Tanzania News Online (9) - 11/22/97

Tanzania News Online (9) - 11/22/97


Edition #9 22 November 1997

Subscribe to Tanzania News Online

A fortnightly update of news from Tanzania!


In this edition:














The path towards a free market economy in Tanzania is opening up many investment avenues, and included in these is gambling. The opening of yet another casino in Dar es Salaam this month indicates that gambling is gaining ground in the country.

The new establishment, Monte Carlo Casino, which can seat 1000 people at a time, is a Tanzanian-Malaysian joint venture at a cost of about US$2m and has taken its investors two years to complete. The Malaysian investors teamed up with the National Lotteries in 1994 to form the Lotteries Corporation of Tanzania (LCT). The National Lotteries is a state institution established in 1974 to control the whole lottery business in the country. The general manager for the casino, Ian Flower, said that the Malaysian investors have a similar casino in Accra, Ghana.

Games of chance have become very popular in Tanzania's urban centres. Ian Flower commented that the gambling or gaming industry contributes to the economy through direct revenues such as fees, levies and licences charges, in addition to generating employment.

Some analysts say that it is not surprising to see an upsurge in gambling considering the high level of unemployment and with so many people lacking financial security. "These players are a desperate lot who resort to gambling hoping that a stroke of luck will rub off on them," was a comment passed by one observer. However, there are others who say the rapid growth of gambling is a by-product of an excess of cash in circulation.

"Gambling is for the rich who do not know what to do with the extra money they have," said one post graduate student at the University of Dar es Salaam, who declined to be named. There are other people, however, who see gambling as a 'social device'. Official statistics show that the number of slot machines in Dar es Salaam has hit the 250 mark and at least Tsh 15m/- per annum is being netted from slot machine fees. Revenue also comes from the licensed operators with returns set at 500,000 Tsh per year. In all, licence fees bring in not less than Tsh 13m/-

There are about 10 established casinos in the country. Last year, Tanzania earned US$ 3.5m/- from casino taxes. Casino licenses are normally expensive in other parts of the world, costing on average US$ 100,000 per year. This is because they are mainly linked to large investments in such things as hotels and in the marketing and reservation system. In Tanzania, a casino licence costs US$ 15,000, implying that the country should eventually receive an annual income of about Tsh 900m/- from the casinos in Tanzania.

The casinos are believed to have created between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs and the director of the National Lotteries acknowledges the existence of a huge but untapped potential in the area. He recently said, however, that the Treasury had appointed his institution to conduct thorough research before ascertaining the existing potential. Tarimba says that the legislation concerned with the industry had contributed to the slow growth of the industry. "Our laws are outdated. They were enacted in 1967 and can no longer cope with the trade liberalization and investment policy," he said. According to the director, several local and foreign businessmen have shown interest in investing in the lottery business in Tanzania.


Desperately looking for efficient ways to manage water supplies to the people and industries of Dar es Salaam, the city's water authority has announced its plan to reintroduce water meters. Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA), says fair play is its primary objective in improving its service and the city's water systems. "We want to make sure that people pay for water according to consumption," a DAWASA zone manager, Jackson Midala, said recently at a press conference.

Dar es Salaam has experienced an explosive population growth in the last few years that has by far outstripped the supply of essential public services, including water. Approaches adopted by different utilities to improve services are largely dictated by the country's economic situation. In the absence of water conservation methods, seasonal shortages are regular occurrences in Dar es Salaam. The situation, according to Midala, is made worse by wide spread leakage of water from mains and domestic tapes and frequent breakdowns at pumping stations. Illegal connections are also a problem that DAWASA has a very limited capacity to monitor. "The authority presently charges its water consumers at a basic flat rate, but 60 per cent of the piped water does not reach consumers," he said.

Though meters to regulate consumption may be regarded as an unpopular solution, Midala said that leakage and illegal pipe connections made less water available per capita and affected industrial production. Midala said that he could not give specifics about when the water meters will be installed, but he said the process, of identifying pipe sizes and locations, was under way. He said consumers would stop wasting water after they realised that they would have to pay for every drop. In this way, DAWASA would bring down the overall demand and be able to save ample water for industrial use.

Midala discounted reports that the authority intended to ration water supply to the city's 3 million population next month as a result of a lack of water from its main sources of the Lower and Upper Ruvu. "The only thing that we have at the moment is controlled water distribution, but this applies to semi-urban area only," he said, naming the affected areas as Ukonga, Vingunguti, Ubungo and Kimara. Water flows in pipelines to those areas only once or twice a week 'due to technical reasons or low production of water,' he said. The city's daily water demand is put at 454 million litres, but the level available is barely enough to meet half this requirement.

"Wasteful water consumers will stop the habit and watch their pockets after meters are installed," said James Paul of Shariff Shamba in Ilala district, welcoming the plan to save water. A resident of Chang'ombe police quarters, Salim Chilambo, said water meters would bring about equity because every household will be required to pay according to actual consumption. However, a student at the University of Dar es Salaam described DAWASA's plan as 'non-sense' if it is to be undertaken before leakages are stopped.


Tanzania has denied allegations that its forces attacked Burundi in the last week of October causing loss of life and damage to property.

The government said in Dar es Salaam, through a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, that it was Burundi who provoked Tanzania's troops. The statement said it was the Burundi army that attacked the Kiteule detachment of the Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF), situated at Kagunga, on October 28, and that the TPDF simply retaliated.

According to the statement, the Burundi military regime was trying to hoodwink the world that there was conflict between Burundi and Tanzania as a cover for Burundi's own internal conflicts. 'Being provoked, the Tanzanian forces had to exercise their right of self defense in accordance with the UN charter, Article 51' read the statement. The government said it has an obligation to protect its citizens and its national integrity. Being a signatory to international conventions governing refugees, Tanzania has the obligation to ensure the safety of its people. "The conditions generating the exodus of the people of Burundi to neigbouring countries are well-known to the international community," the government underlined in its statement. Tanzania would not be drawn into a purely internal Burundi conflict not even following recent acts of provocation by Burundi armed forces.

As the retired Tanzanian president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere is mediating the ethnic conflict between the Tutsi (minority) dominated military junta and Hutu (majority) armed forces, it was first said that Tanzania was not impartial. Beyond questioning the neutrality of the mediator mandated by the sub-region countries, the Burundian junta refused to participate in all party negotiations, alleging that their representatives would not feel secure in Tanzania, as this country was home to Hutu rebels. Tanzania gave shelter to Hutu refugees, who fled ethnic violence in their own country. The Tutsi dominated military junta ruling Burundi claimed that the Hutu camps in Tanzania were close to the common border, and this was forbidden by international law. Furthermore, Burundi accused Tanzania of offeringsanctuary to Hutu rebel groups against which the Tutsi dominated army has been fighting since 1993, in almost the whole country. Observers say that at least 150,000 people have been killed in the continuing violence.


A grant of US$ 225,000 (about TSH135m/-) has been extended by the United States to Tanzania to assist in the training of the country's armed forces.

General James Jamerson, deputy chief of the European Command, disclosed the information ata news conference at the US embassy in Dar es Salaam recently, while on a two day visit to Tanzania. The grant is a part of a US security assistance and international military exchange training programme. It will facilitate the training of military officials in such areas as human rights, legal aspects and leadership skills, the top ranking officer said.

A strong and disciplined army was vital for democracy to prevail in a country, he stated, adding that Tanzania's armed forces commanded an excellent reputation in the region. General Jamerson held official talks with the Tanzanian Chief of Defence Forces, General Robert Mboma, and other senior commanders . Their talks covered bilateral cooperation arrangements in the field of defence, peace keeping in Africa, and regional co-operation.

The visiting military dignitary briefed the Tanzanian army commander on the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), peace keeping and the humanitarian relief activities programme supported by the United States. Under the programme, the US has organised training of military officers in Uganda, Senegal and Malawi. General Jamerson is also responsible for African Issues in the US army. "The aim of the training programme is to improve the capacity of nations to respond to and undertake peace keeping activities," he explained. Experience gained by the US army in civil wars such as the one in Somalia forms part of the syllabus in ACRI training. NGOs and UN agencies like the World Food Programme that take part in humanitarian activities in the conflict areas also participate in delivering training, he indicated.


NCCR-Mageuzi, the main opposition party on the Tanzanian mainland, and the Tanzania Democratic Alliance (TADEA), another opposition party, have signed a joint agreement aimed at working together in preparation for the next presidential and general elections.

Mr Augustine Mrema, the national chairman of NCCR-Mageuzi, who signed the agreement, described it as a memorandum of understanding to work together. TADEA chairman Joseph Msanja also put his signature to the accord.

The accord states that the aim is to join forces on a joint platform to mobilize the people towards the deepening and broadening of the democratization process in the country. The sharing of a platform to call for a new constitution for Tanzania is one of the aims and to mobilize Tanzanians to peacefully demonstrate for change to the outdated party-oriented constitution would be a major course of action, the accord stipulates.

To respect the integrity of each party, the two chairmen agreed that the accord does not allow the leadership of either party to interfere in the affairs of the other party. It was stated in the accord that 'the authority shall be the only body where relations between the two parties shall be discussed'.


President Benjamin Mkapa said recently while opening the CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi, the ruling party) national conference in Dodoma that he has so far retired 122 government officials for their involvement in corrupt practices. He said that the move was in the line with his firm determination to clean up the ranks of his administration.

President Mkapa, who is also the national CCM chairman, indicated he would continue to fight government officials and executives with questionable integrity, but on the basis of justice and fairness. He said, however, that the corruption cases were difficult to prove in court because the giver and the receiver were both guilty, neither seemingly willing to give evidence against the other.

Among those he listed as senior government officials retired in the public interest were nine from immigration, 10 from the police, 41 from the works ministry, and 46 magistrates. The president said 848 employees, including top officials with the customs, sales tax and income tax departments, had had their services terminated under suspicion of corruption.

He also said that before the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) was launched 'we investigated all employees of the three department involved so that the TRA could start with honest and competent employees'. He added that this move had helped to increase government revenue from an average of 27bn/- (US$ 450 million) towards the end of 1995 to 45bn/- (US$ 750 million) this year.


Scales in the new public salary structure that allow a messenger in a financial institution to receive a higher salary than someone with an advanced university degree are causing concern to some in Tanzania.

This concern was shown during a general meeting of the Research and Allied Workers' Union (RAAWU) for the Eastern Zone held recently at the Institute of Distant Education in Dar es Salaam. A representative of the participants said there was confusion over the new salary structure for workers in parastatals. The government issued two circulars in mid August directing the executives of parastatals to issue new salaries to their employees.

Participants at the meeting were critical of the salary gap between them and employees of institutions such as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Tanzania Harbours Authority (THA) and the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).

Opening the meeting, the chairman of the RAAWU Eastern Zone, Mr Joel Kajula, stated that it was inconceivable that messengers in institutions like BoT and TRA should get twice as much as a professor. "We would like to remind the government that institutions under RAAWU are the basis of development sustainability in the country in the field of science and technology." He also said that it was a misconception to regard public institutions as being less important than BoT, TRA or THA and he appealed to President Benjamin Mkapa to look into the issue.

He also urged the government to release new salaries as was promised in July this year, before workers stage a nation-wide strike. " Workers will resort to strikes and peaceful demonstrations when necessary as a part of the struggle for our rights, irrespective of side effects," he stated. He also expressed concern over the governmentís delay in registering workers' trade unions saying that he wondered which criteria the government used to register the Tanzania Teachersí Union (TTU), while delaying registration of other unions.


The government will not take any action on the alleged appropriation of allowances by the leader of the Tanzanian Students Union (TSUP) in Poland, Mr Jonathan Urassa, as they have to wait on confirmation of this which is still to be provided by Lodz Linguistic College Director, Dr Buguslaw Rakowski.

The Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mr Raphael Rutabingwa, recently told the press in Dar es Salaam that the college director was the only person who could state with authority the whereabouts of the over US$ 50,000 deposited in a Warsaw bank last May.

"The students might be picking up bits of information that implicate Mr Urassa, but unless Mr Rakowski confirms this, the ministry considers him innocent," he said. Mr Rutabingwa said the ministry has been trying to contact Mr Rakowski since last week but without success. He said the ministry was, however, investigating possibilities of alleged withdrawal of funds using forged letters, documents and signatures. The ministry deposited nearly 60 thousand US dollars (about TSH37,5m/-) in Poland, specifically for tuition fees and expenses for students there.

For his part, Mr Urassa told a local newspaper that he was being blackmailed and that he was 'not sure of his security', hence was scared to go public. Tanzanian students in Poland had claimed in an E-Mail sent to the local press that the funds to cover tuition fees and allowances for the students for the 1997/98 financial year, had been transferred from the Lodz College account to another one and later withdrawn in two installments of 2,000 and 48,000 US dollars.

Mr Urassa, who is alleged to have connived with the Deputy Director of Higher Education in the Ministry, Mr Augustine Kajigili, to siphon off the funds, has denied that he made any withdrawal or that he has knowledge of transfers from the original account.


According to statements made by several lawyers recently in Dar es Salaam, the opposition camp in Tanzania has a long way to go to win the trust and confidence of the people.

Opposition parties would be not strong enough to launch an effective fight for constitutional reforms because they are 'disorganized and filled with individualism and opportunism'. Dr Segondo Mvingi, of the University of Dar es Salaam,said opposition parties have not been able to launch a mass mobilization on the need for constitutional reforms. " Time for a national constitutional conference is not ready because the opposition has not been effective enough to sensitize Tanzanians on the necessity for the reforms," he said.

The opposition in Tanzania is still urban-based and elitist with only a minority demanding a new constitution, he added. Dr Nvungi noted the that it was improper for the ruling party to concede to demands by the opposition for constitutional amendments or reforms as this was a popular struggle. "I donít accept the act of giving the opposition constitutional reforms on a silver platter. They must deserve to get the trust and confidence of the people," he stated. Any demand for constitutional reforms must reflect the basic needs of the people. " If we do not resolve these basic issues and call for a national conference, the fundamental socio-economic problems will remain unsolved," he cautioned.

Mr Cornel Mtaki, a lecturer in law at the University of Dar es Salaam, was of the same view, saying the opposition in Tanzania was not strong enough. On top of that it was divided. "In Kenya (the neigbouring country) all major opposition parties come together but what see here among the opposition is a lack of commitment in fighting for the cause," Mr Mtaki said. Another lawyer, Mr Luitfried Mbunda said, however, that the parliamentary endorsement of constitutional amendments in Kenya was a pace-setter for Tanzania. "Constitutional reform is an issue which touches all Tanzanians," he said.


From: (Africa_news Network) Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 09:50:08 +0100 Subject: TANZANIA NEWS ONLINE # Message-ID: <>

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific