TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

by Donovan McGrath

Rain and a whetted appetite in Zanzibar
(New York Times – USA) A week of drizzle leads to a mysterious curio shop and a succession of feasts says travel writer Sara Khan. Extract continues: If my circumstances had not been so dire – or rather, if my circumstances had been drier – I might never have found myself at the Zanzibar Curio Shop… “Hakuna Matata” T-shirts obscured the facade, and tourists browsed among the souvenirs. In any other city, I’d have breezed past. But sodden from the fury of a downpour, I decided feigning interest in refrigerator magnets was a small price to pay for shelter. “If you want to see the real history of Zanzibar, you have to come upstairs,” said Murtaza Akerali, who, with his brother, runs the store their father opened in 1968. And so I followed him through a portal to Zanzibar of yore: Hand-carved wood-and-brass trunks teetered against one wall; vintage cigarette ads from India and political posters from Tanzania formed a retro pastiche on another… [A] wall of grandfather clocks; a cluster of rusting keys, probably belonging to earlier iterations of the brass-studded doors I had been compulsively Instagramming all over Stone Town. You have to be careful when writing about places like Zanzibar, not to reduce it to a series of prosaic meditations on brilliantly sunny skies, blindingly white beaches and beguilingly azure waters… To prevent such exaltations from finding their way into my own notebook, Zanzibar made sure I encountered nothing of the sort… The Swahili language spoken here is a composite of Bantu and Arabic, with tributes to Persian, Portuguese, English and Hindi… “Zanzibar is not just one thing – Arab, Indian, Persian or Bantu,” the fashion designer Farouque Abdela said. “It’s what they call Swahili” … You can trace the cultures that have mingled in Zanzibar through Mr. Abdela’s lineage: He is a native Zanzibari of Comoran, Indian and Arab descent … Zanzibar was, for centuries, where far-flung corners of the world converged. The region was settled by Bantus from mainland Africa, then Persians, Portuguese and Arabs, each wave leaving indelible influences on the language, dress, food and religion… “A mixture of culture, rather than food,” is how Mr. Abdela described urojo to me. The stew, popularly known as Zanzibar mix, is hearty, rainy-day food … a few chunks of mishkaki, or East African grilled meat, sliced off the skewer, were draped with Indian-inspired fried bhajias, local casava strips and chunks of potatoes … (24 February 2020) – Thanks to Elsbeth Court for this item – Editor

Oxford University restores Maasai artefacts

Group of Masaai during visit to Oxford University


(Economist online – UK) Men with spears come to the dreaming spires… Extract continues: Former colonial powers have tended to take a defensive attitude to requests from formerly subject peoples for the return of objects that may have been stolen. In Britain, France and elsewhere, laws prevent museums from letting stuff go. But in 2017, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said that he wanted to see the return of pilfered artefacts to Africa within five years. Since then, the movement for restitution has gathered steam. Universities are not constrained by the legislation that binds national collections, and several have started to return objects. The Pitt Rivers, which holds Oxford University’s archaeological and anthropological collections, is the vanguard. It has returned 28 objects, all of them human remains. But Dan Hicks, curator of archaeology at the museum, believes that the movement needs to accelerate, for “museums are sites of colonial violence”. Rather than deal with national governments, which can make for tricky politics, the Pitt Rivers is engaging directly with indigenous peoples. The Maasai visit came about after Samwel Nangira, a Maasai from Tanzania, visited the Pitt Rivers when he was at a conference. He questioned the labelling of some of the objects in the museum: “what does ‘collected’ mean? Like when you find something in a forests, so not donated, and not robbed?” One of the problems with restitution claims is establishing provenance. The Maasai have come at the invitation of Laura van Broekhoven, director of the Pitt Rivers, and InsightShare, an NGO, to establish where and when the objects were taken. To that end, they have brought Lemaron ole Parit, a laibon—a spiritual leader with mystical powers. . . Sitting on the floor of Mrs van Broekhoven’s office, Mr ole Parit breathes into an enkidong vessel packed with stones and snuff tobacco. He then shakes out the stones, whose patterns reveal the artefacts’ history to him. “I’ve identified the circumstances under which objects were taken,” he explains. “The times when they were taken, and how many hands they went through.” Out of the 188 artefacts Mr ole Parit viewed, he has identified only five he thinks are culturally sensitive enough to warrant a return. Artefacts matter to the Maasai, in part because they represent the continuation of a dead person’s life. . . Mrs van Boekhoven says that the way knowledge systems are judged needs to be liberated. “Real decoloniality is to see each other’s knowledge systems as equal.” British colonial catalogues, she points out, are not models of accuracy. “All we have are labels with question-marks. It would be quite disingenuous to say, ‘Your knowledge system is inferior to ours’.” (13 February 2020)

Tanzania crush for sacred oils kills 20 worshippers
(BBC News online – UK) Extract: At least 20 people have been crushed to death and 16 others injured during an outdoor religious service in Tanzania. Worshippers were attending a Pentecostal service at a stadium in the northern town of Moshi … when the incident occurred. Moshi district commissioner Kippi Warioba said attendees rushed forward to be anointed with blessed oil… The service was held by pastor Boniface Mwamposa, who refers to himself as “the apostle”. Survivors said Mr Mwamposa told hundreds of people gathered at the service to pass through an area where “blessed oil” had been poured over the floor. The crowd rushed forward to try to step in the oil in the hope of being cured of sickness. Peter Kilewo, who attended the service, described the scene as “horrible”, telling AFP news agency that people were “trampled on mercilessly, jostling each other with elbows”… (2 February 2020)

Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera freed after seven months

Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera arrives at the Kisutu Residents Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania August 19, 2019. REUTERS/Emmanuel Herman – RC1314E63E80


(BBC News online – UK) Extract: Detained Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera has been freed seven months after he was arrested. He had been charged with money laundering, tax evasion and leading organised crime. Mr Kabendera’s release comes after he entered into a plea-bargain agreement with the prosecution. His detention was seen as an example of rising repression against the press and critics of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli who came into office in 2015…The authorities had initially said the investigative journalist was arrested over a question about his citizenship but that investigation was dropped and the financial crimes charges were brought in… The journalist, who has the reputation for holding the authorities to account in his articles, has written for several British publications, including The Independent, The Guardian and The Times, as well as for newspapers in Tanzania and the wider region. (24 February 2020)

The all-women safari camp in Tanzania
(BBC News online – UK) The Serengeti National Park in Northern Tanzania is one of the crown jewels in Tanzania’s tourism industry and famed for its safari experience. According to a report compiled for the UN Conference on Trade and Development in 2015, out of 2,000 safari guides in Tanzania, fewer than 10 were women. The Dunia Camp in Serengeti National Park is trying to solve this problem by hiring only women to fill positions. The following is an extract of a transcription of the video embedded in this article: Director of Dunia Camp, Jane Ngwatu, says she set it up to show that women are capable of doing such things – “it is not only men who can stay in the bush”. In East Africa, women usually hold the lower tiers in the tourism industry. . . At this camp the women take up all the roles, from housekeeping to security and management… (11 March 2020)

Trump Administration Adds Six Countries to Travel Ban
(New York Times online – USA) Extract: … Immigrant visas, issued to those seeking to live in the United States, will be banned for Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan. The ban will also prevent immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania from moving to the United States through the diversity visa lottery, which grants green cards to as many as 50,000 people a year… Non-immigrant visas, including those for students and certain temporary workers, as well as visas reserved for potential employees with specialized skills, will not be affected by the ban. Immigrants will be able to apply for wavers from the restrictions. The administration has said waivers are issued to those who would experience undue hardship if denied entry into the United States, although the process has been criticized as opaque… Officials with the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity said Eritrea, Tanzania and Kyrgyzstan were being added to the list because each country had either had not satisfied the administration’s information-sharing requirements related to terrorism or did not have updated passport systems… [A]n American government official said the administration planned to add Nigeria and Tanzania to the list because of the number of people coming from those countries on a visa who end up staying in the United States illegally… (3 February 2020)

Tanzanian officials force men into humiliating anal examinations to check for evidence of gay sex with one HIV-positive victim told ‘you got AIDS because your acts angered God’
(Mail online – UK) Extract: Men in Tanzania have been forced into humiliating anal tests to check for spurious evidence of gay sex, according to a damning report … The report by Human Rights Watch says the tests are a ‘medical travesty’ which can in some cases ‘rise to the level of torture’… The report, entitled If We Don’t Get Services We Will Die, outlines what it calls a ‘systematic attack’ on LGBT people under President John Magufuli’s rule since 2015. The report describes how government officials have closed down HIV testing centres and banned the distribution of lubricant which would allow safer sex. In addition, police raids on meetings and training sessions which educate people about HIV have ‘instilled fear within activist communities’. When police have arrested people for homosexuality they have sometimes ordered medics to carry out the humiliating tests to collect ‘evidence’ of gay sex. Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania under a colonial-era law which was later amended to allow for a life sentence as punishment. ‘These exams have no scientific basis and are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that can amount to torture,’ Human Rights Watch said… A 24-year-old gay man, Osman, said he was ridiculed by health workers at a government hospital in Dar es Salaam after he sought treatment for HIV. ‘You’re a good boy, why do you have gay sex? That’s why you got AIDS, because those acts angered God,’ he was allegedly told. ‘They also told me to stop these games and get saved, to chase out Satan, who caused me to have sex, and to find a wife, get married, and have a family,’ Osman said… (3 February 2020)

Early Stone Age populations in Tanzania made cutting tools that were optimised for different uses 1.85 million years ago
(Mail online – UK) Extract:... The Olduvai Gorge was occupied by early humans for more than 1.8 million years, with stone tools found at a location from around 1.85-1.2 million years ago. The region has three suitable stone materials for making tools – chert, quartzite and basalt derived from lava flows – all of which were used by Stone Age populations. Researchers used modern engineering techniques to explore the material properties of flakes of each of the three stones when used as a cutting tool. They found that the three stones have varying levels of edge sharpness and durability which would make each suitable for different applications. This could explain the variation of tools found in the Olduvai Gorge – and why sharp and durable chert appears to have been preferred where available for small tools. In contrast, the durability of basalt could explain why the volcanic rock makes up so many large tools like hand-axes that would have needed to last a longer time. Archaeologist Alastair Key of the University of Kent and colleagues used modern experimental engineering techniques to assess the edge sharpness and durability of freshly-flaked samples of basalt, chert and quartzite collected from the gorge. The team did this by determining the force, work and material deformation needed when using flakes of each material to cut samples of 2 mm-diameter PVC tubing. PVC was chosen to test cutting because – as one applies a tool to it – it deforms before a physical cut develops, just like biological materials like muscular tissue. The researchers found significant differences in the physical properties of the three tool-making materials… By understanding the way that these tools work and their functional limits it allows archaeologists to build up a greater understanding of the capabilities of our earliest ancestors at the dawn of technology.’ … (8 January 2020)

U.S. bans Tanzanian official who launched anti-gay crackdown
(Reuters online – UK) Extract: The United States said … it banned from visiting the country a Tanzanian official who announced a crackdown on homosexuality in Dar es Salaam in 2018. The U.S. State Department said it was taking the action against Paul Makonda, administrative chief of the Tanzania capital, “due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights, which include the flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.” It said Makonda had “also been implicated in oppression of the political opposition, crack-downs on freedom of expression and association, and targeting of marginalized individuals.” The move bars Makonda and his immediate family members from visiting the United States… Makonda announced in 2018 that a special committee would seek to identify and punish homosexuals, prostitutes and online fraudsters in the city… Tanzanian President John Magufuli cracked down on homosexuality after winning power in 2015, and a conviction for having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” could lead to a sentence of up to 30 years in jail… (31 January 2020)

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REVIEWS

by Martin Walsh

MY LIFE, MY PURPOSE: A TANZANIAN PRESIDENT REMEMBERS. Benjamin William Mkapa. Mkuki wa Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2019. xii + 320 pp. (paperback). ISBN-978-9987-083-03-9. £20.00.

My Life, My Purpose is the memoirs of Tanzania’s third president, Benjamin Mkapa. President Mkapa takes the reader on a journey from his childhood in rural Mtwara to post-presidential semi-retire­ment. He is not reluctant to offer opinions on a range of topics along the way.

The book can be split roughly into two halves. The first half details Mkapa’s rise to the presidency. Among other things, he discusses his edu­cational journey, his time as a newspaper editor, his work as President Julius Nyerere’s press secretary, and his role as foreign minister. Often in political memoirs, these sec­tions can be a preamble before the most interesting parts begin, but this is not the case with Mkapa. His decision to write for a general audience, not necessarily familiar with Tanzania, means that he explains a lot of interesting social and political history while covering his life story. Combined with a very clear writing style, this makes these early chapters very engaging.

In this section, Mkapa shares many stories about Nyerere and their time work­ing together. Indeed, one of the stated objectives of the book is to present a new perspective of his former mentor. However, he ultimately fails to leave the rather well-trodden ground of universal praise (often described as hagiog­raphy), and it can feel like the reader is being given a picture of Nyerere the myth rather than Nyerere the complex human.

The second half focuses on Mkapa’s time as President. Much of this section is dedicated to detailing the wide-ranging reforms that his administration introduced as a response to Tanzania’s precarious economic position, which generally represented a shift from socialism towards capitalism. Perhaps out of necessity, the book loses some of the flow of earlier chapters as Mkapa increases the level of detail while explaining who did what during this ambi­tious policy programme.

This half also deals with some of the criticism that Mkapa faced during his time as President. He offers explanations as to why he thinks his leadership style was sometimes described as arrogant or dictatorial. He also dedicates a section to addressing the various corruption scandals to which he was linked. His response to criticism about being too close to the IMF and World Bank is particularly well thought through, although there remains a tension between Mkapa the socialist in the first half of the book and Mkapa the capitalist in the second half, which is never satisfactorily resolved.

One of the major objectives of the book, which was written due to encourage­ment from the UONGOZI Institute, is to inform and inspire new leaders. As a result, the memoirs contain a lot of advice about how both leaders and those setting out on their careers should conduct themselves. In much of this discus­sion it is unsurprisingly Nyerere that is presented as a role model. Mkapa also draws on his experience to give frank and often insightful views on recent developments in fields such as the media, the civil service and democratisation.

As is generally the case in political memoirs, Mkapa uses this book as an opportunity to defend various aspects of his legacy. In doing so, he is able to point to several major improvements in key developmental indicators during his time in office, which are further outlined in a statistical appendix. However, some of his other points are less persuasive. He exaggerates the success of some plans, initiatives and newly created agencies, downplays a few of the issues that reflect badly on him, and occasionally presents weak excuses for poor performance in specific areas.

Nonetheless, this book will be of interest to most readers of Tanzanian Affairs. Mkapa’s memoirs span the whole history of Tanzania as a nation, and he was involved, in some capacity, in many of the country’s most significant events. Insider accounts such as these are most welcome.
Robert Macdonald
Robert Macdonald is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.

AFRICAN ISLANDS: LEADING EDGES OF EMPIRE AND GLOBALIZATION. Toyin Falola, R. Joseph Parrott, and Danielle Porter Sanchez (eds.). University of Rochester Press, Rochester, NY, 2019. vii + 432pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-1-58046-954-8. £110.00.

In his manifesto Africa Must Unite, Kwame Nkrumah stated that ‘Africa with its islands is just one Africa’. Yet scholars of ‘the continent’ have tended to overlook Africa’s offshore islands. The editors of this volume set out to redresses this problem. In their intro­duction, they stake out a theoretical framework through which we might understand island societies’ relationships with the continent and across its sur­rounding oceans. Arguing that studies of African islands have hitherto been too one-dimensional by focusing on single case studies, they call for a more com­parative approach. They contrast the role of West Africa’s islands in forming a stepping-stone to an ‘Atlantic World’ driven by European intervention with the multi-layered histories of cosmopolitan exchange in the Indian Ocean. African island communities played a significant role in the slave trade, as either staging-posts for onward transoceanic passage or sites for plantation labour (or, as in the example of Zanzibar, both). The pros­perity derived from the slave trade and slave labour provided the financial basis and incentive for further intervention into mainland Africa. Yet although these islands – especially those which lay only a short distance offshore – maintained close relations with continental societies, their maritime connections shaped the emergence of distinct cosmopolitan and creole cultures.

The first half of the book contains chapters on islands dotted around the West African littoral: the Canaries, São Tome and Príncipe, Canhabac Island, Bioko and Annobón, and Cape Verde. The second half concerns Eastern Africa and includes studies of the Mascarenes, Madagascar, and Comoros. Given the remit of Tanzanian Affairs, this review concentrates on two chapters on Zanzibar. As the editors acknowledge, Zanzibar is among the most extensively studied of Africa’s islands. Two established authorities on coastal East Africa, William Bissell and Jeremy Prestholdt, neatly illustrate why. While neither author romanticises Zanzibar’s past nor denies the violence of slavery and its legacy, both underline the significance of the island’s global connections in producing a vibrant cosmopolitan society. Both also follow recent historical trends in focusing on urban life in Zanzibar town, rather than rural Unguja or Pemba.

In his succinct sketch of the history of a ‘monsoon metropolis’, Bissell explains how patterns of Indian Ocean trade and migration led to the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepôt. He traces the development of the Omani Sultanate and the boom years of nineteenth century, built on the bedrock of the slave trade and plantation labour. However, the legacies of slavery and the socioeconomic inequality between the island’s ethnoracial groups polarised Zanzibari society under British colonial rule. This paved the way to the revolution of 1964 and the inward turn of the racial socialism which followed. The neoliberal present has reconfigured these relationships yet again, as Zanzibar emphasises its cul­tural heritage within an Indian Ocean world in remodelling itself as a tourist destination.

Prestholdt’s chapter focuses on how the imports from across the globe which saturated Zanzibar in the nineteenth century were converted into local social capital. Drawing on a rich array of evidence, he argues that the Omani era brought the end to traditional sumptuary practices. These were replaced with a new consumer culture that prized the ostentatious display of imported goods. A similar dynamic could be observed in the slave trade. Although most of the slaves brought to Zanzibar were put to work in the plantations, a small but significant number were used by their owners as status symbols, often adorned with expensive clothing and jewellery. However, freed slaves also turned to new clothing styles in an attempt at self-definition in response to their former status of subjection. A commodity culture which inscribed local meaning into global trade networks thereby marked the performative lifestyles of Zanzibari elites and the lower classes alike.

This is a hefty volume, both in terms of its weight and price tag. Although several more thematic contributions provide useful points of triangulation, the chapters do inevitably read in places like isolated studies. Nonetheless, schol­ars from various disciplines and regional specialisations will gain much from drawing comparisons between them. Taken together, they present new angles for interrogating the historical geography of Africa and its global connections.
George Roberts
George Roberts is a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He obtained his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2016. His interests include the contemporary history of East Africa and the global Cold War. He is presently completing a book manuscript on ‘revolutionary Dar es Salaam’ in the 1960s and 1970s, while also undertaking postdoctoral research on decolo­nisation in the Comoros.

KIDAISO: SARUFI NA MSAMIATI. Josephat Rugemalira, Ann Biersteker, Deo Ngonyani, and Angelina Nduku Kioko. Twaweza Communications Limited, Nairobi, 2019. viii + 224 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-9966-028-95-2. (price not given.)

It is a great pleasure to see the publication of Kidaiso: Sarufi na Msamiati, the first ever ‘Daiso Grammar and Vocabulary’ to be written in Swahili. The Daiso (Wadaiso) of Mkinga and Muheza districts are close relatives of the coastal Segeju (Wasegeju) of Tanga, and so are also known as the highland Segeju. This text greatly interests me because I belong to the Segeju community mater­nally and have worked for almost a decade to document the oral history and other cultural aspects of the two interrelated groups. For these personal and scholarly reasons, the publication of this book has been very exciting.

Kidaiso: Sarufi na Msamiati presents previously unpublished information on grammar, vocabulary and ethno-history. The book has three parts. The first outlines the sound system and grammar of the Daiso language (Kidaiso). At the beginning, the authors present one of the key findings of their research. They note that the language is undergoing a transformation from seven to five vowels. This is especially noticeable in the difference between generations. Whereas older speakers use seven vowels, younger speakers under 30 use only five, while the generation in between, including people in their fifties, is in the process of changing from one practice to the other. This has important impli­cations for language preservation and revitalisation programmes and where interventions might be targeted.

Sections on nominal and verbal morphology are followed by a list of 25 prov­erbs. This includes Daiso translations of popular Swahili proverbs like mkulima mmoja walaji wengi, which means that a farmer is usually one person, but the eaters are many. Some proverbs seem to be unique to Daiso, such as moji mrasa uwonewa diakani, meaning that it is easier to spot a taller arrow in the quiver. This proverb is interesting because coastal Segeju I spoke with in Tanga told me that their kin from the highlands are skilled in archery and that in the past this assisted them in intra-clan conflict, such as the famous rivalry between the Boma and Kamadhi at the turn of 18th century. The second part of the book comprises a vocabulary of Daiso nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives with their Swahili and English translations. The list is extensive, running from pages 49 to 148, and offers a wonderful resource not only for scholarly research but also for trainers in indigenous language programmes. The third and last part (pp. 149-223) reverses the order of this vocabulary, translating from English into Daiso and Swahili. This will be useful in helping to determine the impacts of language contacts and national language policies such as the promotion of Swahili in Tanzania. The book concludes with a short list of references used in the study.

Let me turn now to the historical and cultural material presented at the start of the book. The authors provide a brief but intriguing history of the Segeju which helps the reader to situate them geographically and historically. The authors locate the historical Segeju in what is now Kitui County in Kenya. The Kamba community in eastern Kitui, they inform us, speak a dialect called Thaisu (Kithaisu) which resembles that spoken by the highland Segeju today, that is Daiso (Kidaiso). The close resemblance between these two names is not coincidental, and the authors go on to explain why there are two communities in north-east Tanzania that claim Segeju identity but speak different languages.

We are told that in the 16th century the Segeju crossed the Tana River and moved down to towards Malindi and Mombasa on the coast. Because of their military prowess, they became engaged in local wars, ultimately leading to the division between the highland and coastal Segeju that we see today. Having come to the aid of a Digo chief, one group married Digo wives and adopted their language, speaking a dialect called Kisegeju, now extinct and replaced by Swahili. Another section ventured into the foothills of the Usambara Mountains in what is now Tanzania. This group kept their language, Daiso, intermarried with Sambaa and Taita, and made their home in places like Bwiti and Daluni.

This historical account, supported by linguistic data, aligns with existing oral histories, especially those researched by local historians, most notably the late Mwalimu Pera Ridhiwani, whose widely known manuscript Mila na Desturi za Kabila la Wasegeju provides more detail about the earlier history of the Segeju. It also tallies with my own research, including an account that I col­lected among coastal Segeju in Mnyanjani, Tanga, which mentioned the Kamba explicitly as the Segeju’s kin, and the providers of the cattle that they now pos­sess. Kidaiso: Sarufi na Msamiati does not provide any detail on the linguistic similarities between Thaisu and Daiso and this would be interesting to explore further. How close is the eastern Kamba dialect to Daiso? What about other languages and dialects in the region? Does a comparison of vocabulary relating to livestock keeping support the oral histories?
Such questions could help scholars further determine the relationship and correlations between linguistic evidence and oral history, building on the com­parative linguistic research on Daiso and its past already undertaken by Derek Nurse and Martin Walsh. The publication of Kidaiso: Sarufi na Msamiati opens an opportunity for us to revisit old questions, as well as providing an important foundation for new multi-disciplinary research to begin.

Mohamed Yunus Rafiq
Mohamed Yunus Rafiq is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at New York University in Shanghai. His research interests include religion, public health, and human/non-human intermediaries. He is currently writing a book that examines the popularity of religious leaders in development projects aimed at rural Tanzanian populations. He lives and works in Shanghai, China, and Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

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OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Graham Mercer was a teacher, writer and lover of Tanzania, a familiar figure to the thousands of students who passed through the International School of Tanganyika (IST), and to thousands more who read his books.

Born in St Helens in the north west of England during the Second World War, Graham attended the local Grammar School before embarking on a life-long education at “various campuses of the University of Life”, as he described it. This included time as a hotel scullery boy, post office clerk and nine years in the Royal Navy – which first took him to East Africa – before he settled into teaching. He taught first in a primary school in St Helens, for three years, before his passion for wildlife led him to Tanzania.

He began teaching at IST in 1977, where he taught for 34 years. Initially he taught elementary school classes, gradually moving towards science and information technology. This have him a front seat view as the school, the country and technology evolved. He became the school’s resident historian, publishing a book on the subject, A Very Special School, in 2010.

Indeed, writing had already become a major part of Graham’s life and work. He wrote sixteen books in all, including several tourist guidebooks on Tanzania, photobooks (some with Javed Jafferji) on various national parks, and his own memoirs. Most recently, in January of this year, he published Into the Eyes of Lions, about his experiences on safari in Tanzania over the decades. In 1988, his writing won the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s award for nature writers, and in 2016 he won the I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition.

Graham retired in 2012 and returned to the UK with his wife Anjum. Four years later he was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer. He refused to let this define him, however, and pressed on with his writing.

Rev Dr Gertrude Rwakatare MP was a prominent entrepreneur, a force to be reckoned with, whose interests took in education, religion and politics. She died on April 20th, 2020, at the age of 69, following a short illness.

In 1987, she founded St Mary’s school in Tabata, Dar es Salaam, meeting a demand for English-medium education among a growing middle class. This became the first of several schools in the St Mary’s chain, along with others in Morogoro, Mbeya, Dodoma and Mwanza. She later established a teachers’ college.

Rwakatare was more well-known, however as the founder (in 1995) and leader of Mikocheni B Assemblies of God church, one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Tanzania. In this role, she became a prominent figure in public life, inspiring blind devotion in her followers and scepticism and distrust from many others. She preached a severe morality, but somehow managed to become famous and (very) rich in the process.
President Kikwete appointed her as an MP in 2007, and she continued to serve as a CCM member of parliament until her death.

Josephat Torner


Human rights activist and prominent defender of the rights of people with albinism, Josephat Torner, died on April 12, 2020, at the age of 42, after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the road in Mwanza.

Torner, who himself had albinism, spent his life fighting to protect and empower those with the condition across Africa and beyond. He worked with documentary film maker Harry Freeland to make a documentary on albinism, In the Shadow of the Sun [see TA issue 125]. As part of this, Torner confronted a witchdoctor about the role of witchcraft beliefs and practices in the spate of violent attacks and murders of people with albinism in Tanzania.

Torner himself was the subject of such attacks: twice he survived attempts to take his life.

As a campaigner, he spoke out publicly against what he saw as the government’s failure to combat superstition and misconceptions surrounding albinism. He also fought to dispel such beliefs through his actions, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro twice, for example, to demonstrate that people with albinism can achieve if given the chance.

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TA ISSUE 125

TA 125 cover features Mangi Meli – Photo by Hans Meyer courtesy of Deutsche Fotothek

Politics
Mangi Meli remains
Tanzania in the international media
Reviews

A pdf of the issue can be downloaded here

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POLITICS

By Ben Taylor

Are the 2019 local elections a foretaste of 2020?

Police prevent a planned ACT-Wazalendo rally in Mwanga Centre grounds in Kigoma due to “security reasons” (January 2020). Photo – ACT Wazalendo


Local government elections held in November 2019 resulted in overwhelming victories for candidates of the ruling party, CCM, after the leading opposition parties, Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo, boycotted the poll. In the elections – for new village and street chairpersons nationwide – CCM ended up with over 99% of all posts.

Chadema cited “mass disqualification of the party’s candidates” as their main reason. “It’s a sham exercise and the level of brazen irregularities cannot be tolerated,” said party chairman, Freeman Mbowe. Similarly, ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe said his party did not agree with the grounds given by election returning officers for disqualifying their aspirants. Election officials had effectively locked out thousands of opposition candidates over reasons their parties described as flimsy and orchestrated. This include not writing full names, misspellings, blank spaces, improper forms and incorrectly written dates among others. Others could not get forms as officials were found to be unavailable. As a result, even before the boycott, many CCM candidates were standing unopposed.

The diplomatic community, including the US Embassy and UK High Commission expressed their concerns, questioning the credibility of elections without any meaningful opposition participation.

“That is their opinion, but what I know is that the elections were free and fair, and were in line with Tanzanian laws and regulations,” said the Minister of State in the President’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr Selemani Jafo.

President Magufuli said the opposition parties exercised their democratic right through boycotting the polls.

Mr Mbowe said it was now the time for a free and independent electoral commission to be established to steer the democratic process away from partisan interests that jeopardise the wellbeing of the nation.

ACT-Wazalendo’s secretary general Dorothy Semu said: “It is time for the opposition parties to join forces to fight against this oppression.”

Dr Aikande Kwayu, an honorary research fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Madison, supported the boycott. “It is a strong political statement expressing the disillusionment with how elections are organised,” she said.

However, Dr Richard Mbunda, a political analyst from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), pointed out that no party has ever withdrawn from an electoral process and succeeded in its plans. “An election is like war and those shortcomings are unavoidable. What the opposition needs to do is to fully prepare to become a competitive side. There would be no cancellation of elections. By opting out, they lose legitimacy before the public,” he said. He added that he understood the reasons given by opposition parties but now was the time to focus on preparing for the next election.

Looking forward to 2020, Dr Kwayu is worried by the trend. “Looking at how the events have unfolded, I get some feeling that there might even be no elections in 2020,” she said.

Chadema leaders expressed similar concerns. “If the laws remain the same, what is happening in the civic elections will have disastrous consequences in the general election,” warned Mr Mrema, Chadema’s director of protocol, communications and foreign affairs.

Whether or not opposition parties repeat their boycott in 2020 remains to be seen. However, all the signs are that space for public debate and political campaigns will remain tightly controlled as the election draws nearer.

In early January, police declined permission for ACT Wazalendo to hold a rally in the constituency of party leader, Zitto Kabwe, while CCM were granted permission for a similar event. Along with most prominent leaders of both ACT Wazalendo and Chadema, Mr Kabwe remains distracted (or more) by ongoing court cases against them.

In September, for example, The Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court found nine Chadema top officials including the party’s national chairman Freeman Mbowe with a case to answer. Mr Mbowe and the eight others face thirteen charges, including sedition.

Further, ACT-Wazalendo chief party advisor and former Vice President of Zanzibar, Mr Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad was interrogated by police in Pemba in January. He was accused of holding an illegal public rally on December 9, 2019 in Michiweni, Pemba. Along with his co-accused, Mr Hamad maintains that they didn’t hold a rally rather they held an internal party meeting to collect views as the party prepares the 2020 election manifesto.

Small shifts in Chadema leadership
Mr Freeman Mbowe has retained his position as Chadema national chairman in an election held on December 18, 2019. Mr Mbowe who has led the party since 2004 scooped 886 votes (equivalent to 93.5%), while his only opponent Mr Cecil Mwambe picked up 59 votes. The last such election was held in 2014.

The same election process saw Chadema legal director Mr Tundu Lissu elected as the new party vice chairman (mainland) after the incumbent Professor Abdallah Safari stepped down. Mr Lissu was elected unopposed after his main competition for the position, the MPs Sophia Mwakagenda and Saed Kubenea both opted to withdraw their candidacies.

Mr Lissu, the former Singida East MP, has been outside the country for two years now after surviving an assassination attempt.

Following his election, Mr Mbowe appointed Kibamba MP John Mnyika as the party’s new secretary general, replacing Dr Vincent Mashinji. He also appointed Mr Benson Kigaila as the party’s new deputy secretary general (Mainland) and retained Mr Salum Mwalimu as the deputy secretary general (Zanzibar).

Further crackdowns on government critics, further criticism of the government on human rights
The list of politicians, journalists and rights activists to have disappeared or been arrested in Tanzania continues to grow. Besides the politicians mentioned above, in the past few months the most notable cases include Tito Magoti of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), and the former President of Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), Fatma Karume.

Mr Magoti disappeared in suspicious circumstances shortly before Christmas. His friends and LHRC colleagues stated that a group of six people in plain clothes confronted him, handcuffed him and bundled him into a Toyota Harrier. Only later did police in Dar es Salaam confirm that they were holding Mr Magoti.

The police statement was less than forthcoming, however, not stating what Mr Magoti was accused of having done, nor where he was being held.

LHRC executive director, Anna Henga, said the laws of the country provide for suspects to be granted bail or arraigned in court within 24 hours of arrest, noting that he had already been held for over 48 hours by that point. “He was supposed to be granted bail because it is his right. We will, therefore, use legal and judicial procedures for him to be bailed,” she said. She added that LHRC had visited all the major police stations in the Kinondoni Region looking for Tito, but in vain.

“This has been a growing trend as security organs can arrest civilians secretly and hold them for a long time without information being communicated to families and relatives,” she said. Mr Magoti was eventually charged with money laundering, together with an information technology expert, Mr Theodory Faustine. Under Tanzanian law, this charge does not permit bail.

Erick Kabendera at Kisutu Residents Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam.

Money laundering is the same charge facing Erick Kabendera, an investigative journalist, who remains in custody since July 2019. In January, he was refused permission to attend his mother’s funeral.

Fatma Karume became a high profile and outspoken critic of President Magufuli during her term from 2018 to 2019 as President of Tanzania’s bar society, TLS. Since then she has become a regular presence in the Tanzanian media and has taken up several constitutional cases to challenge what she sees as the erosion of the rule of law under President Magufuli. She is the granddaughter for the first President of Zanzibar, Abeid Amani Karume and daughter of former Zanzibar President Amani Abeid Karume.

In September, Ms Karume was suspended from practicing as a lawyer in Tanzania by High Court Principal Judge Eliezer Feleshi. The Judge accused her of impropriety in her handling of a particular case, without specifying what exactly she had done.

The case, in which Ms Karume was representing Mr Ado Shaibu, challenged President John Magufuli’s appointment of Prof Adelardus Kilangi as Attorney General. Ms Karume, who was not in court during the ruling was accused of impropriety in her submission, and has since cried foul, saying she was condemned unheard.

Fatma Karume

She later said that suspending her license would not dampen her spirit or stop her from championing social justice, the rule of law and good governance. “You never know what this means and what lies ahead as fate works in many ways. Maybe this is telling me that I will not bring desired change to society via the route of the law in court but elsewhere. Maybe I should be in politics,” she told journalists.

More broadly, the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), a press freedom advocacy group, raised the alarm about violations of press freedom in Tanzania. They noted an increase in threats and interference in editorial independence, including serious violations committed by government authorities, state organs, self-styled activist and non-state actors.

A surprise move by the government came when it withdrew the right of individuals and NGOs to directly file cases against it at the Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, signed the notice of withdrawal of the declaration made under Article 34(6) of the African Court Protocol on November 14. Tanzania becomes the second country after Rwanda to take this step.

The decision came shortly after the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Union’s human rights body, condemned “massive human rights violations” by authorities. In its statement, the commission highlighted a reluctance to investigate serious human rights breaches like that of the disappearance of freelance journalist Azory Gwanda. It also came at a time reports indicate the country had the highest number of cases filed by individuals and NGOs as well as judgments issued against it by the African Court. Out of the 70 decisions issued by the court by September 2019, 28 decisions, or 40%, were on Tanzania.

“The many cases filed against Tanzania at the African Court speak to the abject failure by the country to provide victims of human rights violations adequate and effective remedies nationally”, said Japhet Biegon of Amnesty, a human rights group.

Finally, both Amnesty and Human Rights Watch issued scathing reports in September on the state of human rights in Tanzania. For both organisations, these were the first detailed reports on human rights in Tanzania for many years.

Government actions, noted the reports, have had a chilling effect on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, with people’s censoring actions perceived as critical of the government for fear of prosecution or other reprisals. Amnesty accused the government of President Magufuli of “disembowelling the country’s human rights framework”.

“Tanzania should show true commitment to protecting and fulfilling the rights to freedom of expression and association. The authorities need to put a stop to harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests of activists, journalists, and opposition members,” said Oryem Nyeko, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Mr Ngemela Lubinga, the CCM secretary for International Relations dismissed the reports. He denied any violation of human rights in Tanzania, stressing: “We cannot run our affairs as a nation based on how the international community perceives us. Rather, we will live by the rules and norms of our country as an independent nation. We cannot implement recommendations that are not aimed at creating peace – but aim at dividing the nation.”

The government has previously argued that democratic rights are a secondary consideration, a luxury that should only be given serious attention once more concrete improvements – such as transport infrastructure, power generation, public services and poverty reduction – have been delivered.

Tanzania ranks low for mobile phone protections
Tanzania has some of the harshest SIM card monitoring policies in the world, joining the league of Saudi Arabia and North Korea, according to recently published research. This includes use of fingerprint technology for SIM card registration and other measures that enable the government to track and monitor users and build in-depth profiles of their citizens.
The research, published by Comparitech, a UK-based firm, puts Tanzania in last place out of 150 countries, below even Saudi Arabia (149th) and North Korea (joint 147th with Uganda). The report also notes that Tanzania does not have a comprehensive data protection law.

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MANGI MELI REMAINS

Mangi Meli – Photo courtesy of Deutsche Fotothek

Traces of Chief Mangi Meli of the Chagga community in Old Moshi can still be found in songs, stories and archives. But his head is missing. As chief for a little under a decade, Mangi Meli fought the German colonial occupation of territory in Kilimanjaro. He was executed for his resistance on March 2, 1900, by hanging in a public square.

His head was then cut off and said to have been shipped to Berlin, Germany at the request of the Ethnological Museum’s Head of Africa and Oceania department Felix von Luschan. Von Luschan collected thousands of skulls from all over the world for scientific testing based on Rassenlehre – racial ideology.

For the past 50 years, Isaria Meli has been campaigning through the Meli Foundation, appealing to the Tanzanian and German governments to seek the return of his grandfather’s skull.

His efforts have finally paid off – in part. Chief Mangi Meli’s story has been brought to the attention of the German government through an exhibition in Berlin. This was centred around a video installation titled Mangi Meli Remains – an innovative short film animation in Kiswahili, German and English on the life, times and death of the chief, his links with other chiefs in the resistance to German colonial rule and the events leading to his death.

After the exhibition closed in Berlin, it moved temporarily to Dar es Salaam before reaching its permanent home in Old Moshi, where it opened in March 2019 at the Old Courthouse.

Along with the video, the exhibition includes documents and photographs of the Chagga people and chief Mangi Meli taken in the late 1800s to the early 1900s by colonial German army officers, and never previously displayed in Tanzania.

The exhibition is the work of German national Konradin Kunze and the Tanzanian Sarita Mamseri. Mamseri is a heritage educator with a Masters in History of Art & Archaeology, while Kunze, a German national, is a theatre producer with Flinn Works.

Mangi Meli (centre) with two Chagga officials – photo courtesy of Deutsche Fotothek

The idea for the exhibition started when Kunze started researching German colonial history in Tanzania. “When I first came to Tanzania eight years ago, I was shocked to learn about my country’s colonial history. I didn’t learn it in school back in Germany, which would have been the proper way, I think. We maybe had just about one hour of it because ‘Germany had some colonies but it was for a short period.’’’

“The objective of this project is definitely to educate the public. This story should not be forgotten and on the other hand, it is giving back to the community by permanently install something in Old Moshi, although it is not the chief’s skull, which we’re still trying to find. However, at least we can bring back the information that I have gathered back in Germany,” Kunze added.

Kunze thinks the photographs he found, as well the archived material in Germany (such as http://www.deutschefotothek.de/list/freitext/hans+meyer), should be readily available in Tanzania since it is a crucial part of the country’s history too.

Mamseri concurs, saying, “The atrocities, tragedies and theft, looting, and acquisition of personal items of significance and of human remains cannot be undone or indeed forgotten when still so much is to be acknowledged and then repatriated. It also continues to amaze me how much of Tanzania’s history can be found in foreign collections, both private and state. It just reinforces my opinion that efforts to counterbalance the role of colonial archives and collections in Europeans’ understanding of Africa must be readdressed through the collecting and presenting “It is clear that the Europeans saw us as savages and were trying to prove that we aren’t real human beings,” said Cloud Chatanda, an illustrator who worked on the project. “Mangi Meli’s father, Mangi Rindi sent his best soldiers to meet the Kaiser in Berlin and gave his two best soldiers ivory, minerals and leather to present to the Kaiser and in return asked for a few weapons. The Kaiser sent the soldiers back with a music box and a sewing machine.”

Currently, Germany holds over 5,000 skulls of its former colonial subjects, including 200 from Tanzania. Among the skulls, six were as being from Moshi, dating back to the time of Mangi Meli’s death. Some of them have the inscription Dschagga/Wadschagga.

Mangi Meli Remains is a collaborative project between Flinn Works (Germany), BSS Projects (Tanzania/UK), Old Moshi Cultural Tourism, ArtEver (Tanzania) supported by the Ethnological Museum Berlin and the Humboldt University Berlin. It was funded by the Goethe-Institut Tanzania, the Berlin Senate Department of Culture and Between Bridges (non-profit exhibition space organised by Wolfgang Tillmans).

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ENERGY & MINERALS

by Roger Nellist

A resolution at last – Barrick acquires Acacia Mining
The long drawn out saga of Acacia Mining in Tanzania is at last drawing to a satisfactory close. Acacia was listed in the UK but 64% of its shares were owned by the Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corporation. Acacia operated three gold mines in Tanzania – at Bulhanyulu, North Mara and Buzwagi – but under the government of President Magufuli the firm was accused of wide-ranging irregularities, as we reported in earlier editions of Tanzanian Affairs. Last year Acacia was told in no uncertain terms to pack its bags and leave the country.

After high-level negotiations during 2018 and 2019 between the government and Barrick (in which Acacia was excluded) a Framework Agreement was concluded to resolve the politically and commercially explosive impasse. Under the terms of that agreement Barrick would acquire all of Acacia Mining and its assets and then establish a new joint-venture company in Tanzania to run those three gold mines in which government would assume a free 16% shareholding interest and play a direct role in running the operations. Among the other key terms, the economic benefits from the venture would be shared 50/50 between Tanzania and Barrick.

Barrick then sought to buy out Acacia’s minority (36%) shareholders and so become the 100% owner and controller of the former Acacia. Those negotiations took some months but on 17 September 2019, after certain legal processes were completed in Tanzania and in the UK, Barrick officially acquired the remaining Acacia shares in a deal that reportedly valued Acacia at $1.1 billion or more (a substantial improvement on Barrick’s initial offer of $787 million). Acacia Mining shares were immediately delisted and ceased to be tradeable on the London Stock Exchange and trading of them was suspended on the secondary Dar Stock Exchange too.

Tanzania and Barrick then moved quickly to establish their new joint-venture company. It is named Twiga Minerals Corporation (TMC) and was registered in Tanzania by mid-October. Its headquarters will be in Mwanza.

Apparently, though, there might have been some last-minute hiccups since by the end of the year no other details had been made public. Declining to explain why, the Ministry of Minerals did say that the ban on the export of mineral condensates still stood but confirmed that discussions were still ongoing. Commentators have speculated that two of the important matters yet to be fully resolved and holding up the overall new arrangement are the government’s insistence that gold smelting facilities should be established in Tanzania (so that the country can derive greater value-add from TMC’s gold mining operations) as well as the treatment of the former Acacia executives who were jailed last year for alleged money laundering, tax evasion and other crimes (see TA122 and TA124).

Temporary delay in LNG Project
In November 2019 the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) announced that the government’s negotiation of a Host Government Agreement (HGA) with the foreign oil companies that will develop the large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Lindi had been temporarily suspended. The delay was to allow government to complete its ongoing review of existing Production Sharing Agreements (PSA), which was found to be necessary because some PSA issues apparently contradict or overlap with other contracts. It was not known when the review would be completed and the HGA negotiations could resume but the review was said to be at an advanced stage. However, official sources confirmed that the Ministry of Finance and Planning had already approved TSh 5.07 billion for compensating nearly 700 people who will have to move from the 2,077 hectares in Lindi Region where the LNG complex will be constructed. One of the partners in the project, Shell Tanzania, which also operates two of the offshore licences where large gas reserves have been discovered, said: “The HGA negotiations commenced in April [2019] and are currently on pause…. We are continuing to engage with the government and are supportive of the HGA process as it is an important step in agreeing the key commercial, technical and legal principles for the next phase of this important project”. It is reported that the other project partners, Equinor and Exxon-Mobil, have already invested in excess of US$2 billion in the other gas discovery licence. Equinor Tanzania recently clarified that the LNG project will take up to five years to construct once the HGA negotiations are concluded and should operate for at least 30 years.

More optimistic news on gas
Several government Ministers and officials spoke at the Oil and Gas Congress 2019 that was convened in early October in Dar es Salaam. At it the Minister of Energy, Medard Kalemani, announced that four new licence areas with expected high gas potential were available to the industry for exploration and drilling work. Adjacent to already proven gas reserve areas, they include Ruvu, Western Songo Songo and North Mnazi Bay. According to the Minister they have a gas potential of more than 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf). If proven, the new discoveries would raise Tanzania’s total gas reserves to almost 63 tcf. At the same Congress the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Angellah Kairuki, announced that she would shortly be tabling in Parliament a new Investment Bill that would help create a more conducive business environment. Investors should also benefit from the provisions of an Action Facilitation Bill that will create a single law unit across government to implement regulatory reforms (rather than the current Ministry by Ministry differential approach to such matters).

Delegates at the Congress also heard from Charles Sangweni, the acting Director General of Tanzania’s Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA). He explained that the ongoing review of the 11 existing PSAs was to bring them into line with the provisions of the two new major natural resource Acts enacted in 2017. He told the oil industry delegates to expect that government would announce a fifth competitive bidding round for petroleum licenses in about two years’ time when, hopefully, global oil and gas prices would be stronger than now. He envisaged that more than 20 offshore and onshore blocks would then be open to tender from the local and international petroleum industry. The last such bidding round was in 2013. Separately, Sangweni told reporters that Tanzania’s deep offshore areas have higher potential for gas discoveries than onshore ones but that there is a big disparity in the cost of drilling a single well; offshore in deep water a well may cost $100 million whereas an onshore well would typically cost about $30 million. (For comparison, in the early 1980s when various oil consortia were drilling wells onshore Tanzania and at Songo Songo Island a single well cost in the order of $10 million). According to PURA, a total of 96 wells have been drilled in the search for oil and gas in Tanzania to date and 44 of them have made gas discoveries. The vast majority of the other 52 wells, which were dry, were located onshore.

Songas – its plans and contribution
Songas is the Tanzanian company that generates electricity from gas, primarily sourced from the Songo Songo reserves. In round percentage terms it is owned 29% by TPDC, 10% by TANESCO, 7% by TDFL and 54% by UK-based Globeleq. Songas currently generates 180 Megawatts of electricity (which is roughly one fifth of the total power supplied to Tanzania’s National Grid) but in September 2019 announced its intention, subject to regulatory approval by TANESCO, to increase its generation to 250 MW in support of the government’s industrialisation programmes.

That same month Songas paid as dividends TSh 6.6 billion to TPDC and 2.2 billion to TANESCO. The company’s Managing Director, Nigel Whittaker, announced that since 2012 Songas has paid almost TSh 122 billion as dividends to the government and its agencies as well as 139 billion in corporate tax. He added that since the start of its operations in 2004 Songas has saved Tanzania about TSh 11 trillion in displaced fossil fuel imports that would otherwise have been necessary for power generation in the country.

Other extractives news in brief
Over the last two decades Geita Gold Mines (GGM) has been mining gold using open cast surface techniques. However, to improve production and profitability it now needs to switch to tunnelling and other underground mining methods for which its workforce of about 350 people are ill-equipped. Government is insisting that GGM explain what will happen to its current workers, notwithstanding the fact that the switch to underground mining at Geita is predicted to yield some $230 million a year. GGM executives have responded telling government that, although the majority of its workers are likely to be laid off, the company has begun training about 150 in underground mining techniques.

In 2019 the Zanzibar government signed a PSA with RAK Gas, a petroleum company based in the UAE. The agreement provides for oil and gas exploration work to be undertaken in the Zanzibar-Pemba block and aerial and other pre-drilling surveys have so far been conducted. In September the Zanzibar President, Ali Mohamed Shein, visited the UAE and met with the management of the RAK Gas company to be briefed on the initial survey work. On his return to Zanzibar he was at pains to stress that his government was fully committed to the project saying that, contrary to rumours, it does not flout the Constitution.

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BUSINESS & THE ECONOMY

by Ben Taylor

World Bank highlights poverty reduction
The Tanzania Mainland Poverty Assessment Report, published by the World Bank, found that the national poverty rate fell from 34.4% to 26.4% between 2007 and 2018. The report attributed the trend to gradual improvement in living conditions and human capital.

The report also noted, however, that this success is not unmitigated, as poverty was not reduced as much as the population grew. This resulted in an increase in the absolute number of poor people, with 14 million in 2018 living below the poverty line, up from 13 million people in 2007.

Nor has poverty reduction kept pace with economic growth, with the result that inequality has worsened. According to the report, this is due to the concentration of employment in slow-growing sectors and the slow transformation of the economy. Industry and services – with fewer, better educated workers – are growing faster than agriculture, driving the growth and transformation of the economy.

“Vulnerability is still high, with findings showing that for every four Tanzanians who moved out of poverty, three fell into it,” according to the report. “A large number of non-poor people living just above the poverty line are at risk of slipping below it.”

However, the report also noted that country’s strategy to diversify toward solar energy has started to pay off, particularly in rural areas, where 33 percent of households use solar energy for lighting compared to 14 percent in urban areas.

The findings prompted the World Bank to call for more attention for agriculture, which it says offers opportunities for accelerating poverty reduction.

“Since agriculture already accounts for a quarter of total GDP and two-thirds of jobs, enhanced agricultural growth must be part of the strategy to create more and better jobs and alleviate poverty,” said World Bank country director Bella Bird during the report’s unveiling.

The World Bank said Tanzania’s economy will grow by 5.8% in 2020, up from 5.6% forecast for 2019, and growth will rise to 6.1% in 2021. These forecasts are lower than the government’s official estimate of 7.1%.

International concern over national debt
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Brooking Institute have separately expressed concern at rising public debt in East Africa, including Tanzania.

The IMF, in its regional economic outlook report for sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted surging public debt-to-GDP ratios for Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. “An over-reliance on commercial public debt exposes sovereign balance sheets to greater rollover and exchange rate risks,” said the report. “An increase in debt from domestic creditors could crowd out financing for private sector projects,” the report also noted.

According to Brookings, these countries are shifting away from official multilateral creditors to non-concessional, commercial debt with relatively higher interest rates and lower maturities. The trend is raising concerns around debt sustainability given the possibility of higher refinancing risks and foreign exchange risks.

The region’s economies have fallen into a financial fix as they attempt to fund persistent budget deficits and implement mega infrastructure projects. As a result, the economies have resorted to massive borrowing from both domestic and international markets.

Tanzania’s public debt stood at $36.78 billion in February 2019, according to the Bank of Tanzania, representing 37.7% of GDP.

The country’s Finance Minister, Philip Mpango, attributed the increase to new loans secured to fund infrastructure projects such as construction of the terminal III of the Julius Nyerere International Airport, power generation projects, and the construction of roads, bridges and the standard gauge railway line.

CRDB Bank secures green finance accreditation
CRDB Bank has been accredited by the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the implementation of green financing in Tanzania. CRDB Bank becomes the 3rd commercial bank in Africa to obtain this accreditation, after Ecobank Ghana and Attijariwafa Bank of Morocco.

The objective of the Green Climate Fund is to “support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries using thematic funding windows”. It is intended that the Green Climate Fund be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Accreditation followed an extensive due-diligence assessment, conducted by GCF to ascertain the bank’s preparedness in managing climate change programmes. It means CRDB Bank will be able to finance multiple large-scale projects with high impact to the social and economic development of Tanzania.

Tanzanian bureaucracy drove VW to Rwanda?
A former Minister, Charles Kitwanga, told parliament in November that Volkswagon, Europe’s biggest carmaker, decided to invest in Rwanda after attempts to set up a car assembly in Tanzania failed due to ‘deep­rooted bureaucracy.’

Mr Kitwanda urged the current administration to urgently address bureaucracy to attract more investors as the country gears for industri­alization. “The bureaucracy we have in our system is so bad,” he said. “VWs are now made in Rwanda, they were to be assembled here.”

Last year, Rwanda’s first domestically built car rolled off the assembly line at Volkswagen’s new factory in Kigali. Mr Kitwanga says he wasn’t happy with the fact that a neighbouring country was making strides with a business that should have been put up in Tanzania.

In the latest World Bank ‘Doing Business 2020’, Rwanda maintained its position as the leading country in East Africa on the ease of doing busi­ness. Tanzania came a distant 141 out of the 190 countries in the index.

Tigo-Zantel merger
A merger between Tigo Tanzania and Zantel was recently concluded. In a joint interview with Forbes Magazine, the directors of the two companies said customers had expressed concern about the merger and its benefits but were assured that due to the strong integration of the companies the customers will enjoy services of the highest quality.

They said the merger brings together the strengths of both companies as well as providing the best of both Mainland and island, urban and rural areas.

Tigo Tanzania Executive Director, Simon Karikari, said he believes that the merger will create the best cellular telecommunications sector in Tanzania now and in the future, adding that a market with such integrated companies will drive creativity.

Plea bargains encouraged for economic crimes
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Biswalo Mganga, has announced that the government has opened a special bank account to enable those who are accused of economic sabotage and have sought amnesty to return the money to the government. According to Mr Mganga, the account has been opened at the Bank of Tanzania following a government directive.

Mr Biswalo told reporters that people accused of economic sabotage related offences, who seek to be pardoned, will have to deposit the money to the account upon approval by the court.

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EDUCATION

by Naomi Rouse

Obstacles to Tanzanian Quality Education Dream

In September 2019, The Citizen interviewed Sister Annette Farrell, a Holy Union Sister from Ireland, and Director of the Holy Union Sisters Debrabant High School in Mbagala about the state of education in Tanzania.

In the 1980s when Sister Farrell first started working in the Tanzanian education sector, a small number of elite, highly academic students qualified for secondary school, and schools were relatively well resourced to cater for these numbers. Now that access has increased, the same academic rigour is still expected of all, as if all students are expected to proceed to university. But students have different abilities and are ‘tortured’ by this system that is only designed for the most academically gifted.

“When I came to Tanzania in the 1980s the secondary section was tiny… but the academic programmes were very good. [They] suited the people who were chosen to be in secondary schools at that time. They had to have high academic ability as well as good character. Today there is only one programme for everyone. So children who have no capability in mathematics and no interest are forced to do the same exam as their counterparts brilliant in the subject. This programme could perhaps suit 10% and neglect the other 90%. This system is a disaster in the country’s quality education dream, as we are sacrificing the majority for the few.”

The system neglects other subjects and talents such as music, drama, sport, and computers. While highlighting the shortage of teachers as a major problem, she would not support an expansion of the system as it currently is, saying “it won’t make sense at all to be paying so many teachers throughout the country to produce the kind of results we are getting at Form Four.”

She highlighted lack of planning and investment, with overcrowded schools and ‘one teacher doing the work of three’. She reminded readers that ‘free education’ is paid for by citizen’s taxes but that citizens are not getting what they are paying for. She opposes the policy that prevents parents from contributing to schools to help improve them. Sister Farrell applauded the government’s initiatives to promote inclusion of students with disabilities. (The Citizen)

World Bank Report reveals reasons behind low learning levels
Reacting to the World Bank report: Ending Learning Poverty, what will it take? education stakeholders said that low budgetary allocations were the main cause of low literacy levels for 10 – 14 year olds. The report showed that 87% of 10 – 14 year olds in Sub Saharan Africa cannot comprehend a short, simple story.

Despite increasing enrolment in Tanzania, budget allocation has declined from 19 to 16% of Tanzania’s total budget. Spending per primary school pupil declined from TSh 335,891 in 2016/17 to TSh 220,566 in the current fiscal year.

Tusiime School Assistant Manager highlighted the importance of early years programmes to help develop children’s intellectual development.
The Human Capital Index shows that the productivity of the average child born in Africa today will be only 40% of what it could be if there were proper investment in health and education. (The Citizen)

Loans body tasked over boom delay
The Higher Education Students Loans Board was directed to meet with the student union to explain the delay in disbursing student loans. The University of Dar es Salaam Students Union (Daruso) had threatened a strike if the loans were not disbursed within 72 hours. However, HESLB Executive Director explained that students needed to pass their exams first, and that this was an issue of procedure. (The Citizen)

Over 50,000 students miss out on Form One selection for 2020
A total of 58,699 students who passed their Primary School Leaving Examination have not secured places at Form One due to shortage of classrooms, amounting to 7.7% of students affected. The affected pupils are from 13 regions. Kigoma was worst affected with 12,092 pupils not selected, being required to wait until classrooms are constructed. The Minister for Local Government instructed the respective regions to make sure classrooms are constructed by February 2020. (The Citizen)

CDRB bank to issue loans to students
CRDB is introducing a new service ‘Boom Advance’ to help students whose study loans have been delayed. ‘Boom’ denotes the amount allocated to students for meals and accommodation. CRDB’s Head of Consumer Banking, Mr Stephen Adili, said “For a long time we have looking at how we could find a lasting solution to this challenge which affects students academically”.

Boom Advance loans will be interest free and issued electronically through the SimBanking app. Loans of TSh 40,000 to TSh 120,000 will be available, and repayable within 45 days. Students must be registered with the Higher Education Students Loans Board to qualify. (The Citizen)

Invest more in education, Dar think-tank tells government
Executive Director of REPOA, Dr Donald Mmari, called for the government to invest more in education in order to accelerate the country’s development, learning from countries like the Netherlands which have succeeded as a result of investment in education.

He made the remarks at the relaunch of the Netherlands Alumni Association of Tanzania (NAAT) which brings together Tanzanians who have studied in the Netherlands to exchange ideas to contribute to Tanzania’s economic development. Dr Mmari said that 5,000 Tanzanians who have studied in the Netherlands are keen to be involved in the association, and he stressed that they have a responsibility to share what they have learned, for the benefit of Tanzania. He said there was much to learn from countries like the Netherlands – although geographically small, it is the 4th country in the global competitive economy after the USA, Singapore and China. He highlighted the Netherlands’ leadership in the renewable energy sector, and the support provided to Tanzania in renewable energy, agriculture, health and technology. (IPP Media)

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TOURISM & ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

by Paul Harrison

Tanzanian tourism continues to grow steadily

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), reported in the Daily News, the tourism industry grew by 5.6% in 2018 across Africa compared to a global average of 3.9%, making Africa the second fastest growing region after Asia-Pacific. Tanzania continues to outpace many other East African nations, with a solid product range of safaris, walking, mountaineering and beach tourism boosting the industry which accounts for 17% of Tanzania’s GDP. The Citizen reports that Tanzania was 10th in the tourism growth ranking across the continent, based on the WTTC’s 2019 Competitive Index.

However, the ease of doing business for the tourism sector is diminished by a robust bureaucracy, a forthright national revenue service and ongoing difficulties in accessing foreign exchange, for companies and tourists alike. Queues at a restricted number of dedicated forex bureaux have become commonplace. As the country looks to improve the investment climate through 2020, the government faces a challenge to align pro-investment messaging with improvements in bureaucracy. For instance, The Citizen reported the government statement that it will simplify the procedure for wildlife filming, recognising the potential for wildlife films and documentaries to attract visitors.

Ongoing investments in infrastructure include a new train operating between Dar es Salaam and Moshi, expected to encourage hikers, backpackers and those seeking a slower pace of sightseeing. Investments in the road network aid tourism growth although these sometimes risk impacting the viability of key wild animal populations such as lions, which require large undisturbed areas and the ability to migrate freely.

Lions, symbol of Tanzania’s might, at risk
In Tanzanian daily life, the lion features on currency, commercial logos, kanga designs and tourist shirts, but the economic benefits of lions to Tanzania are not widely known. There are around 8,000 lions in Tanzania, accounting for over a third of all lion populations globally. This point of pride for Tanzania is also a great responsibility. 60% of Tanzania’s lions live outside protected areas and are increasingly threatened. Lions are vital to Tanzania’s tourist industry, with tourists wanting to see lions above all else. Healthy lion populations keep herbivore populations under control which keeps diseases at bay; their habitats serve as carbon sinks. Water from lion habitats feeds rivers, supplying major cities and conserving lion habitat ensures more resilient ecosystems. Yet investments into lion conservation are limited, reflecting a lack of awareness of their plight. A campaign called #bethepride has been launched, with national and international support, to raise awareness of dwindling lion populations, increase Tanzanians pride in them and help individual Tanzanians act to protect them.

Managing links between communal lands, game reserves and national parks is important to ensure suitable space for lions. There can be unintended consequences of partitioning protected areas, as if a new national park is created, it can be tempting to build roads around it. Yet habitat connectivity and countering the ‘edge effect’ to parks and reserves is critical. A holistic approach to protected areas management is required; the links need to be safeguarded where they can.

New national parks bring new opportunities
The government continues to invest into and expand the national parks system, with 22 parks in the national park system under Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA). The largest national park in Africa, Nyerere National Park, was gazetted in November 2019. This has upgraded 30,893 square kilometres (out of 50,000) of the Selous Game Reserve. Also recently gazetted are Ugalla River National Park (3.865 km2) and Kigosi National Park (7,460 km2), both also former game reserves.

The transfer of significant, prime sections of game reserve wildlife real estate to TANAPA suggests that government sees future value to its wildlife economy increasingly in photographic tourism alongside utilisation. To safeguard against the variability of the tourism industry, the government will need to ensure a diverse tourism product and investment strategy to counter reduced returns elsewhere across the wildlife estate, including from hunting.

Investment into new destinations and effective national and international marketing of them will be critical, especially of hitherto unknown destinations in the Southern Circuit—the collection of parks across the south of the country. A new arrangement for TANAPA to be managed from four regional zonal offices (north, south, east and west) will no doubt help evolving operations, reducing pressure on Arusha headquarters. Financing will be key, both in terms of short-term support from government and donors (in place now from the USA, Germany, the United Nations and the World Bank, amongst others) as well as long-term economic sustainability.

Increasing national park numbers may also indicate a response to challenges faced in realising the potential of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), established in 2014. This includes the issue that wildlife utilisation, including hunting, is increasingly controversial in some consumer countries. Countries like the USA have closed elephant and lion trophy imports for significant periods and the UK is considering a total ban on wildlife trophy imports. Social media reflects an increasing global intolerance of hunting, putting pressure on governments in consumer countries. A number of major safari operators have surrendered concessions, including some in place for decades, citing a lack of demand. Wildlife utilisation remains a part of the wildlife economy picture, if diminished; the remaining area of the Selous game reserve set aside for utilisation after the creation of Nyerere national park is down to around a third of the original size.

Meanwhile, the Rufiji Hydropower project is ongoing at Stiegler’s Gorge, with ambitious plans for completion by 2022 requiring excavation of the Rufiji river dam site throughout 2020 and work on the reservoir in 2021 before construction of the power plant. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, working with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) were critical of TANESCO’s Strategic Environmental Assessment for the hydropower project in a review submitted to the government in late 2019. The question mark remains over retention of the area’s World Heritage status. The project, expected to generate 2,100 megawatts with an annual output of 6,300 GWh, is critical to the President’s industrialisation strategy.

Anti-poaching strategy yielding results with increased political will
Tanzania’s increasingly hard line on poaching, including on the involvement of foreign nationals, is reflected in the government’s 2014 national strategy to combat poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, supported by the United Nations and other partners. This responded to an international poaching crisis which saw the Selous game reserve hardest hit. After a slow start to implementation, ongoing institutional reforms and a strong focus on enforcement under the current government have seen the strategy bear fruit. Previously disparate law enforcement units that tackled poaching from different perspectives have been brought together under the national task force on anti-poaching, spearheaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism with collaboration of other national law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

High-level cases have successfully been brought to justice. Notably, coordinated intelligence and enforcement efforts within Tanzania led to the arrest of Chinese national Yang Fenglan alongside several Tanzanian accomplices. The so-called ‘Ivory Queen’ was convicted in 2019 of smuggling around 700 elephant tusks and accused of operating an ivory smuggling ring. Her arrest and prosecution were openly supported by the Chinese government.

Poaching levels are now dropping consistently and there has been a notable increase in elephant populations over the last two years, though diligent efforts and ongoing funding are required to ensure the crisis does not return. Funding for anti-poaching and intelligence work comes through the Tanzania Wildlife Protection Fund, supported by key national protected areas agencies. Ongoing supplementary investments from international donors into implementation of the national anti-poaching strategy are expected to be necessary in the short term.

Charcoal, certified timber and tackling deforestation
The Citizen reported that the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, working with the Tanzania Community Forest Conservation Network, has provided training in Morogoro to local people on sustainable harvesting of trees for charcoal. Charcoal use remains widespread and significantly contributes to deforestation. These efforts support community revenue generation, education and awareness and could be replicated widely. Meanwhile in southern Tanzania, a number of timber companies are now Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, in an effort to ensure the sustainability of the trade in valuable timber resources, from community managed forests as well as government reserves.

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