Archive for Issue 78

TA ISSUE 78

TA 78 cover

COULD IT EVENTUALLY LEAD TO WAR?
WHO WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT?
ASYLUM AND REFUGEES – BRITAIN AND TANZANIA IN DISCUSSIONS
TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
RECONCILIATION AND VIOLENCE IN ZANZIBAR

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NILE BASIN – COULD IT EVENTUALLY LEAD TO WAR?

When Tanzania launched in February a $85 million project to draw water from Lake Victoria (one of the sources of the 4,160 mile long River Nile) and to lay a 170-kilometre pipe to supply it to Kahama and Shinyanga (plus 54 villages on the route of the pipeline) it set in motion an international furore of considerable proportions. Strong protests came from Egypt, which (with Sudan) is almost totally dependent on the waters of the River Nile for its survival. Egypt accused Tanzania of contravening two treaties colonial Britain had signed with Egypt and Sudan in 1929 and 1959 which restricted riparian countries from initiating projects that would affect the volume of the Nile waters without the permission of Egypt.

Tanzania’s reaction was firm. “Tanzania does not recognise the Nile Basin Agreements” said Minister for Water and Livestock Development, Edward Lowassa, in the National Assembly on March 13th quoted in Nipashe. He added however that Tanzania would continue attending meetings of the Nile basin countries with the intention of reaching an equitable quota of Lake Victoria waters for future use in irrigation. Under the agreements water for home use, as in the proposed project, does not need to be negotiated.

THE PROJECT
The water will be tapped from Misungwi village near Mwanza and transported to water tanks about 9 kms away, from which the main pipeline will be built. The first phase of the two-phase contract was awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, and the project is eventually expected to provide water to up to 940,000 Tanzanians.

THE THREAT
The London Times (Thank you Betty Wells for sending this item – Editor) quoted the ‘Inter-Africa Group’ a conflict prevention organisation, as saying that ‘in the absence of an agreement on equitable allocation, there would be a considerable increase in the risk of conflict.’ Since the signing of the two Nile agreements, Egypt and Sudan have used force or the threat of force to emphasise their rights. In June 1980, Egypt nearly went to war with Ethiopia after Addis Ababa threatened to obstruct the Blue Nile. This followed attempts by the late President Anwar Sadat to divert Nile waters into the Sinai Desert. Sadat had promised Israel that he would irrigate the desert after the historical peace agreement made in Camp David, USA.
According to the ‘Al Jazeerah Information Centre’, when Kenya threatened similar action some months ago, the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources said that any threat to unilaterally revoke the 1929 treaty would be a ‘declaration of war.’
A recent UNDP report quoted in the Africa Research Bulletin (February 12) said that ‘water wars’ were likely in the future where rivers and lakes were shared by more than one country.
A ‘Nile Basin Initiative,’ backed by the World Bank, was created in 1999, in an attempt to head off what many regional analysts saw as a potential source of ‘water wars’. “In 10 to 20 years all countries bordering the Nile river, particularly Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will have much larger populations and face a greater demand for water” Milas Seifulaziz of the Inter – Africa Group said. “In the absence of an agreement on equitable allocation, there will be a considerable increase in the risk of conflict.”
However, East Africa and the White Nile provide only about 10% of the Nile Waters. Most of the water (the Blue Nile) comes from Ethiopia.
There is a precedent for North African involvement in war in East Africa. Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi sent 2,700 troops to Uganda to help Iddi Amin Dada in his war with Tanzania in 1979.

FLURRY OF DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY
The Tanzanian action seemed to concentrate minds. It was followed by a flurry of tense meetings between all the interested parties – Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo – under the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), an intergovernmental UN body.

At acrimonious emergency talks held in Entebbe, Uganda which started on March 8 and lasted ten days, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Abdel Abu Zaid said that Egypt would reject any proposal to lower its quota of Nile water and said that the talks would have to focus on initiatives to prevent seepage. Any tampering with the 1929 agreement would be tantamount to an act of war.
This meeting ended without agreement.

RECONCILIATION?
The Ministers met again in Nairobi on March 20 but this time, and under great pressure from the other countries, Egypt modified its stand. It finally accepted that the Nile Agreement would have to be amended. Returning from the meeting, Tanzanian Minister Edward Lowassa advised Tanzanians that they could use Lake Victoria water for household supplies and small irrigation schemes, and declared that the dispute on who legitimately controlled the Nile River and its sources had been cleared up. He denounced the treaties but added: “Our colleagues from Egypt have shown a commitment to agreement and were not wishing to cling to ‘those old treaties’.” He said that even the British government, which had signed the treaties, was no longer in favour of them.

PRIME MINSTER ADDRESSES MP’S
As this issue of Tanzanian Affairs went to the printers, Mwananchi reported that Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye, officiating at a one-day seminar for MP’s on the subject of the Nile Basin Waters, had called on them not to waste time discussing ineffective colonial pacts. He said that Arab countries should come forward and unite in demanding a new, more equitable treaty on the use of the Nile Waters. Most MP’s were said to have spoken emotionally on the topic; others suggested that the country should be ready to go to war, just in case.

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WHO WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT?

Hildebrand Shayo, who writes on social, economic and political issues in the UK, has sent us his views:

People in Tanzania are excited. Although President Mkapa has warned against political ‘hooliganism’, enthusiasm for the coming contest is rife everywhere. But, coming up to the 2005 general election there is increasing disagreement about who is likely to take over from President Mkapa. Tanzanians, both in urban and in rural areas, are frustrated and many are eager to know who will be the next President. The incompetent opposition camp is not likely to provide an alternative to the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. This implies that certainly CCM will win the 2005 elections with a landslide. Although many Tanzanians are anticipating a ‘surprise’ in the choice of candidate, names that have been mentioned are numerous. Although I may be proved incorrect, I don’t agree with recent views, expressed by long-standing politicians, who continue to maintain that the time hasn’t yet arrived to start discussing who will take over from President Mkapa.

The Tanzanian constitution stipulates that the President must hold a University degree. Does this decisive factor take some of the candidates who have been mentioned off the list? No. There are rumours that some mentioned names are working on their degrees and putting in place mechanisms that will help to oil their campaign machinery. One of the candidates being mentioned, Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye, was the biggest vote getter at the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) candidate elections in Dodoma at the elections in 1995, outperforming even the influential veteran Marxist ideologue Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru whose power in the CCM is well known.

My view is that we still don’t know what will happen this time. Prime Minister Sumaye has remained an outsider, at least in the party machinery. He is a hard worker, he has knowledge about the running of the government, and is well intentioned; but, during the forthcoming campaign, he may be easily squashed by wise party heavyweights if the competition is intense. Time will tell whether some of these candidates can build the required skills and expertise in time to be fit to be candidates but many doubt it.

Zanzibar President Abeid Karume, (son of the first President of Zanzibar) is a laid back kind of a gentleman, almost an ‘Uhuru Kenyatta’ replica. (The son of Jomo Kenyattta who tried but failed to become President of Kenya last year). He does not take politics too seriously as opposed to former Zanzibar President Dr Salmin Amour and that has helped Zanzibar in the reconciliation process. Karume has offered tremendous concessions to CUF that would have been unthinkable during Amour’s era (eight CUF members work alongside CCM counterparts in key and sensitive government positions in Zanzibar!). Karume could suit the position of Tanzanian Vice President, but that also won’t happen, for he will want to remain the President of Zanzibar. He could have made a good Vice- President but lacks the ‘gravitas of former Prime Minister and Head of the OAU, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, and he is not a great communicator. My sense is that he enjoys being the President of Zanzibar and will offer formidable opposition to the leading opposition candidate in the Isles.

The two ‘young’ men, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Jakaya Kikwete and Minister of Water and Livestock Development Edward Lowassa, had a terrible time in Chimwaga (CM HQ) in Dodoma in 1995. They both got disappointing votes both in NEC and Central Committee contests and that is certainly unhelpful to their ambitions. You wonder what has gone wrong in the past eight years. That is the problem with operating with a sense of privilege (“my turn is coming”). However, despite losing that magic touch and mystique with the general public, they remain influential in the CCM party and what they do next will definitely have an impact on the party’s future. Dr John Malecela, Vice-Chairman of CCM, will definitely not win but we need him as the CCM party’s wise man. However. who he chooses for an ally will be the key. Sumaye was to be the Party’s Vice-Chairman in the last party election in 1995 but Malecela chose to keep the seat. Malecela is one of the very few people in CCM who is beyond the control of anybody. Known as a smart, behind-the-scenes operator he is likely to have in his mind the alliance he will need to back up his candidature. If things get out of hand, this could prove devastating for the CCM party. Such alliances, and a cluster of other factors known within the party, may hasten the realisation of the late Dr Nyerere’s prophesy that the only credible opposition will come from within the CCM.

Lowassa is an extremely intelligent ‘A type’ personality; a hard working Maasai. He is a ‘can do’ type of gentleman. The problem is that he is assumed to be too much of a thriving entrepreneur. However, Lowassa would have been flourishing even if he had chosen to be a cattle herder. It appears that he hasn’t recovered from the bruises of the 1995 campaign and the hugely symbolic action of President Mkapa in leaving him out of his first cabinet. Unless something huge happens, his presidential ambitions appear to be ruined. In the period running up to the 1995 elections, he was partly elevated because of the ‘Mrema threat’ (CCM feared that Augustine Mrema, the leading opposition candidate at that time) could win but, as we all know, that threat no longer exists. In essence, CCM can afford to surprise us with a non-celebrity candidate.

Former Prime Minster Judge Joseph Sinde Warioba is one of those respectable and incorruptible fellows. He will only run if there are guarantees that he will win the nomination this time around. His recent judgeship appointment to the East African Community Court moved him away from the political scene during a very important ‘jockeying period’. He will most likely quietly enjoy his judgeship and private practice in Dar es Salaam. However, if Dr. Salim runs and wins the nomination, he will accept none other than Warioba for a running mate. The two of them would be a ‘super ticket’ as they would bring with them the voters of the Isles and the vast Sukuma population of the Lake region, their respective birthplaces. So, Warioba could end up the Vice-President.

A quick analysis of the other possible candidates:
Former Minister of Commerce and Industry Iddi Simba – very influential; big CCM architect and a crucial link between CCM and the business community. His presidential ambitions, however, are not going anywhere. He is not so popular with the CCM rank and file for he appears very elitist. His demotion from the cabinet was also unhelpful. He will, however, come back after 2005 in a prominent position if Dr. Salim becomes the President for he is a good friend to Dr. Salim. Minister of Agriculture Charles Keenja is mentioned but his chances are extremely slim. He is known for cleaning up Dar es Salaam (which he really didn’t) but only when there was no bureaucratic democratic system (of councillors) to negotiate with. His political skills, thus, remain untested. He is a Sumaye buddy and that will feature in the equation. He also shares the same ‘outsider’ problem as Sumaye despite winning a position on the NEC. He however could be a surprise candidate. Many don’t know enough about him to be able to judge whether he would be a good president but his ‘electability’ inside CCM is doubtful.

Minister for Works John Pombe Magufuli could be the big surprise. He is very articulate, hard working, a former school teacher, very well educated (Master’s holder in Engineering). He has proved exceptional in performance in his very difficult ministry. He is fearless and has been Mkapa’s asset in the cabinet. He is a smooth government operative and can also be a good politician. He was not very well known by Tanzanians. But, hey, we didn’t know Mkapa that well in 1995. If he wins the nomination he will have been ‘pushed’ and emerge as a compromise candidate if the nomination process proves divisive and contentious, as it will likely be.

Minister for Telecommunications Prof. Mark Mwandosya was a rising star in Tanzania. At one point he was mentioned as a replacement for Sumaye for the Premiership. The past year hasn’t been good to him and his star has waned. The railway disaster and the role he played in the privatisation of Tanzania Telecommunications has discredited him. His attempt to get the elders from Mbeya to speak for him was an amateurish political move.

Vice-President Shein’s future hangs in the balance in all this. But, just as in the case of Magufuli, he could be a surprise candidate. The man is qualified to be President pure and simple. He is composed, well educated, incorruptible, not a political opportunist and, most importantly, he comes from Pemba. With his ‘upole’ however, we could have the kind of problem former President Mwinyi was faced with; i.e. controlling the economy. I must concede that I don’t know about him well enough to have a definitive opinion.

My pick for the nod is Dr. Salim. He was Defence, Foreign and Prime Minister. He is a NEC and CC member. He is from Pemba. His lengthy time abroad shielded him from local scandals such as corruption and finally, he is a Mwalimu Nyerere candidate. He has gravitas, he is presidential, articulate and known and respected by almost everyone in Tanzania and outside. If he committed some blunders as OAU Secretary General, they are unknown back home. With Warioba as a running mate, that is a winning combination. Pembans, most of whom support the opposition, don’t associate him too much with CCM (he has been abroad too long) and he would garner some votes for CCM there. His election would give another lifeline to the Union. There are many more names to go through such as Gertrude Mongela who openly complained to CCM Secretary General Philip Mangula recently that CCM had never nominated a woman candidate for the highest post. There has been bewilderment on the presidential post since President Mkapa declared recently that the presidency of the United Republic of Tanzania does not need to alternate between the Mainland and the Isles.
All this is speculation. A week is a long time in politics

Another view
The publication ‘Africa Analysis’ (20th February) also wrote about what it described as ‘the feverish speculation’ as to who might emerge as the Union’s presidential candidate. It said that candidates would have to contend with ‘the powerful force that is 70-year-old John Malecela,’ who was extremely popular within the party. He was said to be planning to pick former Zanzibar President Salmin Amour – ‘an unpopular figure among the mainland elite’ – as his running mate. Such a team would also be anathema to what was described as ‘the System’ – ‘a cabal of senior security officers most of whom had been appointed by the late Julius Nyerere. The article went on: ‘During the CCM nominations for the last elections in 2000, ‘the System’ had been responsible for the debacle that saw Amani Karume, who garnered fewer votes than his rivals, emerge as the CCM candidate for the Iisles presidential elections, which he won, albeit controversially.’

As regards the contest for the Zanzibar presidency, the article said that, if the elections were free and fair – ‘a tall order considering the isles’ last two electoral experiences’ the leader of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) Seif Shareef Hamad, might well emerge as the next President of Zanzibar. CUF’s eminence in Zanzibar had been further guaranteed when the up and coming opposition party SAFINA (‘Ark’) had been banned recently after it failed to fulfill registration requirements. SAFINA was described as the brain-child of the elder brother of Salmin Amour who was ‘suspected of being the leader of a strong CCM faction in the isles opposed to the current Zanzibar President, Amani Karume’. However the brother had been expelled recently from the party on allegations of misconduct.

The procedure

The ‘Africa Analysis’ article went on to explain how any CCM member aspiring to become a presidential candidate would first have to take the forms and then seek 250 sponsors in 10 regions including Zanzibar. The CCM Central Committee would then make five recommendations to the NEC which would choose three of them whose names would then be sent to the National Party Congress. This Congress would make the final choice. The process should end by April 30, 2005.

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STATE HOUSE IN FLAMES

President Mkapa’s residential quarters and office in State House were set on fire in the early morning of April 14. The combined efforts of the police and the fire brigade eventually brought the fire under control. The fire was reported to have destroyed many official documents and the President’s private library. State House was undergoing a Tshs 3 billion refurbishment at the time. An investigation into the cause of the fire was started.

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POLITICAL NEWS HEADLINES

Kambetela wa Kamsopi of the Guardian (April 6) selected a number of newspaper headings which had appeared in the local press:

‘Mrema crosses back to CCM; receives grand reception from Mangula (CCM Secretary General)’
‘Tanzania debt cancelled up to 2000’.
‘Top Civic United Front (CUF) leader crosses over to CCM’
‘David Beckham arrives in Dar es Salaam quietly.’
But all these headings were published on the same day – April 1st!

Among political developments revealed on dates other than April 1st were the following:

Major changes in electoral system being considered
The Government is considering the possibility of introducing a number of changes to the electoral system. In order to try and establish a viable opposition by increasing the number of opposition MP’s, a system of proportional representation might be introduced. Another proposal is to increase the number of MP’s from 295 to 350. The number of women MPs might also be increased from 25% to 30%. And, in an important change in policy, it appears that CCM has agreed, or is about to agree, to the participation of private candidates in Tanzanian politics.

Opposition presidential candidates
The opposition remains divided (and will therefore not rule) as parties hasten to choose their candidates for the next presidential election.
The main opposition party on the mainland, the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) has said it will field a presidential candidate in 2005 for the first time since it was established in 1992. The party said that this time around CHADEMA had earmarked an energetic member to contest the presidency. The Party Chairman, Bob Makani, has resigned and said he did not intend to seek re-election at his party’s AGM; he wanted young blood to lead the party. Makani also said that if his party came to power it would allow the formation of three governments. The grant of permission for Zanzibar to fly its own flag was proof of the need for a government of Tanganyika and another for Zanzibar – Nipashe.

It is assumed that Professor Ibrahim Lipumba will again be the Civic United Front (CUF) presidential candidate for Tanzania in 2005 and Seif Shareef Hamad will be again the CUF presidential candidate in Zanzibar.

The Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) has declared its chairman, Augustine Mrema, to be its presidential candidate in 2005. In fear of removal from his post, he persuaded the party to change its constitution at its last meeting; the Executive Committee lost its right to remove a serving chairman from his post. The party also expelled ten of its leaders, including its former chairman, vice-chairman and treasurer who had been opposing Mrema. “A major purge in the top ranks of the party was necessary to prevent the ruling CCM party from annihilating TLP,” Mrema said, referring to a trend in which top officials of his party have been defecting to other parties – Mwananchi and other papers.

Makongoro Nyerere appointed special seats MP

President Mkapa has appointed Makongoro Nyerere, the son of Father of the Nation the late Julius Nyerere, as tenth and last ‘special seats’ MP to be appointed by him. Makongoro is a former opposition MP from NCCR-Mageuzi. He lost his parliamentary seat after he lost an election petition against him. He rejoined CCM before the death of his father in 1999.
Other nominees of the President in Parliament are former High Commissioner in London Dr Abdulkader Shareef, Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru, Omar Ramadhani Mapuri, Brigadier General (retired) Hassan Ngwilizi, Chief Abdallah Said Fundikira, Anne Kione Malecela, Dr Masumbuko Lamwai, Mwanaidi Hassan Makame – all CCM members – plus Hamad Rashid Mohamed from CUF.

Chosen for AU parliament

MP’s have chosen the colleagues who will represent Tanzania in the newly created African Union Parliament. They are Ambassador Gertrude Mongella, from the women’s group, Dr. William Shija and Athumani Janguo from the mainlanders group, Dr. Aman Kabourou (CHADEMA) from the opposition group and Remidius Kisasi from the Zanzibar group of MPs – Majira.

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ZANZIBAR

Reconciliation
In a gesture of reconciliation, a multitude of CUF members led by Secretary General Seif Shariff Hamad, joined CCM party members (for the first time since CUF was formed in 1992) in celebrations that marked the 40th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1964. The celebrations, at Amaan stadium, were also attended by Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Mwai Kibaki (of Kenya) and Ugandan Prime Minister Professor Apollo Nsibambi. CUF members waved party flags and carried placards urging implementation of the Muafaka accord, while CCM members carried placards proclaiming that the revolution was there for ever – Mwananchi and other newspapers.

Registration of voters
Just before it was due to start, it was announced in Zanzibar that voter registration by the Electoral Commission had been postponed indefinitely because of the unavailability of donor funds. It was also reported, however, that a British company would be appointed to help supervise the registration exercise.
On April 15, however, it was announced that the Zanzibar Government would take charge of voter registration. Zanzibar Chief Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha told the House of Representatives that the Government was concerned with an alleged misappropriation of funds (some Shs 217 million) by the Commission appointed to implement the Muafaka and promised that investigations would be conducted and the culprits charged. The Government would look for funds and ensure that the registration process would proceed on time. He said the Government wanted the 2005 elections to be held in a free and fair atmosphere to help islanders forget all the confusion arising from past experiences – Guardian.

ZEC Secretariat
The Zanzibar Electoral Commission’s new secretariat is expected to be fully established by June 2004 as agreed in the Muafaka under a new structure drawn up by Canadian and Tanzanian experts.

Party struck off
Zanzibar’s new SAFINA party was struck off the register of political parties in February but party leaders said they would ignore the decision because the move had been made to favour CCM and they would file a case in the courts. The party was struck off after its leaders had failed to produce a list of 200 founding members from 10 regions on the Mainland and Zanzibar, so as to be granted permanent registration, as provided for in the law. It was alleged that there had also been endless squabbles in the party and a struggle for power so that it was impossible to determine who exactly the party’s trustees – Guardian.

Six bombs and other incidents
There were six bombing incidents in Zanzibar in March and April.
Before the first of these bomb blasts, on March 6, and apparently not connected with the other bombings, the Zanzibar Electricity Company suffered a loss amounting to 26m/- after people, described as hooligans, used petrol bombs to blow up three electricity transformers. Unguja town has 500 transformers, which make it difficult for the company to organize adequate security.
The incident came three days after the police tried to quash an unlicensed public demonstration that had been organized by the ‘Association for the Revival and Propagation of the Islamic Faith.’ Chaos reigned in various streets of Zanzibar town as angry Muslims threw stones at the riot police and burnt tyres. The demonstrators carried placards reading Mbona Maaskofu hamuwakatazi? (why don’t you ban demonstrations organised by Christian bishops), Mnatuonea Waislam (You’re harassing us Moslems) and Haki Sawa kwa Wote, Karume lazima ang’oke” (Equal rights for all, Karume must go). The police responded with tear gas canisters and arrested 32 people – Guardian.
The property that was damaged or destroyed by the six bombs included a house belonging to the Zanzibar Minister of Transport and Communications, another belonging to a ten-cell village leader (or Sheha), a police vehicle, a school bus belonging to St Francis Primary School, and the house of the Mufti of Zanzibar.
A senior official of the British Embassy in Rwanda and a number of tourists escaped unhurt after a hand grenade was thrown at the Mercury Restaurant in Forodhani (named after the famous singer Freddie Mercury, who was born in Zanzibar). The grenade fell on the table occupied by the British official and her company. According to the Guardian it rolled down and caused a stampede but no one was hurt in the incident (this also applied to the other incidents). Tanzanian army specialists diffused the bomb and there followed a loud explosion that shook the whole of Forodhani Street.
On March 26 the Tanzanian Government ordered all defence and security organs, including the Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces (TPDF) and the Intelligence Department to use all their powers to hunt down the people involved. The order was issued by Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Capt John Chiligati who said “The Union government will ensure that peace and security prevail on the isles.” He said that the bomb blasts had been aimed at creating fear and anxiety during the visit to Zanzibar of the German President Dr Johannes Rau.

Mkapa warns Zanzibar’s troublemakers
On April 5 President Mkapa vowed to deal with those alleged to be behind the spate of bombings. Addressing a public rally in Shinyanga he said: “We can’t allow political parties that think they can spread the ‘viruses of religious, tribal, zonal and gender bias’, and indicated that the Government believed that the bombings in Zanzibar were probably sponsored by some political party he wouldn’t name.
Following another statement, this time by the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, that the attacks were politically motivated and aimed at ruining efforts to build the economy, CUF immediately asked him which political party he was referring to. The party said that international experts should be called upon to uncover the plotters. The party’s Acting Secretary-General, Wilfred Rwakatare, told the press on April 2 that reputable international experts, would undertake free and fair investigations, with no mercy even if the implicated people were state officials. He noted that there was a lot of speculation as to why these explosions were happening at the time when people were preparing for voter registration.

Arrests
Some 39 suspects were arrested shortly after the bombings and twelve of them were charged. Lack of modern equipment had stalled the investigations by the police, Zanzibar Attorney General Idd Pandu Hassan was quoted as saying.

“Zanzibar bombings government sponsored”
The leader of the Uamsho group of Moslems in Zanzibar, Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed, said on April 3 that the Government was behind the bombings. Its aim was to get a pretext for arresting and detaining some leading figures in Zanzibar. Speaking at Mtambani Mosque in Dar es Salaam, Sheikh Farid said his group would soon call for a demonstration in Dar es Salaam to pressurize the Government into repealing some oppressive laws including the Prevention of Terrorism Act which, he said, targeted Muslims – Mtanzania.

Uamsho leader in court
Sheikh Azan Khalid Hamdan the second in command in the Uamsho group of Moslems has been arraigned in court charged with incitement against the Government. According to the charge sheet Sheikh Azad incited Moslems gathered at Malindi grounds in Zanzibar on 3rd March 2004 against sections of the Newspaper Act No. 5 of 1988. He was released on bail until April 27, 2004. In another case Khamis Haji Khamis (29) was charged with being in possession of seditious leaflets containing the message: ‘The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is conducting bombings in the Isles so that it can get the pretext to arrest Uamsho leaders and detain them. He was also released on bail until April 9, 2004 – Mtanzania.

Tourism continues
The Dar es Salaam Financial Times reported that, in spite of the spate of bombs and arson tourism in Tanzania had not been adversely affected. Bookings to Zanzibar from traditional markets had not been cancelled. Skylink Travels and Tours Managing Director Moustapha Khataw was quoted as saying that he remained confident that the tourism business in Zanzibar would remain robust. Tourists regarded the various ‘scuffles’ as minor issues which posed no serious threat to their lives. So far, none of the countries belonging to Tanzania’s traditional tourist markets had issued any new travel advisories to its citizens.
However, Minister for Finance Basil Mramba condemned the bomb attacks on the Isles and described the incidents as very bad for the economy and for the image of the country. The 2001 terrorist attacks on the US embassy in Dar es Salaam three years before had led to cancellation of about 40% of tourist bookings. Tourism in Tanzania accounts for about 16% of the GDP and nearly 25% of total export earnings.
 
Compensation for property loss
The Commonwealth Secretariat has been accused of back-pedaling on compensating Zanzibaris whose properties were destroyed during the political conflicts in 2001 between the ruling CCM and CUF. According to the East African the cash pledge was made to the Zanzibar government by the Commonwealth, when the latter brokered the peace accord of October 2001, referred to as Muafaka. Many of the houses demolished in Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja, which is predominantly a CCM stronghold, and properties destroyed during the political turmoil of 2001, were those of CUF supporters. CUF has a strong base on the twin island of Pemba. A senior official in the joint CCM/CUF reconciliation committee overseeing the implementation of the Muafaka told The East African that 90% of the accord has been achieved, and only the compensation issue remained.
But Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, the chairman of CUF, said that this was not correct because key areas including reforming the judiciary, introduction of a permanent voters’ register, and reforming public media, setting up a joint parties secretariat to monitor peace in the isles, appointment of CUF members to the House of Representatives, and a number of other issues, were still pending.

Compensation for imprisonment

The Zanzibar Government has refused to give compensation to 18 members of CUF, who were charged with treason in 1997 and confined in prison for three years before being acquitted. They had demanded Shs15 billion. The Government pegged its offer at 20m/- for each of them. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of State in the President’s Office responsible for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Omar Makungu, criticised the former inmates, saying they were too rigid and demanding. They claimed that they had suffered psychological and economic loss while in prison. The court granted a request by the Zanzibar Government to settle the case out of court. But the complainants stuck to their guns and refused to reduce the size of the amount demanded. Among the complainants are the CUF Vice-Chairman, the Deputy Secretary-General, a nominated CUF MP, the CUF Director of Planning and Elections, a commissioner on the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, a former Minister of Agriculture, and a CUF woman party activist, Zulekha Ahmed. – Guardian.

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ASYLUM AND REFUGEES – BRITAIN AND TANZANIA TALK

Britain and Tanzania have been in discussions about Britain’s asylum and refugee problems. Liberal Democrat party leader Charles Kennedy brought the matter into the public domain on February 25 when he asked the Prime Minister what was going on and expressed the fear that the proposal could lead to ‘an international trade in displaced people’. Tony Blair then explained that the idea was for asylum claims to be processed nearer to the country of origin. It would be a pilot scheme to explore how Britain could help process asylum applications which arose in Tanzania. “We have been talking to the Tanzanian Government about various immigration issues, including East Africans falsely claiming to be Somalis in the hope of securing British residency” he said.

In Dar es Salaam, the Government immediately confirmed that consultations over Britain’s request to set up a camp in Tanzania for screening Somali asylum seekers were going on. Home Affairs Minister Ramadhani Mapuri quoted in the East African said: “The government wishes to acknowledge a request made by the Government of the United Kingdom to settle Somali refugees in Tanzania. Internal consultations among stakeholders within the Government of Tanzania are in progress but the Government is yet to give its response.” He added, “Any response must take full consideration of the magnitude, multitude and the entire range of socio-political implications for Tanzania including the fact that Tanzanians are already overwhelmed by the burden of refugees”.

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Tanzania is host to more than 600,000 refugees mainly from Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somalia. 470,000 of these are in camps, and another 170,000 are living independently in the Tabora and Rukwa regions.

Mr Mapuri added: “It was brought to the Tanzanian Government’s attention that there are some alleged Tanzanian nationals in the UK who pose and continue to live in the UK as Somali refugees….Tanzania believes that, should any Tanzanian nationals posing as Somali refugees in the UK be identified, they should not be expelled, but returned to Tanzania under normal procedures that respect human dignity.”

The ‘East African’ said that Tanzania was one of the major transit points for asylum seekers from the Great Lakes region trying to get into Europe due to its lax immigration scrutiny. Once they arrived in the UK, most of them identified themselves as Somalis seeking asylum due to the current turmoil in Somalia. People from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia itself were trying to enter Britain through Tanzania. Britain has said that it is prepared to help Tanzania with cash support for its growing refugee problem.

Somalis made up the largest number of refugee applicants to Britain last year but the numbers are still tiny (around 6,000 in 2003) compared with the number of refugees Tanzania has to host.
Peter Kallaghe, Director of Communications for Tanzanian President Mkapa, told the Guardian that there had been discussions between the two governments over the issue but that it was sensitive. Any decision would not be taken very easily,” he said. The Guardian report said that a camp in Tanzania could offer a processing point for Somalis seeking asylum as well as a home for failed asylum seekers.

Tanzanian Affairs has been told that the British Home Office is planning to send a ‘scoping’ visit to Tanzania in the near future to take the discussions further.

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BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY

Exchange Rates: £1 = Shs 1,970
$1 = Shs 1,100

Praise for Tanzania from the IMF
Sebastian Paschal writing in Dar es Salaam’s Financial Times (March 24) gave a detailed account of the IMF’s first review of Tanzania’s $29.3 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. This is the IMF’s ‘concessional facility’ for low-income countries. PRGF loans carry an annual interest rate of 0.5% and are repayable over 10 years. The review, which contained much praise for the way in which the Government had been handling the economy, has enabled the release of a further $4.2 million, which will bring the total amount drawn under the arrangement to about $8.3 million.
Extracts from the article/review: ‘The Tanzanian authorities deserve credit for maintaining macroeconomic stability and making substantial progress with structural reforms, which have paved the way for a steady but modest increase in real per capita income combined with low inflation’ – IMF.
Reflecting its good track record in the implementation of its reform program, Tanzania has received steady financial support and technical assistance from the donor community. In particular, debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative has helped Tanzania to undertake higher social sector spending and maintain debt sustainability. At a recent meeting between the IMF and the Government, the latter revealed its plan to achieve a comprehensive reform of tax policy and tax administration. This would include the forthcoming adoption of a new Income Tax Bill and the Tanzania Revenue Authority’s implementation of a new three-year corporate plan, which the IMF said was a good move. The IMF commended Tanzania’s position on the income tax Bill.
The fund observed also that the rationalisation of the tax regime for mining companies, imposing strict controls on tax exemptions, would be important steps to contain revenue leakages. It added that maintaining a sound fiscal position and debt sustainability would also require firm control over non-priority expenditure and prudent debt management policies. According to the IMF, the newly passed amendments to the Land Act would facilitate bank lending by permitting the use of land as collateral. The IMF also supported the privatisation of the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) saying it would help to broaden access to financial services.
It appears also, however, that during the recent meeting with the Government doubts were expressed on the seriousness of the rising fiscal pressures emanating from growing subsidies for the energy sector. The IMF proposed action including formulation of a short-term plan and a medium-term reform strategy, which would aim at providing a reliable power supply, while reducing the electricity utility’s dependence on fiscal subsidies.
During the discussions, the Government underlined its commitment to the full implementation of its updated national anti-corruption strategy and action plan for 2003-2005, which the IMF say would be a crucial step for strengthening governance and boosting business confidence.
Despite Tanzania’s achievements in macroeconomic stability, however, the IMF noted that poverty remained widespread, especially in rural areas, and economic development had been uneven across the country.’

Natural Gas
Electricity produced by the Songosongo gas project (SONGAS) will be connected to the National Power Grid on June 17, this year, the Managing Director of TANESCO, Rudy Huysen, announced on April 2. SONGAS would add 75 megawatts to the national grid.
Artumas Ltd of Canada will be investing $32 million to develop a new gas field at Mnazi Bay in Mtwara region. The project will generate 12.5 megawatts of electricity and provide cheap power for the southern regions of Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma. – Mwananchi.

Savings locally and abroad
According to the East African, quoting Central Bank Governor Daudi Ballali (15th December), Tanzanians have ‘stashed away’ $2.5 billion abroad compared with the $1.7 billion they have placed in local savings banks. However, he said that an even larger sum was held as foreign savings a decade ago. Some of this money had returned to the country as a result of the move away from a command to a private-sector-driven market economy and the reduction of the inflation rate from 35% to 4.5%.

Foreign exchange capacity and inflation
Tanzania’s economy has the foreign exchange capacity to finance imports for eight months and two weeks instead of the six months recorded last year, according to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT). Gross international reserves had increased from $1.5 billion to over $2 billion. As regards inflation, the BoT report said that, despite adverse drought condition coupled with food insecurity, inflation had been contained at 4.6% for three consecutive months since October 2003.

Cut flower exports
The BoT has also reported that Tanzania earned 1.1bn/- from the export of cut flowers in the last quarter of the year. The cut flower was said to be becoming an important non-traditional export. Most of the flowers are exported to European countries, especially Germany and Switzerland. Roses are the major element – East African

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TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

US General Charles Wald, Deputy Commander of the US European Command based in Germany, (which also has responsibility for 93 countries, including all of the sub-Saharan region apart from the Horn), recently responded to a journalist’s question about a report that Tanzania was not co-operating fully with the US on terrorism. He was quoted in the WASHINGTON TIMES as saying that US military forces were working with the Tanzanian government to counter a terrorism threat. Unnamed Bush administration officials had apparently said that Tanzanian officials had only haltingly co-operated with American efforts to root out terrorists. The paper quoted an anonymous Western diplomat as saying: ‘The Tanzanians see terrorism as an international issue, not a domestic one, because most terrorists are imported. The problem with that argument is that Tanzania is a permissive environment.’ The newspaper article went on: ‘US Treasury Department officials charged in January that the Tanzanian branch of a Saudi Arabian charity had engaged in terrorist activities and plotted attacks last year against tourist hotels on Zanzibar…..The scheduled attacks did not take place due to increased security by local authorities, but planning for the attacks remained active.’ Some Tanzanians were said to view the high level of American concern as exaggerated. They pointed out that the Tanzanian mainland had not suffered an attack for five-and-a-half years.

In a detailed report published on February 2 THE EAST AFRICAN took to task what it called the ‘errent lawyers of Tanzania and the 23 cases pending against them. There was said to be growing concern over falling standards, pilferage of clients’ money and unethical conduct. The report was based on a paper obtained from the Tanganyika Law Association (TLS). A common complaint was the lack of an effective legal mechanism to crack down on errant lawyers. “Complaints against advocates have increased, although the society has taken steps against lawyers who abuse their profession”, TLS acting executive secretary Anitha Moshi said. Despite the growing list of complaints, not a single lawyer had lost his licence to practice in Tanzania. But Ms Moshi insisted that the TLS was taking action and had forced some advocates to return clients’ money. Asked about cases of magistrates dismissed by the Government and then readily admitted to the Bar, she said the practicing certificate is issued by the Chief Justice after he verifies an applicant’s records. Surprisingly, many former magistrates, who were sacked over corruption or other unprofessional conduct, have crossed over to the Bar as advocates. The regional ethics committees of TLS said they were satisfied with the conduct of advocates in Tanga, Arusha, Mbeya and Kilimanjaro regions, where no complaints had been filed. Mwanza had received one complaint but cases against lawyers in Dar es Salaam included receiving legal fees but failing to appear in court, withdrawing from arbitration proceedings after being paid and refusing to refund clients’ money.

The AFRICA RESEARCH BULLETIN (December 2) announced that Stella Artois beer, a brand popular during Tanzania’s beer shortages in the early 1990’s, had made a comeback and was to be brewed by a locally owned brewery under licence from Belgium’s ‘Interbrew’, the world’s third largest beer producer. This would represent competition for Tanzania Breweries which controlled 98% of Tanzania’s beer market. Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Juma Ngasongwa said that producing Stella Artois locally would ensure that more Tanzanians were employed and that government revenue would increase.

The World Bank’s publication FINDINGS (April) described, in four succinctly-written pages, recent development in Tanzania’s coffee industry by the Senior Economist John Baffes. The paper recorded that during the 1960s the cooperatives and the Coffee Board became involved in most aspects of marketing and trade in coffee. This involvement culminated in the nationalisation of most Arabic coffee estates in northern Tanzania in 1973. Since then the coffee sector had been subject to a shifting of power between the cooperatives and the Coffee Board with the needs of the sector itself never seriously addressed.
The performance of the sector deteriorated and reforms became necessary. The first steps were taken in 1990 when the Coffee Board began to make more timely payments to cooperatives. The Board became a marketing agent rather than a marketer. In March 1992 input markets were opened to private traders and a few months later exporters were allowed to retain 10% of their export earnings in foreign currency and, soon thereafter, 100%. More reforms came in 1993 allowing private sector participation in marketing and processing.
While these reforms brought about some improvement there were still many problems. Although the processing capacity for coffee had increased enormously – since 1988 twelve new factories had been built – many of these were operating at only a quarter of installed capacity.
Uncertainties in the coffee sector were exacerbated by the ‘one-licence regulation’ issued by the Coffee Board just three days before the official start of the 2002/03 coffee buying season in the Western coffee zone. The regulation limited applicants for private coffee buying, coffee processing or coffee export licences to just one of these licences so as to help the cooperatives increase their market share at the expense of private traders.
The paper made a number of recommendations: taxes should be substantially reduced; the Coffee Board’s licensing procedures should be re-examined; the coffee auction should be voluntary; the Board should take greater responsibility for statistics; and, its powers and those of the ministries should be substantially reduced. The regulatory framework should facilitate the transfer of nationalised estates to private individuals so that their full potential could be realised.
The paper also includes an account of the numerous significant changes made since 1920 in the coffee estate sector.

Why has the Tanzania shilling dropped so heavily against the US dollar in recent weeks? The latest AFRICA RESEARCH BULLETIN suggested that it was because of severe food shortages in late 2003 and the action of the Government in trying to ease the situation by waiving some taxes paid by food importers. The result had been massive food shipments in January paid for in dollars at the same time as a recent drop in exports of coffee and cashew nuts caused by low rainfall.

AFRICA ANALYSIS (March 5) expressed concern about the possible threat to tourism in Zanzibar following what it described as a brutal attack by machete-wielding robbers who boarded a yacht with 15 tourists on board off Pemba on 21st February. None of the holidaymakers were hurt but the robbers escaped with money, passports, jewellery and computers.

Schoolboys fidget and mess about in class, while girls sit still and concentrate – all because of biological sex differences that evolved millions of years ago. A team from the University of Minnesota, quoted in the DAILY TELEGRAPH (April 15) and based on an article in NATURE, had conducted a four-year study of young chimpanzees in the Gombe National Park in Tanzania. They noted how young chimps learnt to fish for termites using a stick. Although both sexes received the same attention, on average, the females picked up enough skill to extract their own termites by the age of 31 months while males took 58 months. Males spent more time playing and in physical activity. The fact that young chimps followed the same sex specific roles as humans was said to indicate that such behaviour had deep- rooted biological origins, probably dating back more than 6 million years.

AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL (19th December) revealed what it described as ‘a bad-tempered discussion on Zimbabwe’ at the Commonwealth Summit Meeting in Nigeria from 5th to 8th December. Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon had applied for an extension of his term of office but this was opposed by some African countries because he was supporting continued sanctions against Zimbabwe. According to Africa Confidential, in September last year, Tanzania’s High Commissioner in London had approached his Sri Lankan counterpart with a plan to put up an Asian candidate against McKinnon. The person eventually selected to do this was former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kardirgamar. Discussions continued some weeks later in Romania and Switzerland which involved, amongst others, former OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim from Tanzania. Efforts to mobilise a large African vote against Mc Kinnon did not succeed however and McKinnon was eventually re-elected by 41 votes to 11. Only South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia amongst African countries allowed themselves to be publicly identified with support for the Sri Lankan candidate. (TA has been told that Tanzania voted for McKinnon as did Uganda and Kenya – Editor).

HABARI, the journal of the Sweden-Tanzania Society, is written in Swedish. However, in its first issue of 2004, it contained three articles in English on languages spoken in Tanzania and included a comprehensive language map of the country. The first article, by Malin Petzell was on a socio-linguistic study on the position of the Kagulu language which is spoken by 200,000 to 300,000 people in Kilosa district. It was said that it still held a strong position in society but was in the ‘endangered’ category particularly in urban areas. The second paper, written by Jennifer Palmgren, had the title ‘Kiswahili language, nation-building and identity’. There was also a half-page on basic English-Kisukuma greetings.

Under the heading ‘Drawing on ancient remedies’ the South African MAIL AND GUARDIAN (27th February) described how traditional and modern medicine is being fused in the fight against AIDS in Tanga by an ‘Aids Working Group’. It is estimated that the region has a ratio of one doctor to 33,000 people but there is one traditional healer to every 156 people. An elderly healer, Mohamed Kasomo, is actually working with doctors in a modern hospital and is using all kinds of herbs for a variety of AIDS-related complaints including loss of appetite, fever, skin infections, abdominal discomfort and oral and vaginal fungus. The herbs are packaged in powder form and every two weeks about 700 patients go to the hospital to collect their packages. They then take them home where they boil them into tea. Although the traditional healers are not curing AIDS they are making marked improvements in people’s standards of living, the article said. (Thank you David Leishman for sending this item – Editor).

‘It may look like dung and smell like dung, but it’s a life-saver for the deaf of Africa’. THE THIRD SECTOR quoted in THE TIMES (January 13) reported that Christmas cards made from elephant droppings have raised £1,000 for deaf children in Tanzania. Some cards were sold in game parks and one of these parks also requested 1,000 elephant dung folders to package its annual report. A hotel was said to have ordered ‘Dumbo-dung’ lampshades – (Thank you Liz Fennell for sending this item – Editor).

‘Juma Twaha had gone blind but his life in the atmosphere of torpor and decay in Temeke, Dar es Salaam, was causing him some torment. Not having the sureness of foot of those blind from birth, he would often stumble into the treacherous potholes. This would immediately prompt mirth and jeers from an entourage of small children who would collapse on the ground in a theatrical mimicry of Juma’s clumsiness. Last August his luck changed. A 35-person team from Orbis, the global sight-saving charity, came to Tanzania to train ophthalmologists in cataract surgery. Mr Twaha became the first person in a Tanzanian public hospital to receive small incision surgery on his cataracts. His sight was restored.’ Seeing himself in the mirror for the first time for years, he exclaimed “Actually I’m pretty good looking. I should now be able to find a wife!” (Thank you Donald Wright for sending this item from the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (December 14) – Editor.

AFRICAN BUSINESS (March) presented its first annual review of Africa’s top companies listed on a sub-regional basis. In East Africa, it quoted ‘Market Capitalisation’ as placing Tanzania Breweries top of the list and Tanzania Cigarettes fifth. Out of the first ten companies all except two were Kenyan. Tanzania’s stock exchange, which generated a loss of 8% compared badly with that of Uganda which had a 140% return – one of the highest in the world. Zimbabwe (in US dollar terms) was said to be the worst performing market in the world. Tanzania’s exchange lists only six companies compared to Kenya’s fifty.

THE EAST AFRICAN has published a report on the mining industry in Tanzania which stated that an international mineral auditing firm, Alex Stewart of the US, had been engaged by the Government to verify the amount of gold mined and revenue earned. This happened after the Government had finally persuaded the large scale mining companies to provide it with details of their operations. Brief extracts from the report, by Faustine Rwambali and Joseph Mwamunyange: ‘Unlike in the past when the sector was dominated by artisanal miners, which made monitoring of production and actual sales figures difficult, the entrance of large-scale mining companies has made it easier to monitor mining activities. Tanzanians have for long debated whether the Government has been earning all the revenue due to it from the country’s precious metals…. There are five giant gold mining companies in Tanzania – Afrika Mashariki Gold Mines Ltd (North Mara Gold Project); Resolute (Tanzania) Ltd (Golden Pride Project); Kahama Mining Corporation Ltd (Bulyanhulu Mine); Meremeta Ltd (Buhemba Gold Mine); and Geita Gold Mining Ltd (Geita Gold Mine). Tulakawa Mine, owned by Pangea Mining Ltd., was opened recently. The five companies jointly produce an estimated 1.45 million troy ounces of gold annually. According to Tanzania’s investment law, mining firms pay only 3 per cent of their earnings in royalties. Amendments to the mining law that were effected in the late 1990s, created an enabling environment to attract large scale mining investors.

The ECONOMIST published yet another of its frequent highly critical articles about the early years of independent Tanzania in its January 3 issue. It began: ‘Julius Nyerere, the socialist who founded and nearly destroyed Tanzania, must be grumbling in his grave. His protégé, President Mkapa, who cannot seem to look at a state enterprise without trying to privatise it, is bringing market discipline even to the health sector. Compounding his betrayal, his government last month appointed a Briton, David Tregoning, to overhaul the state hospital in Dar Salaam……. The revered Nyerere was not fond of business – minded Westerners: in the early 1960s, he kicked them off their farms and nationalised multinationals’ Tanzanian subsidiaries….. Nowadays, though the Government hates to admit it, Tanzania does what foreign donors say. It was at their insistence that Dr Tregoning was hired….. donors will be paying for the hospital’s face-lift and demanded some control over how their money is spent…..
The article went on: ‘The hospital’s history mirrors Tanzania’s. The state-of-the-art facility, when it was built in 1960, just before independence, decayed under Mr Nyerere’s unaccountable socialist regime. Donated equipment festered in storerooms; underpaid medical staff pinched drugs; patients lay unattended and underfed in overcrowded, filthy wards…… This should soon change with $2 million a year from the African Development Bank and the Illinois -based Abbott Laboratories Fund .
Dr Tregoning will oversee the renovation of laboratories, the introduction of new training techniques, the establishment of an HIV Management Programme and the upgrading of technology across the hospital…..’
The article also included some praise for Tanzania: ‘Tanzania’s recent overall record has been good. There has been an impressive growth in agriculture under Mr Mkapa. He has imposed fiscal discipline; inflation has fallen, Tanzanians are less likely to find cockroaches in their beer now that the state brewery has been sold off; the national telecoms firm and airline are also largely in private hands and foreign companies now manage the water and electricity utilities. Some economists now predict that the economy might even become the biggest in East Africa in a few years time by overtaking Kenya’s (Thank you Jill Bowden for sending this item – Editor).

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CUSTOMS UNION SIGNED

The Dar es Salaam Financial Times reported on March 2 that the three East African Heads of State had finally signed in Arusha the 40-page protocol establishing the ‘East African Community Customs Union’ amidst a series of unresolved issues. The signing had taken four years of negotiations and finally had to be considerably watered down to accommodate deep-seated differences between the member states. One of the critical issues is what tax to charge on goods from outside the EAC, known as the ‘Common External Tariff’ (CET). Uganda has unilaterally decided to apply a 20% rate for finished goods, while Kenya and Tanzania have stuck to the more protectionist 25%. Uganda and Tanzania have been allowed to place a surcharge on specified lists of products from Kenya due to the latter’s generally more advanced industrial base.

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