The President has been making speeches on an almost daily basis during the last few months. The following extracts from some of his recent speeches give an indication of the flavour of Tanzania’s present policies:
Speaking at an Eid Baraza in Arusha: “The government cannot tolerate stubborn clerics. We will be keen to restrict the operations of these people …I want to warn potential preachers of hatred.” He said the government would continue protecting the freedom of worship. Continue reading
After Prime Minister Edward Lowassa had rejected reports presented to him by district commissioners in Kigoma region, Tanzania Daima reported that DCs in Iringa region were very worried because their region was next in line for a visit from the PM. It was said that some of the DCs had shredded the reports they had already written and were burning the midnight oil rewriting them. The Kigoma DC, who was said to have had a tongue lashing, was said to be receiving phone calls from his colleagues in Iringa asking for advice. Commenting on this, the Prime Minister said “I am told DCs in Iringa have lost sleep since hearing that I am coming their way. They might as well lose sleep, because they might end up losing their jobs.”
After only ten months in office, on October 15, President Kikwete changed the portfolios of ten of his ministers and eight deputy ministers. No reasons were assigned for the changes, but MP’s had begun to complain about delays in executing development projects, uneven allocation of funds to the regions and careless negotiation of important contracts. There had also, according to the Daily News, been criticism of the handling of specific issues such as the power crisis; the food deficit; the management of forest resources and wildlife and the distribution of communication projects. Continue reading
Newly appointed High Commissioner in London, Mrs Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar, has said that she would not disappoint President Kikwete on his decision to appoint her to the post. In a talk with the press at her Bond Street office, Maajar said: “I will do my best to fulfil the responsibility entrusted to me by President Kikwete, keeping in mind that this is a senior post in a country with which we have special ties.” She insisted that she has no political ambition and upon retirement she would like to go back and help women in legal matters. She said she would be implementing Tanzania’s the new foreign policy of economic diplomacy. To start with she would relocate the Tanzania Trade Centre and bring it under the High Commission. It would be allocated a better budget to enable it to function well – Majira.
The picture above shows Mrs Maajar presenting her credentials to the Queen. Continue reading
The CUF opposition continues to press for change in the isles and in particular, for new elections under international control. The party organised peaceful mass demonstration in Dar es Salaam and Pemba in early November to press for talks with the government. The party is still hoping that President Kikwete will intervene as he promised to do after his election in 2005. Meanwhile Zanzibar President Amani Karume, whose election is not accepted by CUF, said that there was no question of a new election nor a coalition government but that he was prepared to meet and talk with the National Chairman of CUF, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba. Karume said “By admitting that CCM got 53% in the last elections, Lipumba is in fact conceding defeat and recognising my government. There is now no reason why we can’t meet and talk” – Nipashe. Continue reading
Following exchange visits in August and October between Tanzania’s First Lady Mrs Salma Kikwete and The Swazi Queen Mother, the Ndlovukazi, who rules Swaziland jointly with King Mswati – Mrs Kikwete found herself under strong criticism from Tanzanian feminist activists. During her time in Swaziland Mrs Kikwete attended the famous ‘Reed Dance’ during which maidens reaching maturity dance before their King (and before hundreds of young men looking for wives!) and he chooses one to be his next bride. He has recently married his fourteenth wife. Continue reading
The much criticized film ‘Darwin’s Nightmare’ continues to have repercussions. (It was reviewed in the last issue of TA – Editor).
Christian leaders have urged the government to review its policy on licensing of film production. Bishop Charles Gadi of the ‘Good News For All Ministry’ condemned the film saying it not only demeaned the country’s culture and values but also endangered peace. He said 43 sects under his leadership supported the statement by President Kikwete condemning the film. “The government has to beware of film makers who have ulterior motives,” he said. Continue reading
Back in 1965 when I was working as a Norwegian member of the Swedish International Development Organisation’ project at Kibaha in Coast Province, my 13 year-old son Sjur became friendly with a group of fishermen in the harbour of Dar es Salaam. He pestered them until, on one occasion, and after he had beaten them at their own game of bao (Tanzanian chess) they agreed to take him out on a fishing trip in their ngalawa (outrigger canoe).
He was thrilled and as we were shortly leaving the country, he began pressing me to see if it would be possible to buy a ngalawa and take it home to Norway. We went to Bagamoyo to try and find one for sale at a reasonable price.
Si-haba, courtesy of The Norwegian Maritime Museum
Churches to petition government for a Christian Court
According to Majira, religious antagonism that has been going on covertly came out into the open following a statement by some churches demanding their own court. Some Christian professionals were said to have come up with a draft bill aimed at establishing a Christian court so as to counter the move by government to start a Kadhi court for Muslims. One of the participants claimed that the government was showing signs of jettisoning its secular approach. Continue reading