at the Institute of Finance Management in Dar es Salaam, nobody is to be denied access to higher education. The object is to mobilise the better off parents to make a contribution to their children’s education. Mr Malecela explained how far enrolments in higher education in Tanzania fell behind those in other countries and the need to substantially expand enrolments in Tanzania. He pointed out that there were 6,071 students in higher education in Tanzania compared with 26,839 in Kenya. Only 25 out of 100,000 had access to higher education in Tanzania compared with Malawi 54, Uganda 75 and Zimbabwe 396.
The Prime Minister also said that the Government would not pardon the 10 students who had recently been expelled from the University of Dar es Salaam for’ instigating chaos’. He said that some of those expelled had also been ringleaders in the 1990 student unrest at the University. They had been pardoned by President Mwinyi early last year – Daily News.
AGAINST ISLAMIC ETHICS
Muslims in Mwanza who have been accused of and admit having participated in the killing of 13 pigs owned buy a Mr Rogasian John in September last year have refused to pay compensation, They have claimed that it is against Islamic ethics to compensate the forbidden, They said that they were prepared to go to prison rather than do what was against their belief. Investigations revealed that the housing for the pigs had been constructed near to a graveyard reserved for Muslims – Business Times,
The efforts by Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema to involve the people in fighting crime have reduced the incidence of serious offences according to Police Inspector General Harun Mahundi. Although the number of crimes was up by 12,6% last year many of these were of a minor nature. There had been 191 less murder cases and robbery with violence had declined by 374 cases, Housebreaking decreased by 619 and there had been less cases of theft of cars, Some 528 suspects in corruption cases had been netted last year – a figure 30% higher than in the previous year – Daily News,
MREMA DISMISSES CASE
Home Affairs Minister Augustine Mrema has directed the Director of Immigration Services to dismiss a case of staying in the country without a permit against German citizen Wermer Kreissle, It had been alleged that Mr Kriessle had been harassed by Assistant Immigration Officer Paul Nchemi who had demanded that Kriessle should bring him a fishing boat engine from Germany. Mr Nchemi had been transferred to a section where he would not be dealing with foreigners – Daily News.
WHERE IS THE STATE HOUSE ROLLS ROYCE?
Readers of the last issue of the Bulletin, which quoted an investigative article in Tanzania’s radical tabloid ‘The Family Mirror’ will be relieved to hear that, three days after the publication of the article, the Mirror found the Rolls, now again parked in a corner of the Dar es Salaam Museum. The limousine, a 1930’s model, is apparently in good condition save for a few missing parts. The Government issued a statement refuting any kind of conspiracy over the disappearance of this part of the national heritage. The Rolls had apparently been taken to Cooper Motors in December 1990 because its condition had deteriorated. For four years the Museum authorities had corresponded with the Rolls Royce Company in UK to seek their assistance in its restoration but had received no positive response.
ONE WHITE MAN IN BLACK AFRICA. From Kilimanjaro to the Kalahari 1951 – 1991. John Cooke. Tynron Press. Obtainable from Gazelle Book Services Ltd. Lancaster. £9.95 (paperback).
Although I did not think the title of this book particularly apt or attractive on first hearing about it, when I read it I found most of the chapters quite absorbing. Unlike other recent books by expatriates who served in the previous administration, this one is well produced, is singularly free of printing errors and contains some excellent colour photographs.
As the author himself writes in the Preface, this is ‘not a heavyweight commentary but a simple straightforward tale by one who was there’. It is a thoughtful and honest book covering a vast amount of ground geographically, exploiting a wealth of experience.
In the first chapter Cooke demolishes the line often taken by hostile critics of the British system that the generalist class of administrative officers ‘came from the English aristocracy and felt that they had a mission to rule the rest of the world’. Neither Cooke, nor any of our former colleagues with whom I served ever remotely fitted this image.
The author was a District Commissioner at the time of independence but then, his doubts dispelled by a letter from Julius Nyerere urging expatriates to stay on in such roles as magistrates and teachers, he decided to switch to the Education Department and served as a teacher in different schools in Tanzania for eight more years. He was awarded a PhD by Dar es Salaam University for his scientific study of the outcrop Of Tanga limestone, until then totally unexplored. After leaving Tanzania Cooke spent 20 years in Botswana where he became Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana.
In the Tanzanian part of the book there are accurate accounts of important regions like Bukoba depicting very clearly the complicated land tenure arrangements and the effects of strong local government system. There is a feast of information on the problems, frustrations and delights of climbing all the well known East African mountains – often following routes never before taken. The chapters are interspersed with telling thumb-nail sketches such as that of the Masai herdsman explaining to the author the dignity and simplicity of his life-style.
The book has an Epilogue in which the author has courageously set out a number of his own conclusions, free from dogma and ideology, after trying to assess the progress, or lack of it, made since independence in the context of enhancing the welfare and real freedom of the African population at large. Cooke uses harsh words to describe the activities of modern aid workers while adamant that Africa needs aid desperately. And no one will challenge the disgust he feels about the expensive armaments fed in ‘to stoke the fires of internecine African struggle and warfare’.
I believe this book was worth all the effort and thought given to it by the author. It can be thoroughly recommended.
R. W. Neath
HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFRICA. Chris Maina Peter. Studies in Human Rights, No. 10 . Greenwood Press, Connecticut. 1990. 94pp. + (Appendices and Index) 51 pp . £35.95.
THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFRICA. Issa G. Shlvji. CODESRIA Book Series, London. 1989. 110 pp + ( Appendix and Index) 16pp. £15.00 (hardback), £8.50 (paperback).
The steady flow of books on human rights in Africa through the 1980s was in inverse ratio to the actual realisation of such rights in a continent which still provides more examples of human wrongs. These two short works, totally different from each other in content and approach, are valuable, new and complementary contributions by law teachers at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Dr. Peter sub-titles his book: “A comparative study of the African Human and People’s Rights Charter and the new Tanzanian Bill of Rights”. Both instruments came into force in the 1980s and he summarises their history: the African (Banjul) Charter, adopted at the OAU meeting in Nairobi in 1981, took effect from 1986; the Tanzanian Bill of Rights, enacted as a constitutional amendment in 1984-, came into force in 1988. The full texts of both instruments are usefully provided in Appendices. Of course, they are very different in character. This is perhaps most obvious with regard to their respective enforcement: the Charter, as an international instrument, is enforceable ultimately by the OAU Heads of State and Government but it established the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to investigate allegations and pursue settlements; the Bill of Rights is enforceable directly by the High Court of Tanzania.
Comparing the protection of individual rights 1n these two instruments, Dr. Peter critically appraises the Tanzanian human rights record in the pest, recalling a number of notorious episodes like the torture of James Nagoti (1976), forced marriages in Zanzibar (1970), the Kilombero affair (1980) etc. He also notes that more specific obligations are now imposed on individuals in Tanzania (ie, the duty to work, to obey the laws, to protect public property and to preserve national security) than under the Charter.
The most distinctive feature of the African Charter is the protection of “People’s Rights”: the rights to equality of peoples, to self-determination, to free disposal of natural resources, to development, to peace and security and to a satisfactory environment. Analysing these, Dr. Peter also contemplates how far such rights have been respected in Tanzania, in the absence of express guarantees. He concludes that peace and support for self-determination have generally been assured and sees the emergence of a coherent national policy of environmental protection since the National Environmental Management Council was set up in 1984. He is dubious about the Tanzanian record on the other People’s Rights, seeing in recent economic policies trends away from equality and from the people’s control of natural resources achieved by the nationalisations of the 1960′ s. On the controversial right to development he welcomes, as part of democratisation, the debate in Tanzania as to the meaning of development; but surely this debate started in the 1960’s.
The book is highly informative, with ample references to diverse sources in copious footnotes (Chapter 3, on “People’s Rights”, has 22 pages of text and 15 pages of footnotes) and a 12 page Bibliography; but it is very expensive. Environmental protection prompts an interesting but somewhat disproportionate study of toxic waste disposal in Africa, occupying more than 8pages. The author might have compared the Tanzanian Bill of Rights with the somewhat different Bills of Rights, in neighbouring states (Kenya, Zambia etc.), especially as they resemble the Zanzibar Bill of Rights, the restoration of which in 1985 he surprisingly ignores.
Dr. Peter cites no cases in which Tanzanian judges applied the new Bill of Rights; presumably he wrote before such cases were available. Judgments now given show the Judges ready to defend the fundamental rights guaranteed to Tanzanians, even against the will of Parliament. A recent Act of Parliament restricting the right to bail in certain criminal cases was held by Mr. Justice Mwalusanya to be invalid because it denied the right to personal liberty; his decision was upheld in the first judgment given by the Court of Appeal on the Bill of Rights, Chief Justice Nyalali emphasised that the original Swahili version of the Bill of Rights is authoritative, not the English translation (given in Peter’s book), in which he detected significant divergences. In another case Mr. Justice Mwalusanya gave an eloquent judgement of great importance to Tanzanian women: he held that a rule of Haya customary law which prohibited a woman, but not a man, from selling inherited land is now invalid as a form of sex discrimination (which the Bill of Rights forbids by implication, though not expressly).
While Dr. Peter gives a practical, legal analysis, Professor Shivji’s book is entirely theoretical. He reviews and dismisses other contributions to the “human rights discourse” of recent years: not merely are they intellectually backward but “Human rights talk constitutes one of the main elements in the ideological armoury of imperialism.” Human rights concepts come value-laden and were always part of a struggle and identified selectively (e.g. bourgeois society emphasised property rights). In an Africa still beset by oppression and exploitation, where the one-party state is merely a “fig-leaf” to cover authoritarianism (rationalised by “the ideology of developmentalism”), new priorities must be recognised. To revolutionise the human rights framework Professor Shivji urges recognition of two traditional rights as being central (though not exclusive): the collective right of all peoples and nations to political, cultural and economic self-determination and the right to organise, up to and including the right to revolution.
It follows that Professor Shivji has little faith in Bills of Rights or even in the African Charter (“woefully deficient” in enforcement provisions – under-stating the role of individual petitions of complaint, which Dr. Peter completely ignores); he prefers the Algiers Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, 1976 (reproduced in an Appendix), a political manifesto rather than an international instrument. His stimulating book bears many signs of hurried preparation.
James S. Read
DEVELOPMENT OF ADULT EDUCATION INNOVATIONS IN TANZANIA. P. Mushi. International Review of Education. 37 (3) 1991.
The Adult Education initiatives promoted in Tanzania during the late 1960′ sand 70′ s pioneered new techniques and placed Tanzania in the forefront of mass adult education. Adult education was targeted at the majority of the population with little or no formal education; a series of campaigns were intended to produce rapid and widespread increase in the abU1 ty of people to combat their poverty. The implementation of the campaigns has been well documented but little has been published on their long term effectiveness. This study is therefore very welcome.
Mushi studied three programmes. The first, functional literacy, was aimed at peasant farmers and was intended to give them the ability to read the instructions which would accompany forms of new investment in agriculture. The example most frequently quoted being advice on use, printed on packets of fertiliser.
The programme experienced difficulties in sustaining motivation among farmers when they found that the teaching was centred on farming inputs that they could not afford. All Government institutions were expected to provide tutors but, in practice, the work was done mainly by primary school teachers and leavers who had little training in adult education methods or agriculture. The tutors were also discouraged by delays or even non-payment of the small honorarium.
Despite these difficulties the programme managed a reduction in the level of illiteracy to under 10% by the mid-1980’s. Mushi does not discuss the criteria used for measuring literacy but he does refer to the difficulty of maintaining the improvement in the face of the rapid expansion of the school age population.
The second programme, Workers Education, was intended to provide not only functional literacy but also skills and participation in decision making in industrial democracy although Mushi does not use this term. There are indications that Workers Education did not have the political support given to the other’ programmes. It started slowly with managements assuming it meant professional training for managers. Even after redefinition by Kawawa in 1974 under which the emphasis was placed on literacy and general education there were no clear directives on implementation. Programmes varied between enterprises and some management s which organised proper programmes often found it not to their advantage; workers, discovering that attending classes did not lead to promotion, moved to other employment Mushi concludes that, although there has been a reduction in industrial disputes, this cannot be attributed to Workers’ Education.
Thirdly, Folk Development Colleges (FDC’s) were initiated in response to the perceived failures of Rural Training Centres. FDC’s were to teach skills that Village Councils considered they required. In practice, centrally planned courses were offered to Villages; people were sent for training without adequate plans to make use of them when they returned. Village Councils came under pressure to use FDC’s as a second chance for primary school leavers who had not obtained secondary school places. The Government’s policy of no formal grading in [‘DC’s was eroded by examination pressures.
Mushi concludes that none of these programmes fully met their original objectives but this does not mean that the programmes did not have significant achievements. He argues that the policy intention was desirable but that the problems of implementation and failures to achieve objectives resulted from a misunderstanding of adult education, the chosen instrument. Adult education was given low status and little training was provided in adult education skills. There is no explanation of the apparent contradiction between this conclusion and Mushi’s opening statement of the Nyerere inspired national political decision to use adult education initiatives as a key to rapid social and economic Change. There is a hint that the established professions were not fully committed to the adult education initiatives and that the resources required were underestimated.
Mushi concludes that successful adult education programmes require a network of trained agricultural education facilitators. Enthusiastic participation depends on careful identification of training needs and courses designed to meet local demands.
These proposals will increase costs and there is the implied conclusion that adult education initiatives are not a low cost option nor likely to produce specific results.
Mushi also suggests a more profound cause of the difficulties experienced by Tanzania’s adult education programmes. There was an inevitable tension inherent in the attempt to use for very specific objectives a method of education which relies on voluntary consent and which is intended to empower the learners.
THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA. Thomas Pakenham. Wiedenfeld. £20.
This is a splendid book roughly covering the last quarter of the 19th century and the very early years of the 20th. Pakenham’s canvas 1 s vast. The eventual colonial powers – Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Germany – carved up by black Africa in about a generation and this 750 page book details almost every aspect of this unedifying scramble. North, South, East and West Africa are covered in separate chapters and an excellent chronology at the back gives details of the timetable. This whole scene unfolds like a Bayeux tapestry.
The East African segments, and in particular the German East Africa and Tanganyika sections are well documented. The role of the missionaries in early days and the focal part played by Zanzibar as the most prosperous port between the Suez Canal and Durban are clearly outlined. For example, the Abushiri Revolt in 1888, mainly centred on Pangani, was as much against the Sultan of Zanzibar as against the high-handed actions of the agents of German imperialism.
The Maji-Maji rebellion in 1905/6 mainly occuring in the Southern part of what is now Tanzania, is also dealt with in detail. Pakenham’s description of Kinjikitile as “not a true nationalist or even a revolutionary” wil1 not be agreed to by everybody. The Germans as colonialists come in for a fair amount of criticism, especially Car1 Peters, and to balance the report it might have been fairer also to emphasise many of their other activities in German East Africa – the build-up of Dar es Salaam as a port, the construction of the Central and Tanga line railways and the research station at Amani come to mind – the latter was years ahead of any equivalent in Kenya and Uganda.
The book rather peters out with an “epilogue” scrambling-out 1957- 68. There is scope here for another albeit shorter book but we shall probably have to await final developments in South Africa before Thomas Pakenham can address himself to this period.
To anyone with a deep purse or access to a really large public library end some time to spare, I can thoroughly recommend this book.
ROBIN LAMBURN – FROM A MISSIONARY’S NOTEBOOK: THE YAO OF TUNDURU AND OTHER ESSAYS. Noel Q. King and Klaus Fiedler with Gavin White (eds). Saarbucken; Verlag Brietenbach Publishers 1991. C240pp). ObtaInable for £10 in banknotes and £2 in British stamps from Dr K Fiedler, Virchowstr 15. D – W 4030 Ratlngen 8, Germany.
This is a much awaited publication of essays by Canon Lamburn. Nowadays, he 1s well known for his work at Kindwitwi Leprosy Village in Rufiji District. However, Lamburn spent over thirty years as a priest in Masasi Diocese in southeast Tanzania, where he arrived in 1930 as a young missionary with the Universities Mission to Central Africa. It is with this period of his life that the book is primarily concerned.
Most of this publication is taken up by Lamburn’s book “The Yao of Tunduru”, which was written in the 1960′ s and previously unpublished in English. There is also a substantial essay on Islam in East Africa and two shorter essays, one on witchcraft in Rufiji District and the other on the Church and medical work. A transcript of Lamburn’s short address on receiving the Albert Schweitzer prize in 1985 is also included.
The primary importance of this book is as a historical document of a unique missionary-African encounter that took place in the Diocese of Masasi in the first half of this century. Lamburn himself played a Significant part in this. It is here that Bishop Vincent Lucas encouraged the successful establishment of Christianised versions of Traditional African initiation rites. Lucas wanted to establish a Church rooted in rural African life in which the Church offered its own Christianised versions of traditional rituals. Lamburn himself served closely under Lucas and was deeply influenced by his views. This is reflected in these essays. In fact, Lucas’s papers and notes form a Basis for much of the ”Yao of Tunduru”.
The “Yao of Tunduru” itself provides much ethnological and historical material on the Yao, especially on their traditional rituals and beliefs. This material is not analysed in any systematic way, but it will be a useful supplement to the studies of Yao society and history by Clyde-Mitchel, Alpers and others. However, it is not intended for an academic audience, but rather for other missionaries and African Christians grappling with problems of how to approach traditional African religion and Islam. The dialogue between his respect for African culture on the one hand and his Christian commitment for evangelism on the other is reflected in all the essays. While Lamburn has a deep respect for traditional Yao society he does not romanticise it to the same extent as Lucas was prone to. In his essay on Islam, Lamburn advocates that missionaries should show much Greater respect for Islam. However, he is very critical of the impact that Islam has had on the peoples of Southern Tanzania.
Noel King, one of the editors, has written a useful introduction to the book, providing a short 1ife history of Lamburn and a brief discussion on the theogica1 background to the policies of Lucas and Lamburn. Klaus Fiedler, the other editor, has written a concluding paper comparing the different attitudes to African culture found among other missionaries in East Africa but this is too brief for an adequate comparison to be made. A comprehensive bibliography is included at the end of the publication.
This is a very readable book that 101111 be of great interest to those studying both mission history in East Africa and the ethnography and history of the Yao and their neighbours. It will also, of course, be welcomed by the many people who have come to know and respect Lamburn through his work at Kindwitwi.
DISARTICULATION AND POOR INCENTIVE PROGRAMMES IN AFRICAN ECONOMIES. THE CASE OF THE SISAL INDUSTRY. Hassan Omari Kaya. Verlag Schreiber Publishers. Berlin 1989. About £5.00.
Dr Kaya has written the sort of booklet (76 pages, including many tables) which one would expect from an academic studying the history and problems of the sis8l industry from the comfort of a University chair, rather than from the driving seat of a tractor.
The historical chapter at the beginning, stressing aS it does the reasons for the development of colonial agricultural products such as sisal, cotton, cocoa etc. at the behest of the erstwhile colonial powers is well illustrated and documented.
It is when Dr. Kaya attempts to explain away the severe decline of the sisal industry in Tanzania, after independence and nationalization, that his views become more controversial. Many of the facts he produces are selective: for example there is no mention of the private sector Amboni Spinning Mill at Pongwe, the best managed mill in East Africa, although the book was published in 1989. Furthermore it would have been interesting to have compared the development of peasant ‘Lake Sisal’ in Tanzania with the equivalent in Kenya – UHDS. At one point the rural economy of Tanzania was in such a parlous state that Tanzanian fibre was being smuggled across the border to Kenya to be brushed and bailed before being exported for U. S. Dollars, to the latter country’s financial and foreign exchange benefit.
A further example of this bias is the absence of any mention of the fact that during the sisal price boom in 1973 he Tanzania authorities arbitrarily reneged on low priced contracts and insisted on renegotiating at the higher market price. This single action, as much as anything, persuaded many European and American spinners of the long term advantages of turning to polypropylene twine using a locally available and stable priced raw material. The expensive attempt in the early 60′ s to develop ‘Nucleus’ peasant growing estates, alongside plantation estates is dismissed in one line probably because the disastrous results do not f1 t in with Dr’. Kaya’s views.
Recruitment is another area where more research would have lead Dr. Kaya to appreciate the benefit of the TSGA organization “Silabu” – disbanded as being too’ colonial’ soon after independence, but attempts were made by the TSA to revive it some 20 years later.
Even in a booklet of this short length, one would have expected to see a mention of the Tanzania developed sisal hybrid 11648, without which many plantations would have been unable to have maintained production in view of rising costs.
This is obviously a booklet written before Perestroika and Glasnost in the Soviet Union opened the eyes of socialists worldwide to the failures of over central planning. I can however certainly recommend it to those with a background and interest in the sisal industry but it would be more worthwhile if the second edition included more up to date statistics.
‘AND SO THEY CALLED A KIVA’: HISTORIES OF A WAR by Justin Willis, Azania (British Institute in Eastern Africa). Vol XXV. 1990.
This article describes oral histories about the Kilindi ruling family’s loss in the 1860’s of the Shambaa kingdom in a uprising known as the’ Kiva’. Justin Wil11s has recently conducted fieldwork in the area between the eastern Usambara mountains and the coast, collecting more oral accounts of the Kiva war. He was told by his sources that the basis of the dispute which led to the uprising was essentially over the nature of ethnic identity. He found three widely known differing accounts of these events in the oral histories. Although one of them was already written down, this does not seem to have influenced his informants, who ignored it in the accounts they gave him.
The survey’s real interest is less in what it tells us about the Kiva rebellion but more about the nature of oral history. Willis’ informants were selective, giving accounts supporting their own Viewpoints on the rebellion. The conclusion is that the researcher’s initial task is not the unquestioning acceptance of some real historical truth in oral testimonies but the identification of self- interest which will influence the presentation by the informants.
LIBERATION THEOLOGY IN TANZANIA AND SOUTH AFRICA, A FIRST WORLD INTERPRETATION. Per Frostin, Studia Theologiea Lundensia 42 Lund University Press 1988. Pp.283. ISBN 91-7966-040-1.
Africa has become one of the most dynamic centres of Christianity during the latter half of the 20th century. Western Systematic theologians have however, on the whole, been unaware of the high level of theological contextualization which has been taking place. In choosing the South African and Tanzanian quests for a Christian theological identity, the author has highlighted but two important strands of these dynamic developments ie. a theology grown out of the experience of oppression on the one hand and that which has grown out of the search for a new social order. In both cases these developments have been determined by African as much as biblical values. The author, by using the term Liberation Theology, which in most minds has come to be identified with Latin American theological developments, has had to justify the use of the term and evolve what he calls a “new paradigm”, This he sees as a process which has evolved from local experiences, and social analyses to theological reformulations. In determining this process the author has explored the meaning of such concepts as Life-in- Community and wholeness of Life. He emphasizes that, in order for Western systematic theologians to arrive at a more appropriate understanding of “Liberation Theology” in the African context, general rules of textual analysis are of primary importance since much of Western theological work has been blighted by ethnocentricity. He emphasizes that the evolving theologies represent a new holistic paradigm in which faith in God, human liberation, economic justice and epistemology cannot be separated, but must be analyzed in relation to each other.
After an introductory chapter on the methodology of intercultural studies, the author takes up the analysis of “Theology in the Context of Ujamaa”. He begins by looking at “Ujamaa as Theological Context” where he first spells out Ujamaa as a philosophy of liberation, before noting its role within the process of liberation. This brings him to consider Ujamaa in relation to African Socialism, neo-colonialism and Marxism. In his section on “Community versus Selfishness” the author refers to the work of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) and, in particular, the writings of Charles Nyamiti, Laurenti Magesa, and Christopher Mwoleka. Of particular interest is his justification of and constant reference to Julius Nyerere’s writings. It is this “political” dimension of contextual theology which is symptomatic of Africa, for it is holistic, and not, as so often in Western theology, dualistic. Communal participation lies at the heart of this theology. It is not an anthropocentric, but an all inclusive theocentric theology expressed in Ireneus dictum, Gloria Deo, vivens homo (The glory of God is s human person fully alive). Theologically this is seen as a trinitarian model for human life in which solidarity, totality and participation reflect the triune God understood as a community, sharing in such a way that it is not a question of three gods, but One (John 17: 21), hence a humanity which is one community not divided by artificial barriers, particularly religious ones. The criterion for such a community is the common good It is in that kind of context the Church has to rethink its identity, recognize the value and strength of the small communities within the wider one, particularly in relation to the state.
The author, approaching the study from a Western perspective, by using western theogical tools, has succeeded in his aim to interpret some aspects of two Third World theologies to First World theologians. He has shown that it is impossible to understand the internal logic of the new theologies without interpreting them in relation to their overall experiential base. He has pointed out that these theologies integrate anthropology, economy, epistemology, poll tics and theology into a holistic approach. Through his work he has conscientized First World theologians to new dimensions of theology and should prove a help to Third World theologians as they continue to struggle theologically with their contexts.
The book is thoroughly documented, contains a thorough bibliography and a helpful index.
S. von Sicard
THE LARGER GRAIN BORER CONTROL PROJECT. September 1989 – Septemeber 1991. Hugh Frost. Unpub. 1992.
CONTROLLING THE LARGER GRAIN BORER. AN EXTENSION OFFICER’S EXPERIENCE AT GRASS ROOTS LEVEL. Oliver Puginier. Agriculture International 43. 7. July 1991.
These articles, both by VSO Crop Protection Officers, provide interesting new insights into what happened in the field during one of the longer term and more interesting of VSO’s contributions to Tanzanian development. Much has already been written about the Larger Grain Borer Beetle (Prostephdnus truncatus) or ‘Dumuzi’ as it is called in Kiswahili, and which has, through the benefit of human assistance in grain transport, become a devastating pest outside its endemic region in Central America.
Puginier describes how, even though pest control activities began immediately after the arrival of the pest in Africa, it remains a serious menace. He describes the research conducted to develop a variety of insecticide ‘cocktails’, their chemical composition, the hazard involved in using them, the introduction of the ‘Dumuzi Law’ in 1986 and the way in which VSO agricultural extension personnel operated in the Biharamulo district. He states that the main objective – the reduction of the status of the pest to an economically acceptable level has been achieved there.
Frost, in his final report to the authorities, describes in considerable detail the day to day extension work in Shinyanga District – the 31 village seminars which formed the backbone of the work, the demonstration of an improved version of the traditional storage structure (Kihenge cha Kisasa), the problems of insecticide distribution, the staff end farmer training and the costs (but not the cost benefit). He writes about the ‘Prevent Dumuzi’ T-shirts, the home-made posters, the transport of insecticide on the back of motorbikes, and the problems faced in distribution of credit. He stresses the importance of continuing to capitalise in the future on the work already done – DRB.
(There are 102 VSO volunteers working in Tanzania at present and, through VSO’s Sponsorship Scheme, individuals, organisations, trusts, companies etc can be linked directly with a serving volunteer. For further details please contact Anne Harrisson, VSO, 317 Putney Bridge Road. London SW15 2PN. Tel: 081 780 2266 Ext 266 – Editor)
AGRICULTURAL DECLINE IN TANZANIA. THE CASE OF THE ULUGURU MOUNTAINS.
Jan Kees van Donge. African Affairs. Vol 91, No. 362. January 1992. The author is a social scientist at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands and writes about the Mgeta Division on the western sid of the Uluguru Mountains above Morogoro. The main theme in the paper is that such distinctive areas (there are comparisons with Bukobe, Kilimenjaro and the Usambaras) do not fit in with the various explanations given in the literature for Tanzania’s agricultural decline based, as they are, on macro-economic planning and state policies. The Ulugurus are different. We learn about the disappearance of clear positions of authority, the fact that the Government’s villagisation policy hardly touched the area, the surplus of females, the decline in marriage, and that people ‘don’t grow old so quickly’ as they do in the cities.
In the last paragraph of a 1 and a half page Appendix on agronomy we learn that people in the area have accepted important agronomic changes since the 1950’s (pig keeping, compost making, irrigation and the cultivation of cooking bananas) but readers interested in the subject of the article ie: agricultural decline, need to look elsewhere – DRB.
Mr JOHN ARNOLD served os on Administrative Officer in Tanganyika from 1959 to 1964. He later worked in the Adult Education Department of Southampton University and also took four study tours to Tanzania between 1975 and 1990.
Mr A. CLAYTON worked as a volunteer with the Anglican Church in Dar es Saloom and Kindwiti in 1981/82 and in anthropological fieldwork on the Makonde Plateau in 1988/89.
Miss CHRISTINE LAWRENCE worked as a Bursar of the Mahiwa Farm School in Tanganyika from 1965 to 1971. She is Treasurer of the Britain-Tanzania Society.
Mr HUGH LESLIE, whose father was a Member of the Legislative Council of Tanganyika, has spent 12 years in East Africa. He retired two years ago from the posts of Company Secretary and Managing Director of Wigglesworth, the fibre merchants.
Mr R. W. NEATH served in the Tanganyika administration from 1949 to 1962 and later moved to New York and Geneva where he was the Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.
PROFESSOR J. S. READ is the Professor of Comparative Public Law with special reference to Africa in the University of London. He was a Senior Lecturer in Law in Tanzania from 1963 to 1966.
Mr ALEX VINES is the Africa Analyst for an international political risk consultancy. He has also worked as an archaeologist in Tanzania. Dr S von SI CARD is a Lecturer in the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham. He served in the Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam from 1955 to 1968.
THE TANZAM RAILWAY AND THE WORLD BANK
Re the article by Mr J Roger Carter on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway in Bulletin No 40. As one closely involved with railway development in Tanzania between 1937 and 1961 I found two parts of particular interest.
First, I am amazed, though no figures are given in the article, that the railway has never achieved financial viability. Any railway carrying over one million tons of long-distance freight, not susceptible to competition by road, should have its finances on a sound basis. Rates would have to be equal to or less than rates on other routes with reasonably balanced traffic (say not more than 60% in one direction). Revenues should meet working expenditures, depreciation provision and reasonable loan charges.
Second, though I cannot speak for the World Bank, I doubt whether the statement that the Bank ‘certainly did not consider future prospects to be sufficiently bright to justify their financial involvement’ correctly represents the Bank’s attitude.
Early in 1967 the African Development Bank asked me to take part in the examination of a concept which had been put to it for a railway that could carry all Zambia’s export and import traffic. I took the view that providing a system of this capacity would be unnecessarily expensive and would be detrimental to Zambia’s long term interests which lay in using routes to the East and West coasts. I advised the Bank to consider a link carrying initially about 40% of the traffic.
A few days later I accompanied an ADB delegation to Washington to examine the possibility of both the ADB and the World Bank financing the project. Further invest investigations continued on two major points; whether Dar es Salaam Port could be adapted at reasonable cost to provide for the increased traffic and the method by which a sound road-bed could be secured at reasonable cost on a known section of unstable soil north-east of Makambako.
In June 1967 on a mission to Kenya (where the East African Railways had its headquarters) and Tanzania, we were made aware of the clear potential of the port. Though a visit was not made to the unstable section of the line it was my understanding that consultants were working for the banks on the problem. (Mr Carter’s article indicates that the problem has not yet been satisfactorily solved).
It was also my understanding that the final views of the two banks would be formulated shortly thereafter. Before any statement was issued by the banks, the Tanzanian Government announced that arrangements had been made for the Chinese authorities to finance and build the railway.
Sir James Farquharson
THE COFFEE SERVED AND THE BABY MILK PROBLEM
I attended, some time ago, the Britain-Tanzania seminar on health which found very interesting, enjoyable and varied. However, I feel I must write to say that I was appalled that we were served Nescafe coffee. The fact that we did not have Tanzanian coffee, as the person due to bring it was ill, is quite acceptable. What I found very hard to understand was how anyone involved with helping the Third World could support Nestle.
Nestle provide hospitals in the Third World with free baby milk. This is fed to the babies in hospital, which often results in their mothers’ milk drying up. Once they leave hospital, most of the babies are then bottle fed with feeds made up with unclean water in inadequately sterilized bottles. The feed is often over diluted to make it go further, if the mothers can afford 1 t at all. Such is the profit that Nestle make that they have no morals about the deaths that are caused due to infection or malnutrition. I am writing this letter because maybe there are other members of the Society who are unaware of the Nestle Boycott. I urge all your members to join the boycott of Nestle and all their subsidiaries. Further details can be obtained from the Baby Milk Action Campaign (BMAC), 23, St Andrewo s St. Cambridge CB2 3AX (Tel: 0223 464420),
(In view of the interest this letter is likely to arouse and its controversial nature and to determine the extent to which the issue raised is relevant to Tanzania we called on two other readers to comment. Their letters follow – Editor)
It is Government policy in Tanzania to actively promote breast feeding and to discourage bottle feeding. In rural areas nearly all mothers breast feed. In urban areas most African mothers also start to breast feed but many return to paid employment at three months after delivery. They usually continue to breast feed when they are at home but the baby will need other foods while the mother is at work. The baby might receive baby milk, but fresh boiled cows milk is also often used though the latter is not ideal for young babies since the protein and salt content are too high. Introduction of other foods before four months of age is not recommended but many mothers do start to give Cerelac (a commercial baby cereal) or homemade porridge (usually based on maize flour with cows milk or ground peanuts) from about three months.
Tanzanians of Asian origin are more inclined to favour bottle feeding from birth but hospital staff try to discourage this.
The importation of baby milks into Tanzania is restricted and they are not supplied free to hospitals or mothers ….
To bottle feed a baby here is very expensive. To exclusively bottle feed a three month-old infant would cost Shs 90 000 per month. The minimum wage of Tanzanian workers is Shs 4,000 per month.
I am aware of the problems raised in the letter and have heard of its effects in many Third World countries but I think the situation is rather different here.
Dar es Salaam
HOW DO PEOPLE IN THE THIRD WORLD DEFEND THEMSELVES?
Lyn Bliss has raised a very complex problem viz: How do people in the Third World defend themselves adequately from aggressive Western sales promotion? We in Britain are used to it. But people in the Third World are not.
The organisation Lyn mentions – the BMAC – provides some facts and figures to demonstrate that baby milk products may be marketed so aggressively that mothers are persuaded – even conned – into bottle feeding their newly born infants, particularly it seems, in those countries which have recently industrialised.
But our main concern is Tanzania. Does it happen there? There is no mention of Tanzania in the sorry catalogue of firms which have contravened the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Europe is top of this league table (135 contraventions described) followed by Asia (98) and the Americas (89). Africa has 70 contraventions listed, one of which is in East Africa (and that is not Nestle and not Tanzania) while 50 are in West Africa and 5 in South Africa.
The overall concern of the BMAC is that baby milk substitutes might be provided FREE to mothers in hospital so that breast feeding is never established. But, said one Tanzanian whom I consulted, “There wouldn’t be time”. In Tanzania some 85% of the population live in rural areas, and might, for a difficult delivery, be admitted to the district hospital or to the two or three maternity’ beds’ (ie: floor spaces) in their local health centre, but the pressure on beds is such that the mothers walk home with their babies the day after delivery. Neither could they buy baby milk once they return home. They couldn’t afford it.
Alas, babies and young children still die from diarrhoea. The infant mortality rate is 104 per 1000 live births, but this can be caused by poor hygiene rather than dirty bottles or infected water. Baby milk products are still needed in Tanzania eg: for orphan babies, for twins, for babies of malnourished mothers and other babies for whom wet-nurses cannot be found.
A boycott against only one firm seems very unfair; Ostermilk and other brands can be bought in Tanzania as well as Nestle products; and Nestle’s multi-national and multi-product firm includes Rowntree Mackintosh so it is chocolate and toffees, as well as instant coffee, that Lyn would wish us not to buy.
For myself, I would rather put my (limited) time and energy into a positive programme for health and nutrition education in the Third World. For instance, I would support the WHO’s suggestion of appointing an Ombudsman to arbitrate between opposing interests and also, where necessary, to draw the attention of health authorities to the problem. Fortunately, African mothers, being wiser than some of us, actually prefer breast-feeding.
ON THE EDGE OF A PRECIPICE
Re the article by Steve Vaux on sisal in Tanzania in Bulletin No 38 I would like to add that there is another important factor worth a mention: the use of a high-yielding hybrid (work initiated by George Doughty and continued by George Lock) at many estates at low to medium altitudes.
Unfortunately the use of this plant is not without problems. It 1s susceptible to Phytophthere nicotiana in wet conditions and must not be used in areas likely to be waterlogged for several weeks. More recently, there have been problems with rogue plants (some of these are another hybrid whilst others may have arisen from seeds); and the high yields are associated with high demands on soil fertility.
Although I join Steve in hoping that sisal will regain its place as the ‘white gold’ of Tanzania, I fear that the immediate future is not bright. A review published by Wigglesworth & Co Ltd in December 1991 said: ‘The sisal market, in many ways, is probably in its most precarious position for more than twenty years … the industry is on the edge of a precipice and, without outside assistance, a good part of it may topple over’.
The review attributes the problems to the worldwide recession after the Gulf War, the lack of funds in Eastern Europe for purchase of sisal fibre and the extremely low prices of Brazilian sisal. Some estates in Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar have been able to continue to sell at reasonable levels as they have built up a demand for their name mark but many large estates have not been able to do this. The review considers that support is required from Government and international bodies to avoid a dramatic reduction in the number of estates exporting fibre. The review concludes that ‘Action is necessary now to avoid this politically, socially and economically unacceptable situation:
John F Osborne