Tanzania News Online (11) - 1/4/98

Tanzania News Online (11) - 1/4/98


Edition #11 4 January 1998

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When power rationing began in August last year over almost the whole country, people questioned the reasoning of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO). The answer from the company was simple and crude: "No rain, no power."

Tanzania had also experienced a drought which had affected the whole country. However, there was a plan to prevent the population from starving and this was set out and applied. The experts at TANESCO, however, promised that with the rains coming at the end of the year, power production would come up to normal and everyone would then have plenty of electricity.

Just as TANESCO predicted, the rains came and were beyond everyone's expectations. Heavy rains fell over the whole country, part of the El Nino effect that is wreaking havoc in the whole of east Africa. However, contrary to the expectations of electricity consumers, TANESCO official have announced that electricity is still to be rationed. Power rationing will continue until February or March, a spokesman for the state power company recently told reporters even though the five hydro-power dams are filled to overflowing and electricity production is taking place at four of them. According to TANESCO's Public Relation's Manager, Daniel Mshana, the Kidatu dam in Morogoro region is virtually flooded. He said that the full level for the dam was 450m above sea level, but for the past two weeks, the water level has been at 450.13m. He also said that all the small dams were full. These include Nyumba ya Mungu in Kilimanjaro Region, Pangani Dam, and Hale in Tanga. He added that power production at diesel stations had ceased for the moment because of the high cost of operation.

In Dar Es Salaam, the fuel guzzling turbines use 768,000 litters of fuel per month at a cost of five million US dollars. Mtera Dam in Dodoma has also experienced a record glut as a result of the ongoing El Nino rains.Here the water level has reached 693.58m above sea level, up from 690.02 before the rains started in the catchment areas in late November. The 690 mark is the dead storage point at which generation is impossible. By December 1, the gush which was being experienced at the dam had raised the level to 690.36 m. Mshana said the inflow of water at Mtera was at a record of 15 cm a day. Another source in the company said, however, that the average daily increase of water was 30 cm, adding that the 693.58m mark the water had reached this year had not been experienced for any of the entire rainy seasons between 1992-1996, the water never filling beyond 693 m during this period.

National power demand stands at 340 MW per day. Production capacities at hydro power stations(per day) stand as follows: Kidatu 200 MW, New Pangani Falls 60 MW , Hale 20MW Nyumba ya Mungu 3 MW while Mtera has the capacity to produce 80 MW. Mtera is still closed, however. An independent source at Tanesco said since the average inflow now was 30 cm ñ while the average is usually 20cm ó it was 'okay' for the machines at Mtera to start running. However, Mshana said many factors contributed to power shedding, adding that Mtera was still not operational because the company was in the process in this way of creating sufficient reserve water for the dry season in 1998. He also said that power rationing had been significantly reduced due to the increased power production at all the other hydro-stations.

Because Tanzania also imports electricity from neighboring Uganda supplying power to the northern region around the Lake Victoria, in cases of really serious drought, it seems that the lake region is the only one which would not suffer the affects of a general rationing of power.



The first talks between the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), and the Civic United Front (CUF), to try to find a solution to Zanzibarís somewhat hot political crisis, and which was planned to be held in the third week of December, did not take place. This was after CCM produced conditions that the opposition party first recognize Dr. Salim Amour as the legitimate president of Zanzibar.

Tanzania, a republic composed of the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba has been independent since 1964. Before this, the mainland went under the name of Tanganyika. While the United Republic of Tanzania has one president, the Isles have their own president and local. The current Isles president, Dr. Salim Amour, who is from the ruling party CCM has been a subject of controversy between the ruling party and the main opposition party in the Isles, CUF, since he was elected in 1995.

In early December, the two sides exchanged correspondence and through a third party agreed to an unconditional meeting. However, it has been revealed by sources close to the parties that a few hours before the meeting was scheduled to begin, CCM sent a letter to the CUF which stated the ruling party would only take part if CUF recognized the government of Dr Salim.

Three days previous to this, the CUF sent a note to CCM stating it would take part in the dialogue under protest following what was described as the arbitrary arrest of its leaders and members in the Islands. The CUF has all along insisted that the crux of the problem is Dr. Salim Amour. CUF claims that he never won the Zanzibar presidential elections. CUF claims the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, whose members were appointed by Dr. Salim and some of whom work in the Zanzibar state house, rigged the election results and installed their boss in office.

The CCM-CUF meeting was supposed to be attended by 10 people, five from each side. Several names of distinguished Tanzanians, including judges and lawyers, were supposed to chair the meeting from the CCM side, to have been led by the Tunduru member of Parliament, Mr. Juma Akukweti. Other CCM participants were to include MPs from both the mainland and Zanzibar, and from CCM headquarters. As to the CUF delegation; this would have included parliamentarians and an officer from the CUF headquarters. In the meantime, the CUF has expressed regret that some members of the judiciary in Zanzibar are being guided by their love for CCM rather than the constitution and existing laws.

The CCM-CUF dialogue is one of the recommendations made by several countries, donor countries and agencies, as well as the Hague-based Peace Counsel, whose members visited the country twice this year in an attempt to make a breakthrough in solving Zanzibar simmering political crisis.


Efforts have started in earnest to tackle the ecological problems leading to depletion of fish stocks, water pollution and transportation bottlenecks on Lake Victoria. A World Bank-financed USD 77 million Lake Victoria rehabilitation project is aimed at rescuing the world largest fresh water body from ongoing environmental cataclysm.

Lake Victoria is shared by three countries, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Covering a surface area of 68,800 square kilometers and providing a livelihood to over 20 million people, the lakeís future is bleak due to fast-growing ecological and environmental problems. Experts have reported pollution from both domestic and industrial wastes, siltation and rampant proliferation of the noxious water hyacinth, as the main calamities besetting the lake.

A recent report on the lakesí status states that pollution is causing significant health hazards to people and livestock. It is also seriously threatening fisheries, already affected by the drop in the number of species from 300 to 30 since the introduction into the lake of the predatory Nile Perch in the 1950s.

According to Christopher Nyirabu, executive secretary of Lake Victoria Environmental Management project, the World Bank funded project would go a long way to help Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania clean up the lake. Out of the 77 million, Tanzania has been allocated USD 20.4 million, and the rest of the fund is shared between Uganda and Kenya. Nyirabu said that the three east African states signed an agreement in 1994 with the World Bank, binding themselves to jointly rehabilitate the lake and to secure its ecological balance.


As cholera continues to wreck havoc in the Isles, Algeria has given 4.5 tones of drugs as a contribution to fighting the cholera epidemic in the country. This was advised in a statement from the Algerian ambassador in Tanzania, Mr. A. Lahiouel. The statement also stated that the consignment was in Dar Es Salaam ready for distribution to the various affected areas.

Cholera has hit most regions in the country and is likely to claim more lives. The director of preventive services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Kilima has called on other countries to emulate Algeriaís gesture. He said that the epidemic had subsided but should the short rains persist and cause floods in various parts of the country then the disease could flare up again. Dr. Kilima said about 35,000 people have contracted the disease since January last year, leaving over 1,500 people dead.

Meanwhile, the ruling CCM has donated 35 cartons of medicine to the Ministry of Health in the Isles to help in efforts to combat cholera there and claiming more than 130 lives in December. The epidemic has been very severe on Unguja Island, and especially in Unguja urban and West districts.


Investors in government bonds will be able to dispose of securities on the Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) in April when a secondary market on the bourse is expected to be ready for trading.

DSE council chairman, Ernest Massawe, said recently that groundwork was underway to have a secondary market for the government securities on the DSE by the first quarter of 1998. "People buy government securities and keep them until they mature," said Mr. Massawe, pointing out that a secondary market on the DSE will enable people 'to quickly liquidate government securities'. "It is like a long term debt of between five and ten years...this could create hardship in terms of liquid resources," declared the DSE chief executive.

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT, the central Bank), on behalf of the government, issues treasury bills and bonds that mature in a period of one and five years respectively. If a second market is established for the government securities on the DSE, officials believe more investors will be attracted.


The period that tourists visiting Tanzania are allowed to hunt wild game is to be shortened from this year, a circular from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to professional hunters stated recently. In a move likely to cause controversy, the government has told operators in the industry that the hunting season during the next two years will end on December 31 instead of March of the following year. No explanations were given.

Before the circular, the hunting season for game in Tanzania for tourists started in July and continued until March the following year. The circular also informs hunting companies that ownership of hunting rights in game controlled areas dotted around the country ends in 1999, as stated in their contracts with the Director of Wildlife. Fresh allocations of hunting blocks would then follow this.

The decision has come after findings that there are far too many hunting companies owned by foreigners declaring incomes too small compared to what they actually make. According to estimates, Tanzania makes between seven and ten million US dollars from hunting compared to the 50 million US dollars South Africa makes. There are 46 hunting companies in the country out of which some 20 companies are foreign owned.


Tanzaniaís legislation on mining, in force for the last 18 years, has been amended to pave the way for the inflow of foreign capital needed to develop the sector. Amendments to the 1979 Mining Act, intended to get rid of bureaucracy in licensing prospectors and miners, will soon be tabled in parliament, according to informed sources.

Energy and minerals minister Abdallah Kigoda and foreign minister Jakaya Kikwete told a mining conference in London in November that the first innovation in the mining code would be a reduction of categories of licenses from three to two. In its October issue, the London based Mining Journal reported that the proposed amendment seeks to combine reconnaissance and prospecting activities under one prospecting license. The proposed new law will also modify the code, replacing discretionary clauses and facilitating progression from one license to another depending on the work completed.

During the conference, Minister Kigoda was quoted by the weekly Indian Ocean Newsletter as saying "Exemption from certain taxes will be granted in the same manner to mining companies already operating in Tanzania and to newcomers wanting to start up after the end of January 1998. Under the existing arrangement, all exploration and development equipment imported by mining companies are free from both duty and sales tax.


The Tanzanian government is losing yet another opportunity, offered by the closure of Kenya's borders, to attract foreign exporters and transport companies. This is because of its indecision over the repair of the rain-damaged roads and bridges along the main transit rotes to the Central African states, the managing director of a reputed transport company operating in Tanzania said recently.

However, Director of Roads, Humphrey Urio, said recently in an interview with the press that regional authorities were responsible for repairing the roads as each region had been granted Tshs 400 m (+/-USD 660000) for the financial year. In reply, and speaking on condition of anonymity, the managing director of the transport company criticized this statement saying that it had the potential to dissuade foreign buyers from turning to Tanzania as their export goods source and routes.

Mr. Urioís statement was followed by Premier Sumayeís order to regional administrations to close all the damaged roads to "save peopleís lives".

With the ongoing turmoil of the Kenyan elections and with its borders closed, the businessman said that export companies and exporters had decided to use Tanzania, "but we are not showing we are efficient and reliable and are capable of handling this surge of traffic."


Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) officials will carry out random patrols on all major coffee buying posts to ensure that the quality of the coffee sold meets the standards required by the rules and regulations on coffee procurement.

Speaking to reporters recently in Dar Es Salaam, TCB Managing Director, Mr. Leslie Omari warned that punitive measures would be taken against defaulters who he said were bent on sabotaging the quality of Tanzanian coffee.

He explained that under the crackdown, TCB officials with the collaboration of other state organs, will randomly inspect coffee buying post to ascertain that traders procure high quality coffee. He added that TCB officials will also inspect all coffee ferrying vehicles to check smuggling and curb the blending of coffees produced in different parts of the country.

The national coffee board also plans to mobilize farmers on the husbandry of the crop though film shows. He stressed that the drive was bent on increasing the quantity of the annual coffee production from the present 40,000 metric tones to between 75,000 and 80,000 within the next five years. Talking about a meeting which gathered five east African states in Arusha - Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda - last August, the director of TCB pointed out that 'the objective is to set up a special market for east African coffees so that they can fetch attractive prices on the world market'.

In conclusion he said that TCB in collaboration with the Agriculture Ministry and the relevant coffee authorities would strive at charting a sustainable policy to make Tanzanian coffee win a lionís share on the world markets.


From: (Africa_news Network) Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 18:03:38 +0100 Subject: TANZANIA NEWS ONLINE #11 Message-ID: <>

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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