Tanzania News Online (12) - 1/19/98

Tanzania News Online (12) - 1/19/98


Edition #12 19 January 1998

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A pilot plan to generate electricity, biogas for fuel and fertilizer from garbage(commonly called TAKAGAS) in Dar Es Salaam, has been stopped having failed to get off the ground since its 1993 inception.

The projectís main sponsor, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has recently asked its managers to immediately stop all negotiations involving it until further notice. Reliable sources at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals confirmed that DANIDA had called for its shelving because it wants to study the project afresh and reassess the whole concept.

DANIDA has informed the Ministry that it will be sending experts to review the viability of the whole scheme sometime before the end of this month. DANIDA arrives at a time when the ministry, who are the project managers, had secured a loan from the would be project contractors when even the government has failed to raise money for the project.

Delays on the part of Tanzania have lead to the TAKAGAS project being scaled down by about almost 25 times the original. Today the envisaged project is capable of producing only 0.4 MW, less that 40 percent its capacity if it had taken off as scheduled in 1993. It did and has not because of a variety of bureaucratic impediments rescheduling its operation.

Had all gone well from the beginning TAKAGAS would have provided a daily net scale of 9.9 MW of electricity to the national power grid. But that could have been a dream too good to come true it seems with all the red tape that needed to be ploughed through in the process of acquiring land for the project near the city of Dar Es Salaam.

Another major problem that thwarted the project was that of the tendering. A reliable source in the ministry,speaking on condition that his name not be used, said that the Central Tender Board was so sluggish that it could not and was not ready to begin even by the time 1995 was reached. And it is a similar story from the attorney generalís office where it took years to review and approve the various agreements and contractual obligations involved.

According to the project proposal TAKAGAS would be undertaken as a really far-reaching measure of environmental conservation for it has in it the possibility to greatly reduce the refuse problem in Dar es Salaam. In the process of making its products the plant would grind about 57 tonnes of organic waste a day from markets, households, hotels, breweries and other industries.

It had been insisted upon that there would be no environmental side-effects from the plant. Rather it would help to clean the city of Dar es Salaam of garbage which left to rot in the open air does its bit to contribute to greenhouse effects. The problem of poor collection of garbage in Dar es Salaam has always been a major public health problem. Garbage is actually a national issue.

Some of the publicity for the plant reads: "The proposed Dar biogas is designed to be economically viable in addition to which other projects will be produced for profit: electricity, biogas to be used as fuel, in project cars, and fertilizer". Income from the sale of the product would be used to cover all the operating costs of the plant and to promote dissemination of biogaz technology in Tanzania.

The project consultants, Carl Bro Tanzania Ltd said that the plant was to be partly funded by donors. UNDP would provide USD 4 million, which it has already done, made available from the Danish trust fund. Tanzaniaís contribution would have been TSH 27 million (USD 450000). The project was to be the first of a series to be set up throughout Tanzania.

All might still have gone well had the Ministry been in a position to foot the bill of a deficit of USD 0.25 million that cropped up due to the delays. "But this is Tanzania where the government cannot even manage to mobilize a quarter of a million dollars for such a strategic economic project," the ministerial source stated. Whether the project will now ever get off the ground is unsure.



Retired Zanzibar president, Alhaj Aboud Jumbe has criticized the union government for its rigid stance on the form of this union despite public opinion towards change. "I donít understand why the government should cling to this stand, but I suspected it is for the same reasons that my book ëThe partnershipí has been ignored since the era of the single party system," he recently said at a press conference on the occasion of the anniversary of the 34th Revolution Day.

He said he could not speak about the gains from the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar. "Ask Nyerere, because he is the one who went to Zanzibar. He is the one who wanted the union. He must have had goals. Has he achieved them? I cannot speak for mainlanders on the achievement of the union," said the former president, who lives in Kigamboni Ward on the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam city.

He said that he believes the shortcomings in the form of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar had contributed to a great extent to the delay in forming an East African Federation. However, Alhaj Jumbe, who stepped down from the Zanzibar presidency and the union's first vice-presidency in 1984, because he apparently wanted at that time a three-government-union, did not find the present Zanzibar political debate a problem. "I agree there are differences of opinion among politicians, but these are political intrigues by individuals, each aiming at one goal, to become the president, something which is impossible," he said, noting that debates arising from differences of opinion were a common phenomenon in multi-party political systems all over the world.


Tanzania has turned down a United States offer of about USD 225,000 which Washington granted Dar Es Salaam last year for military training in peace keeping.

Tanzania said it would not use the military training grant for fear of being turned into a military base for the US. Senior officers in the ministries of Defense and National Service and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, confirmed recently that Tanzania signed the grant with the US just to fulfill a diplomatic formality. The officials said that the grant, which was presented by the American Deputy Commander and Chief of European Command last November as a part of Washington's efforts to help Africa establish her peace keeping force, is being treated with suspicion.

"Africa has a conflict resolution and defense mechanism under the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and Tanzania is also part of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which also has a defense committee, but Washington prefers offering assistance to individual countries rather than the regional and continental groups," was the argument used.

The same sources in both ministries said that assisting individual countries outside the OAU, SADC or ECOMOG (West Africaís peace keeping force), framework is a deliberate effort by Washington and other western powers to balkanize the continent along the lines of Anglo and Francophone neo-colonial blocs. The sources further pointed out that the US grant may remain pending till Dar Es Salaam is satisfied that its objectives are truly in line with the interests of Tanzanians and the African continent and not for any foreign powers as seems the case.


The Zanzibar president, Dr Salim Amour, has warned all politicians on the Isles to immediately stop disseminating the politics of antagonism amongst the Islanders which could eventually lead to the breaking of the countryís laws.

Addressing a mass rally at the Aman Stadium on January 11, the anniversary of Zanzibar's Revolution Day, Dr Salim said there had been a tendency by some politicians to incite their followers to break the law. When the government raised its hand and said stop to them these politicians allege that Salimís government is against human rights, said the Zanzibar president. "I cannot tolerate this behaviour anymore as it threatens unity, tranquillity and peace amongst the people. The year 1998 will not allow forced politics from the opposition camp," the president warned.

Dr Salim said that he was satisfied with the existing political atmosphere in Zanzibar though there were some political leaders who use the difference in policies of political parties for their personal interests. He said that the differences in party policies were here to stay and warned people who have been capitalizing on the political competition to carry out their own personal motives.

At the same time, Dr. Salim said that the Islanders have recently been giving him the impression that they now understand the talents of various leaders, weighing up who had the capabilities to lead them and in this way have been cooperating with the government in solving their economic and social problems. Dr Salim advised opposition leaders to wait until the next general election when they can ask the people to vote them into government. He said there were only about 600 days to the campaigns for the year 2000 general election.

He also said there were some outsiders who were bent on disturbing Zanzibarís peace by using some groups on the Isles. However, he said, such pressure would not succeed in destabilizing his government adding that if there was any political misunderstanding in Zanzibar, it must be solved by Zanzibaris themselves and not by people from outside the country.

It has been said that the Civil United Front (CUF), the main opposition party in Zanzibar could be fueled by Arab petrodollars and some observers expressed fear of foreigners ó be they Arab or British ó taking control of Zanzibar, which was something fought against in the 1964 revolution.


Tanzania Cargo Transporters, already beleaguered by excessive taxes and stiff competition, may have to close shop altogether if the current paralysis of the domestic transport industry continues.

Heavy rains that have hit the country over the past weeks have washed away bridges and damaged roads, forcing the transporters to ground their trucks which normally ply long distances laden with cargo. According to the secretary general of the Tanzania Truck Owners Associations (TATOA), Mohamed Abdullah, loses being suffered by truck owners as a result of the ongoing transport crisis are insurmountable.

Hundreds of trucks caught up on the roads damaged by rains have been stranded for weeks now. They include those that ferry transit cargo to and from the land-locked neighboring countries. Abdullah could not estimate the losses so far suffered by the transporters but said this included huge "outstanding costs", including employeeís salaries, insurance fees and other charges which have not been met.

The director of a Dar es Salaam based private transport company Al Hushoom Investment(T) Ltd., Abdallah Nahdi told a local newspaper that he used to pay the government up to TSH100m/- (USD150,000) in taxes during a week of normal business. But now his firm, which usually ferries bulk fuel, fertilizers and processed food stuffs to Zambia and Malawi, has suspended most of its operations. "I think the government must be losing substantially on anticipated revenues as a result of this crisis," said Nahdi.

For TATOA members, the crisis created by the "El Nino" weather pattern is yet another among the many problems besetting the beleaguered transport sector. Already the sector is suffering the impact of 'excessive taxes,' that according to Abdallah have rendered Tanzanian Transporters worse off in comparison to their competitors in neighboring counties. Abdullah said that the transit license annual fee had recently been doubled.

The government authorities have said that measures were being taken to repair the damaged bridges with the help of the Tanzanian army. But the prime minister, Frederic Sumaye, has cautioned the public saying the damage caused by the rains was too extensive to be overcome within a short period. He said it would take months before the transport situation was brought back to normal.


A major outbreak of bush rodents is expected this year as El Nino rains continue to pound Tanzania, an expert said recently in Morogoro, in the east of Tanzania. The rats - "mastomys netelensis" - normally attack immature maize, a senior researcher with the National Rodent Control Center said in Morogoro. Mr. Patrick Mwanjambe, whose centre recently carried out research on the rats in Morogoro, Tanga, Lindi and the coast regions, said this year's short and long rains have resulted in the high breeding rate of the rats.

"These are ordinary rats that breed and are found in large numbers during the rainy seasons," said Mwanjabe. In a group that can be of about 700 to 1000 per hectare, the rats can destroy a farm in a very short time. He said since most of the maize cobs have matured very fast during the El Nino rains, the rats could not feed on unripe weed seeds which usually are around the maize plants.

Mwanjambe, who is in charge of the centre, said the rats were not harmful to human beings and they could be eaten. He said farmers should expect a major outbreak of the rodents during the coming August-October short rains and he advised Tanzanians to be prepared for this.


The NCCR-Mageuzi Secretary General, Mr. Mabere Marando, has advised party members to dissociate themselves from the ongoing conflict within the party. On a four-day tour of Rukwa region recently, Marando said that NCCR-Mageuzi, the main opposition party on Tanzaniaís mainland, will not die despite the misunderstandings between him and the party national chairman, Mr. Augustine Mrema. The two opposition leaders have been accusing each other of fermenting trouble in the party.

Addressing a public rally at Matai village in Sumbakwanga rural district, Marando claimed that some party leaders in various regions were taking advantage of the conflict to embezzle subsidy funds. He said there was rampant embezzlement of funds in those regions. "Whenever I ask them about the money the rush to Mr. Mrema. When I ask Mr. Mrema he says this is not the time to deal with the issue of funds," remarked Marando, accusing the national chairman of protecting dishonest regional leaders.


Fear is looming large as hunger and torrential rains ravage some parts of Tanzania while relief food is not forthcoming. This is happening three months after President Benjamin Mkapa appealed to business people to import food. By last September, Tanzania was short of 900,000 tonnes of food. He asked donors to raise 90,000. The response was encouraging and almost on target. The government lifted taxes on maize to encourage private importers. But time is running out and 90 per cent of the food needed is still lacking and businessmen are reluctant to import it.

Agriculture minister Paul Kimiti said recently that importers have failed to meet the Tanzania Bureau Standardsí requirements of bringing in food. The Bureau wanted imported maize to have less than 13 per cent of moisture content. As a result, businessmen have not imported maize.

Importers are now asking for a lifting of taxes on rice, beans and wheat to ease the burden.


As the new year starts, Tanzanian sports associations are speeding up their preparations in order to participate in the Commonwealth Games to be held in Malaysia in August.

First on the agenda, the executive Committee of the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) is to meet towards the end of this month to revamp the bodyís ailing constitution. TOC Secretary General Erasto Zambi said recently that the meeting, which will be attended by 39 representatives of sport associations, will also review Tanzaniaís preparations for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Meanwhile, fundraising programmes were among the top items on the agenda of the meeting of the Tanzania Amateur Athletic Association (TAAA) Executive Committee held recently in Dar es Salaam. The TAAA plans to raise money will permit residential training and transport of the national team to Malaysia, according to TAAA Executive Secretary Ombeni Zavalla. She said TAAA needs about TSH 20 million (USD 33,300) for three months of training, and transport for five athletes and two officials to the games scheduled for August.

On his side, boxing's national coach Locken Swai has expressed concern over a poor turn out of boxers for training in preparation for the East, Central and Southern African (FESCAABA) championships. Swai said that many boxers are unable to attend training sessions due to financial problems since TABA (Tanzania Amateur Boxing Association) has no funds to meet transport expenses. He said that the championships should serve as a tryout for the Commonwealth Games in August.


From: (Africa_news Network) Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 23:05:06 +0100 Subject: TANZANIA NEWS ONLINE #12 Message-ID: <>

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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