Monday, September 18, 2017

AFRIKA YA KESHO. MTU AKIKUAMBIA UJINGA NI BORA KULIKO USTAARABU USIMSADIKI

 Makala hii itamfanya mtu yeyote atayoisoma kwa makini na utulivu, atayeisoma bila papara, kukaa chini na kutafakari tulipotoka, tulipofika, na tunapoenda. Makala hii Iliandikwa mwaka 1923 na mwandishi ambae hakujitambulisha. Hapa kuna mengi ya kujifunza na maswali mengi zaidi ya kujiuliza leo hii, miaka karibu 100 tangu makala ichapishwe. Ustaarabu ni nini? Tulikuwa vipi kabla ya wageni?Tumetoka wapi, tupo vipi sasa hivi, na tunaelekea wapi?
AFRIKA YA KESHO. MTU AKIKUAMBIA UJINGA NI BORA KULIKO USTAARABU USIMSADIKI 

Tangu zamani, kabla Wazungu hawajaja katika inchi yetu ya Afrika, sisi tulijifahamu wenyewe kuwa ni watu wa nyuma sana, yaani si wastaarabu. Watu wa inchi zingine walikuwa watuwastaabika. Na sisi asili ya kukosa kustaarabu ni hii:
sisi siku zote tunakimibilia ganda la ustaarabu, asili ya ustaarabu tunaiacha. Mfano kama hivi.
Katika kufafanua kwetu macho tumewaona Waarabu ndio wastaarabu wa kwanza tuliowaona katika inchi yetu. Wakaja na ustaarabu wao wakakaa miaka kathawakatha. Na ingiwa wao hawakutaka sisi tustaarabu, lakini kwa kukaa nao tu tungeweza kuiga ustaarabu. Lakini tutazame tumeiga nini kwao? Hakika tukiwa tunataka tuwape haki yao wameleta dini katika inchi ya Afrika, na kwa dini yao watu kidogo wamekuwa hawajambo kwa mambo mengine ya desturi za ustaarabu. Lakini zaidi kuliko hivi hatukuiga neno illa mambo yasiyo na faida. Kununua watumwa, kujaribu kuwatuma wenzetu watufanyie kazi, sisi wenyewe tuvae joho na vilemba, na mambo kama haya.
Na Zaidi kuliko haya tukawatwaa ndugu zetu tukawauza kwa Waarabu, wengine wakawahadaa tu kwa kuwapa kanzu na kuwachukua pwani. Tena tukatwaa mali yetu tuliokuwa nayo ya pembe tukawauzia wao kwa doti ya shuka. Wao wakachukua mali na ndugu zetu, wakaenda zao Maskati, Unguja, na Pemba, wakanunua mashamba wakastarehe. Sisi wakatuacha na ujinga wetu. 
Hatima imekuja Dola ya Kizungu, na Wazungu kama tujuavyo wanataka sana tustaarabu, yaani tuwe watu kama watu. Lakini naona tumeanza kufanya makosa yale yale tuliofanya wakati wa Waarabu, ya kuchukua maganda ya ustaarabu, kuacha ustaarabu wenyewe. Nyinyi wenyewe mnaona yakuwa siku hizi vijana waote wanakimbilia wanaoita ustaarab wa Kizungu, kuiga mwendo wa Kizungu, kusema kwa sauti ya Kizungu na mambo mengine kama haya ambayo hayamfai mtu kwa lolote. Na sisi twajiona tumestaarabu, kumbe ni ujinga.
Ustaarabu ni nini? Ustaarabu ni kuwa watu kama watu. Yaani kuendelea katika mambo yote ya dunia yanayotuletea faida sisi na inchi yetu. Huu ndio ustaarabu. Tujitahidi kuendelea katia (1) Mambo ya Biashara, (2) Kazi ya Ufundi, (3) Kusoma, (4) Kulima, (5) Ukarani, 
Labda mtaniuliza kuwa kwani sasa hatufanyi hayo? Tunafanya, lakini hatufanyi kama inavyopasa. Mambo haya yote yanafanywa na wageni, yaani watu wa Asia, wanafanya haya yote wanapata mapesa wanarudisha kwao, sisi wnatuacha na ujinga wetu.
Ingekuwa ni watu wa kuamka, na kushika ustaarabu, tangu kuja Wazungu katika inchi yety tungalikuwa tumeanza kuonyesha alama za ustaarabu. 
ITAENDELEA!



Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Plundering of Tanzania's Diamonds

The Plundering of Tanzania's Diamonds
The looting and plundering of African mineral resources has been taking place for centuries. In light of the recent report from Tanzania indicating widespread looting in the Diamond, Tanzanite, and other important mineral sectors, it is important to remember that this is not new, and with this knowledge, we must think carefully about how to make necessary changes in order to insure people of Tanzania benefit from what is theirs. 
Tanzania, then Tanganyika, became the "Wild Wild West" of mineral search in the 1920s. Tanganyika exported 8,898 ounces of gold, 411.5 carats of diamonds, 1,010 ounces of silver, and 10 tons of tin ore in 1926. These numbers were not very impressive, but the size of the deposits and future prospects was impressive and it drew the attention of big foreign multicorporations. The British, Americans, Canadians, South Africans, converged to Tanganyika in search of their piece of the pie, riches. The looting of Tanganyika reveals the ways in which imperialism and capitalism penetrated Africa. Although Tanganyika was a British colony, the territory was fair game for all major capitalist venture from the West; foreign companies from Europe, America, Asia, and even South Africa, competed to inject capital and exploit newly discovered minerals. Africans were set up to gain little, if anything, from these exploits. Nothing illustrates this point more than the competition for control of Diamond mines in the northern Tanganyika in the 1940s. Fierce international competition for Tanganyika's diamond led to the intervention of Western governments in support of their nationals. A Canadian named John Williamson, would eventually win the magnificent cake that was set in motion with the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885: one of the world's richest diamond mines in Mwanza, Tanganyika. You see Canada's exploitation of Tanzania, is afterall, not something that started recently with the revelations about ACACIA in 2017; it has long and deep roots. 
Large alluvial diamonds and diamondiferous deposists were discovered near Mwanza in 1925. The discovery was compared to the famous diamond mines of Kimberly, South Africa at the time. It should be remembered that Kimberly diamond mines was one of the largest in the world and it continues to yield diamonds to this day. The potential for making unimaginable profits from diamond exploits in north western Tanganyika was enormous. The initial discovery of diamondiferous deposists were found in a 250 acre farm that was owned by Germans before World War I. The German colonial government granted a concession to a South African named Van Koon. Van Koon established legal claim to the holdings after the British government took over Mandate of the territory in 1919. The concession was sold to a Johannesburg syndicate in 1925. 
In the mean time, a Canadian Geologist, John Williamson, found his way to South Africa and worked for a subsidiary of De Beers in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He purchased a diamond mine in the mid-1930s in Northern Rhodesia; the venture failed. Williamson turned his attention to Mwadui area in north west Tanganyika in 1940. He would work to develop one of the most profitable diamond mines in the world. Williamson faced fierce competition from South African and American companies for the rights to mine diamonds in Mwanza. The US government intervened on behalf of a US company that wanted to exploit the diamonds in Mwanza. The State Department kept a close watch on mining potential in Tanganyika from the 1920s. The competition for Tanganyika's diamonds in the 1940s tells us a lot about what has taken place in Tanzania just in the past 20 years alone. Western companies work with their governments and do everything in their power to ensure that they have access to African minerals. 
By the end of 1940s, John Williamson's diamond company was mining over 8 million dollars of diamond annually; this is a sum that was close to the entire budget of the British colonial government for all of Tanganyika. In other words, one person earned in a year almost what the colonial government was spending for running the entire territory. Williamson gave the Queen of England one of the finest pink diamonds ever discovered in 1953 as a gift. The diamond was found in 1947 in his Mwadui mine. John Williamson was one of the richest people in the world when he died in 1958. The region that Williamson mined diamonds did not benefit much considering what was being exported from the region; neither did Tanganyika as a territory gain much from the diamond exploits. 
The development of Tanganyikans was then, and remains to this day, the last thing in the minds of those intent on acquiring personal riches, these are individuals inside and outside the country. Such is the nature of the tentacles of capitalism. A country with a wealth of mineral resources is left with little to nothing while multicorporations with the backing of their governments use every trick possible to ensure the system of exploitation of Africa's resources persists. This is what Tanzania and Africa in general is facing in the beginning of the 21st century, just as it did in the beginning of the 20th century. This pattern will continue into the 22nd century if Africans do not change. 
The recent reports of Diamond, Tanzanite and other minerals being looted from Tanzania, should not come as a surprise. A bag of diamond stopped at the airport August 2017 from Mwadui diamond mine was officially recorded to be worth $14.7 million; official investigation revealed that it was worth $29.5 million. The company underreported the value of diamonds it was exporting. How long have they been doing this? This kind of looting has been taking place for at least 100 years. What is important at this juncture is what we do next. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results.


© Azaria C. Mbughuni




The Legacy of Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere

The Legacy of Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere 
There are those who are bent on tarnishing the legacy of Mwalimu Nyerere. The campaign to tarnish the legacy of Mwalimu is based on various claims; one of the most frequent criticism lies in the economic challenges that the country faced during his tenure. The criticism fails to take into account some of the major gains in the development of people, not things, the sacrifices made for the liberation of southern Africa and its consequences, and more importantly, many critics fail to take into account the larger context of the 1960s and 70s. 
Nyerere’s contributions to the struggle for freedom and independence is unparalleled in Africa. ANC of South Africa, FRELIMO of Mozambique, ZAPU and later ZANU of Zimbabwe, SWANU/SWAPO of Namibia, all these organizations established a presence in Tanganyika before independence, and starting in 1963, opened up military camps. FRELIMO, one of the most successful groups in southern Africa, was formed in Tanganyika in 1962. Nyerere gave the different groups from Mozambique based in Tanganyika an ultimatum: either unite or leave the country. The outcome was a meeting at Arnautoglu Hall, in Dar es Salaam, that led to the formation of FRELIMO. The establishment of military camps in Kongwa in 1963 was the beginning of liberation armies from southern Africa that eventually ended racist minority rule in southern Africa. FRELIMO, ANC, SWAPO, ZANU, all established military camps at Kongwa. The SWAPO consultative conference in Tanga, Tanzania was a turning point in the struggle for Namibia. So was the ANC conference in Morogoro, Tanzania in 1969; this was an important moment for the struggle for South Africa. For the South Africans, Namibians, Zimbabweans, and Mozambicans, Tanzania was one of the most important places in the history of their struggles. Nyerere committed Tanzania's limited resources to the liberation of southern Africa from 1961 through the 1980s. Tanzania was punished politically and economically for this. The economic cost for Tanzania’s role in supporting liberation movements in southern Africa cannot be overestimated. 
Britain cut off economic aid to Tanzania in 1965 over disagreements on Southern Rhodesia. The government of Tanganyika had signed a 7 million pounds aid package with Britain; the aid was cancelled because of Southern Rhodesia. Nyerere was committed to the principle of NIBMAR, No Independence Before Majority Rule in Zimbabwe. And for this reason, he was ready to let go the financial assistance from the West. This was no easy decision for an independent country just 3 years after winning independence. As far back as 1960, Nyerere indicated the desire to leave the Commonwealth if South Africa was allowed to join the Commonwealth. Nyerere took part in formation of the Anti Apartheid Movement in London in 1959 with the help of his close friend and comrade K.W. M. Chiume from Malawi. He gave the keynote speech during a meeting that launched the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK. Later, pressure from Tanganyika eventually forced South Africa out of the Commonwealth. No amount of money, aid, would convince Mwalimu to betray his conscience. He believed that all humans were created equal, that human dignity, the dignity of Africa, was worth more than a few pieces of silver.
The economic difficulties Tanzania faced must be placed in a wider context. Let us not forget that Tanzania was not alone in Africa in facing economic difficulties. There are many reasons for this and not much has changed to this day. World oil crisis of 1973 due to Arab/Israel war devastated the economies of countries such as Tanzania. Tanzania's foreign reserve was wiped out during the crisis. Natural disasters such as the serious drought of the 1970s in eastern Africa worsened the regional economic situation. The war between Tanzania and Uganda came just as Tanganyika was showing signs of recovery towards the end of 1970s. The Tanzania/Uganda war of 1978-1979 finished whatever the government of Tanzania had in its reserves. Tanzania leaders had to travel to different capitals around the world to get what they needed for the war. Idi Amin who was put into power with the help of British and Israel intelligence had turned his back on his masters. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya committed his resources and army to help Amin against Tanzania. Nyerere would later refuse an offer of millions of dollars from Gaddafi to free the mostly black Libyan soldiers sent to fight with Uganda against Tanzania. He instead put the Libyan soldiers on a plane back to Libya free of charge. This was a bloody and costly war that raged for almost a year. Tanzania won the war; but the cash-strapped nation was left in an even greater debt. 
Tanzania was already in a difficult economic situation at the start of 1980. There are many who like to criticize Nyerere for the economic hardships of the 1970s and 1980s as if they just started from nowhere and that the difficulties were only the result of socialist policies. Again, one is missing the big picture if they do not take into account the broader context. In addition to outside conditions that Tanzania had no control over, such as drought and oil crisis abroad, there was an underground economic war waged against Tanzania that made a bad economic situation worse by 1980. Lastly, IMF and World Bank policies, i.e. Structural Adjustment Programs, further destroyed whatever prospects countries like Tanzania had in strengthening their economies by mid-1980s. 
Mwalimu Nyerere was not an angel and he did make mistakes. Yet Nyerere took a country with a handful of doctors and engineers and a literacy rate of about 15% after 40 years of British rule and left it with over 90% literacy rate in 1985. The literacy rate has decreased significantly since then. As Nyerere pointed out correctly: he was interested in the development of people, not things. You can have skyscrapers, expensive homes and cars, great monuments, but if such things are owned and enjoyed by a few while the majority remain in poverty, then such things/development are ultimately meaningless. On the balance, Nyerere's contributions far outweigh his shortfalls. 
There is no doubt about it, Nyerere was a giant among giants. History will absolve him and place him in his rightful place as one of the most remarkable African and world leaders of the 20th century.


© Azaria C. Mbughuni








Thursday, August 31, 2017

How Easy We Forget!: Dunstan Omari’s Service to the Nation and Troubled Waters!

How Easy We Forget!: Dunstan Omari’s Service to the Nation and Troubled Waters!
The temptation to focus on a handful of individuals when tracing early histories of nations can often be difficult to overcome. In what was the territory of Tanganyika in the early 1950s, there were very few men and women who had earned degrees and excelled in what they did. Even less individuals were in position to impact the independence movement and help build Tanganyika government in preparations for independence and after winning independence. Dunstan Omari is one example of important people who appear to have been forgotten.
Dunstan Omari was born August 9, 1922. He was the first son of the Rev. Alfege Omari of the Universities Mission to Central Africa, Newala. He attended primary school in Newala District from 1929-1933, and from there attended St. Joseph's Secondary, Chidya, Masasi District, until 1941. He studied for a year at St. Andrew's College, Minaki and passed the entrance examination to Makerere College where he attended from 1943 to 1945. He trained to become a teacher.
Omari was an exceptional student. He obtained a First Class Teacher's diploma when he graduated from Makerere. He taught for nine months at his old school St. Joseph, starting in 1946. The British colonial government recruited him in December 1946 and was sent to Government Secondary School in Tanga. He taught at Tanga from 1946 to 1949. 
Omari studied privately while teaching at Tanga. He later sat for the London University Examination. He passed with First Division. The colonial government awarded him with a scholarship to attend school in the UK. Omari spent the next four years studying at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth. Always the exceptional student that he was, Omari graduated from Wales with an Honours Degree in economics.
The colonial government appointed Omari as the education officer in broadcasting in the former Senior Service of the Tanganyika Government while he was still in England. He endeavored to take further courses on broadcasting with the BBC London. He was among some of the earliest Tanganyikans to earn a degree in UK. 
Omari returned to Tanganyika in 1953 and was posted with the Tanganyika Broadcasting Corporation. Omari worked to start the broadcasting service for schools. It was while he worked in Dar es Salaam that Omari was among a handful of highly educated Tanganyikans agitating for independence. He was among the early African elite who included John Rupia, Abdulwahid Sykes, and Mwalimu Nyerere. He often met with Mwalimu, the Sykes brothers, and others on Sundays to discuss politics. He was known to be among the people who drove Mwalimu back to Pugu after meetings.
In January 1955, he became the first African District Officer and was posted in Morogoro. He worked in Morogoro for three years before being transfered to Korogwe. The appointment as the first African District Officer placed him among the most respected Tanganyikans at the time. 
The colonial govenrment appointed Omari as the first African District Commissioner in October 1958. He was transfered to Iramba as DC in January 1960. He was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honors June 1960.
Tanganyika won Self Government in May 1961. Omari was called to service in anticipation of Self Government in January 1961 and moved to the Prime Minister’s Office; he worked in the Prime Minister’s Office for two months and went to the UK for three month’s course on public administration. Omari was moved to the Office of the Australian High Commissioner in London for initial training for the future Tanganyika Foreign Service.
To BE CONTINUED
© Azaria C.Mbughuni 





   

Paul Lazaro Bomani (1925-2005)

Paul Lazaro Bomani (1925-2005)
Paul Bomani was born in 1925 in Ikuzi, Mara. He served as the Minister of Finance, Agriculture, Economic Affairs and Planning, and Commerce and Industry. He also served as a member of Parliament. Paul Bomani was a very successful business man and was reported to be one of the richest African in Tanzania by 1970. Paul Bomani is among a handful of Tanganyikans/Tanzanians who made significant contributions to the country. He was active in the independence struggle and after Tanganyika/Tanzania won independence, he was one of the main people responsible for finance and development for the country in the 1960s to early 70s.
Paul Bomani attended Nassa Primary School in Mwanza from 1936 to 39. He joined the Teacher Training College in Ikizu, Mara from 1939 to 1944. He worked as the Assistant Secretary of Cash Stores of the Williamson Diamonds Limited in Shinyanga between 1945 and 1947. He became the Managing Secretary of Mwanza African Traders Co-operative Society Limited 1947 to 1952. Mwanza African Traders Co-operative Society was a wholesale cooperative started to assist African traders. Bomani founded the Lake Province Cotton Growers Association in 1950. 
Bomani left Tanganyika to study in England in 1953. He studied Agricultural Economics and Co-operative Laws at Loughborough Co-operative College in England from 1953 to 1954. Bomani returned to Tanganyika and continued with work as an organizer and one of the leaders of the nascent independence movement. He worked as the General Manager of Victoria Federation of Co-operative Unions Limited from 1955 to 1960. 
Bomani became very active in Tanganyika politics early on; he was elected as the provincial Chairman of the Tanganyika African Association (TAA) from 1950 to 1953. The colonial government appointed him as the member of the Legislative Council in 1954. The appointment came after Chief Kidaha Makwaia left the territory. Makwaia would later resign under pressure. Paul Bomani became a powerful force in the Lake Province with the establishment of TANU as the main political party fighting for independence starting in 1954. Bomani helped to make TANU a powerful force in the Lake Province. 
Paul Bomani was appointed as a member of the Post Election Committee in 1959 by the Tanganyika Governmor, Sir Richard Turnbull. Bomani was among a handful of Africans appointed to the committee; others included Chief John Maruma, Rashidi Kawawa, and L.N. Sijaona. The committee was given the responsibility of making recommendations for the next step for Tanganyika. 
Tanganyika won Responsible Govenrment in 1960 and Self Govenrment in 1961. Bomani was appointed as the Minister for Agriculture and Co-operatives between 1960 and 1962. Paul Bomani’s brother, Mark Bomani, was appointed as the Deputy Solicitor General for Tanganyika in August 1962. Paul Bomani became the Minister for Finance between 1962 and 1965 and the Minister for Economic Affairs and Development Planning from 1965 to 1970. Bomani served as the Minister for Commerce and Industry between 1970 and 1972 and then served as the Tanzania Ambassador to the US.
Paul Bomani took on the challenge of finding ways to finance the govenrment after independence; it was a daunting task. The UK was not willing to provide funding necessary for developing a newly independent Tanganyika. The country did not have enough trained men and women to do the necessary work needed to move the country foward. Bomani travelled to East and Western countries asking for funds at the height of the Cold War. It was a difficult assignment that he managed with ease. He had to collect funds needed to educate Tanganyikans who did not have opportunities during the colonial period. This assignment he performed with distinction. 
Bomani was one of the few leaders who remained active during the army mutiny of 1964. Bomani, Lusinde, and Kambona were among the few leaders who negotiated with the soldiers during the most tense moments of the mutiny between January 20 and 25th, 1964. One day before the British troops landed in Dar es Salaam, Bomani spent all day negotiating with the ringleaders of the mutiny regarding their pay. He knew that a request was made to the British for intervention while he was negotiating. In fact Bomani together with Kambona were the ones who took a letter from Kawawa and delivered it to the UK HIgh Commissioner in Tanganyika; the letter made an official request for British intervention. During those tense hours of negotiations, Bomani is reported to have said he only had a “glass of milk in the morning and a large whisky in the evening.” He worked tirelessly to calm down the soldiers and reassure the public that all was under control. His brother, Mark Bomani, would later lead the government case against the mutineers. 
Tanzania broke off diplomatic relations with UK in 1965 over the question of Southern Rhodesia. UK reacted by cancelling all aid promised to Tanzania. Tanganyika became Tanzania in October 1964. In 1964, Bomani had been instrumental in securing a 7.5 million Pound loan to Tanganyika from UK. UK refused to fulfill any financial commitment it made to Tanzania in 1965 after Tanzania broke off diplomatic relations with the UK over the question of independence of Southern Rhodesia. Bomani once again found himself in a difficult situation. He had to find other ways to raise funds for the Tanzania government. Bomani was among those who negotiated successful agreements with China to provide needed funds for Tanzania in 1966. 
Bomani became close to many African American leaders in the 1970s and helped attract interest on Tanzania. Bomani was among the organizers of the 5th Pan African Congress held in Tanzania in 1974
TBC….
 © Azaria C. Mbughuni



    

Rashidi Kawawa and Creation of a Young Nation

Rashidi Kawawa and Creation of a Young Nation 
Wednesday April 4th, 1963 the Vice President of Tanganyika, Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa, got into an armored car with the Egyptian Minister of Religion, Mohammed El Bahei for a drive to another city. Kawawa was on an official visit to Egypt (then UAR). The two leaders drove to a textile factory at Mehalpa. Kawawa and El Bahei were found unconscious when officials opened the car doors in Mehalpa. It would take several hours before the two leaders were revived. The incident would shock the young nation of Tanganyika when the news broke back home. Speculations continue about exactly what happened on that drive to Mehalpa. One thing is clear: the incident almost ended the life of one of Tanzania’s most remarkable leaders.
Kawawa’s story begins in Songea, Tanzania (then Tanganyika). He was born on May 27, 1926 in Songea, Tanganyika. He was a son of a civil servant and an elephant hunter. Kawawa attended Tabora Boys, a prestigious government school. He had an opportunity to attend Makerere after Tabora Boys; but the young Kawawa decided not to pursue further education in order to allow his siblings an opportunity to get an education. Kawawa applied for a post as a Government Welfare Officer. The colonial officials thought he was too young to get the post. Instead he was hired as a clerk of the Public Works Department. Kawawa was later transferred to Social Department in 1951. It was during this period that he would become involved with films. As a Social Development officer, he operated a mobile cinema and organized a film library. Kawawa became a film star in the early 1950s; he acted in a number of Swahili films. 
The colonial government prohibited civil servants from joining political parties. Kawawa could not take part in the independence struggle openly as long as he worked for the government. Many civil servants had to work clandestinely. Civil servants worked with Tanganyika African Association (TAA) secretly in the beginning of the 1950s. The one avenue opened to government workers was the Tanganyika African Government Services Association (TAGSA). Kawawa joined the organization early on as a government employee. He fought to improve the rights of government workers as one of the leaders of the association. One of the TAGSA initiatives was filling complaints with United Nations Commission when it came to Tanganyika in 1951. TAGSA complained about racial discrimination against Africans in the government services to the UN Committee. While the complaint was directed towards Government practices, it was nevertheless, an important move in bringing more attention to Tanganyika by the world organization, something that helped advance the independence struggle. Kawawa was one of the founders of Tanganyika Federation of Labor in October 1955; he became the Secretary General of TFL when it was founded and later its President.
Kawawa decided to change course in February 1956. He resigned from his position in the colonial government and became a full time trade union activist and leader of the TFL. Kawawa officially joined TANU around the same time. He actively worked to build up TANU as a powerful nationalist movement in the second half of the 1950s. His work in TANU went hand in hand with his important work as the leader of a labor union. As an official of TFL, Kawawa travelled to many countries and attended two study conferences in the UK. 
The Colonial government nominated Kawawa as a member of the Legislative Council in August 1957. He later ran for the seat unopposed. Kawawa won LEGCO seat for Nachingwea in 1960. 
Prime Minister Julius Nyerere resigned in January 22 and left the position for Rashidi Kawawa. Kawawa would take drastic measures during his tenure to move the country forward. As a Prime Minister, Kawawa took steps that even Mwalimu Nyerere was not ready to take at the time. Kawawa became the Prime Minister of Tanganyika from January 22 to December 8, 1962. He moved the Africanization program with lightning speed; this was a controversial, but necessary move. He oversaw the Africanization commission before becoming the Prime Minister; he would take drastic steps as the Prime Minister. One of the first things he did was to let go the British Principle Secretary, Meek, and replaced him with the experienced administrator, Dunstan Alfred Omari. Kawawa moved on to the police force and dismissed the British Commissioner of Police and replaced him with a Tanganyikan, Elangwa Shaidi. Next Kawawa turned to Africanizing important positions in the police including, Assistant Commissioner, Senior Superintendent, and officers. 
Kawawa worked closely with liberation organizations fighting for independence in southern Africa in the course of 1962. Nelson Mandela escaped from South Africa secretly and reached Tanganyika on January 21, 1962. Mandela met with the new Prime Minister Kawawa several days later. Mandela was given assistance and travel documents. Kawawa also worked closely with Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). The Tanganyika government provided UNIP with significant logistical and material support in the course of 1962 and 1963, including hosting a PAFMECA (then PAFMECSA) meeting and rally in Mbeya, Tanganyika in support of the independence of Northern Rhodesia. Kawawa gave full Tanganyika support for the meeting and rally. In May of 1962, Kawawa hired a 39 year old barrister from Southern Rhodesia, Herbert Chitepo, as the Director of Public Prosecution.
The Vice President’s office in January 1963 was the most Africanized of all government offices. Mwalimu Nyerere would later admit that Kawawa took measures that he had equivocated on. Mwalimu ended the Africanization scheme on January 4, 1964, calling it a policy of “racial discrimination” implemented two years prior; the move led to profound consequences for the government on January 20, 1964 when the Tanganyika army mutinied.
1963 was a difficult year for Africa. The year started with the assassination of President Sylvanus Olympio of Togo on January 13, 1963. In Tanganyika, the newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense, Oscar Kambona, was busy dismantling the old intelligence organization and working to build a new one. The appointment was said to have been a compromise with Kawawa becoming the Vice President and Kambona taking two important portfolios: Foreign Affairs and Defense. Tension between Kawawa and Kambona would later mount. Kambona eventually lost the defense portfolio and it would be brought under the supervision of Kawawa. 
The safety of top government officials was a major concern in 1963. It was around this time that request was made to the Americans to get special training for Presidential security and counter intelligence. Men like Peter Bwimbo and later Wynn J. Mbwambo were sent to the US for specialized training. Concerns about the safety of leaders and the security of the nation increased when a decision was made sometime in early 1963 to allow liberation groups to establish training camps in the country. Kongwa, an old farm, was opened up for liberation groups in early 1963. Tanganyika was helping to prepare groups from southern Africa for war. The hosting of Afro Asian Conference in Moshi in February 1963 signaled the role Tanganyika was playing in the liberation struggles. Kawawa contributed to this development in the course of 1962. It is no surprise that the New York Times published a major article in February of 1963 entitled “Tanganyika Capital is Haven for African Revolutionaries.” It was under these circumstances that Kawawa boarded a plane for Cairo via Nairobi in April of 1963.
Kawawa had been a busy man by all accounts in early 1963. He was in UK in January where he met with Prime Minister Macmillan at Admiralty House. Kawawa was there with Uganda Prime Minister Milton Obote. The leaders met to put pressure on the Macmillan to speed up the process of Kenya to win independence. Tanganyika was making the case for Kenya’s early independence because they hoped independence would make room for regional cooperation between Tanganyika, Uganda, and Kenya. This cooperation, they hoped, would lead to the establishment of East African Federation. Kawawa pushed the British on their policy towards Congo during the meeting. 
Tanganyika was trying to build close links with various African countries in 1963. Among those countries were Egypt and Guinea. Egypt was important for Tanganyika. President Nasser was trying to curve out his sphere of influence in Sub-Saharan Africa. He had developed close friendship with members of the ZNP in neighboring Zanzibar. Tanganyika was giving full backing to the ASP in Zanzibar. Tanganyika was also preparing for the important conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that would lead to the formation of the OAU. Gaining the support of Nasser was crucial. 
Kawawa left Tanganyika on Sunday April 1, 1963 for state visits to Cairo, Egypt and Guinea. He was scheduled to stop in Nairobi, Kenya to speak with Kenya leaders before proceeding to Egypt. He left Tanganyika with a delegation of six people on board a government airplane. The men in his delegation included, Bhoke Munanka, A.B.C. Daniel, Colin Jana, M. Nasoro, Ramadhani Massoud, P. Pamba, and J. Rwegasira. This was to be an exciting trip to establish friendly relations with Egypt. 
The Tanganyika delegation stopped in Nairobi, Kenya and Kawawa met with Jommo Kenyatta and members of KANU. Kawawa told reporters before leaving Kenya that he had friendly talks with Kenyatta. Among the topics discussed was the question of early independence for Kenya and the establishment of East African Federation. Kawawa arrived in Cairo on April 2, 1963. He was met at the Cairo airport by the Vice President of Egypt, El-Sayeid Zakaria Mohamed. A special gathering and dinner was organized for Tanganyika delegation that evening.
President of Abdel Nasser presented Kawawa with one of the highest medals given by the Egyptian government during the visit. He received the Grand Cordon Order of the Nile. Kawawa met with Egyptian government officials and was given a tour of various places. Kawawa and his delegation was met by a cheering crowd as he left El-Horeya Palace and headed to the Egyptian Museum. The Egyptian government opened up the red carpet for Kawawa. During the talks, leaders from the two countries discussed liberation struggle, aid, and development. However, most of the discussions centered on economic collaboration.
On Wednesday April 4th, Kawawa got in to a car with the Egyptian Minister of Religion, Mohamed El Bahei on a 75 mile ride to Mehalpa. The two leaders were driving to visit a textile factory. The windows were closed. The car was designed so that the driver could not hear conversations in the passenger seats when the window separating the driver and passengers was closed. 
When the car stopped in Mehalpa, government officials opened the doors to find Kawawa and El Bahei unconscious. The two leaders were rushed to a hospital owned by the clothing factory. They were given oxygen, injections, and other medications, and admitted to the hospital. It was not until later in the evening that the two gained consciousness. The official report is that the air system malfunctioned. Reports reaching Tanganyika blamed the accident on the lack of air caused by a malfunction. The reports claimed that Kawawa and El Bahei fainted for lack of air. A diplomatic report blamed the incident on Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Whether it was lack of air or Carbon Monoxide poisoning remains a mystery. Furthermore, questions remains whether this was an accident or a deliberate attempt to harm the two leaders. Given the dangers to Tanganyika leaders posed by increasing support to liberation movements, the possibility of this being a plot to assassinate the Vice President of Tanganyika cannot be dismissed. 
Kawawa and El Bahei would later fully recover. It was a close call, particularly for the Egyptian Minister who was reported to have been in worse condition. Kawawa extended his visit to Egypt and eventually left Cairo for Guinea. The incident in Egypt in 1963 illustrates dangers leaders faced during the first half of the 1960s. Kawawa was able to secure assistance from the government of Egypt in various sectors. The trip appears to have been a success; it helped improving relations between the two countries.
Kawawa returned to Tanganyika on April 22, 1963. 
TBC..


© Azaria C. Mbughuni




































Sunday, June 25, 2017

Who Came up with the Name Tanzania

Who Came up with the Name Tanzania
The Government of the Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar invited people to submit proposals for a new name for the country on July 31/August 1, 1964. A committee was set up to go through the proposed names. Oscar Kambona, Minister for External Affairs and Defense, chaired the Committee responsible for coming up with a short list. The Committee presented their suggestion to the Cabinet for final decision. The government wanted the new name to give a sense of unity and should be easy to pronounce. A prize of 10 Pounds was offered for the winner. More than 1,354 people turned in proposals. Proposals came from around the world including, China, Australia, and Poland. One teacher and his student in Arusha proposed the name Tangibar. Others proposed names included, Tanzan and Swahili. Sixteen people proposed the name Tanzania. There are many today who think that Mohamed Iqbal was the only person who came up with "Tanzania." Iqbal made the claim at a press conference in September 2003 that he was the sole winner of the contest. This claim continues to circulate as a fact. The claim is not true. There are questions about his whole claims to being one of the winners. For example, the certificate Iqbar present is written the Republic of Tanzania; that is not the official name of the country. More thorough research has to be done to confirm for sure if he belong to the list of the sixteen winners. An article published by the government paper in October 1964 reported twelve people came up with the name Tanzania. Another article of 2003 says it was sixteen people. The number sixteen is confirmed by one of the winners: Mustafa Pirmohamed. He received a letter from the Permanent Secretary, Ministery of Information and Tourism, naming him as one of the winners. The government does not appear to have made public names of the sixteen winners at the time. The winners received a letter and their share of the price. Mwalimu Nyerere announced the new name TANZANIA at a press conference in October 31, 1964. TAN stood for Tanganyika, ZAN for Zanzibar, and the suffix IA was added at the end. 
 ©Azaria Mbughuni