THE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION
THE DIVIDED OPPOSITION
TANGANYIKA 50 YEARS AGO
NIGHT LIFE IN DAR ES SALAAM
Attorney General Andrew Chenge told parliament recently that Tanzania had declared war against corruption and there was no way in which it would go back on this. But, a year after the publication of the ‘Warioba Report’ on corruption in December 1996 (TA No 57) questions are being asked about when its recommendations are going to be implemented and what is going to happen to those persons alleged in the report to have been corrupt.
For example, the ‘East African’ quoted outgoing American Ambassador Brady Anderson as saying that in 1995 about $80 million of government revenue had been lost but the culprits had not been brought to book. Visiting former World Bank President Robert MacNamara said that he had been shocked by the current level of graft. Swedish Ambassador Thomas Olof Palme spoke of corruption being taken lightly and Finnish Ambassador Hari Rantakari said that, before discussing long-term development plans, this issue of corruption had to be tackled. In Parliament several CCM MP’s joined opposition members in expressing shock in early November when they heard from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that in the 1994/95 fiscal year some Shs 12 billion had been ‘spent unvouched, misused or outwardly stolen’.
But EU Resident Representative Peter Beck said that he believed that President Mkapa was determined to combat corruption but needed support from society and the civil service. And Principal Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bernard Mchomvu said that the graft claims had been exaggerated by the media; the government-owned Daily News went further and described the diplomat’s stand as ‘a crusade against the government and a lack of respect for an independent nation’.
Judge Joseph Warioba himself is reported to be convinced that there is now enough evidence to try the suspects but Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye told parliament that the government would not be driven by internal or external pressure. The rule of law would prevail in determining corruption cases.
PRESIDENT MKAPA TAKES ACTION
President Mkapa is reported to have retired 122 corruption-linked officials and, according to the East African (November 24) has declared his intention to strengthen Tanzania’s Prevention of Corruption Bureau. He had been promised foreign aid for this he said. He was thinking about appointing an independent prosecutor for the Bureau who would concentrate on corruption cases and thus avoid some of the delay which has been incurred when files have been passed between the Bureau and the Director of Public Prosecutions. In November MP’s passed new legislation giving the Bureau powers of arrest, search and detention.
Following the Warioba Report President Mkapa had appointed a task force which had completed its work in May 1997 and submitted its files, including some mentioned in the Report, to the Prevention of Corruption Bureau. In a front page article on October 19 the Sunday News reported that the Bureau’s Director General Mr Anatoly Kamazina had announced that more than 200 people had been questioned between December 1996 and May 1997. Major General Kamazina had sent a number of the files to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP); some of these had been returned with a request for more evidence; some of the documentary evidence on others almost filled his office he said. It was understood that the files of certain senior personnel in the then Ministry of Communications and Works, mentioned in the Report, had not been sent back by the DPP. But the Director was quoted in the Daily News as complaining that it was the Corruption Prevention Bureau which was delaying prosecutions. One of the files which lacked material evidence had been that involving the former Minister of Communications Transport and Works, his then PS, the then Director of Roads and a road engineer.
Meanwhile, certain people are already before the courts on charges of corruption. According to the Daily News the Director General of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) has been charged with six counts of corruption including possession of two houses and $6,000 in cash. The Director of the Mwanza Municipal Council has been charged with owning property worth Shs 93 million which was alleged to be beyond his level of income (Daily News, October 30). Three Bank of Tanzania officials were also in court in late October charged with siphoning off Shs 136 million. On October 13 the East African reported that the General Manager of the Sugar Development Corporation had been sacked by President Mkapa following allegations of mismanagement leading to the loss of Shs 44.4 million.
The Council of (Zambian and Tanzanian) Ministers has dissolved the top management of the TAZARA RAILWAY AUTHORITY. The Tanzanian Minister of Communications and Transport told workers that the company’s liquidity position had reached a stage which would have warranted a declaration of bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, former Lands Minister Edward Lowassa has been awarded Shs l million ($1,587) by the newly formed Media Council (a voluntary body set up by journalists as a watchdog to improve media standards) against the newspaper Heko which had published a front page article saying that he had been named in the Warioba report. The editor of the paper said that his staff had misinterpreted the Report and that Mr Lowassa’s complaints were genuine. Former Communications and Works Minister Nalaila Kiula has complained in parliament that he had been condemned in the Warioba report without being heard – the Commission had been malicious and vindictive he said. A CCM MP Mr Kitwana Kondo also complained in parliament that Bureau officers had confiscated his car. Attorney General Andrew Chenge said he sympathised but that the MP should appeal to the responsible legal organs.
Answering a question about the extent to which democracy was now working in Tanzania in a recent interview House Speaker Pius Msekwa said that yes it was working and the foundations had been laid for its maintenance and durability. He added: “I actually have heard many people commenting that so far multi-partyism is working properly only inside Parliament; but it is not doing so well in the country as a whole. I am personally inclined to concur with these views”.
The warring groups within the main opposition NCCR-Mageuzi Party – the NCCR-Mrema faction (led by the Chairman of the party, Augustine Mrema) and the NCCR-Marando faction (led by the party’s Secretary General Mabere Marando) seem still to be far apart and this is not helping their cause at all.
Firstly, the High Court continues to prohibit the two factions from holding meetings of the old NCCR National Executive and Central Committees until a suit disputing the chairmanship of Mrema filed against him by Marando is disposed by the court.
Secondly, as the NCCR party suffers more casualties from petitions presented to the High Court against the election of its MP’s, it is finding it impossible to register in the subsequent by-elections because the faction leaders cannot agree to sign the necessary election registration documents.
The most recently dislodged NCCR MP has been the very fiery and prominent MP for Ubungo, Dar es Salaam Dr. Masumbuko Lamwai.
NCCR-Mrema faction Secretary General Mr Prince Bagenda was successful in his petition to the High Court to remove the CCM MP for Muleba South (Kagera Region) because of malpractice during the last elections, He assumed that he would have a good chance in the forthcoming by-election. But when he went to submit his nomination papers, the Returning Officer (and later, on appeal, the Vice-chairman of the Electoral Commission) rejected them because of irregularities – they did not contain the signature of the original NCCR Secretary General Mabere Marando, who still officially holds that post, although now leading the other faction of the party. Marando’s reaction to these events was, according to the Daily News, to accuse Bagenda of political ineptitude. Marando said that he would have been prepared to sign the nomination papers but had not been asked. The results of the by-election, where there was a poor turnout (announced on November 11) were:
Wilson Masilingi (the CCM MP who had been removed) 25,703
Ernest Mashobe (Civic United Front – CUF) 6,121
Gratian Mukoba (United Democratic Party – UDP) 2,957
A similar situation arose in the Arusha seat where the son of Mwalimu Nyerere, NCCR MP Makongoro Nyerere, whose success in the general elections had come as a surprise to many observers, lost his seat in October. He had originally survived a petition against his election but Appeal Court Justice Lameck Mfalila overuled this and spoke about the ‘massive foul play’ by the Returning Officer who was said to have excluded votes from seven polling stations. There had also been 5,246 ‘ghost’ voters and over 50 ballot boxes which had not been sealed. Mr Makongoro said he would now pursue further studies abroad. He was withdrawing (after being nominated for the by-election) in the interests of party unity. The by-election was scheduled for December 28. The Marando faction nominated a Mr Jeremiah Mpinga to replace him.
Another MP unseated earlier, the NCCR MP for Bunda (Musoma) Mr Stephen Wassira, has been refused permission by the Appeal Court to take part in the forthcoming by-election because of his alleged involvement in corrupt practices at the 1995 elections.
Even President Mkapa has expressed disappointment at the internal conflict in the NCCR. Democracy was enhanced by the presence of a strong opposition he said.
In other election petitions the Kasulu East NCCR candidate failed in his petition to prove 17 charges of corruption and violation of electoral procedures against the CCM MP for the constituency. In the Bukoba Rural election petition case, witness number 28, a CHADEMA party election agent, caused laughter in the court when he admitted that he had failed to attend a training session because he had heard that the truck bringing election agent’s allowances had arrived in the village. “Gari la kugawa pesa ilipofika, tulikimbilia fedha” he said.
Meanwhile, leader of the small (5 MP’s) UDP party, John Cheyo (described in the ‘East African’ as outspoken and stylish) is benefiting both from the collapse of the NCCR and from his key position as Deputy Leader of the opposition and Shadow Finance Minister – through his alliance with the 27 Zanzibar CUF MP’s who form the majority of the opposition in the Union parliament. He is increasing his national exposure in the media and his popularity by sharp questioning of government ministers. His party has also joined the Liberal International.
He has attacked what he described as the huge sums of money being spent by national leaders on travel expenses. He said that Mwalimu Nyerere had spent Shs 1.4 billion in the 18 months up to September 1996 and that President Mkapa had spent Shs 2.2 billion during the same period. Cheyo compared this with the Shs 2.3 billion in the budget for the water sector and Shs 546 million for the energy sector. The government-owned Daily News described his comments as ‘verbal poison’ and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru, warned him against seeking political popularity though unresearched data. He said that only Shs 173 million of Mwalimu’s expenses had been paid by Tanzania. The South Commission, of which Mwalimu is Chairman, had paid Shs 1.3 billion and the Burundi Fund, of which is he the Facilitator, had paid Shs 63 million. Cheyo was particularly voluble on a Bill presented to Parliament in October to increase benefits to retired leaders and the government subsequently withdrew the Bill so as to give more time to consider MP’s comments.
Meanwhile the government party, the Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM, has taken early steps to prepare itself for the next general elections in the year 2000 and the local elections in 1999.
At what was described in the press as an expensive ($800,000) Congress in Dodoma in mid-November attended by 1,500 delegates, President Mkapa was elected party chairman and former Prime Minister and long-standing party leader John Malecela retained one of the party vice-chairmanships (Zanzibar President Salmin Amour was chosen again for the other) even though it was said that Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye had hoped to be elected to the mainland post. Robert Rweyemamu writing in the ‘East African’ was critical of the way in which the party chose the same people to be nominated for the top party posts and how these people were then ‘elected’ by chants, clapping and table banging but not by actual voting. In fact there was an election and each candidate obtained more than 99% of the votes. Some observers expressed the view that Malecela had to be chosen again in the interests of unity because he represented a wing of the party not entirely in sympathy with President Mkapa’s reforming zeal. Rweyemamu reported that a long standing party member, Mr Leonard Munasa, had wanted to stand for the chairmanship but was told that to be elected he had first to be nominated and he hadn’t been nominated. The writer said that leadership should not only be democratic; it should be seen to be democratic.
Other observers however felt that the CCM was showing other parties how to conduct their affairs in a way which brought about concensus rather than the kind of bitter division seen in the NCCR.
More democratic was the contest for the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) where 500 plus members were competing for 80 posts. In all, two ministers, two regional commissioners and 11 MP’s lost their seats. Sadly, one lady member, after making an impassioned plea for votes, died from high blood pressure. The NEC then appointed members to the powerful Central Committee. It now includes the Prime Minister and Messrs Ngombale Mwiru, Jakaya Kikwete, Juma Ngasongwa and three women: Mrs Zakia Meghji, Sifa Swai and Mary Watondoha. The party’s new publicity secretary is Jackson Msome.
Commemorating his two years in office on October 24 President Salmin Amour said that there was no political crisis in the Isles and the question of mediation did not arise. The only problem he was aware of was the refusal of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) to accept the results of the 1995 elections. His narrow victory margin did not undermine his ability to govern he was quoted in the Daily News as saying.
Increasing pressure is being brought to bear against the CUF MP’s who have been boycotting the House of Representatives since the last elections in 1995. First they were told that they would no longer receive seating and lunch allowances and then, because they refused to attend morning prayers, because these included reference to President Amour, they were suspended by the Speaker for five days for showing disrespect. CUF appealed to the High Court. The House has also passed a ‘Zanzibar Broadcasting Bill’ designed to help Zanzibar to properly supervise the radio media and also cater for the new technologies and the competition which will arise through the setting up of private radio stations in the Isles.
CUF WIN BY-ELECTION
TA No 59 [actually TA58] contained details of the extraordinary story of Zanzibar CUF MP Salum Msabah Mbarouk who reportedly resigned his seat, took refuge in the Swedish embassy and then tried to recover his seat again. Zanzibar Chef Minister Dr. Mohamed Bilal was reported in the Daily news as having accused ‘a certain foreign diplomatic mission’ of taking part in the saga.
The CUF took the case to court demanding that the by-election not be held but, they lost the case and the mysterious MP seems to have disappeared into obscurity.
GREG CAMERON reports on the Mkunazini by-election: ‘It is in Mkunazini where most of the historical Stonetown lies. Moreover, most of the government ministries, including the State House, where President Salmin Amour works, are in Mkunazini thus giving it symbolic importance far beyond its spacial boundaries. The results were expected to be a weather vane for CUF’s boycotting of the Zanzibar legislature in what the party considers the rigging of the Zanzibar Presidential election in 1995 in favour of the CCM.
The voting went off without incident. Counting lasted until 8.45 am the following morning, with reporters and party representatives keeping an all night vigil. The results were as follows:
Juma Duni Haji (CUF) 1,641 (51.38%)
Sultan Mugheiry (CCM) 1,473 (46.12%
Ramadan Hamad Seleman (TADEA) 1 (0.03%)
Masoud Hamad Khamis UDP 6 (0.19%)
Ahmed Amran (NCCR) 12 (0.37%)
During the general election CUF had won with 3,060 votes (72.7%) against CCM’s 1,151 (27.3%).
Meanwhile, 12 officials of the CUF including two members of the House of Representatives were arrested immediately after CUF’s last rally and before voting on November 30 and were charged with sedition. It was alleged by the police that they had told a CUF rally, prior to the vote, that the people should be prepared for a bloodbath should the party lose in Mkunazini. The magistrate ruled that they should be remanded until December 11 when he would rule on bail participation and the status of the legislators (Daily News). On the CUF stronghold of Pemba many people have concurred with the alleged statements of the 12 accused. Pembans are fed up with the crisis with many exclaiming that their homeland ‘is unliveable’ (hapakaaliki). Even on workdays Chake Chake and Wete appear dormant as if it were a Sunday.
Those who have the means are trying to leave; others say they will only continue to die. Though a small minority may be fed up with the boycott and wish the CUF to re-enter the mainstream to bring the hoped for basic development, the vast majority feel a cessation of the boycott would make little difference to their lives. The CUF leadership has assured its followers that it will form the government before the next election. This seems to be based on the hoped for intervention of outside powers. This scenario seems unlikely however and what CUF will ultimately do to bring about this promise is unclear. The stalemate continues.’
Later the Daily News reported that a female CCM employee had been shocked when she arrived home from a campaign rally to find a note from her husband saying that he was divorcing her immediately. A strong supporter of CUF, he had seen his wife on television celebrating with CCM fiends at a CCM rally!
Under the heading ‘Erring reporters in for a tough time in Isles’ the Daily News (October 5) reported that under a change in the Newspaper Act of 1988 recently passed in the House of Representatives, journalists convicted of ‘professional misconduct’ would now be liable to fines between Shs 200,000 and Shs 1 million. Those circulating illegal or banned publications would be fined up to Shs 500,000 or sent to prison for up to three years or both. Zanzibar Minister of Information Issa Mohamed Issa was quoted as complaining that privately owned newspapers were quick at highlighting mistakes the government was presumed to have made no matter how trivial. He said that he had not seen any foreign correspondent going to the rural areas to write development news. We was also quoted as saying that foreign media were more bent on writing news aimed at discrediting the government and that writing such news was a criminal offence.
The Daily News reported on October 18 that following the robbery of a group of tourists visiting the Jozani Forest, famous for its red colobus monkeys, one of the suspected bandits was beaten into unconsciousness by an angry mob of local residents.
Conditions in the Mnazi Moja General Hospital were described as critical in the Daily News on October 24 as the hospital had virtually run out of drugs and equipment and telephone lines had been disconnected because of failure to pay bills. Patients were being advised to buy the drugs they needed from private pharmacies.
But the economy in Zanzibar is doing better. Growth was 6.3% in 1996 compared with 3.7% the previous year; inflation is down from 18.1 % to 12.5%; procurement of cloves reached 10,339 tons compared with figures as low as 1,500 tons in recent years. Per capita income and population are growing at the same rate – 3.3%.
During Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye’s visit to London in late September he met students and answered questions, many of which had been sent by e-mail from students all over the world. After a few general questions a lady student stood up. She was so young and so good looking, not the sort from who you would expect a harsh or embarrassing question. Then she took the mike, paid due respect to the Chair (High Commissioner Dr Shareef) and the PM. She mentioned her name as we had all been asked to do. Then she said “Mimi ni mwanafunzi wa MBA Scotland, niliyeletwa na serikali ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania (I am an MBA student in Scotland and I was brought here by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania).
And that was it. She stopped talking and started crying. Sobbing heavily and tears trickling down her cheeks. We all went dead silent and looked at her as she was in the very front row. The episode ended when one voice from the floor simultaneously with the High Commissioner sad ‘basi, kaa, tumekusikia na kukuelewa’ (“OK sit down. We’ve heard and understood”) a sentence which was spontaneously and instantly repeated by those in attendance, starting with the front seats and repeated by row after row from the front to the back of the hall almost mantra. The lady’s point had touched all of us in attendance.
Later, our High Commissioner, who I must say was on top of the proceedings, announced that there was a question which was going to be read out. It was in Swahili and went into some detail about the plight of various groups of students, of how they had had to resort to kazi za suluba (hard labour) or had gone into debt or had not been able to obtain their certificates on completion of courses because there were no funds to pay for the fees.
The PM faced over 50 questions and he did well. But this was the only question in which he did not try to defend the government’s policy or practice. He simply said that mistakes had been made by sending abroad more students than the government could afford and that some of them (undergraduates) should never have been sent abroad in the first place. However, some funds had already been sent to relieve student problems and more would follow. He reminded us that he was also a parent and asked us to believe in his word. The questioner had now come back into the hall, sobbing again.
(It is understood that no more undergraduates will he sent abroad at government expense and there has also been a freeze on sending even postgraduates abroad save in exceptional cases – Editor)
PACKED WITH INTEREST
The September-December issue of the glossy and colourful magazine TANZANIA WLLDLIFE is packed with articles of interest to Tanzanophiles. Subjects covered include ‘A Resource Taken for Granted’ (the coastal mangroves), ‘An NGO’s Crusade’ (fighting dynamite fishing and the destruction of coral reefs), ‘The Triple Disaster at Lake Victoria’ (an endemic species of fish is being wiped out; fish smoking is reducing the forest cover; a fast spreading weed is choking marine life); ‘The Art of Survival’ (the Defassa Waterbuck); ‘Why Does A Crocodile Lie With Its Mouth Open? (nobody seems sure but the best hypothesis is that mouth-gaping allows escape of body heat); ‘Star Gazing in Tanzania’ (the country’s first star gazing station is being established in the Selous Game Reserve); ‘From Wedding Present to Global Heritage Site’ (the story of how Kaiser Wilhelm I gave his wife the biggest wedding anniversary present in the annals of romance); ‘Zanzibar’s Wonder Crab’ (which actually climbs coconut trees!); and, an article on page 19 asks why a coastal bat flies low over the ocean with its abdomen in the water. Is it washing prior to evening prayers?
The equally colourful magazine of the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, KARIBU ZANZlBAR (Third Quarter 1997) also has a variety of stories – ‘The Secret Ruins’, ‘The Cradle Of Standard Kiswahili’, ‘Organic Spice Tours’, ‘The Next Triathlon and Marathon’, ‘The Mwaka Kogwa Festival. Another article tells the story of Bushiri bin Maulid, a freed slave, who found himself in South Africa in the 1920’s and faced many problems in trying to obtain his Zanzibar nationality certificate.
MARRIAGE OF WOMAN TO WOMAN
The South African SUNDAY INDEPENDENT on November 9 described one of the customs of the Kuria people in North Mara – nyumba ntobu, (a house manned by a woman) under which women are allowed to marry women. This is not a homosexual relationship but is designed to continue the lineage of wealthy families in which there are no males. Normally an older woman marries another after paying a bride price. The woman so married is free to choose a man to procreate with, but the children will belong to the older woman. Health workers say that this tradition contributes to the spread of HIV because men do not like to use condoms. Nyumba ntobu wives have become major contributors to the spread of HIV. Why would a woman many another woman? Because of the liberty such marriages offer, the article says. Such women escape the sexual harassment they would typically endure from a husband.
MARRIAGE OF GIRLS
The recently publicised arranged marriage to an MP of a Form 1 schoolgirl studying at the Jamhuri Secondary School in Dar has infuriated human rights activists, wrote the South African INDEPENDENT on September 28. They were quoted as saying that, even though Islamic law allowed such marriages, the 1978 Education Act did not condone them. The article went on to note how the imposition of school fees was weighing heavily on girls. While there was still some parity in enrolment between girls and boys at primary school, girls represented only 40% at secondary schools, 25% at A level and only 5% at university level. (Thank you David Leishman for this and the other item above Editor).
‘Nobody ever seems to mention the Italians’ wrote Mark Ottaway in a travel feature on Zanzibar in the SUNDAY TIMES recently. Extracts: ‘The Italians are by far the majority of tourists. They send in two jets a week from Milan and have done so for years. Zanzibar might be our far horizon but it has become their backyard. One might wonder what kind of Italian is happy to invest considerable sums in such a precarious investment climate. But, for their customers at least, it is a case of easy come easy go dolce far niente. Because their tour operators haven’t liked to tell them that this is a strict Muslim society in which they are expected to cover up, the Italians waver between making themselves unpopular, or sticking to the beach, and that isn’t much of a contest. This leaves Zanzibar to the rest of us, with the Italians an interesting footnote to our perceptions of place, sunning themselves topless around the pool, or, if it is remote enough, on the beach.. . ..’
“YOU FEEL YOU’VE GOT AFRICA COMING UP THROUGH YOUR FEET”
So said Rita Hamilton quoted in an article in THE TIMES on November 22 when describing a 120-mile sponsored trek in temperatures of up to 120 degrees in Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley. Some £40,000 was raised for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children which supports projects to help the Maasai each year. A donation was made to cover the cost of 800 cataract operations. “It was the hardest walk of my life and the most rewarding week I have ever spent” she said. (‘Thank you John Sankey-for this item – Editor.
The DAILY MAIL WEEKEND MAGAZINE (August 23) devoted four pages to the diary of Sarah Ashworth (25) and Roslyn Poole (24) who have spent two years at the ‘Animal Behaviour Research Unit’ studying yellow baboons and monitoring vegetation in the Mikumi National Park. Extracts: ‘We found our baboons, all 24 of them, peacefully s o h g up the sun. They are given Kiswahili names soon after they are born and it’s quite easy to recognise each one. Our study involves following an individual for 20 minutes at a time; we usually get through eight each day. We also have to collect their droppings which are sent to the U.S. to be analysed for stress hormones, looking for a link with the reproductive fitness of the females …. The only irritations are the incessant biting of the tsetse flies – when their proboscis sinks into your flesh it feels like a hypodermic needle.. . . . .I glanced down and noticed a squirming, red mass of pinhead-size ticks covering my body from navel down; I shrieked. We promptly stripped … I flicked open my Swiss army knife and decided the only way of removing them was to scrape the blade across my stomach.. . .that night, each place where a tick had been embedded in my skin swelled up and itched like crazy. When they had scabbed over I counted the scars – 530! …. There was nothing to eat for breakfast again so I decided to make some bread … I wanted it to be perfect.. . . And it was the most perfect bread I’d ever made. I decided to celebrate with a cup of tea on the roof. A baboon came up the ladder behind me – with a great big piece of my best bread in its mouth. More baboons were by the washing line, their cheeks full of delicious fresh bread! (Thank you Ian Enticott for this item – Editor).
PUBLICISING THE DEVIL
NEW AFRICAN (October) quoted Bishop Zakaria Kakobe of the Full Gospel Church as describing a new Tanzanian stamp as ‘publicising the devil.’ “All morally upright people must reject it”, he said. The stamp depicts a couple holding hands at sundown and advises them to use ‘Salama’ condoms. The Rev. Amos Selen of the Pentecostal Church said that letters bearing the stamp on the envelope should be torn to pieces and burnt without reading the contents. But Health Ministry Principal Secretary Ray Mope pointed out that the stamps warned people to protect themselves against AIDS; thousands had died from it. The postal corporation was reported to have had to bow to the storm and withdraw the stamps from circulation, though a huge stock remained unsold.
GREAT SUCCESS STORY
‘A large inflated beer bottle featuring the ‘Kilimanjaro’ brand’s giraffe logo enlivens the shabby industrial site outside Dar es salaam. At Oyster Bay billboards promote the launch of the new Ndovu (elephant) lager. And throughout the country Tanzanians sport ‘Safari Lager’ T-shirts.’ So began one of the articles in the London GUARDIAN’S supplement on Tanzania on December 9 Extracts: ‘The colourful promotion of Tanzania Breweries’ various brands highlights the turn-round of the company from a loss-making state corporation to a dynamic, privately-owned company that, in a few years, has won back 80% of the market. The sale of the Breweries to the giant South African Breweries is the great success story of the country’s privatisation drive.. . . . . (Thank you Joan Wicken for sending us this supplement – Editor)
ROCKING GREEN CREDENTIALS
‘Green Globe’, the environmental arm of the World Travel and Tourism Council – made up of the world’s top 200 tourism corporations – organised environmental ‘clinics’ at the World Travel Market in London recently to help tourism executives to ‘green up’ their act. But, according to THE INDEPENDENT (November 22) there’s obviously a long way to go. The news item referred to a proposed five-mile, $368 million development in Nungwi, northern Zanzibar, in which Forte Meridien (Forte was a founding member of ‘Green Globe’) was involved – a development likely to rock its green credentials, the paper said. Plans were afoot for a presidential-style hotel, an ocean marina, 200 condominiums, 300 luxury villas, a conference centre, a 27- hole golf course and a country club. Local people on the peninsula were quoted as saying that they had not been consulted and were expecting to be ousted from their homes (Thank you Stella Smethurst for this item – Editor).
AFRIKANERS AND DANES
The writer of one of the many letters from readers published in the December issue of NEW AFRICAN stated that he was against the idea of allowing white South African Afrikaners to purchase farms in Tanzania and that it would be unwise for President Mkapa to allow himself to be pressurised by President Mandela into accepting this idea. Another letter, from a certain Kambarage Nyerere, complained about the way Africans are treated in Denmark. ‘We Africans are treated only as drug dealers and social benefit leaches; we are not offered work and yet we are called lazy.. . .’ he wrote. ‘You may ask why I am saying all this and still living there. Not anymore. I an going back home!’
NO ACCIDENT OF GEOGRAPHY OR GEOLOGY
‘It is no accident of geography or geology that Tanzania has just opened its first and only Australian Consulate in Perth’ – so began an article in the WEST AUSTRALIAN (December 1). It went on to mention six Western Australian companies which now had a presence in Tanzania and how the recent slump in the gold price had not caused any drop-off in investor interest. The potential for discovering high quality deposits with low labour costs had probably made investment in gold in Tanzania relatively more attractive than before (Thank you Mr D Gledhill for sending this item – Editor).
WHERE HAS THE MAGIC GONE?
‘I stood on the banks of the Ngoitokitok Springs in the heart of the famed Ngorongoro Crater gnawing miserably on a cold greasy chicken thigh. It was high noon in one of our planet’s great wildlife areas and ringed around me, as far as my eyes could see, sat four-wheel drive vehicles of every make known to man; I counted 55 of them. Their passengers waddled around, eating the chicken and stale bread from box lunches and taking group photos. Circling yellow-billed lutes provided the thrills, dive bombing to snatch a chicken leg here and a bread roll there. Squeals of surprise. Squeals of delight. Squeals … …. Where … oh where has the magic gone?’ – a writer in the Johannesburg SATURDAY STAR (November 10) – Thank you David Leishmann for this item – Editor).
TELECOMMUNICATIONS – THE FUTURE
Tanzania currently has three telephones per 1,000 people according to Lisa Sykes writing in the VS0 publication ORBIT (Third Quarter 1997). She goes on to propose possible solutions for people in developing country rural areas where phones are very few and far between. Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) systems have orbits much closer to earth than current telecoms stations and simple had-held phones will be able to receive from them. Solar-powered payphones linked to Immarsat, an existing network, are proving successful. Near the Ngorongoro Crater an Immarsat terminal is being installed which will allow fax, voice and data communications; part of the revenue earned will be fed back into local infrastructure.
And, according to MAF NEWS (November) a former systems analyst for the World Trade Centre in London, Simon James-Morse, has installed a new modem which connects the computer to a telephone line and smooths out the wrinkles in the telephone service caused by poor quality lines in Dodoma. The report was headed ‘Harnessing the benefits of computer technology to help advance God’s Kingdom (Thank you Christine Lawrence for these items – Editor).
CHARITY SHOULD ALWAYS BEGIN AT HOME
Extracts from a letter to the editor of the London Evening Standard (November 4): ‘Two articles in your newspaper provide an ironic contrast on how this country deals nowadays with people in need.. .one describes the plight of 80- year old Joshua Reynolds, discharged from hospital after a hip replacement and left without any help of any sort. .. ..the other writes about a family, political refugees from some unproven danger in Tanzania, who are given first-class treatment with a modern house on a private estate and additional benefit payments … ..yet if you suggest that men and women like Joshua Reynolds should be given priority over immigrants ….. one runs the danger of facing unwarranted accusations of racism by numerous well-organised lobbies.’
Exchange rates (Mid-December) £1 = TShs 625 – 630
$1 = TShs 1,000 – 1,050
Following an encouraging statement by the IMF’s Senior Representative in Tanzania, Mr Festus Osunsade, in late September, to the effect that Tanzania’s economy was poised for take-off in the next 12 months, London became recently the centre of much activity on the INVESTMENT FRONT.
Over 100 people attended a conference sponsored by the Standard Chartered Bank and the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) on October 28 entitled ‘TANZANIA: THE OPPORTUNITES FOR BUSINESS TN THE MINERALS SECTOR’ which was addressed by, among others: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Jakaya Kikwete who spoke about the improved tax and financial incentives included in the TANZANIA INVESTMENT ACT 1977 which had been passed by the National Assembly in August; Minister of Energy and Minerals Dr. Abdallah Kigoda, who listed the increasing number of big investments being made in the mineral sector (the fourth most active country with 7.6% of all African exploration in 1996); the Executive Director of the new Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) – which replaces the former Investment Promotion Centre (LPC), Samuel Sitta, who frankly admitted, in an impressive address, the investor-unfriendliness of Tanzania in the past; he gave the firm impression that things would be much better in the future; he added that the ‘Financial Laws Miscellaneous Amendment Act 1997’, also just passed by parliament, included a new investment code and clarified the actual powers of the TIC in becoming a ‘One-Stop’ Centre for investors; the incentives for mining were now the best in Africa he said; he warned investors to be careful however in dealing with local intermediaries; Chamber of Mines Chairman Samuel Lwakatare said that the minerals sector was now in an exciting phase and mentioned how useful much of the geological survey work conducted during British rule, and now kept in the archives, was proving to be; Sutton Resources (Canada) President Michael Kenyon described the preparation of the new ‘Minerals Act’ to be presented to the next session of Tanzania’s parliament as having been a ‘mature decision-making process’ and then listed a large number of current mineral investment plans; his own company had already invested $25 million, he said. Attorney-General Andrew Chenge chaired the second session of the conference with considerable aplomb and good humour.
The previous evening the UK-TANZANIA BUSINESS GROUP had organised a convivial dinner for the visiting Tanzanian delegates which was addressed by Minister Kigoda. He gave more information about the new investment climate and added that Tanzania was unique in having from 500,000 up to one million small scale artisanal miners. We could not pretend that they did not exist he said. Some companies had been able to CO-exist or strike deals with them. East African Association Chairman Christopher Buckmaster said that he was enormously encouraged by what he had heard; all wanted Tanzania to succeed but he hoped that there would be evaluations of what had actually been achieved under the new structures after the next 12 months and again after 24 months.
At the BRITAIN-TANZANIA SOCIETY ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on October 17 Buckmaster had shocked many members by pointing out just how difficult it had been for investors in Tanzania during recent years. The Arusha Declaration had been a disaster he said; it had created an attitude, particularly at the lower levels of the civil service, which was hostile to investment; he mentioned the much better investment climate in Uganda; the infrastructure remained very weak in Tanzania, he said; there was little power and water in Dar es Salaam and only 45% of phone calls made connection; there had been breaches of contract following changes in policy; there was horrendous red tape (“I know of no country which is worse”) with banks having to make 200 file returns per year and hotels having to make 400; there were 20 separate operations to clear a container through the port; delays of up to six years to get land registered; a ‘frightful’ taxation system with endless tax audits; and, a ‘going rate’ of $5,000 for a work permit. On the other hand, at the top level there was a refreshing openness, better than in any other country he visited. Tanzania had the greatest potential in eastern Africa. Few countries had such a good record of peace and stability. Macro-economic indicators (inflation, interest rates etc.) were almost entirely encouraging. Yet Tanzania was an economic failure.
Faced with the difficult task of responding to this tale of woe, Tanzanian High Commissioner Dr. Abdul Shareef said that it was not fair to compare Tanzania with Uganda where the government took power by force and could impose its will, or Kenya which had been capitalist since day one. There was a price to pay for democracy. The new government’s economic policy was only two years old. People had grown accustomed to getting everything free. On corruption, he quoted Mwalimu Nyerere speaking in Edinburgh recently – “There is a receiver and a giver …..giving bribes is tax deductible here (in Britain) and is never condemned. It should be a criminal offence”.
The new INVESTOR’S GUIDE TO TANZANIA 1997 was launched at the conference. It is an impressive document which describes in detail how the new investment code will work in practice for minimum investments of $300,000 if foreign-owned and $100,000 if locally owned. It includes a table listing the rate of corporation tax, customs duties, sales taxes, capital allowance deductions and withholding taxes on some 15 different categories of investment. The three lead priority sectors are mining, infrastructure and export processing zones. There are no limits on the number of experts allowed on the immigration quota in the mining and petroleum sectors. Leases of land can be granted for from 33 to 99 years and rates of rent vary from farms outside townships @ Shs 600 per acre per year to industrial plots from Shs 75 to 150 per square metre per year. The text of the new Investment Act is included in the Guide.
Another document presented at the conference was the 35-page THE MINERAL POLICY OF TANZANIA dated August 1997.
The severe DROUGHT which hit Tanzania early in 1997 caused a decline in many economic indicators later in the year. Severe power and water rationing had to be introduced in Dar es Salaam, revenue collection fell, inflation rose, the strategic grain reserve fell, the trade account deteriorated.
The long-delayed launch of TANZANIA’S STOCK EXCHANGE has been postponed again (until after March 1998) because of the failure to get any companies ready for official listing. Most of the 18 companies earmarked for flotation are reported still to have to complete internal structural changes and accounting procedures – Financial Times (Thank you Chuni Chande for sending me this items – Editor)
The successors to the National Bank of Commerce were officially born on October l. One, with 34 branches, is called NBC (1997) LTD and is designed to meet the needs of corporate and large business and personal customers and has as its Managing Director Dr. Francis Mlozi. The other, the NATIONAL MICROFINANCE BANK (NMB) will normally only lend sums of up to Shs 1 million ($1,666); it has 95 branches. But Minister of Finance Daniel Yona said that both banks were deficient in capital; private investors are to be invited to provide up to 70% of this; informal contacts are being made with selected large foreign banks. Meanwhile, Dar es Salaam has yet another bank – the Kenya Commercial Bank opened in October – Business News and East African. Asked in a recent interview on the subject of UNEMPLOYMENT what he was doing about a situation in which there were more job-seekers than jobs, Minister of Labour and Youth Development Sebastian Kinyondo said ‘The reverse is true. There are more jobs than takers, except in salaried jobs. The formal sector can absorb only a million people while the active labour force is about 13 million.. . . The problem is that some people don’t like to do particular jobs. We have people in the countryside who are not producing; graduates who won’t work in agriculture.. .we have to figure out how to get an entrepreneurial class.. . .we intend to cultivate the ‘can do’ spirit; it’s like creating an Indian or a Chinese out of our people – East African.
The 1997 VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) ACT was passed into law on October 21; registration of potential payers was due to start in January 1998.
The BWAWANI HOTEL was closed temporarily on September 6. The Zanzibar government took it over and cancelled a 30-year lease agreement accusing the British firm, Zee Hotel Management Group, of running up unpaid debts of Shs 1.5 billion in rent and tax. The firm’s managing director Mr Deepak Khotari was ordered to leave the country and escorted to the airport- Daily News.
The MWADUI DLAMOND MINES have increased production by a ‘staggering’ 155% to 126,670 carats since the mines were rehabilitated three years ago – Bank of Tanzania.
The TANZANIA-CHINA FRIENDSHIP TEXTILE COMPANY has also made a U-turn since it was turned in July 1997 into a joint venture between the government (49%) and the private Chinese firm Dieqiu (51%) One month after privatisation the profit was Shs 5 34 million In the second month this shot up to Shs 120 million
MALAYSIA is making a major investment in Tanzania though a $105 million syndicated loan for the country’s first ‘build-own-operate’ 100 MW diesel power plant in Tegata. The loan is backed by a power purchase agreement, But, the World Bank does not approve and has threatened to withdraw its support for the huge Songo Songo gas into electricity scheme if the new plant goes ahead – Southern Africa Decisions, the Business Times, the East African.
RECENT AID: NETHERLANDS – Shs 46 billion during the next five years for development in Kagera, Shinyanga and Arusha regions. Tanzania is the largest recipient of Dutch aid in Africa and the third in the world. The visiting Dutch Prime Minister said that Tanzania was on the right track in development. A $20.9 million WORLD BANK-IDA Credit for primary and girls education and policy planning. The EU – Shs 2.84 billion for urban water supplies and rehabilitation of cotton research facilities. JAPAN – Shs 245 million for educational films for Zanzibar TV. NORWAY through UNICEF – $1.82 million for water and sanitation centres in the Coast, Iringa and Mwanza regions and the setting up of thee monitoring and management support centres. AFRICAN DEELOPMENT BANK – $62 million for structural adjustment. AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FUND – $28 million for improvement of the road between Tanzania and Uganda. SWITZERLAND – a grant of Shs 4.8 billion in balance of payments assistance. GERMANY – $4.5 million for the renovation of buildings on Ocean Road in Dar es Salaam originally built by the Germans a century ago and which are now used by the Tanzania Cancer Institute. CANADA – Canadian$2.5 million for pulses and other food aid. EGYPT – $30,000 to Zanzibar for drugs and medical equipment. KOREA – $40,000 for vehicles. CHINA – $40,000 for food aid and six new locomotives. USA – $225,000 for military training.
Mathew Lockwood and Andrew Simms published an article about debt in ‘Christian Aid’ in September. The article, which used Tanzania as the model, has created a considerable stir. It criticised an Initiative, launched last year by the World Bank and the IMF to help Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC’s) to reduce heir debt burden. Starting off with some stark figures – ‘every child in Tanzania is born owing $250, twice the average national income per person’, the article went on to say that the country had passed every test and jumped every hurdle to qualify for debt relief. But, unless there was some change, Tanzania would get nothing until well into the next millennium – the year 2002. At the end of October Tanzania’s foreign debt had reached $8.09 billion – this was described as having a crippling impact on development of the country.
The paper concluded that the Bank’s HIPC Initiative was not adequate for the job; the qualifying period for major debt relief needed to be shortened; and, the performance conditions needed to take into account the real difficulty in implementing economic reform in open and democratic African societies.
Ron Fennell, who has been the World Bank’s Resident Representative in Tanzania, comments as follows:
– By their articles of agreement, neither the Bank nor the IMF can postpone loan repayments to them; one of the main reasons is to maintain the Bank’s AAA rating on the stock exchanges from which it borrows most of its funds.
– Not until 1994 did the Bank and the IMF openly admit that their assistance to support major reforms was not leading to sustainable economic recovery.
– The current HIPC initiative took three years to develop because of the need to secure the support of all the major shareholders in the two institutions; the Initiative provides additional potential debt relief to that under existing arrangements such as the Paris and London Clubs; Tanzania has already benefited from debt relief of about $1.0 billion under these Club arrangements (TA May 1997); the money is used to purchase a portion of the multilateral debt and cancel it or to pay debt service as it becomes due; Tanzania may become eligible for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative in about two years time;
– Tanzania is also likely to benefit from a discounted Debt Buyback scheme if the government’s management of the economy continues along sound lines; under this scheme, the Bank seeks funds from bilateral donors to liquidate the debt by paying possibly ten pence in the pound to commercial creditors; however, as only about 3% of Tanzania’s foreign debt is from commercial sources, debt relief from this instrument would probably be less than $500 million; the bulk of Tanzania’s debt is to multilateral or bilateral creditors and not currently eligible for discounted settlement;
– Assessing when a country will reach a sustainable level of debt is very difficult because assumptions about export earnings and government revenues are dependent on world commodity prices and good fiscal performance;
– Lack of government support for rural social services is sometimes due as much to diversion of official funds as it is to allocating funds to debt service; in the years when Tanzania’s external debt was not being serviced, the provision of health care and education deteriorated; in part, because many taxes and duties were not finding their way into general revenue;
– The World Bank and the IMF are technocratic institutions answerable to member countries; changes in policy on debt must be supported by the major industrial powers. Christian Aid and other advocacy groups need to focus on the governments of such nations.
A sleepy town by daylight, at night time Dar es Salaam will soon surpass Nairobi. It has casinos, many discotheques, pubs, bars and gambling dens. Something can be found for all pockets it is said. Most expensive are the discos of international class such as the ‘California Dreamer,’ ‘Club Billicanas’ and ‘Casanova’. In the middle group lie, for example, ‘Mambo Club’ and ‘New Silent Club’ (see below). At ‘Slipway’ in Msasani you can also take your children. On Friday evenings it is transformed into an open-air disco.
The ‘Las Vegas’ casino is said to be the most commonly visited but there is now also a casino at the New Africa Hotel. ‘Club Billicanas’ was also planning to provide gaming facilities. Silently but surely and most agreeably, it is said is the emergence of the ‘Oasis Casino’ in Upanga West.
Certain places of entertainment are said to be influenced in a decidedly western way; others are more genuinely ‘African’. Particularly strongly marked is the western atmosphere in the bar at the Sheraton Hotel, also the ‘Euro Pub’ and the ‘Slipway’. For those preferring to be local, a visit to bars like the ‘Highway’ in Magomeni, the Jolly Bar in Kinondoni or the ‘Bahama Mama’ on on the Morogoro road, after the university, are recommended. Lf you are ‘middle of the road’ you can enjoy music at the ‘Sone Afrique’ and ‘Empire’ restaurants which have live performances and serve good Indian food.
For the owner of ‘California Dreamer’ in Upanga, Mr Chandrakant Patel, ‘sparkling clean toilets’ are said to be the top priority. It has a fantastic electronic sound system, wonderful acoustics and air conditioning and DJ’s of the top class.
Mr Zonte wa Zonte is the boss of the ‘FM Club’. Situated in the Lang’ata social hall on the Kinondoni Road, it has a productive rivalry with ‘New Silent Inn’. Both claim to have the best facilities and the best in-house bands in the city playing Zairean Soukouss, popularly known as ‘Ndombola’. ‘Diamond Sound’ at ‘Silent Inn’ is certainly well renowned but the heavyweight lead dancer at FM Club, Miss Eva(ander) Hollyfield pulls a lot of crowds. Both offer cheap tickets and transportation for students..
Discerning Dar es Salaam residents still tell you that ‘Clouds Disco’ is the one to beat. On Sundays ‘Clouds’ arranges a disco poolside at the Kilimanjaro Hotel. On every other night of the week they play at the ‘Tazara Club’ in Kinondoni. Famous for the most up to the minute Congolese tunes, the competition that exists between the DJ’s ensures a first class night out. ‘Cloud Entertainment Ltd’ also organises beauty contests, fashion shows, concerts etc. Some other noted and distinctly African nightspots include ‘Imasco’ in Temeke, and the weekly concerts at the Lion Hotel in Sinza (Remmy Ongala’s local haunt).
The Dar es Salaam ‘Express’ has also revealed the negative side of the expanding life of pleasure in Dar es Salaam. Prostitution is widespread – it costs Shs 5,000 to Shs 60,000. This, in combination with hgh unemployment and a liberalised economy, has resulted in a high crime rate, stealing and robbery. Prostitution, which has increased markedly, is today quite open. Reports differ on the new market for prostitution. Foreigners are said to prefer a local girl – a Tanzanian, but one with the advantage of experience in neighbouring countries. It is said that many prostitutes have as their goal the saving of sufficient funds to start their own businesses. Especially at risk are lone mothers who have difficulty in providing for their own support.
Anita Stomberg and Ben Rawlence.
(Based originally on the Dar es Salaam Express’s Pleasure Supplement of June 5-11, part of this article appeared first in the Sweden-Tanzania Friendship Association’s journal ‘Habari’. Thank you Roger Carter for the translation. There is now another new casino, the Monte Carlo, located at the ‘Skyway’ nightspot – it has cost Shs 42 million, is a Tanzania -Malaysian enterprise, has seven different games and can accommodate 1,000 gamblers. A new tourist attraction – the first star gazing station in Tanzania to have telescopes and special binoculars – is being established with help from Italy at the Rufiji River Camp about 100 miles from Dar es Salaam.