NJOMBE CHILD MURDERS

by Ben Taylor

Ten children have been reported murdered in Njombe region over the space of a few weeks, with their bodies mutilated. This includes three children, aged five, eight and eleven years, from a single family. A number of arrests have been made.

Regional authorities in Njombe confirmed the killings in late January, saying police had found bodies of children previously reported missing.
Deputy Health Minister, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, spoke to CNN about the case. “We have found ten bodies, and most of their private parts and teeth had been removed,” he said. “It is very sad because they are children and they don’t deserve to be used like this,” Ndugulile added.

He noted that it is believed that the murders are linked to witchcraft practices, “because that is the trend for such crimes, where herbalists ask people to get these human parts for money rituals.”

“We want to identify the perpetrators, but our focus is to educate the traditional practitioners in the area quickly and those in surrounding communities on the need to stop these acts,” said the Deputy Minister.

The United Nations issued a statement expressing its “deepest condolences” to the families and communities. “The UN joins the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania in condemning these heinous acts. As the UN, we stand ready to support the Government in their efforts to address the issue,” said Alvaro Rodriguez, UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania. “Additionally, we call upon all stakeholders to join hands to ensure that homes, schools and communities are safe spaces for children.”

In at least one case, it has been reported that local residents took the law into their own hands, killing four people they believed to be responsible for the murder of a seven-year-old girl.

When events in Njombe made both national and international headlines at the end of January, the police and political response to the case stepped up sharply. The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Job Ndugai, instructed the government to issue a statement on the situation in Njombe.

The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Venance Mabeyo, went to Njombe where he held closed-door talks with members of the defence and security committee in Njombe on how to contain the killings as well as with members of a special police unit that has been deployed to investigate and arrest those responsible for the killings. He called for calm among Njombe residents as authorities drill down to the root cause of the killings and bring the culprits to book. “There is no reason to panic. This is not yet a national issue because it involves individual families and the reasons behind the killings are typical family matters,” he said.

General Mabeyo told journalists shortly after the meeting that though the occurrences were still at family level, they have stained the image of Njombe to the rest of Tanzania and beyond, hence he need to stem them as a matter of urgency.

On February 4, Njombe Regional Police Commander (RPC), Ms Renata Mzinga, confirmed that 28 suspects were being held for questioning by the police. “We have uncovered the network of people who have been involved in these killings. In partnership with a special team from the Police Headquarters in Dar es Salaam, we will hunt them wherever they are. So far, we have arrested 28 people, including businesspeople, traditional healers and other ordinary citizens,” she said.

On February 12, three suspects were brought before the Njombe Resident Magistrate’s Court to face various murder charges. Reading the charge sheet, state attorneys said the accused killed three children from the same family. One of those charged is reportedly a cousin of the murdered children.

In early March, Police announced that they had arrested 65 “witchdoctors”, or traditional healers, in connection with the killings. The inspector general of police, Simon Sirro, has ordered that every traditional healer obtain a licence.

There is a belief among some people in Tanzania, and neighbouring countries, that using human body parts in rituals can bring wealth and good luck. A statement issued by 25 Tanzanian organisations, meanwhile, urged their compatriots to give up dangerous traditional beliefs. “We call upon the government to reinforce control over activities by traditional healers and to punish those behind human rights violations,” the organisations added.

A few weeks later, in early April, President Magufuli made a long-scheduled visit to Njombe, to open a new tea factory. At a public meeting, he spoke about the killings, expressing his deep sadness.
He then fired the Officer Commanding the District (OCD) for Njombe, Sifael Pyuza, accusing him of sleeping on the job end of last year and early this year.

Njombe RPC Renata Mzinga had been relieved of her responsibilities and transferred. The President, therefore, wondered out loud why the OCD of Njombe had not been similarly taken to task. “Is the OCD here? He also must leave. We must reach a point whereby we can be accountable for our actions. You must be held accountable,” said President Magufuli.

President Magufuli told Njombe residents to repent for the sins and asked a pastor to pray. “Njombe is a wonderful place but these killings have tainted the region’s reputation. This habit must stop. If there is a pastor here, come forward and pray so that people can repent,” said President Magufuli.

After the prayers, the President abruptly announced a change in his decision over the OCD. “The OCD is now forgiven. We have all been forgiven by God. All Njombe residents must now go and work hard and stop depending on Satan,” said President Magufuli.

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AGRICULTURE

by David Brewin

“Operation Korosho” (Cashewnuts)
Tanzania’s cashewnut industry began to face serious problems in the last four months of 2018 which is the main harvesting season.

Performance of Tanzania’s traditional exports (source: Tanzania Revenue Authority & Bank of Tanzania)

President Magufuli and the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT), the regulator and main supplier of inputs, were in dispute. The President decided to remove CBT’s main source of income – a levy on raw cashew exports – and place the funds with the government. The Treasury already owed CBT over TSh 200 billion (US $86m) earned from a levy in previous years which had not been transferred. The CBT proposed a floor price of TSh 1,550 per kilogram, but the farmers considered this too low as it was claimed to be lower than the cost of production.

There was also a dispute over Tanzania’s main and long-standing policy of processing cashews locally rather than exporting them raw. The crucial issue was the low price international buyers were offering for raw nuts, compared with the exceptionally high prices of the previous year, when farmers were paid up to TSh 4,500 per kilo.

As the situation deteriorated, President Magufuli himself went to Mtwara, the centre of the industry, when the main harvesting season began in November and took over personal control of marketing of the crop. He sacked the chairperson of CBT, the entire Cashew Board, the ministers of agriculture and trade and others.
Meanwhile, Tanzanians had become aware of the importance of the crop to the overall economy. In the 2016/17 year cashew nuts brought in a sum in foreign exchange which was greater than Tanzania’s combined earnings from coffee, cotton, tea, cloves and sisal.

Tanzania has about 700,000 hectares of cashew nut farms. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast are Africa’s top producers. Tanzania ranks fourth. However, it has only very limited processing facilities, many of which are old and outdated, for processing the crop before it can be marketed worldwide.

After examining the situation on the ground, the President announced that the government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers and insisted that all the collected crop must be moved from primary cooperative unions for storage to government warehouses. It became known as ‘Operation Korosho’.

The government, then under pressure to find foreign buyers before the nuts started to rot, hurriedly signed a memorandum of understanding in early February with a little-known Kenyan – registered firm, Indo Power Solutions Ltd – for the purchase of 100,000 tonnes. These were bought and paid for.

Cashew nut factory in Mtwara (Ama Lorenz – Euractiv, Germany)

The President then ordered the Agricultural Development Bank to buy the remaining output and sent 75 army trucks to take the nuts into government depots.

The President announced also that the government had handed over the few still functioning cashew nut factories to the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces. But virtually all the factories were found to be needing rehabilitation and so the lack of spare processing capacity forced a change in ‘Operation Korosho’. Instead of looking for markets for processed cashews, the government began to look for markets for raw nuts. However, it is understood that the President’s efforts to sort out the issues were handicapped by the difficulty in identifying which people were eligible to pay, as many farmers had already sold their cashews to local unlicensed traders.

At the end of March 2019, the new Minister of Agriculture announced that the government intended to prosecute at least 780 people for trading in cashew nuts without business licenses.

Although Tanzania produces less than 10% of the world’s total cashew output, it benefits from seasonality by being the biggest producer of the nuts during the October – January harvesting period. Other cashew producers from West Africa usually harvest their crop in February or later.

Private and public sectors
Ever since former President Nyerere in the sixties, influenced by his visits to China, introduced his version of African socialism into the agricultural sector, small scale smallholder farming has remained dominant in Tanzania’s agricultural sector.

When President Jakaya Kikwete took over power he introduced a policy called “Agriculture First” (Kilimo Kwanza) in 2009 which was designed to introduce an element of foreign venture capital investment into the private sector so that there could be the possibility of accelerated production of certain crops. It was a radical policy to continue to support smallholders while promoting, at the same time, large foreign venture capital investment. One of the first projects was supported by a US $47m matching grant fund backed by a World Bank loan of US $70m.

Another project is the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) to support smallholders while promoting foreign venture capital investment. The government insisted that any fixed assets which investors purchase would, at some future date, be transferred to local rural district councils, which would hold the property on behalf of smallholders. SAGCOT is another ambitious public-private partnership, designed to attract global agribusiness where investors develop huge segments of fertile land.

Since coming to power in 2015 the Magufuli government has taken control of fertiliser and seed inspection and bulk procurement and re-empowered cooperative unions in crop purchasing thus undermining private exporters and contract farming. The dramatic takeover of the cashew market by the army on President Magufuli’s orders, have shown the deep commitment of the party and state apparatus to maintaining public control.

Land leases
A very large Swedish investment in an integrated sugar project with an out-grower component failed to take off after years of negotiating with the government over land and water rights.

A second project – a 5,800 hectare rice and maize growing venture, which was expected to be an effective out-grower project – is now up for sale after defaulting on a US $20m loan from the US overseas Private Investment Corporation. This has also not been a success. Eventually, the government decided to ask the World Bank to discontinue the project after prolonged wrangling over how the fund should function with the result that no grants were ever made.

Tanzania is also working on a new policy that will reduce leases of land owned by foreigners from 99 years to 33 years. The policy is likely to be introduced fairly soon. Foreigners will only be allowed to acquire such land after they have registered with the Tanzania Investment Centre.

Tanzania Tea auctions
Tanzania sells between 5,000 and 8,000 tonnes of tea each year through the Mombasa auctions in Kenya. In a bid to cut costs incurred in transporting tea to Mombasa for sale the government is planning to establish an auction in Dar es Salaam. The Tea Board of Tanzania stated that local tea auctioning would reduce transport costs, raise income for farmers and boost business at the Dar es Salaam port.

Higher yielding bananas
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, in partnership with Tanzania’s national research centres have developed hybrids of the popular banana called Mchare. These hybrids were bred with disease resistant wild bananas and are high yielding, with high levels of resistance against key pests. The hybrids can increase yields by between 30% and 50%, resistance to at least three major pests and diseases. The diseases that are being addressed by the project are Fusarium Wilt, and Black Leaf Streak disease (Sigatoka), nematodes and banana weevils.

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BUSINESS & THE ECONOMY

by Ben Taylor

Audits, exchange rates and growth: economics in dispute
A series of arguments flared early in 2019 on economic and related matters, as the state of the national economy became an increasingly significant political battleground.

Average exchange rate TSh to US dollar (source oanda.com)

In addition to controversies linked to the annual audits of public sector institutions by the Controller and Auditor General (see Politics section, this issue), arguments arose around exchange rates and GDP growth figures. Tanzania’s leading English-language newspaper, The Citizen, apparently provoked official concern when it reported on a dip in the value of the Tanzanian Shilling. The government suspended the newspaper for 7 days, citing an article published on February 23rd with the front page headline: “Closely monitor fall of Shilling, experts caution.” The offending article reported that the TZS-USD exchange rate had slipped to TSh 2,415 per dollar at some forex bureaus, from 2,300 a week earlier, and stated that the shilling’s value had reached its lowest point for three and a half years. The paper then quoted the responses of Prof Honest Ngowi of Mzumbe University Economics Department and Dr Charles Sokile of Oxford Policy Management, a research and consulting firm, to the situation. Both economists argued that the situation should be monitored, that further depreciation would have economic consequences for Tanzania, and that the government should take steps to protect the Shilling. They pointed to large-scale infrastructure spending, this year’s decline in cashew nut exports and a fall in foreign investment as likely reasons for the Shillings’ reported woes.

A few days later, the government closed at least 50 foreign exchange bureaus in Dar es Salaam, citing concerns that the bureaus had been “flouting the law and regulations governing the business.” It is unclear whether this action was prompted by or linked to The Citizen’s reporting in any way. Indeed, the government carried out a similar clampdown on forex bureaus late in 2018 in Arusha. In both cases, the government argued that many forex bureaus were not properly licensed and that many were engaged in tax evasion.

The Citizen’s suspension attracted the attention of foreign diplomats. In a coordinated response, eight High Commissioners or Ambassadors – including the UK High Commissioner to Tanzania, Sarah Cooke – posted similar statements on Twitter. Their statements noted that their normal morning routine had been affected: “Usually I start my day with a fresh copy of the Citizen. Unfortunately it has been banned for a week. Is this sanction proportionate to the offence purportedly committed?”

It also drew attention from The Economist, which reported that in response to the suspension, “capital is reckoned to have fled to Kenya” and that “foreign-exchange controls are widely said to be imminent”.

The Shilling has since recovered most of its lost ground against the dollar – see chart above. The second economic row to break out focussed on the latest forecasts of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) for growth in Tanzania, and their latest report on the state of Tanzania’s economy. The IMF lowered its forecast for Tanzania’s economic growth to 4% this year and 4.2% in 2020 from a previous forecast of just under 7% in each case.

The government forecasts the economy will grow 7.3% in 2019 after an estimated 7.2% expansion last year, helped by investments in public infrastructure.

The IMF’s forecasts were first released on April 9, contained in data tables within their World Economic Outlook but without any accompanying explanatory text or commentary. This commentary was to be found in their 2019 Article IV Consultation Report on the Tanzanian economy, which had been due for publication around the same time. However, a statement posted on the IMF website noted that publication was not yet possible, as “the [Tanzanian] authorities have not consented to publication of the staff report or the related press release.”

The government said that it did not block the IMF report. Minister of Finance and Planning, Philip Mpango, told Parliament that government and the IMF were still discussing the report. “We are in talks with the IMF to sort out the problem before official publication,” he said.

Dr Mpango was responding to a question asked by opposition (Chadema) MP, Frank Mwakajoka: “The government blocked the IMF from publishing its report on the country’s economic status in violation of freedom of expression. What is the government afraid of?”

Even as the Minister gave his response, a leaked copy of the report was already freely available online. The key paragraph is worth quoting in full: “Macroeconomic conditions have remained stable in 2017–18 but there is uncertainty about the pace of economic activity. Headline inflation has been below the central bank’s medium-term target of 5% and the exchange rate has been broadly stable. Official GDP data point to about 7% annual growth, but there are serious weaknesses in the data and other high-frequency indicators point to a more subdued pace of economic activity. For instance, during the 2017/18 fiscal year (July to June), public sector wages, credit to the private sector, and imports fell by 5.3%, 2.9%, and 7.7% in real terms, respectively, while tax revenues grew by 3.1% in real terms.”

The report further distinguished between a “baseline scenario”, in which the current direction of policy is maintained, and an “alternative scenario”. The lower headline growth forecasts relate to the baseline scenario: “a weak business environment and limits to the scale of public investment (from insufficient financing), together with the implementation of projects that may not have high rates of return are likely to constrain annual GDP growth to below the 6.3% average rate recorded between 1998 and 2017.”

The IMF noted that instead, “a more ambitious set of fiscal and market-friendly reforms and appropriate public investments would lead to higher potential growth [of around 6-7% per year]”. This alternative scenario would entail improvements to tax administration and expenditure management, revisions to recently-enacted legislation including the Statistics Act and mining laws, reforms to strengthen governance and lower the cost of doing business.

Finally, the report notes that the Tanzania government was more optimistic about growth prospects: “They considered that their recent estimates of economic growth properly reflect economic activity and envisage that real GDP growth will be in the order of 7-8% per year in the short to medium-term. They believed that their policies were based on robust public investment plans and would be supported by a rationalisation of regulations affecting the business environment.” This government view was also expressed by the Finance Minister when presenting the government Budget Framework for FY2019/2020 to parliament in March. Dr Mpango painted a positive picture about the state of the national economy. Dr Mpango said the government will continue to implement both fiscal and monetary policies to continue sustaining the economy. He said GDP grew by 6.8% during the third quarter of 2018, and that the inflation rate remained “low and stable, at 3% in January this year”. The minister also said extended broad money supply (M3) also grew by an average of 6.6% in 2018 compared with an average of 5.5% in 2017, due to increased lending to private sector.

He said the local currency has continued to remain stable against global major currencies due to implementation of monetary policy, the use of gas to generate electricity, which has reduced fuel imports and improved local production of goods which were previously being imported.

2019/20 Budget
In presenting the 2019/20 budget to parliament, the Finance Minister, Dr Mpango, said the government would focus on four key areas: expanding the country’s industrial base, improving public services, investing in mega-infrastructure, and reforms to strengthen the business and tax environment.

On industry, the Minister noted that “key projects will include construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, establishment and development of special economic zones, [establishment] of factories that will add value to agricultural, livestock and fisheries products as well as those that are aimed at adding value to minerals and other natural resources.” On infrastructure, he pointed to construction of the hydroelectric project at Stieglers Gorge on the Rufiji River, improving Air Tanzania Company Limited and building the standard gauge railway line linking Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, Kigoma, Mwanza and Rwanda.

The cost of the plan comes in at TSh 33.1 trillion, up slightly from 32.5 trillion in 2018/19. This increase of 1.8% is the lowest budget increase in recent years, lower than increases seen a year ago (2.5%), in 2017 (7.5%) and 2016, for President Magufuli’s first budget (31%). It reflects concern expressed by politicians and economists that ambitious plans to increase tax revenues in previous years were unrealistic.

This amount (33.1 trillion) will be raised from a combination of taxes (58%) and non-tax revenues (9%), local government taxes (2%), development partners (8%), concessional loans (7%) and non-concessional loans (15%).

Vodacom leadership
In early April, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodacom Tanzania, Hisham Hendi, was arrested by Tanzanian authorities, along with eight others. Mr Hendi and the others were questioned by law enforcers allegedly for fraudulent use of network facilities, and some of the group, including Mr Hendi, were subsequently charged. The statement of charged mentioned a “pecuniary loss” to the Tanzania government and the Tanzanian Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) amounting to over TSh 11 billion. Other charges included importing, using and installing communication equipment as well as distributing frequency numbers without proper licences.

A week later, Mr Hendi and the others were released as part of a plea-bargain arrangement between Vodacom Tanzania and the Tanzanian authorities. “We pleaded guilty, we had a plea bargain with the Director of Public Prosecutions, and we pleaded guilty,” said Rosalynn Mworia, Vodacom Tanzania’s Director Corporate Affairs. The arrangement included making a TSh 5.28 bn (US $2.29m) payment to the government, and secured the release of all those who had been arrested.

Mr Hendi, an Egyptian citizen, had only been officially in position as CEO for a week before his arrest, though he had been acting CEO for around six months. His appointment came after Ms Sylvia Mulinge, a Kenyan citizen, failed to secure a work permit from the Tanzanian authorities. She had been appointed to succeed Mr Ian Ferrao effectively from June 2018, who had served in the role for three years.

The board of Vodacom Tanzania appointed Jacques Marais as acting managing director.

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ENERGY & MINERALS

by Ben Taylor

Still waiting on Acacia settlement
The long-running dispute between the government of Tanzania and Acacia Mining continues to drag on, though some parties have expressed optimism that an agreement may be close. The dispute relates to a US$ 190 bn tax bill demanded of Acacia by the government in 2017, citing claims of massively underreported mining output.

Speaking in February, the Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi (who has more recently become Minister of Foreign Affairs), suggested a payment from Acacia and/or its majority shareholder, Barrick Gold, could come as early as March.

Around the same time, Barrick released a statement confirming that it and the government had “arrived at a proposal” that sets out the commercial terms to resolve the dispute. The Barrick statement added that this agreement is consistent with the agreement announced in October 2017, including economic benefits from Acacia’s operations to be shared with the government of Tanzania on a 50/50 basis, and a US $300m payment to the government “to resolve outstanding tax claims, to be paid over time on terms to be settled by the parties.”

Acacia itself has not been part of the negotiation process and issued a statement in response, reiterating that it had not yet seen the suggested deal with Tanzania.

Prof Kabudi’s anticipated March payment did not materialise, and in mid-March, the Tanzanian Attorney General, Adelardus Kilangi, said he anticipated the deal would be agreed with 1-2 months. He added that the appointment of a new CEO of Barrick Gold, Mark Bristow, in January 2019 had aided the negotiation process.

Analysts for RBC Capital Markets think Acacia minority shareholders do not have much choice in this case. If they reject the deal agreed, Acacia would land up facing expensive and lengthy arbitration hearings. Accepting the agreement could open the possibility of securing a better operating environment, one that would almost certainly be more profitable that the current situation, as the companies mining operations have been drastically scaled back. Accepting the agreement could also secure the release of Acacia’s employees from a Tanzanian jail.

At the time of writing (April 20), the situation remains unresolved – with Acacia’s shareholders yet to reach a decision on whether to back to the deal agreed between Barrick and the government.

Uganda-Tanzania oil pipeline construction expected to start in June
Energy Minister, Medard Kalemani, announced at the end of January that construction of an oil pipeline connecting Hoima in Uganda with Tanga on the Tanzanian coast was scheduled to begin in June this year. He was speaking following a meeting between Tanzanian and Ugandan officials in Kampala.

The execution of the 1,445 km long underground crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania will cost an estimated US $3.5 billion. It is expected to have the capacity to transport 216,000 barrels of crude oil every day. It will be 24 inches in diameter, and Uganda will pay Tanzania a reported $12.20 for every barrel of oil that flows through the pipeline. It will also be constructed in a way that enables it to heat the crude oil. On completion, it is expected to become the world’s longest heated oil pipeline.

Since the project’s inauguration in August 2017, there have been a series of technical meetings between the governments of the two countries but there were a number of issues that had not yet been addressed. Before the meeting in Kampala, Uganda’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Muloni, explained that the financial arrangements were one of the major reasons for the delay, setting back the goal of transporting oil by 2020.

The three principal companies involved in the project are Total Oil of France, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Tullow Oil of the UK.

Liganga-Mchuchuma coal and iron project in dispute
In February, the government reignited a controversy surrounding the US $3 bn iron and coal Liganga-Mchuchuma project in Southern Tanzania, by signalling its intent to cancel the licence held by a Chinese company.
Minerals Minister Doto Biteko said the Mchuchuma-Liganga licence was troubling them and should be resolved forthwith. He instructed the National Development Corporation (NDC) to “rectify mistakes” in the mining agreement within 30 days.

The project is jointly implemented by NDC and Sichuan Hongda Group through a local venture called Tanzania China International Mineral Resources Limited (TCIMRL).

Mr Biteko said there were numerous investors ready to invest in the stalled Mchuchuma-Liganga project. The minister declared that he would be ready to shoulder the burden on the licence which has accumulated an unpaid royalty of $375,000 (over TSh 840 million).

TCIMRL responded by appearing to fault the government for not providing the promised tax incentives to ensure the implementation of the project, which it described as “risky”.

The company’s deputy chief executive officer, Eric Mwingira, told The Citizen that the project, whose contract was signed in 2011, would be up and running by now had the government not delayed.

According to Mr Mwingira, the company was asking for a 10-year tax relief for a project whose lifespan stretches between 50 and 100 years. He said the company was seeking tax incentives on import duty on cargo to be imported for the construction work, as well as incentives on spare parts and machinery and tax relief on fuel.

He said the Ministry of Finance and Planning was yet to gazette the investment incentives approved by the National Investment Steering Committee (NISC) and enshrined in the two signed performance contracts to make them legally operational. “We have been following up with the government, in meetings and letters but so far nothing has happened and we can’t drop the incentives because the projects are very risky and we can only hope that matters will open up soon as we have spent about $70 million and continue to lose,” he said.

He added that if the incentives had been endorsed as planned, Mchuchuma coal mine and power plant construction would have been completed more than three years ago, producing electricity, while the Liganga iron ore mine’s four-year construction period would have been almost complete.

Mchuchuma is said to have 428 million tonnes of coal while Liganga has 128 million tonnes of iron. The Chinese company’s plans include both mining and generation of 600MW of electricity. All the minerals will be processed locally to separate titanium and vanadium from iron ore.

The Liganga-Mchuchuma project has for many years been listed as a strategic national development investment but was in 2018 dropped from the list by finance minister Philip Mpango. TCIMRL was expected to invest $1.8 billion to establish an iron ore mine and iron and steel complex. Its power plant would be run by coal, with 250MW used for the industry and 350MW connected to the national grid.

Waste water spill at Mara North
In a development that cannot help in resolving the ongoing dispute between the government and Acacia Mining, a waste water leak occurred in March at the company’s North Mara gold mine. The toxic waste water was leaking from a waste rock storage facility and threatened to pollute local communities and their water supply.

Minerals Minister, Doto Biteko, gave the company three weeks to resolve the situation or face the mine being closed down. “The life of even one Tanzanian is worth more than their gold mining activities,” he told Reuters news agency.

Acacia issued a statement: “The spillage resulted from a security incident in which sections of the pipe used to transport water from the polishing pond to the Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) were either vandalised or stolen. The incident led to the switching off of the pump used to transport water to the TSF, and the water level in the polishing pond subsequently overflowed. Following the Mine’s remedial actions, the temporary overspill from the pond has been stopped.”

“The Mine has welcomed the support of the Government on resolving this issue, and is working closely with the authorities to implement improvements to security measures around the polishing pond in order to help prevent any reoccurrence.”

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EDUCATION

by Naomi Rouse

UDSM’s Committee summons lecturer over sex corruption scandal tweet
A senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr Vicensia Shule, has attracted attention to the problem of sex corruption at the university, through a tweet directed at President Magufuli.

Dr Shule tweeted “Papa Magufuli, I wanted to welcome you by displaying my poster as you came to UDSM for inaugurating newly constructed library building but I stumbled at your security officers’ ban. Sex corruption is highly pervasive at the UDSM. I am waiting to hear from you for I trust that your appointees are honest enough to tell you the reality.”

UDSM’s Disciplinary Committee has called Dr Shule to a meeting to discuss the allegations, and she is hopeful of progress, tweeting to her followers “For our dear sexual violence survivors, we are nearly there, we will win, big time.” (Daily News)

Zanzibar’s education improves after years in the doldrums
Zanzibar form four pass rates improved by 1.3% to 78.4% in 2018.
In 2017, six of the worst performing schools nationally were in Zanzibar, whereas in 2018, three were in the ‘list of shame’.

The biggest factor contributing to poor performance is thought to be the shortage of teachers and classrooms. There is a shortage of 952 secondary school teachers in Zanzibar, and the current pupil teacher ratio is 1 teacher to 150 pupils.

Measures to improve the situation include a World Bank-funded programme – Zanzibar Improvement Students Prospective – to improve teaching of maths and science subjects. Schools have started academic camps for Form 4 and Form 6 students which they felt helped to improve students’ performance. Zanzibar also benefits from volunteer teachers from around the world, including UK, US, Japan, South Korea, and a specific government recruitment programme in Nigeria through which 50 volunteer teachers have been recruited since 2015.

Ben Bella Secondary School, founded in 1927, had appeared three times in the list of 5 worst-performing schools in the past five years. Ben Bella headmistress Zainab Mgunda said: “For effective teaching, you need to have a reasonable class size of 45 students as recommended by the government, but due to the shortage of classrooms it was in the past not unusual here to find a Form Six class of 150 students. As of now, the teacher-to-student ratio stands at 1:30. This is partly because the majority of students shifted to other schools due to reasons like suspensions and expulsions, which were instituted by the school to control lazy and indisciplined students”

Why students continue to perform poorly in maths
Despite general improvements in form four examinations over the years, mathematics has seen persistently poor performance with a pass rate of 20%, compared to a pass rate of 89% for Kiswahili, the subject with the highest performance. Shortage of teachers was cited as one of the primary reasons. Mathematics teacher Kitula Jalugula from Mlimwa Secondary School in Dodoma said that there was just one maths teacher employed in his school for more than 400 students.

Teachers also report that students have a perception that maths is a difficult subject, which hinders their learning. Students progress to secondary school without understanding basic mathematics, having passed multiple-choice papers more by luck. Teachers said that students needed to work harder to do more practice exercises, but they lack textbooks and home support. Parents could play a vital role in supporting students’ home study in mathematics, but many don’t because they also perceive the subject as very difficult.

Bukoba teacher to hang for murdering pupil
The High Court has sentenced Respicius Mtazangira (51) to hang to death. Mtazangira was found guilty of beating his Standard 5 pupil to death in 2018 after suspecting that the pupil had stolen a handbag. Co-accused Heriet Gerald was found not guilty.

Prosecution presented to the court various witnesses as well as a medical report from Bugando Referral Hospital which confirmed death by beating.
The case was concluded within 30 days, because of a request to accelerate proceedings due to public interest.

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TRANSPORT

by Ben Taylor

Limits to President Magufuli’s bankrolling of Air Tanzania?
A recent audit report by the Controller Auditor General for 2017/18 shows that Air Tanzania Limited (ATCL) has more than halved its losses over the period of three years since President Magufuli began efforts to revitalise the airline. The airline has domestic flight schedules to Bukoba, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Mtwara, Mbeya, Mwanza, Songea, Tabora and Zanzibar and six regional routes to the Comoros, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It currently has a fleet of eight planes, including six purchased under President Magufuli.

Speaking in January, President John Magufuli ruled out the possibility that the government will protect ATCL even if it makes losses as in the past.

Inaugurating the latest addition to the ATCL fleet, a second Airbus A220-300, the President told the ATCL management to ensure that the national flag carrier does not become a burden on tax payers. “I will not hesitate to transfer ownership of ATCL aircraft and other assets, let us say to Precision Air in case the ATCL management fails to ensure that the public airline maintains high level of efficiency,” he said.

Nevertheless, the President showed no signs of slowing down in its campaign to revamp the national flag carrier. He promised that the government will purchase two more aircraft, including another Dreamliner and another Airbus by next January. “In the next 10 years I want the country to have at least 100 aircraft,” he said, “in order for ATCL to compete with other foreign airlines on relatively equal footing.”

The ATCL Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ladislaus Matindi said at the same occasion that the ATCL-Five Year Plan which kicked off in 2017, was going on well.

In addition to the expanded fleet, he said the airline has recorded a number of achievements in the past three years. This includes an increase in the number of pilots from 10 to 50 with a plan to recruit 10 more by the end of this year and attaining a workforce of 380.

Under the Medium Plan for the next 20 years, ATCL has a vision to expand cargo services within the country and internationally with capacity to compete with international airlines flying to Far East, Europe and Americas. Canadian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Pamela O’Donnell said that the purchase of such modern aircrafts had signalled renewed cooperation between Canada and Tanzania that has lasted for decades since independence in 1961.

New routes
Air Tanzania launched new international routes to Lusaka in Zambia and Harare in Zimbabwe in February. Further, in April the airline announced that a new route to Johannesburg in South Africa was scheduled to begin operations in July 2019. “We will start advertising the route and reveal fares soon after we start selling tickets,” said the company managing director, Mr Ladislaus Matindi.

Mr Matindi added that preparations for flights outside the African continent – specifically to Mumbai in India and Guanzhou in China – had reached an advanced stage. “The Mumbai and Guangzhou flights will be inaugurated when negotiations with authorities in targeted countries to enable us to land are completed.”

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TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

by Donovan McGrath

How an emerging African megacity cut commutes by two hours a day

Two Dart buses operating in Dar es Salaam

(Guardian online UK) Could Dar es Salaam’s experiment with Africa’s first ‘gold standard’ bus rapid transit system offer an alternative to a future dependent on private cars? … Extract continues: Dusk falls in Dar es Salaam, and for hundreds of thousands of people in this African megacity-to-be the daily chaos and frustration of the journey home begins. People cram themselves into daladala minibuses … So far, so normal for a sprawling megalopolis of 6 million with virtually no public transport and only eight lanes of major road heading to and from the centre. Dar es Salaam, the de facto capital of Tanzania, is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. Its population has increased eightfold since 1980 and swells by half a million people every year… But Dar es Salaam is pinning its hopes on a solution that could offer a different model for Africa’s megacities … Unlike many cities on the continent, Dar es Salaam isn’t trying to build a metro… but a more achievable route: the bus… Outside the city centre many rely on boda boda motorbike taxis … Their safety record is notorious… The Dart system boasts bus lanes separated from other traffic … ticket payment and control takes place at stations rather than on board … The average journey time from the centre to the terminus at Kimara has been slashed from two hours each way to just 45 minutes, according to sustainable transport group the ITDP … The ITDP awarded the system Africa’s only “gold standard” bus rapid transit (BRT) rating… (8 January 2019)

Tanzanians with albinism embrace a life beyond stigma and superstition
(Guardian online UK) In a country where myths about albinism can have deadly consequences, an organisation set up to battle discrimination is having a profound impact. Extract continues: Paschal Merumba has suffered prejudice from the day he was born. His mother refused to breastfeed her “cursed” baby, the second child in the family born with albinism; the first had already died of neglect… In 2013, Merumba was attacked by men who tried to kill him… He was saved when a neighbour ran screaming towards the group with a torch… “My life was spent in darkness,” says Merumba… Now 54, his life changed after meeting with Alex Magaga, who had worked on the BBC documentary, In the Shadow of the Sun, which tells the story of two Tanzanians with albinism… In parts of Tanzania, up to one in 1,400 people has albinism … Many die of skin cancer before the age of 40 … The myths and misperceptions surrounding albinism in Tanzania are “almost too numerous to count”, says [Sam] Clarke [Standing Voice’s communications manager – an organisation that defends the rights of people with albinism]… In Tanzania, 75 albinos were killed between 2000 and 2016… (23 January 2019)

Chimpanzees develop distinct local cultures, and we’re destroying them
(Washington Post online USA) Extract: The chimpanzees of Tanzania may be the most famous tool users in the animal kingdom. Famed primatologist Jane Goodall first observed them in the 1960s using grass sticks to “fish” for termites in their mounds. But since Goodall, other scientists have discovered that chimps have more than one way to catch a termite. Those in Congo, for instance, gnaw on the end of their tools of choice to turn them into paintbrush-like instruments, which seem able to catch even more termites than straight-tipped rods. In Uganda, some chimpanzees simply break into termite mounds with their hands. Everywhere chimpanzees roam, scientists are uncovering more fascinating behaviours such as harvesting algae with long poles, mining honey out of the ground using sticks and accessing hidden reserves of water inside trees with sponges fashioned from chewed-up leaves. These and other behaviours make up the basis of what scientists increasingly describe as chimpanzee “culture” – learned traditions that vary by location. And humans might be killing it, according to a study . . . in the journal Science. The study suggests that people and their disturbances of ecosystems may be hindering the transmission of chimpanzee culture, and in some cases, destroying it altogether. . . [M]ore than 75 scientists and other researchers compiled data from 144 chimpanzee communities found across 15 countries in West and Central Africa. . . Chimpanzees living in areas with the most human disturbance had less varied behavioural repertoires, the study found… The idea that chimpanzees possess distinct cultures is still relatively new … (7 March 2019)

Meet Tanzania soccer freestyle queen who earned praise from President Trump

Hadhara Charles


(CNN online USA) Extract: Tanzania rarely features in discussions of Africa’s soccer hotspots. But that perception might be changing thanks to the skills of soccer freestyle queen Hadhara Charles, which are winning plaudits from celebrities across the world including US President Donald Trump. A viral tweet of Charles displaying her range of flicks and tricks in a dress and flip-flops has been watched more than 10 million times, earning 125,000 retweets and more than 400,000 likes. President Trump was among those impressed, tweeting “Amazing!” just after a message in which he accused former FBI director Andrew McCabe of treason. British television host Piers Morgan also shared the clip with the comment “Brilliant.” The star herself was pleased to receive acclaim from such high-profile quarters. “It feels good that Donald Trump shared the video,” Charles told CNN.

“Here I am not paid. Sports doesn’t pay.” Charles, a mother of two, is a specialist in the art of freestyle soccer, which is based on juggling and tricks with the ball using any part of the body. Freestyle has become a popular pursuit around the world and the leading exponents compete in prestigious international championships… The freestyler has won acclaim in her home country and represents Tanzania in events in Gabon, Cameroon, South Africa and Ethiopia. In 2018, Charles came third in the first African Freestyle Football Championship. But prestige has not been accompanied by financial rewards for Charles, who still struggles to support her family. “I get these opportunities to travel but no pay,” she says. “If only I had sponsorship or some deal to support myself it will work form me (and) my two children will have enough for food and basic needs.” … Recognition from President Trump offers a moment of satisfaction for Charles. But her true ambition is to make those magical skills deliver a more comfortable life for her family. (26 February 2019)

Tanzanian ref banned for life by Fifa for taking bribes
(BBC online UK) Extract: One of Tanzania’s top referees has been handed a life ban from football after Fifa found him guilty of taking bribes. The case, opened in July 2018, was handled by Fifa’s Ethics Committee which ruled Oden Charles Mbaga had breached the Fifa Code of Ethics. Fifa told Reuters that the ban relates to bribes “to manipulate several national and international matches between 2009-2012” … Speaking from Dar es Salaam, Mbaga told the news agency he was questioned by Fifa in 2010 but had not heard anything since and knew nothing about match-fixing. “This is shocking news to me,” he said… Mbaga has also been fined $200,000. He has been banned for life from all football-related activities, not just refereeing, at national and international level… [F]ormer international referee Ibrahim Chalbou from Niger was also banned for life and fined $200,000 after being found guilty of taking bribes … (27 February 2019)

Tanzania male MPs face circumcision call to stop HIV spread
(BBC online UK) A female MP in Tanzania has called for checks to determine whether or not her male colleagues have undergone circumcision – a procedure known to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Extract continues: Jackline Ngonyani said any MPs found not to have been circumcised should be required to undergo the procedure. Her suggestion divided opinion among her colleagues. HIV is seen as a major threat to public health in Tanzania. Around 70% of the male population is circumcised. Around 5% of Tanzania’s adult population is believed to have been infected by HIV – giving it the 13th highest rate of infection in the world, according to figures from 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) says circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual men contracting HIV by around 60%. Several African countries that are fighting HIV epidemics have launched campaigns to encourage men to undergo the procedure, which involves surgically removing the foreskin from the penis. Ms Ngonyani made the comments during a debate in parliament … Her suggestion was backed by MP Joseph Selasini… However, MP Joseph Kasheku opposed Ms Ngonyani’s proposal, describing it as uncouth and invasive. (6 February 2019)

Unique Tanzania forest granted official protection after research reveals it is on brink of collapse

The Endangered Magombera Chameleon. Photo by Andrew Marshall


(Independent online UK) ‘When I first began work in the forest 15 years ago it was clearly a biologically important place, but it rang with the sound of axes and machetes,’ says project leader. Extract continues: The Tanzanian government has agreed to set aside a unique forest as a new nature reserve after research revealed it was about to be wiped out for good. Magombera forest is home to a recently discovered species of chameleon and threatened animals including bush babies and elephants. But illegal logging and poaching have pushed the valuable ecosystem to the brink of destruction, with some estimates predicting it was on the brink of total destruction… Tanzanian authorities has reached the $1m (£0.78m) required to protect the land. The value of the forest has been recognised for many years. . . Thousands of trees are already growing back in areas of forest that had been stripped bare. The newly created 6,463 acre Magombera Nature Reserve houses an enormous amount of species within a relatively small area, and is considered among the most biodiverse forests in Africa… (17 January 2019)

Mnyamawamtuka: Scientists discover new dinosaur with heart-shaped tail

Reconstruction of a pair of M. moyowamkia in a rainstorm in Tanzania during the Cretaceous Period. (Mark Witton)


(Independent online UK) Extract: The plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in Africa and reportedly lived 100 million years ago. . . Apart from its vast size, the 30-foot dinosaur also displayed another fascinating feature – heart-shaped bones in its tail. Researchers named the dinosaur Mnyamawamtuka Moyowamkia from Swahili for “animal of the Mtuka” and “heart-shaped tail” and joked that the animal “wore it’s heart on its tail.” In addition to its unique bone structure, the discovery of the dinosaur’s remains, which were found in a riverbed in the East African Rift system of Tanzania, allows scientists to piece together information about how ecosystems evolved in Africa during the Cretaceous period. Previously, titanosaurs were identified in South America, but the new species discovered in Tanzania, Egypt and other parts of the African continent offer a more complex picture of their evolution… The new dinosaur … is one of three new titanosaurs to be found in the area… The fossilised bones of the dinosaur … suggests the animal also shared similarities with another dinosaur “Malawisaurus, from just across the Tanzania-Malawi border,” according to Dr Gorscak [research associate, and professor at Midwestern University]. The researchers also discovered other animals in the East African Rift, including relatives of early crocodiles and evidence of “insect farming” from fossilised termite nests, as well as clues about the evolution of monkeys and apes. “The African story is far from over …” (13 February 2019)

Canadians bring solar power to off-the-grid Africa

A couple enjoy clean electric lighting and television powered from a solar energy system (M-Kopa)


(Global and Mail online Canada) M-Kopa and Jaza Energy take different approaches, but their founders agree there is plenty of room for expansion in East Africa. Extract continues: Jaza Energy and M-Kopa, both started by Canadians, are bringing small-scale solar energy to communities in Tanzania and, in M-Kopa’s case, to Kenya and Uganda as well. Their main line of business is similar, and it’s one that the long term may be potentially disruptive for utilities in developed countries. Both firms deal in distributed generation – providing on-site, off-the-grid electricity that can be installed cheaply and quickly and which doesn’t necessarily require giant infrastructure such a power plants or transmission lines… “Our customers pay the equivalent of about 50 cents a day, making payment by phone. Over time, within a year or two, they are buying their solar system from us, in the same way as you would take a mortgage from a bank and buy your house,” [says Jesse Moore, M-Kopa’s CEO]. M-Kopa … has connected more than 700,000 homes in East Africa to solar power, with 500 homes added every day. The company says that by using solar power to light homes, its customers save the equivalent of 75-million hours of kerosene that would otherwise be burning, emitting fumes and contributing to climate change. Jaza, started in 2016, is smaller than M-Kopa, powering about 2,000 households, or about 10,500 people in Tanzania. It sets up its power units through small-scale retail hubs, often run by women, which are both sales points and solar-powered recharging stations. Customers take their removable power batteries to the local hub each week to swap… Unlike M-Kopa, Jaza doesn’t rely on mobile phones for payment … Swapping Jaza’s batteries costs households the equivalent of 55 cents Canadian each week, so it is indeed cheaper than M-Kopa’s panels… (17 January 2019)

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SPORT

by Philip Richards

National football team through to AFCON 2019 finals
The national team, Taifa Stars, led by captain Mbwana Samatta (see article below) reached the finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 finals later this year by securing a superb 3-0 win over the Uganda Cranes in front of a packed home crowd at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam. This is the first time they have reached the finals of a major competition since 1980. In attendance at the game was President Magufuli who lauded the team’s efforts as part of the post-match celebrations (see picture below).

Goals from Simon Msuva, Erasto Nyomi and Aggrey Morris ensured that they achieved second spot in the qualifying group, behind Uganda Cranes themselves, who will join Taifa Stars in Egypt for the 24-team final stages taking place between 21 June and 19 July.

They have been drawn in Group C at the finals, and will compete with Algeria, Senegal and Kenya for a second-round berth.

More broadly, Tanzania has recently moved up 6 places in the FIFA global rankings to 131st. We wish the team every success in the finals in the summer, and hope to report further positive news in the next edition.

Captain leads by example – on and off the field

Mbwana Ally Samatta being interviewed after the AFCON finals


At 26 years of age, Mbwana Ally Samatta is one of the few Tanzanian footballers to make it in Europe, currently playing as striker for Belgian side Genk and captaining Tanzania’s national team, (reports BBC Sport website (6/11/18)). Having moved to Genk from Congolese side TP Mazembe in 2016, the number 10, who started his career with Simba SC, has become a positive influence both on and off the field in Tanzania.

On the field, he has recently led his country to their first AFCON finals for 28 years (see previous article). However, he has also been voted Tanzania’s most influential young person, encouraging young aspiring sportspeople to focus on education and schooling as well as cultivating their talent.

Samatta has registered 57 goals in 142 games for the Belgian club across four seasons, and with 20 goals thus far is currently the top-scorer in the Belgian top league in the 2018-2019 season. Genk look likely to win the league and earn automatic qualification for Champions League football next season.

His future may lie elsewhere, however, as Samatta has reportedly attracted the interest of larger European clubs, including Cardiff City, Leicester City and Everton of the English Premier League. We will watch his development and proud representation of his country abroad with great interest.

A short video of Samatta being interviewed is available on the BBC Sport website at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/africa/46030892.

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REVIEWS

by Martin Walsh

TAKEN FOR A RIDE: GROUNDING NEOLIBRALISM, PRECARIOUS LABOUR, AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN AN AFRICAN METROPOLIS. Matteo Rizzo. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017. xx + 216 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-0-19-879424-0. £55.
Much like Matteo Rizzo, one of the most abiding memories of my first trip to Dar es Salaam (in 2006) was the seemingly endless network of patched-up, dilapidated minibuses emblazoned with colourful messages (that I was unable to understand at the time). And yet Taken for a Ride gives the reader a chance to demystify the mass transportation system in Tanzania’s major port and commercial city, and should appeal to anyone with a passing interest in major conurbations in sub-Saharan Africa.

This book draws on rich ethnographic accounts over at least seven separate periods of fieldwork, between 1998 and 2014. It goes into forensic detail to offer a rich historical tapestry of the provision of transport in Dar es Salaam. This begins with a discussion of the socialist period after Tanzanian independence (1961), and subsequently outlines the impact of the deregulation of what was previously a tightly regulated, state-run transport system in 1983. An explosion of private alternatives to cover an unmet demand saw the emergence of the daladala (minibus) system, a significant focus of the book.

One of the more impressive aspects of this book is that it manages to situate the opening up of transport in Dar es Salaam in two ways: 1) as part of the broader global ascent of neoliberalism, and 2) as part of the more specific political economy of Tanzania. For example, argues Rizzo, the speeding and overloading of daladala is a result of deregulation, as well as the economic reality of exploitation of bus workers by bus owners who demand high fees and leads the former to work very long hours. Yet a lack of viable employment alternatives leads Rizzo to connect this specific discussion of transport workers in Dar es Salaam to Mike Davis’ famous text Planet of Slums (2006) and his description of urbanisation in the Global South as marked by the creation of ‘cities without jobs’ (p. 3).

Rizzo’s historical overview also demonstrates that while daladala provide a vital service in light of chronic shortages in public transport provision by the state, they serve to question the neoliberal logic that favours private operators in unregulated markets. The process of deregulation, of course, went far beyond the transport system and represents a broader shift in Tanzanian political economy during the 1980s. Rizzo, however, goes beyond generic analysis by ‘grounding neoliberalism’ within the specific context of public transport provision in Dar es Salaam. It is noteworthy that the book concludes with a discussion of the Bus Rapid Transit Project, a recent public-private initiative that presents the latest attempt to change the dynamics of transport in Dar es Salaam.

Aside from the specifics of the transport system, Rizzo also details the complexities of labour mobilisation and the different class positions and identities held by drivers, conductors and fare collectors within daladala. While each of the chapters remain refreshingly concise, they still offer incisive analysis of: the differential experiences and related class positions of bus owners and workers; successes and failures of unionisation; and the specific and varied work trajectories of daladala workers. Rizzo sees the main contribution of the book is ‘the investigation of how “classes of labour” fare in the context of bus public transport’ and in order to do so he draws from what he describes as ‘undogmatic Marxist work on informal labour’ (p. 14).

The deliberate emphasis on the material and the economic realities of the transport network and its workers, and the laudable commitment to Marxist analysis perhaps leaves a rich period of longitudinal ethnographic research underexplored. This also leads to a bit of ‘straw man’ argument when it comes to the discussion of postcolonial theory, obscuring some the contributions made to the discussion of African cities that are not always divorced from material reality (especially in the work of Achille Mbembe). Not only does the text ‘ground’ neoliberalism, but it also emphasises a truly ‘grinding’ set of economic realities for most people in Dar es Salaam today. Indeed, I wholeheartedly embrace Rizzo’s general view that being exploited by (global and local) forms of capitalism is generally preferable to being excluded.

This book contributes a great deal to broader discussions about the politics of labour, informal economies, and class formation in African cities and is embedded and specific to the context of Dar es Salaam. While clearly an academic text, this is an easy book to read and will be of interest to a wide audience. It is a ‘must read’ for anyone engaging in urban life in Africa, and especially in Tanzania.
Rob Ahearne

Rob Ahearne is a Senior Lecturer in International Development at the University of East London. He has years of experience of living and working in the Mtwara region of southern Tanzania. He first spent a year there in 2006-07, where he helped to establish a small NGO working closely with three rural primary schools. He conducted fieldwork in Mtwara region in 2009-10 and was awarded a PhD at the University of Manchester in 2011 for a study of alternative life histories among older people. Rob has continued to conduct research in southern Tanzania, with a focus on incipient processes of natural gas extraction. He has published in various academic journals and regularly contributes pieces about contemporary Tanzanian politics to The Conversation.

TRACES OF THE FUTURE: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF MEDICAL SCIENCE IN AFRICA. Paul Wenzel Geissler, Guillaume Lachenal, John Manton and Noémi Tousignant (editors). Intellect Books, Bristol, 2016. 256 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-1-78320-725-1. £21.50.

Material studies, African history, and medical anthropology merge in this unique text, which is best be described as an archaeology of colonial biomedical research and futures in sub-Saharan Africa. Historians and anthropologists who study Africa have tended to engage with healing, medicine and bioethics in one of two ways: through stories of imposed colonial medical knowledge and systems on African societies or through the entanglements of Western-style medicine and traditional African healing in modern therapeutics. This volume is different, even playful, in that it successfully treats the material debris of, and present memories about, colonial medical programmes and projects to reflect on time, temporality, past failures, and contemporary disenchantment.

The book further addresses how underemphasised sources – materials and reflections from interviews – can make intimate and powerful stories that imbricate the past, present, and future to grapple with the metaphorical excavation of “past futures”. By doing so, the editors and contributors confront standard academic ways of knowing the world that emphasise linear histories dependent on purely archival sources. What they discover is what many archaeologists have known for some time: that materials (including their durability and wear), when considered alongside other historical sources, help to democratise pasts (contra the top-down perspective of French historian Pierre Nora) and to collapse time on itself (so there is a presence of many times at once).

The lead section of the book (pp. 9-38) outlines the volume’s theoretical foundations and its approach. To achieve the collective goal, the editors and authors articulate five case studies, one each from Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and Tanzania. They build collages of evidence from architectural ruins, laboratory equipment from the 20th century, formal texts, field notes, interviews, and photographs. From this, they make narratives that are intended to elicit emotions about ‘progress’ and life-and-death in the tropics. The book is an interrogation of time and power, à la Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination, a well-regarded book edited by Ann Laura Stoler.

The lieux de mémoire captured by the authors of Traces of the Future subverts Nora’s treatments by bringing into clear relief Africans’ expectations of modernity across a tumultuous period. In Traces, most interviewees frame colonial medicine as a failed intervention. In many ways, the overall volume is illustrative of “dark heritage”. Its primarily visual orientation, including numerous glossy colour photographs, helps the reader to understand medical research and bioethics in Africa during the period from the 1940s to the1960s. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the chapters motivate the audience to reflect in affective ways on the roles that states, institutions, and scientists (may) play in past and future vulnerabilities.

The chapter on Amani Hill Research Station in northeast Tanzania addresses how the site’s roles and representations of it have been appropriated and negotiated through time up to the present. From 1902 onward, the Amani facility was shaped by German, French, Soviet, East African, and then Tanzanian influences and interests. Past African participants and their descendants hold conflicting memories of it as a symbol of potential decolonised futures where Africanised medicine was anticipated to better meet the needs of patients and citizens. Images of dilapidated buildings and objects – as if frozen in time – in ruined laboratories at Amani accompany documents intended to elicit emotion and stir reflection in the reader. As the authors demonstrate well, material traces carry forward glimpses of stories to be renegotiated in present and future circumstances. These traces also often become the subject of rumour and innuendo.

The editors and authors of this chapter and the whole volume accomplish their goals, but there are also some concerning discordances and absences. It is worth considering whether the text treats objects as the perfect postcolonial subject, in that materials are interpreted in a way that validates the interpretations of Western-trained scholars. Why, instead, is there not a more substantial engagement meaningfully linking materials to people? The two primary types of sources – materials and oral reflections – in most instances seem to be overly disconnected rather than more fully entangled. Does this tendency in practice replicate a colonial gaze instead of critiquing it?

Two other observations deserve mention. It is unfortunate that the book does not quote more from archaeologists who work in Africa, and especially Africans who are archaeologists. There is a substantial global literature on entanglements among materials, memories, temporalities, and futures authored by archaeologists, including Shannon Lee Dawdy, Joost Fontein, Webber Ndoro, Ferdinand De Jong, and Alfredo González-Ruibal. Secondly, it is interesting that the historians and anthropologists who guide the volume promote “being with the past”. Archaeologists have long practised their craft in this manner. They work on landscapes, interact with people and materials, and so forth, while historians have tended to remain in archives, often never visiting the places or communities which they write about.

In fact, “archaeology” was considered a bad word among historians decades ago, including in the History Department at the University of Dar es Salaam. To Marxist historians there, archaeology was not considered a topic that engaged the present and future needs of Tanzanians. Moreover, in general archaeology was treated as a handmaiden to history. During the last two decades, historians and cultural anthropologists have begun to recognise the importance of materials to remake historical interpretations and representations from more inclusive perspectives.

In Traces of the Future, colonial science and its future orientation take on new meanings under changed circumstances in five areas of the continent. Under the deft artistry of the editors and authors, readers will realise the potential role of contemporary archaeology to dig deep in an era of disenchantment.
Jonathan R. Walz

Jonathan R. Walz, PhD, is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Chair at the SIT-Graduate Institute in Vermont, USA. His scholarly interests include the history and anthropology of eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean. He is currently stationed in Zanzibar, where he leads graduate and undergraduate programmes on human livelihoods, coastal ecology, and climate change.

Also noticed: THE SWAHILI WORLD. Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Adria LaViolette (edi
tors). Routledge, London and New York, 2018. xxv + 672 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-1-138-91346-2. £136.

Let me begin by declaring an interest: I received a copy of this doorstopper because I contributed one of its numerous chapters. I’ll therefore confine this unsolicited notice to a broad outline of its contents and a few additional observations.

According to the publisher’s enthusiastic blurb, “The Swahili World presents the fascinating story of a major world civilisation, exploring the archaeology, history, linguistics, and anthropology of the Indian Ocean coast of Africa. It covers a 1,500-year sweep of history, from the first settlement of the coast to the complex urban tradition found there today. […] This is the first volume to explore the Swahili in chronological perspective. Each chapter offers a unique wealth of detail on an aspect of the region’s past, written by the leading scholars on the subject. The result is a book that allows both specialist and non-specialist readers to explore the diversity of the Swahili tradition, how Swahili society has changed over time, as well as how our understandings of the region have shifted since Swahili studies first began.” And that’s just an extract.

The introductory chapter by the editors, archaeologists Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Adria LaViolette, is followed by 55 others. Part I, “Environment, background and Swahili historiography”, comprises seven chapters including discussions of Swahili identity, genetic ancestry, and the early history of the Swahili language. Part II, “The Swahili Age”, is divided into sections on “Origins and early emporia”, “Swahili urbanism”, “Daily life”, “Trade and connectivity”, “Objects of exchange”, and “Swahili architecture”. While some of the 36 chapters in this part of the book are thematic, others deal with particular locations, including different settlements on the Tanzanian coast and islands. The third and final part, “The early modern and modern Swahili coast”, includes 12 chapters, divided between sections on “Colonial domination and the rise of Zanzibar” and “The contemporary coast”.

The Swahili World is one of a series of such tomes in the “Routledge Worlds” series. The publication of large multi-authored collections of this kind is a growing trend. Although the original recommended retail price was a wallet-shrinking £170, new hardback copies can now be bought online at not much over a third of this price, and the e-book is cheaper still. This is still a lot of money, and I must admit that one of my incentives for contributing to volumes like this is so that I don’t have to pay for them. The book was actually in my hands at the start of November 2017: Routledge, like other commercial publishers, have adopted the annoying practice of forward-dating so that their books seem to be hot off the press even as they are cooling down. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to reading it.

Martin Walsh
Martin Walsh is the Book Reviews Editor of Tanzanian Affairs.

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OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Ruge Matahaba
Media and entertainment entrepreneur, Ruge Mutahaba, died in a South African hospital in February at the age of 49, following kidney failure. Officially, Ruge was Director of Strategy and Programmes Development at Clouds Media Group, but he was much more than this. He had played a leading role in transforming the popular music and entertainment industry in Tanzania over the past two decades.

Ruge co-founded Clouds Media with his long-time collaborator and business partner, Joseph Kusaga. The new radio station arrived into a music scene dominated by decades-old Tanzanian classics and stars and their music imported from the DRC or USA, and up-ended it. Ruge promoted local acts, enabling young Tanzanians to develop a musical style and culture of their own. Bongo Flava may draw heavily on American hip-hop, but it combines this with elements from taarab and dansi music as well as the creativity and imagination of street Swahili to create something uniquely and recognisably Tanzanian.

Ruge didn’t invent the style, but he enabled it to flourish. And with Ruge at the helm, Tanzanian youth culture became cool again. As social and political commentator, Elsie Eyakuze, notes, “we youth went from being nobodies to a real demographic with a voice and power. And all this because one young man decided to dedicate his entire life-force to what he loved and to do it in the country he loved. That’s why nowadays anything youth is possible.”

“We believed there was room for us to make some money in the most unconventional ways, and to promote local content because some young men had started making music,” Ruge said. Besides Clouds Media, Ruge played influential roles in establishing the Fiesta concert series, Primetime Promotions, the Smooth Vibes record label, the Sauti za Busara festival, the Fursa campaign, and Tanzania House of Talent.

Ruge Mutahaba was born in Berkeley, California in 1970. He studied primary school in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, before progressing to Forodhani Secondary for O-level and Pugu High School for A–level studies. He later joined San Jose University of California for degrees in marketing and finance.

Perhaps the best evidence of Ruge’s impact on popular culture in Tanzania is to witness the response to his death. Thousands lined the streets in mourning, first in Dar es Salaam and later in Bukoba when his body returned from South Africa.

“It is with great sadness that I received the news on the passing of my son Ruge Mutahaba,” said President John Magufuli on Twitter. “I will forever remember him for his huge contribution in the media and entertainment industry as well as his efforts in mentoring the youth. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete said he was at a loss for words. “My heart bleeds and is filled with sadness after receiving news on the death of Ruge Mutahaba. The nation has lost a young visionary and patriot. He helped me during and even after my presidency. May he rest in peace,” Kikwete posted on Twitter.

“I do not like small dreams, I like big dreams,” Mutahaba said while delivering a lecture at University of Dodoma. “You need to be aggressive and please do not stop until you are a star.”

Hatim Amir Karimjee
It is with profound sadness that the Karimjee Jivanjee family announce the passing of Hatim Amir Karimjee on 12 January, 2019 at the age of 73, in London, England, surrounded by family and close friends. He was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania on 27 July, 1945 to the late Amir Yusufali Karimjee O.B.E and the late Kulsum Amir Karimjee.

Hatim leaves behind a deep-rooted legacy of professional and philanthropic achievements honouring his family, his community, and his country. Hatim will be deeply missed and forever cherished by his wife, Razia, his son, Yusuf, his daughter-in-law Aran, his adored grandchildren Kaleem and Danyal, and his two siblings, Zamy and Mahmood Karimjee.

He will be greatly remembered for his generosity, his sharp wit and booming spirit; his appreciation of art, and his fervent love for food, wine and travel. Hatim’s appetite for life will live on through those who knew and loved him.
Hafiz Khandwala

Peter Le Mare
Soil scientist, woodworker, yoghurt maker, occasional needleworker and environmentalist, Peter Le Mare, has died aged 95. Peter worked on the Tanganyika groundnut scheme at Kongwa in the 1940s, initially living and working in tents until houses were built.

When the scheme, intended to supply vegetable oil for the UK’s post-war diet, folded in 1952, Peter moved to Uganda, before returning to Tanzania in 1963. Peter worked on fertiliser use for tropical soils at Ukiriguru, where, in 1965, he had the honour of escorting President Julius Nyerere, for whom he had great respect, around the research plots.

Peter went to Friends’ school, Saffron Walden, in Essex, and Leighton Park school, Reading. A conscientious objector during the second world war, he was instructed to “work full-time on the land”. He went first to Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, where he assisted with field experiments to improve soil fertility and the wartime production of food.

In 1945 he began working at the ICI Research Station near Bracknell, Berkshire, where he met Joy Smallwood, a horticulturalist. They married in 1946, before moving to east Africa the following year. While there, Peter sailed on Lake Victoria in a dinghy he had built himself and climbed Kilimanjaro.

The family returned to the UK in 1969 where, back at Rothamsted, Peter wrote his PhD based on his overseas work. In 1973 he became a research fellow at Reading University specialising in tropical food crops.
Margaret Le Mare

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