A renowned American wildlife conservationist has been quoted in the Guardian as expressing fears that the rare chimpanzee species found in western Tanzania could become extinct as a result of a mysterious disease that may have killed up to 12 of them in a short space of time. Dr Magdalena Lukasik-Braum, known for her research on wildlife in the country, said, the rare species at Mahale Mountain National Park in Kigoma Region would become extinct if the disease was not checked. She said: “The situation is critical” she said.She said the chimpanzees are genetically so close to people that they are susceptible to almost all germs which affect humans. “Respiratory outbreaks occur with alarming regularity nearly every year, usually in June/July, when large numbers of staff and visitors enter the forest after the rainy season,” she added.


The Zanzibar High Court dismissed on October 3 a petition from ten Zanzibaris that questioned the legitimacy of the Union between the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar which was set up 42 years ago. The claimants said the agreement was invalid because Tanzania’s Attorney-General’s office had failed to produce an official copy of the original agreement and it seemed to have been lost. Continue reading


Disturbing reports from Dar es Salaam in the middle of last year told of queues of people spending all night outside the British High Commission in the hope of getting in early the next morning to obtain a visa. There were stories about the Commission issuing only a limited number of visas each day and that officials were taking bribes to allow people to enter the premises. Continue reading


All reports indicate that the face of Dar es Salaam has changed in recent weeks following government action at the beginning of September to remove young vendors, who were such a prominent feature of the street scene. The operation went smoothly and compensation was to be paid to those whose property had been damaged. One vendor whose stall had been removed to one of the designated areas said: “The beginning was tough but with time, we will get used to the new environment and do good business.’’

kongo beforeKongo District of Dar-es-Salaam before the action

Kongo afterKongo after the action

Similar action was taken in Zanzibar in November. Police had a heated exchange of words with security guards at the Anglican Church after they broke the church gate so as to collect equipment kept in the church compound by street vendors. Police demanded that the gates should be opened but this was not done and they then broke the gate. Church guards protested loudly and even threatened legal action but, according to Mwananchi, the police were not in the mood to listen. Acting Bishop of Zanzibar Diocese, Nuhu Salanya, appeared on the scene and found the police carting away the equipment. Earlier, the police went around Zanzibar town evicting more than 300 vendors and destroying their kiosks and tables. At one point they threatened members of the press corps who were taking pictures.


Different views
The East African (October 30) compared the different views on the economy which had been expressed by President Kikwete and Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Governor Daudi Balali. Kikwete was quoted as saying on October 2 that the economy was upbeat, the budgetary performance undisturbed, and – despite the power crisis – the economy was stable and on course. Continue reading


In addition to its promise of help in the energy crisis Chinese President Hu Jintao told President Kikwete after his arrival from Japan in November that China would also continue its assistance in the Chalinze water project aimed at supplying water to Sangasanga and Ngerengere areas, to boost operations of the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) until its privatisation, and renovate Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar, Radio Tanzania Zanzibar, and various malaria projects. President Kikwete was in China at a summit of over 40 other African leaders, to discuss sustainable co-operation between China and Africa – Daily News.


The crisis in Tanzania’s power sector has worsened during recent months due to a combination of very low water levels in hydropower dams because of poor rains, failures of generators and suspicions that contracts with suppliers of generating equipment may not have been above board. As a result, power rationing became serious for industry and other consumers and this affected revenue receipts and the viability of businesses. TANESCO was plunged into a financial crisis after its power generating costs went up dams produced well below capacity. To solve the problem, it switched to thermal generation, which is expensive to run. Continue reading


An opinion poll conducted by the BBC has found that the Arsenal team and its captain Thierry Henry are the most admired players in English football. About 90% of the people interviewed confirmed that they regularly watched the English Premier League. Manchester United came second and Chelsea third. However, Drogba was the only African player to make the top ten. Told of the poll, an Arsenal spokesperson said: “As a club we are thrilled so many football fans in Africa pick Arsenal and Henry as their favourite. We work hard to maintain links with supporters worldwide, through community outreach projects and supporter initiatives, and hope that those links grow stronger over the coming seasons.”

ArsenalThe Arsenal squad with Thierry Henry holding the penant