In a comprehensive 15-page series of articles on Tanzania the European Community publication THE COURIER (No 142) explained that transforming a ‘socialist’ one-party state into a free market multiparty democracy was proving an extremely complex undertaking. ‘In Dar es Salaam the watchword is ‘caution’ it wrote ‘and the pace of reform is accordingly slow – too slow for some of the country’s international backers.

Fortunately for the government, Tanzanians are a patient if not docile people, a characteristic that may have been induced by nearly three decades of one-party rule, peace and stability … the real pressure for change came from outside’. President Mwinyi was interviewed. He was asked to explain why the opposition parties were complaining about having no access to the radio. The President replied: “The opposition parties are given the opportunity, twice a week, to explain on the radio what their policies are. If they want to monopolise the media that is not possible, because, after all, CCM is the ruling party … we promised our people to do certain things and we must use the radio to explain to them what we are doing … the opposition operate some 20 newspapers against two for the government ….”

NEW AFRICAN (February 1994) gave further details on the fight Mwalimu Nyerere is conducting to preserve the United Republic of Tanzania (Bulletin No 47). “I watched when you scrapped the Arusha Declaration (his socialist blueprint for Tanzania) and I remained quiet” he was quoted as having said to CCM party delegates. “I wish you the best in building the country under capitalism since all the aid comes from the capitalist nations. But I won’t tolerate a break-up of the Union”. Nyerere said that he had lost confidence in the CCM and had stopped paying membership fees. “The CCM is not my mother. My mother is in Butiama” he said.

The South African daily SOWETAN (April 21) published the Sapa-Reuter story of the several hundred Tanzania-born Afrikaners who were expelled or emigrated when Tanganyika became independent. They were said to have bitter memories of the country after many of them had had their farms and homes confiscated without compensation. ‘They packed their trucks and headed south thus reversing the trek of their forefathers who had travelled half the length of Africa to escape British domination after losing the Boer Warf. They hold regular reunions in South Africa. At one recent gathering just before the South African elections, they were in a sombre mood.

“They’ll force us to marry blacks. That’s their (the African National Congress) plan; to get rid of us by creating a race of bastards. Black government means chaos. Look what happened to Tanganyika” said Wynand Malan. The Boers watched a video made in Tanzania by a recently returned traveller. It included shots of Katrina Odendaal, a Boer woman who had married a black Tanzanian and had remained behind. The audience gasped in shock as Odendaal appeared on the screen, squatting on her haunches outside a mud hut, a brightly coloured cloth wrapped African-style round her waste. “Appalling” muttered a woman in the audience. But one of her daughters, who had been five months old when she left Tanzania was more optimistic. “I don’t think blacks and whites are so different. Once you get past the surface we are all the same underneath” she said.

NEW AFRICAN (March 1994) attracted the wrath of one of its Zimbabwean readers for giving publicity to the controversial views about AIDS arising from the experience of two French charity workers in Tanzania (the full story was given in Bulletin No 47). ‘Will New African’ the reader asked ‘be printing the next, more balanced, stage of the saga a year or two hence when the myth of the AIDS myth has itself been exploded? Why, even at this sage, is such unbalanced, unchallenged coverage given to the views of a tiny handful of AIDS workers flying in the face of so many well-established competent organisations, governments, researchers, doctors, community members etc. who would give a different picture?’

The INDEPENDENT (January 2, 1994) in a two-page feature also took those publishing these controversial views about AIDS to task and quoted a report from Bukoba town where 24% of the adults were said to be HIV positive. ‘Seen from here, claims that HIV is not lethal seem at best bizarre and at worst dangerous …. on a rainy afternoon Bukoba bar girls besiege a foreigner. They have heard that there is a female condom and they want it. Men, they say, are pig-headed about protection. Especially rich men’.

Traditional healers prevaricate when asked if they can cure AIDS. “It may be necessary to send people to hospital to seek higher medical advice” admits Bassaija Balaba. “I can only give symptomatic treatment”. His father said “Curing AIDS is like sweeping back the ocean using a broom. Once I had 25 children. Now I have five. I have to sit and watch them die until I die. ..” AIDS is changing even death. In Mwanza a nurse was quoted as saying “Funerals used to go on for seven days. Now its three…. “ (Thank you Stephen Williams for this item – Ed.)

A new species of bird which looks rather like a small partridge has been found in Tanzania, reported Nigel Hawkes in THE TIMES (January 29). It was discovered in the evergreen forests more than 4,000 ft up in the Udzungwa mountains by five scientists from the zoological museum at Copenhagen University. It was also said that, not only is it a new species but that it does not belong to any existing genus of birds. It has been given the name Xenoperdix Udungwensis – strange partridge form Udzungwa. The discoverers think that the birds they saw are the sole survivors of a bird that was common all the way up the African coast at one time. (Thank you Rev. B Baker and Mr John Sankey for this item – Editor).

‘To this day the European Community has not achieved what the East African Community (EAC) had achieved by 1969. The EAC then had a common currency, common posts and telecommunications, harbours, an airline, railways; there was an East African parliament . . . . . ‘ So wrote Abdul Rahman Babu in the first of a series of articles in AFRICA EVENTS (February 1994) following the meeting in Arusha on November 30, 1993 of the ‘three M’s (Presidents Moi, Museveni and Mwinyi) which began the re-creation of an East African Community (Bulletin No 47). In 1977 the whole EAC structure had ‘crumbled like a house of cards’. Babu considers that the reasons for the failure were the lack of a solid economic foundation – the EAC was only a trading arrangement with some basic infrastructure to facilitate foreign trade – and of political trust; there was a disregard of peoples’ real needs.

Following the alleged sale of game reserves and islands to Arabs, Tanzanians have become very sensitive on land issues according to NEW AFRICAN (February). ‘When the Swahili newspaper ‘Mwananchi’ reported that Dar es Salaam City Council had sold a plot of communal land to an Arab there was uproar. The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development said that the sale was illegal and ordered the City Council to cancel it. The Council said that the Minister had no authority to do this. Fearing that nothing would be done, the people took the law into their own hands and started to demolish the building’. Mwalimu Nyerere backed the people. “This is what happens when you have hopeless leaders” he was quoted as saying.

In the second article in this issue of AFRICA EVENTS Rasna Warah stated that although the three heads of state had shown enormous enthusiasm and maturity in making the dream of a renewed East African Community a reality, the prime mover had been President Mwinyi of Tanzania who, in recent months, had been consistently calling for enhanced cooperation. Reviewing reactions in the three countries to the news from Arusha, Hilal Sued reported varied responses in Tanzania. Sceptics had spoken about a ‘coalition of dictatorial forces’ and referred to the growing enthusiasm for a Tanganyika government in Tanzania, the recreation of monarchies in Uganda and the dedication of Kenyans to ‘eating each others1 livers1. In the same issue AFRICA EVENTS republished Julius Nyerere’s historic paper, written in June 1960, appealing to the East African countries, before any of them had became independent, to set up a federation. But, when, in 1964 after independence the presidents of Uganda and Tanzania had requested Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta to become the first federal President he had refused. That had been the end of any serious East African unity.

Under this heading Alexander Frater (THE OBSERVER LIFE January 9) ‘soaked up Zanzibar’s spicy past and fragrant present1. Extracts: ‘In the morning I headed for the old English Club, now a sleazy hotel which I had visited in 1988. Then the manager, selecting a large black key, had opened up the Club Library and allowed me into a dark room lined by glass-fronted bookcases containing hundreds of volumes dating back to the mid-19th century. There were first editions of Dickens and Kipling, books about Queen Victoria, the Boer War, pig sticking in the Punjab, memoirs of dead missionaries, biographies of forgotten politicians … a rare trawl of remarkable period material. Today, though, the manager could not be found. I peered through the keyhole and saw the bookcases standing empty. A sallow Pole, one of the Hotel’s long-term residents, said the books had probably been used for fuel during some routine power cut’. (Thank you Stephen Williams for this and the next item – Ed).

‘Nine-year old Rajab Hamisi balances a tin of sand on his left shoulder. He shifts it to the right shoulder as he gazes at cars speeding along the busy accident-prone Nelson Mandela Express Way in Dar es Salaam before he crosses to the other side to sell it to builders. “My son is a great help” says his mother “I cannot feed my children without his help”. The International Labour Organisation Office in Dar es Salaam is said to be concerned abut the alarming increase of child labour cases in Tanzania. According to SOCIETY in its October 1993 issue, nearly 3 million Tanzanian children between 10 and 14 years are working in various sectors including factories where they are exposed to machinery injuries and chemical poisoning. The Government has established a Shs 500 million (US$1.0 million) fund to help young people but this was described in the article as very minimal.


Poachers were probably behind an attack on a group of tourists in Tanzania in which one of the tourists, a Mr Collier from Vancouver (30), died one hour after being hit by a poisoned arrow, according to the TIMES (February 23). The attack occurred at a remote camp site on the edge of the Serengeti National Park near Lake Victoria. ‘Only two tribes in the region still understand the art of poison preparation. The power of the paste on the arrow which killed Mr Collier indicates that it had been prepared to kill a large animal. ..I After the attack local people held a memorial service for Mr Collier. They had been shocked and revolted by what had occurred….’ (Thank you Christine Lawrence for this item – Ed )


An article in the JOHANNESBURG STAR (February 1994) expressing concern about the future of the Kruger National Park in South Africa began with these words: ‘When Julius Nyerere, first President of Tanzania, was asked what would become of the Serengeti Game Reserve after Tanganyika gained independence in 1961 he reportedly replied “Why should the animals live if my people are dying of hunger?”. It was not an unreasonable response. Serengeti had been an important source of food for centuries. Its proclamation as a game sanctuary came only after the advent of the white man who, with his rifle, wrought considerably more damage to the vast herds than any poacher’s trap …. conservationists waited in alarm to see what would become of the park. Would it become a source of cheap meat for the masses? . . . Yet, in spite of the fears, Serengeti has survived as one of the world’s most spectacular tourist attractions … Lovers of the Kruger National Park are reacting with much the same alarm…..’

Although the greater part of the text of a 7-page supplement in LLOYDS LIST (February 21) was devoted to Kenya, Tanzania dominated the supporting advertising with half of the 18 advertisements coming from such organisations as the Chinese-Tanzanian Joint Shipping Company (‘The Largest Shipping Company in East Africa’) TAZARA (‘A Big Name In Freight Traffic’), Tanzania Harbours Authority (‘Profit From Our $300 Million Face-lift’) and Tanzania Railways Corporation (‘Save Time and Money, Use TRC’).

The first article expressed some optimism about all three countries in the region following the recent ‘Treaty for Enhanced East African Cooperation’. This was described as a serious, if tentative and fragile move, which could herald the beginning of regional cooperation at levels totally unprecedented since the collapse of the East African Community. (The relatively modest objectives are to create a free trade area and gradually build on joint institutions which are still functioning rather than to recreate the East African Community which collapsed in 1977 – Editor)

The Tanzanian Harbours Authority was said to be launching a study aimed at investigating which areas of the port could be privatised successfully in view of the competition now being offered by South Africa in supplying the landlocked hinterland countries. The container yard was likely to be the first part. Although the trend was towards containerisation, Dar es Salaam Port still received a substantial amount of bulk cargo particularly grain and fertilisers for Malawi and Zambia.

Under the heading ‘Untapped Potential Lies at the Heart of the Tanzanian Economy’ a rosy picture was painted of the potential for development although it was admitted that there was not a single good big business in Tanzania at present. The continuing liberalisation of Tanzania’s banking and financial institutions was seen as the linchpin to the country’s recovery (Thank you Brian Hodqson for these items – Ed).

Under this heading the French journal GRANDS REPORTAGE (January) presented 16 pages of beautiful illustrations of Tanzania’s wildlife. The text was minimal but included an abundance of glowing adjectives – ‘lacs roses de flamants’, ‘baobabs elephantesques’, ‘Masaai eblouissants’, ‘les gracieuses gazelles de Thomson’, ‘cette Afrique serene’…..

Tanzania, according to SOCIETY (October 4 1993) cuts down about 400,000 hectares of forest each year and only reafforests 20,000. Now it is facing a new threat to its forestry resource. Jumping Plant Lice (Leucaena psyllid) have been spotted along the coast and are threatening the Leucaena tree which has been promoted to fertilise and conserve the soil and can also be used for timber, firewood, charcoal, fodder and as a hedge. The psyllids attack leaves and shoots and can cause wilting, defoliation and later plant starvation leading to death. They originated in South America and spread from there to Madagascar and Mauritius before reaching the East African coast. Insecticides can be used against the pest but are expensive. Research is now being concentrated on finding resistant varieties and parasitic wasps – (Thank you Stephen Williams for this story – Ed).

According to the JOHANNESBURG STAR INTERNATIONAL (March 13- 19) South Africa’s Pan-Africanist Congress has announced the suspension of its armed struggle. There had been an escalation of attacks on whites at the beginning of the year by alleged operatives of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA). The GUARDIAN and the TIMES had stated earlier that there had been a crisis meeting of the PAC Senior leadership on January 15th. The most critical issue facing them had been the declaration from Tanzania’s foreign ministry barring the PAC and APLA , which had their headquarters in Dar es Salaam, from using the country to plot hostile action against South Africa. For decades Tanzania had been the PAC’s staunchest supporter. But PAC President Clarence Makwetta was later said to have denied that the Tanzanian (and similar Zimbabwean) action had had any influence on the decision. (Thank you Christine Lawrence for part of this story – Ed).

THE TIMES (March 11) presented extracts from 117 letters written by the late Princess Grace of Monaco which were auctioned recently. They were said to reveal her as a practical, thoroughly modern good-time girl who manipulated men in the film industry as much as they had manipulated her. One extract, written when she was in East Africa for six months shooting the 1963 film ‘Mogambo’ was as follows: ‘Yesterday we had a day off. Clark Gable and I rode in a jeep for three hours to get to Bukoba – the nearest town on Lake Victoria. We had a horrible lunch at the hotel there and then a delicious swim in the lake. We had to go in in our underwear – it was a riot as you can well imagine’. Later she ‘can’t resist’ stealing some headed notepaper from government House in Uganda ……( Thank you Simon Hardwick for this extract – Ed) .

Mike Read of the UK’s ‘Flora Preservation Society’ said on RADIO 3 (January 8) in the programme ‘Music Matters’ that Tanzania is the main supplier of African Blackwood for the making of musical instruments. However, he went on, ‘Tanzania has only 18 years supply of this timber left in its forests’. (Thank you Jane Carroll for this item – Ed).

The ANNUAL REPORT (1992-93) OF THE REFUGEE STUDIES PROGRAMME of Oxford University contained an intriguing story arising from a chance meeting following research in Somalia. Two hundred years ago a group of Zigua people from the Tanzanian coast were sold into slavery in Somalia. Through an uprising they gained their freedom. Unable to make the long journey back to their homeland they settled along the Juba river. They suffered many privations – attempts to recapture them, subsequent compulsory labour for British and Italian colonisers, discrimination when some of them adopted Christianity. The efforts of some to assimilate through language and religion did not seem to have improved their position. Some 20,000 however retained their language. In recent years they had to flee Somalia but they reject the notion that they are refugees. Unaware of their history, the Tanzanian government is said to have insisted that they be treated like other Somalis in refugee camps. ‘Not surprisingly, former slaves and former masters do not make peaceful bedfellows ‘…….(Thank you Alex Vines for this item – Ed)

‘Our last major event before Christmas was to hold Father Robin Lamburn’s ‘Arobaini’ (forty in Swahili). This is a Muslim custom which has been adopted locally. Forty days after a person’s burial people gather together to mark the end of the official mourning period. Villagers kept vigil by the grave on the night before as they had done the night before his burial. The day of the ‘Arobaini’ began with a celebratory mass, which was followed by a meal (for more than 500 people!) and speeches in honour of Father Lamburn’ – Jenny and Geoff O’Donoghue in the RUFIJI LEPROSY TRUST NEWSLETTER NO. 16.

The ANNUAL REVIEW OF BRITISH AID TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES for 1993 has revealed that Tanzania came third in the world in terms of bilateral aid granted. It received £62 million following India (£115 million) and Bangladesh (£66 million). The next largest recipients in order of magnitude were Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya, China, Uganda and Pakistan.


Mr Andrew Fraser (42), one of the sons of Brigadier Lord Lovet (one of the first to land in Normandy on D-Day), the Master of Lovat, one of Britain’s oldest peerages and also Chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat, was killed by a charging buffalo while on a hunting trip in Tanzania. Two weeks later his elder brother, Mr Simon Fraser, collapsed and died during a drag hunt at the family seat, Beaufort Castle in Inverness-shire. The new heir Simon Fraser (17) is described by a friend as being keen on riding, shooting and other country sports (DAILY TELEGRAPH, March 28).


Late night revellers in Dar es Salaam, according to NEW AFRICAN (February), are claiming that ‘ghosts’ are haunting the bars and dark streets of the city. One man, who was said to be too frightened to reveal his name, described how a ghost walked into a bar in Kinondoni – the ghost was entirely shrouded from head to toe in soiled white bandages. He said the ghost approached him and, in a hoarse voice, demanded beer, claiming that “even the dead need a drink”. Then the gaunt figure summoned other ‘ghosts’ who emerged from a nearby banana grove. They all wore shrouds. ..and walked very slowly, dragging their feet. The temperature in the bar fell to such an extent that the customers started shivering. After drinks for all, the chief ghost told his followers it was time to return to the underworld. But before they went they made a round of the bar collecting money, watches and gold chains from the terrified clients. The ghosts threatened that anyone trying to flee would be struck dead….,

CHARIOT, the Newsletter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, reported (April 1994) that Tanzanian student Abraham Muro had successfully defended his thesis in what was described as an extremely ambitious programme on the epidemiology of Onchocerciasis. This disease is most prevalent in West Africa and better known as River Blindness. His work has indicated that the disease is more important in Kilosa than hitherto thought. (Thank you John Sankey for this item – Editor).

Tanzania’s soccer team has long been in the doldrums. President Mwinyi has described them as like ‘heads of madmen on which barbers learn to shave’ (NEW AFRICAN, February). But when the Dar es Salaam Simba club reached the finals of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) 1993 Club Championships by holding Stella Abidjan of Cote d’Ivoire to a draw, the entire nation was said to have gone wild. Businessman Azim Dewji promised to give each player a Toyota car. Unfortunately, in the final in Dar es Salaam the crowd were bitterly disappointed when Simba were beaten 2-0 by Stella.

No one in Tanzania is more popular than the Zairean singer Remmy Ongala wrote NEW AFRICAN in its May issue. ‘He has stirred up a furore with his latest hit Kilio cha samaki – the cry of the fish. He says that the fish is oppressed because the people hunt it for food. People do not hear its cries’. But Tanzania” rulers were said to be convinced that Ongala’s songs are mocking them. The story of the fish is really an allegory with the fish representing the oppressed masses and the cruel fisherman the ruling party CCM.


The first person heard on Zanzibar radio after the bloody revolution of January 12th 1964 was virtually unknown. His name was John Okello. He soon became very well known indeed in Zanzibar and around the world. But, after a short period in the limelight, he disappeared back into obscurity.

The Dar es Salaam ‘Express’s Samwillu Mwaffisi has been asking whether John Okello was the hero of the Zanzibar revolution or the villain. According to his article this is what happened.

John Okello was born in Uganda and travelled via Mombasa to Pemba to look for work on June 22, 1959. He worked first as a bricklayer and, later, in Zanzibar, as a carpenter. He joined the Afro-Shirazi Party and became an activist in opposing the government still headed at that time by an Arab sultan. The extent to which Okello planned the revolution is still not clear. He claimed that, 14 days before the revolution, he had picked 450 freedom fighters and had taken them in groups of 150 at a time to a forest where he trained them to shoot. The Zanzibar authorities have always maintained that he took no part in the planning of the revolution and that this was done by a 14-man revolutionary committee of the Afro- Shirazi party under the chairmanship of the Late Sheikh Abeid Karume who subsequently became President of Zanzibar. It was decided that for security reasons the Sheikh should be outside Zanzibar when the revolution took place and he went to Dar es Salaam. So it was Okello who announced on Zanzibar radio that the revolution had taken place. Okello also took part in the storming of the Ziwani armoury which provided the arms used in the revolution.

According to this account the Afro-Shirazi party had faced a problem. If Sheikh Karume was to be outside the country, who would announce the revolution? The revolutionary committee decided that, for the people to believe that a revolution had taken place, it was necessary to have someone with a deep, authoritative voice to announce it. A voice with a Zanzibar accent should be avoided as people would not believe it. Thus Okello became the spokesman of the revolution.

The revolutionary committee assumed that, after the announcement had been made and Sheikh Karume had returned, Okello would step aside. But he did not want to do so and made it clear that he himself was the leader of the revolution in several more radio broadcasts.

After his return Sheikh Karume summoned Okello and, among other things, discussed the possibility of some ‘bakhshish’ for his assistance. Okello is reported to have said that his lifelong ambition had been to build a house for his mother in Uganda. The Sheikh gave him Shs 80,000 and he went back to Uganda. The revolutionary authorities then declared him a prohibited immigrant and Sheikh Karume asked President Nyerere to talk to his friend President Obote of Uganda to make sure that Okello never returned to the isles. But Okello did return. When his plane landed in Zanzibar he found most of the senior members of the new revolutionary government at the airport and was told to return back to Dar es Salaam immediately. He was not allowed to speak to anyone else in Zanzibar and never returned again.

The writer of the article concludes that Okello must have played some part in the planning of the revolution. Had he stopped after doing what he was asked to do – announcing the revolution – he would most probably have been allowed to stay in the island and might have become one of its heroes. As it was, he became the villain.


Part of a Series of World Bank Research Reports. Oxford University Press. 1994

This recently published report has put Tanzania among the best performing adjusting economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 26 countries which the study ranked by macroeconomic policy performance, Tanzania was among the six which had shown a significant improvement in policies. The others are Ghana, the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. These countries also had the largest improvement in per capita GDP growth. The study points out that countries which suffered a deterioration in macroeconomic policies also had the poorest growth record.

The report, which is designed to lead to a better understanding of the relationship between policies and growth in Africa, found that the extent of policy reform varied widely. On the whole, countries did better in improving macroeconomic than financial sector reform or the reform of public enterprises. Almost two-thirds of countries managed to improve their macroeconomic policies between the beginning and end of the 1980’s. The economies that have liberalised their pricing and marketing of agriculture and, in general reduced taxation and discrimination against agriculture (Tanzania is one of these) have experienced a resurgence in domestic production of both food and export crops. The adoption of more realistic exchange rates has also helped to provide incentives for domestic activities and discouraged excessive dependence on imported goods. The study also demonstrates that devaluation does not necessarily result in higher rates of inflation where correct measures accompany such devaluation. The countries which followed devaluation with complementing policies of wage, fiscal and monetary restraint did not experience inflationary pressures. Tanzania, for example, has managed to reduce its inflation from over 40% in the mid- 1980’s to just over 20% currently. This is a significant achievement but is still far below what is expected of those economies which are performing well.

The study shows that where policies have improved, renewed economic growth has taken place. In particular, improvements in exchange rate policies were strongly associated with faster growth. It points cut that 14 countries have shown improvement in macroeconomic policies and a positive change in per capita income growth rates. The six countries that improved their policies the most (Tanzania included) had the biggest improvements in the rate of GDP growth per capita – an increase of about two percentage points per annum in the period 1081-86 and 1987-91. During the same period, countries which did not improve their policies experienced falls in per capita growth rates of over two percentage points per annum.

One of the main conclusions of the study is the responsiveness of exports to policy reform; despite declining terms of trade, the study indicates that there has been a substantial increase in export volumes in most adjusting economies that have combined exchange rate and agriculture price and marketing liberalisation policies.

Although the study paints the picture that sub-Saharan Africa’s economic decline may have been arrested, and in most cases modestly reversed, the performance of the many adjusting economies still poses cause for concern. Apart from the fragile social and political environment which is likely to adversely affect the sustainability of the adjustment process in the long term, current growth rates among the best performers are ‘still too low to reduce poverty much in the next two to three decades1. Also, although inflation rates have generally declined, they are still by far too high compared with the best performing economies in other regions of the world. There is an urgent need to implement policies that consistently bear down on inflation and to bring it to single figures, if sustainable growth is to be maintained.

The report indicates that, with today’s policies it will take 40 years before sub-Saharan Africa returns to its income per capita in the mid-1970’s. This is a very bleak scenario indeed.

For Tanzania, which embarked on the adjustment process in 1986, after the failure of the socialist policies enshrined in the Arusha Declaration, the task which lies ahead is formidable. Many low-income earners have suffered from the escalating prices which have accompanied the price and exchange liberalisation. For long-term benefits to be derived, it will be necessary for the government to press ahead with the policy reforms and, in particular, keep on board the IMF and the World Bank. Recent slippage in policy reform and the criticisms that have been expressed by the IMF and some donors, is a matter of serious concern for the future sustainabilty of Tanzania’s reform programme.
E J Kisanga

THE UKIMWI ROAD: FROM KENYA TO ZIMBABWE. Dervla Murphy. John Murray Publishers. 1993. 265 pages. £16.99.

Imagine pedalling 3,000 miles on a bicycle, alone up and down the hills and across the savannah from Kenya through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Add that you are a sixty-year-old Irish woman who never visited the area before. Then enjoy the fresh, perceptive and sensitive impressions of travel writer Dervla Murphy, and her vivid descriptions of the countryside – lush, barren or drenched with torrential rains. Query her judgements.

Murphy intersperses her travel tales with vignettes of history and conversations with local residents at village hotels and bars where she ends the day. In Bukoba, for example, the costly Tanzanian war with Uganda comes to life as the author ponders relationships between socialism, selfreliance, personal reserve and ‘economic disaster’.

The narrative returns time and again to ‘ukimwi’ the slim disease – AIDS. The author faithfully reports a diversity of beliefs about its causes – Europeans, women, witchcraft? She admires people like Janet, whom she met in Mbeya, as the source of hope: ,Those exceptional African women whose response to AIDS is imaginative and courageous, who know that their feminist hour has comer.

Criticism is apportioned equitably. At one moment the blame for conditions of poverty is put on colonialists, at another on the independent government and yet another on the International Monetary Fund. ‘Malfunctioning western imports’ such as phones that don’t work, banks that have no currency left, schools without textbooks and hospitals without medicines are despised, as are ‘hundreds of vehicles carrying one or two expatriates’ that ‘zoom around rural areas’ (197). She hears educated Tanzanians questioning the appropriateness of a current western import: multi-party democracy. African governments fail to put priority on food production over the cash crops grown by western consortia, she says, because they ‘seem befuddled by the miasma rising from the swamp of IMF and World Bank calculations and arguments (175). Yet, ‘parallel to this world of pretence, the ordinary people survive somehow (183).

Murphy’s conclusion is devastating: that the west ought to ‘quit Africa’ (263). She partly explains that abrupt proposal by saying ‘we still treat Africa as our forebears did in the 1890rs, operating behind a different screen with the same (or worse) greed’. The donors1 approach, she says, ‘denies African civilisation its own dignity and integrity’.

In that scenario of abandonment by the West, MS Murphy, what shall Africa do about an international debt that in 1992 equalled 93% of its GDP – a debt that was accrued by leaders, many now displaced or dead? Do you really think it possible –
or desirable – today to insulate Africa and the West from one another environmentally or economically? Might another scenario be envisioned, with justice and respect on both sides?
Margaret Snyder

GUIDE TO ZANZIBAR AND PEMBA. D Else. Bradt Publications, 1993
164 pages. £8.95.

The Daily Telegraph (February 19th 1994) wrote about this book ‘The publication coincides with a more welcoming approach to visitors to this island off the coast of Tanzania’. It is, of course, more than one island – the book mentions the two largest, Unguja and Pemba and several smaller ones. The Telegraph goes on to write that ‘the Pemba Channel offers perhaps the finest deep-sea fishing along the whole East African coast’. As in the case of the parallel book ‘A Guide to Tanzania’ by the same publishers, which was reviewed in Bulletin No 47, this is an eminently practical, up-to date, ‘how-to’ guide which is surely essential reading for visitors to what it describes as this ‘unspoilt’ place. Zanzibar is described as a good example of tourism as it should be – low-key, not too obtrusive and providing some benefits for the local people without destroying their culture or environment. Visitors are advised to see the island as a community and not as a theme park – DRB.

NEWS FROM MASASI. J Russell and N C Pollock.
Veroffentlichungen der Institute fur Afrikanistik und Agyptologie der Universitat, Vienna. 1993. l60 pages. A few copies are available from Joan Russell, 18 West Bank, York Y02 4ES at £10.20 (including p&p).

At first sight the proposition in the title of this book may appear to be misplaced but the reader soon realises that it has been chosen deliberately. The preface tells us that the motivation for writing it came from twenty-one letters written at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries by an African woman living near Masasi. ‘They are one of the earliest surviving bodies of prose texts written in Swahili, in the roman script, by a woman’. Extracts from them (with English translations) are quoted extensively and illustrate how ordinary people in that part of Africa reacted to some of the outside influences affecting them at the turn of the century.

Ajanjeuli was born into a pagan family in 1883 and baptised Agnes in 1897. She was an intelligent and observant girl who came in contact with Anglican missionaries and through them with the congregation of St. Agnes’ Church, Kensington Park. London, who were the recipients of her letters. The correspondence continued over several years: the earliest one quoted is dated October 1898 and the latest September 1912. Fortunately they have been preserved in the archives of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and fortunately too they came to the notice of Russell and Pollock. Agnes grew up to be one of the first teachers in what would now be called a village primary school. She married another teacher, Francis Sapuli, who later became an Anglican priest and a highly respected canon of Masasi cathedral. Agnes died shortly before the end of World War I in 1918.
The book has not been written for specialists in any particular branch of learning, although the authors do express the hope that it will interest students of the Swahili language. They might remember that for Agnes too Swahili was a second language and they will gain encouragement from comparing the Swahili of her letter of February 1905, which appears as a frontispiece to ‘News from Masasi’ with that of her later letters and discerns a noticeable progress. Mention of some of the subjects discussed must include: life in East Africa under the German occupation; trading in slaves and ivory which was rampant in the second half of the nineteenth century; witchcraft; frequent droughts and food shortages; the arrival and reception of the early missionaries; the first schools and the use of the Swahili language leading to its adoption as the national language of Tanzania in the 1960’s; the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905. The last chapter is a bonus, being a careful record (with map) of World War I as regards its impact on Southern Tanzania and Mozambique.

The authors acknowledge their debt to earlier writers, with a list of more than fifty titles (German and English) to which they have referred. The great value of ‘News from Masasi’, as one person sees it, is its lucid and very instructive coverage of so much ground in 160 pages. It would be an ideal handbook for students and others who are hoping to work in the Mtwara/Lindi regions. Almost inevitably, they will find themselves impelled to pursue their studies in some of the books listed in the bibliography and former residents will find much to refresh and delight their memories. Copies would surely be useful and welcome gifts to the libraries of local secondary schools
George Briggs

K. Mundy. Comparative Education Review. November 1993. 22 pages.

This is a very valuable review of developments in the field of literacy in three countries of the region: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Mundy makes clear that the evaluation of literacy efforts in sub-Saharan Africa has relied mainly on ,an ideological belief in literacy as an absolute value (a basic human need and right) combined with the faith that literacy is a causal agent in economic expansion and political modernization.’

Mundy suggests, however, a very different framework for evaluation – ‘one that situates literacy in the context of Africa’s unequal and worsening position within the world system and that relates literacy policies and their outcomes to shifting patterns of resistance, reaction, compliance and accommodation…at the national, local and individual level’. His comments on Tanzania are especially instructive and well argued. He emphasizes, of course, that the Tanzanian programme was specially geared to adults, following Nyerere’s highlighting of the importance of adult literacy in the First Five Year Development Plan. One consequence of this was that Tanzania did not try to make great strides in primary education that many other countries of the region attempted.

It is extremely interesting to discover that despite Tanzania’s path of social development, ‘learning continues to be viewed instrumentally by the majority of Tanzanians as preparation for success in a hierarchical and competitive market system’. Recent studies have shown fairly conclusively that in Tanzanian villages, literacy is achieved and maintained in those communities that are economically prosperous. People interviewed from the two most impoverished villages in which research was conducted, could quote the government official line about the great importance of literacy, but when the discussion was opened up on what hopes they had and what problems they faced, it became very clear that their literacy skills were simply not put into practice. In short the people felt that literacy skills in general could do nothing to change their present circumstances.

Mundy concludes that ‘the Tanzanian case in particular illustrates the fact that, when national literacy efforts are viewed in a historical and world system framework, few general rules of a positive linear nature about the impact of literacy or the most efficient ways of achieving it can be deduced. Illiteracy is a fundamental manifestation of the unequal relationships integral to capitalism, and no amount of social engineering can alter this’. I believe Mundy has argued well, has few blinkers on the subject, and his conclusions, though politically unpopular in some quarters, seem to me to be very sound.
Noel K. Thomas


THE POLITICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL IN NORTH-EASTERN TANZANIA 1840-1940. J L Giblin. University of Pennsylvania Press. 1992. 209 pages. USS24.95. £21 hardback. In a critical review in the Journal of the Royal African Society, Jan Kees Van Donge of Chancellor College, Malawi questions one of the main elements in this book which was based on recent oral evidence – a belief in a golden age in agriculture amongst the Wazigua of Handeni District which was subsequently destroyed by colonialism. He writes: ‘This (golden age) is probably factually wrong and may also be harmful as it can lead to scapegoating and diverting attention from pressing contemporary problems like deforestation and soil exhaustion’.

LANDMINES IN MOZAMBIQUE. Human Rights Watch. 104 pages. £5.99 from 90 Borough High Street, London SE 1. This book contains only one paragraph on Tanzania but this paragraph is significant in view of the seriousness of the problem Mozambique is facing at present in clearing landmines left during the liberation war all over the country. The paragraph reads: ‘A force of some 5 – 7,000 Tanzanian soldiers assisted the Mozambican government in the fight against Renamo. They laid defensive minefields around their bases in Zambezia Province. ……… no maps of these minefields were left behind when the Tanzanian forces returned home in December 1988’.


PRIVATISATION IN AN AFRICAN CONTEXT: THE CASE OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA. J S Henley and G B Assaf. Industry and Development 32 (1) January 1993. 16 pages.

THE CREATION OF IDENTITY: COLONIAL SOCIETY IN BOLIVIA AND TANZANIA. R H Jackson and G Maddox. Comparative Studies in Society and History 35 (2) April 1993. 21 pages.

FURTHER RESULTS ON THE MACRO-ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AIDS; THE DUALISTIC, LABOUR SURPLUS ECONOMY. J T Cuddington. World Bank Economic Review, 7 (3). 14 pages. September 1993. Tanzanian data suggest that the macroeconomic consequences of the epidemic are about the same as those obtained using a singlesector, full-employment model; GDP is 15-25% smaller by 2010 than it would have been without AIDS and per capita GDP is O- 10% smaller.


TANZANIA: THE LIMITS OF DEVELOPMENT FROM ABOVE. K J Havnevik. Scandinavian Institute of African Studies 1993.

DISABILITY, LIBERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. P Coleridge. 1993. 160 pages. £6.95. This book makes the case for regarding disabled people as partners in development. It is based on interviews with disabled people in five countries including Zanzibar,

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT. PROFILES OF THE SADC COUNTRIES. P O’Keefe, M Sill and S Moyo. Earthscan. 416 pages. 1993. £35. This book is drafted by local environmental experts and includes an up-to-date description of Tanzania’s geography, environmental problems, institutional structures and issues.


I would like to thank you for renewing my subscription to the Bulletin. In my opinion it is improving with each issue. I would hardly call it ‘glossy’! (But then again, nor would I call it big-print).
I was especially impressed by the obituary of the Rev. Canon R G P Lamburn whom I met – like many others – on a brief trip to Kindwitwi in 1987. So impressed was I with the place, the people and the man, that upon my arrival in Spain in the summer of 1989, I began to write a novel set in Tanzania with Canon Lamburn and his two young British assistants as major characters! Upon reading of Robin’s death, it was obvious to me that a great soul had passed away.
Paul Isbell Munch
Madrid, Spain.

I am a staunch Tanzania-phile and I thought that you might be interested to hear about climbs I made last year of the Mguru Mountain which lies 10 miles North of Morogoro. During a first attempt at Easter three of us succeeded in climbing about two thirds of the way up the northern end. The terrain was harsh; many thorns, biting flies, inconspicuous rock faces and loose boulders. In August we tried again. We walked along the Southwestern ridge of the horseshoe to where (from the West at least) appears to be the highest point. At first a woodcutter’s trail eased our path, nevertheless, towards the top there was very dense bush and a steep gradient.

We tried to uncover more information about the origin of the mountain’s name – in KiUluguru ‘the foot of the bird’. We learnt a number of intriguing hypotheses from our Uluguru friends. These revolve around three central themes. First, that the large rock faces resemble the digits or talons of a bird’s foot. Second, according to legend, a very large bird sent by God is said to have landed on this mountain. Third, from behind this mountain the first aeroplane to be seen in Morogoro was said to have come. Could this plane, as was suggested to us, have been involved in the fierce fighting in the Morogoro region during the First World War? We wonder whether anybody can throw light upon the name of this mountain and we should be interested to hear tales of other people’s adventures on her slopes.
Maxwell Cooper
Volcano Veterinary Centre
B.P. 105, Ruhengeri, Rwanda.

I read with much interest the report – sent out to members of the Britain-Tanzania Society with the January Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs – of the seminar ‘Down to Earth With Appropriate Technology’. I am sure that such technology is not only far more cost effective and less wasteful than large and grandiose projects, but is of more benefit to ordinary people. I would however like to question a point made in the discussion suggesting that during the German and British Colonial periods blacksmithing was made illegal in order to protect the market for imported factory-made tools.

I served as a district officer from 1950 to 1952 in several districts and never heard of any laws or restrictions on blacksmiths who, as I recall, operated in small numbers in many areas. Indeed district officers were keen to promote any economic activity which would increase people’s wealth. With the encouragement of the district administration an attempt was made in 1956 to revive the traditional skills of Wafipa iron-smelters and blacksmiths at Sumbawanga. The hoe produced was said to last at least twice as long as factory made hoes. I remember hearing that the whole process was so labour and time consuming that it could not be made at a price people could afford to pay, or in sufficient quantity. If, at any time, there were restrictions on blacksmiths, I think it more likely that their intent was to prevent the repairing of weapons e.g. muzzle loaders. However, in the mid- 1950’s there were more than 3,000 muzzle loaders in Mpanda district.
Michael Dorey
Hexham, Northumberland


The following is part of a letter from Dr. Esther Mwaikango dated April 25, 1994 which explains vividly the vagaries of the Tanzanian climate; earlier drought in many parts of the country has been followed by violent storms in Dar es Salaam: ‘We are a bit tired of the torrential rains. We pray for rain, and then we pray for it to end. Saturday, on the bus, one man complained bitterly at getting wet from cold rain blowing in the window which couldn’t be closed. A woman answered him smartly – “This rain is a blessing from God. Shame on you for fussing about a small thing. No lives have been lost. That would have been a disaster”. Looking at the roadside, water pouring over the verge as if a cataract, one could wonder at this blessing. And yesterday, a small cyclone blew roofs off in Kariakoo (the centre of the town) and killed at least two people, one a small boy. Over a thousand people have no homes now. It seems like a very comfortable and homely trouble compared with what is going on in Rwanda and Burundi – and one which commonsense and kindness can take care of. Kindness for now and commonsense in city planning in the future……’

50 YEARS AGO (1944)

The following extracts are from the ‘Tanganyika Standard’ in the early part of 1944.

A rather angry farmer wrote to the Editor on February 26, 1944: ‘1 think some of the officers in the Moshi area need a refresher course in good manners. A few don’ts:

1) If a farmer has given half his farm to the military authorities free, don’t behave like a boor; at least send your Adjutant to find out what will and what will not constitute a nuisance on the remainder of the farm;

2) When route marching through private property, maintain march discipline and don’t let men fall out and help themselves to grapefruits and pawpaws;

3) If you wish to train your men in bush fighting don’t do so in a coffee plantation as coffee branches are easily
broken !

The Chief Mechanical Engineer was quoted on May 27 1944 as having described some of the work done by the Marine, Civil and Mechanical Departments of the Tanganyika Railway and Port Services since the beginning of the war in 1940. ‘The first order’ he said, ‘was for stars and crowns for the locally recruited officers of the armed forces. This caused considerable difficulties and the task almost had to be given up, until it was learnt that an expert coiner had just been released from prison. He was sufficiently good at his illicit trade to have earned a ten-year stretch but he was soon put to work to produce hundreds of stars and crowns. The Works had also been engaged in conversion of heavy passenger-carrying planes into fighting machines …. Tanganyika Railways also collected, treated and supplied 100 old Krupp railway axles for trench mortars. Several thousand machined parts were made for land mines and 50 river pontoons complete with decking and hinged connectors were also made.. … Other items included 500 five-ton lifting jacks, 80,000 pairs of head and toe plates for army boots and 60 sets of mine and depth charge launching gear.. ..We have made an active contribution to the war’ the Chief Mechanical Engineer said.