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Tanzania News - History

Tanzania News - History


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Three veteran politicians in Tanzania intend to take to court the Attorney
General's Chambers and the Registrar of Political Parties and other
institutions check whether they could have prevented bloodshed and chaos
which followed last October elections.

Tanzania News - History

In those early days, presidents Nyerere, Kaunda and Uganda’s Milton Obote formed what was known as the Mulungushi Club.

The club later became countries at the frontline in the liberation of southern Africa before undergoing further transformation to Sadcc especially after independence of all countries in the region.

Presidents Nyerere and Kaunda worked closely in finding funds for the execution of the Tazara project from the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations (UN) where their requests were turned down.

The two global bodies and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)said in their reports that they were not ready to provide funds for the project because a railway built at the Southern Rhodesia could transport all copper from Zambia.

After failing to secure funds from western countries and others like Eastern Germany, Japan, US and Russia they approached the Chinese leader Mao Zedong to suspend implementation of a similar project in his country for the two African countries.

Mourning the loss, Zambian leader Lungu mourned saying: “You stood as a pillar for our nation, a true champion for humanity and a fountain of wisdom for thousands across the continent and beyond.”

He told his countrymen and women that the departed leader has left the country with them with a legacy to uphold peace, love and unity. President Lungu has declared 21 days of national mourning saying there was no better send-off for the fallen leader who died at 97 remaining united.

Yesterday, former Prime Minister Joseph Warioba described the deceased as a person who played an important role for the liberation of his country and many other countries in the region.

“Like how freedom fighters used Tanzania as their home, they also did the same in Zambia regardless of the consequences Dr Kaunda would get from the South African apartheid regime,” he said.

According to him, the departed leader lived a normal life free of fraud and that he shared similar commitment with Nyerere. “The two commitments were liberating our own countries and all others in the Southern African region. They were both people of integrity who became true brothers,” said.

Regarding legacy, he said, “Mwalimu Nyerere successfully united Tanzanians, something Kaunda tried to do. Both were integrity leaders rarely found nowadays. But, learning from these leaders who sacrificed for their people, that would be an important thing,” he added.

Former National Assembly Speaker Pius Msekwa said the late Mwalimu Nyerere and Kaunda were close friends. “I was sent several times to meet him over different issues. Even after the formation of CCM, the deceased sought to know how we easily united the two political parties,” he said.

CCM’s Secretary of Political Affairs and International Relations, Colonel (rtd) Ngemela Lubinga said Nyerere and Kaunda formed the Mulungushi Club that was later turned to be the frontline countries in the liberation of countries in southern Africa.

“Through this unity, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa were liberated. We deeply remember him because he built close friendship with the Tanganyika African National Union (Tanu) and later CCM,” he said.

A political commentator, Mr Buberwa Kaiza said the two departed ex-leaders united because of their commitment to their countries and courage to liberate other countries in southern Africa.

“Mozambique joined the Frontline Countries in the Liberation struggles after achieving her independence in 1975. Angola under her leader Augustino Netto did the same,” he said.

He described the two leaders as genuine and trustful to each other, saying the important legacy left behind was sticking to commitment and ensuring the goals are accomplished.

Tanzanian mine owner celebrates discovery of $3.3m gemstones

A Tanzanian mining boss has earned more than 7.74bn Tanzanian shillings ($3.35m) after workers at his operation in the east African country found the two largest tanzanite gemstones ever recorded.

The two dark violet-blue gemstones, each about 30cm long and 10cm thick, were discovered by miners employed by Saniniu Laizer in a mine in the north of the country.

“There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer, from Simanjiro district in Manyara, told the BBC.

“I want to build a shopping mall and a school. I want to build this school near my home. There are many poor people around here who can’t afford to take their children to school,” he said.

Local and international reporting of the find has described a rags to riches story, with a “subsistence miner” said to have “hit the jackpot”.

However, Laizer runs a substantial mining operation involving more than 200 people, which he has funded with the profits of his extensive cattle and farming businesses, and was not present when the record-breaking find was made.

“He has logistics experts, engineers, geologists who help him in the planning of the operations. He doesn’t himself go to the pit to dig. He has a number of tried labourers who … do the mining,” a manager, Kiria Laizer told the Guardian.

“It’s a really challenging experience. It’s tough of course, working in this dusty area. We inhale a lot of dust and get sick, but we haven’t lost the determination to work. We feel grateful that our boss has finally got these stones. We are planning to have roast meat together when we return to the mining site.”

The first gemstone weighed 9.27kg and the second 5.103kg, a mines ministry spokesperson said. Both were found last week, but the discovery only became known when Laizer sold them to the government on Wednesday. He said that 10% of the earnings from the sale of the stones will be distributed among the workers.

The two tanzanite gemstones are the largest ever found, according to the mines ministry. Photograph: Tanzania Ministry of Minerals/Reuters

Relatives said Laizer, 52, was organising festivities to celebrate the find in his home village.

Laizer was pictured on Tanzanian television being presented with a large cheque. President John Magufuli phoned to congratulate him live on TV.

The president reportedly ordered officials to buy the two gemstones and place them in the national museum in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, where tourists can admire them. “This is a confirmation that Tanzania is rich,” Magufuli said.

Tanzanite is found only in a small northern region of the east African nation. It was first identified in 1967.

Tanzania built a fence around tanzanite mining concessions in northern Tanzania in April 2018 in an attempt to control illegal mining and trading activities. At the time, officials said 40% of tanzanite produced there was being lost.

The biggest previous tanzanite find was 3.38kg stone found by a commercial mining company 15 years ago.

Many artisanal miners are not officially employed by any mining companies and usually mine by hand. Tens of millions of people across Africa depend on revenues from the activity, despite its dangers.

Last year Tanzania set up trading centres around the country to allow artisanal miners to sell their gems and gold to the government, a step encouraged by campaigners seeking to improve conditions in the industry.

This article was amended on 26 June 2020 because it sited Tanzania in southern Africa instead of east Africa.

  • OFFICIAL NAME: United Republic of Tanzania
  • CAPTIAL: Dar es Salaam (administrative captial), Dodoma (legislative capital)
  • AREA: 365,755 square miles (947,300 square kilometers)
  • POPULATION: 55,451,343
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Kiswahili or Swahili, English
  • MONEY: Tanzanian shilling


Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa and includes the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia. About twice the size of California, this African country is bordered by the Indian Ocean and eight countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.

Mount Kilimanjaro, once an active volcano, is the highest point in Africa and is bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika in the west, and Lake Nyasa in the southwest.

Map created by National Geographic Maps


About 90 percent of Tanzanians live in rural areas and live off what they can grow on the land. Tanzania’s early people were hunters and gatherers. Traders moved to the country in about A.D. 800. The native people married the newcomers from India, Arabia, and the Shirazis from Persia. Their language, Kiswahili, spread to other East African areas.

There are about 120 African tribal groups in Tanzania. Arranged marriage is still customary for many Tanzanian families and parents start planning for their daughter’s future when she is young.

Parts of the country are infested with the tsetse fly. This blood sucking insect carries sleeping sickness, which affects humans and livestock. While the government has tried to eliminate the flies, many areas are not safe for humans or their animals. Malaria is always a threat in the country. Soccer is the favorite sport in Tanzania.


Most of the land was once savanna and bush, but today is semidesert. There is an abundance of wildlife in Tanzania. The largest remaining elephant populations in the world are in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, but they are still being killed for their ivory tusks.

Some of the most well-known African mammal species are native to Tanzania: wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, elephant, rhino, lion, and leopard. They are endangered due to poaching. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses can be found along riverbanks and lakeshores, and giant turtles live off the coast.

The Gombe Stream National Park is a well-known chimpanzee sanctuary where Jane Goodall did research on chimps in their natural habitat. Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest and most popular park for tourists. It is linked to the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and is home to over 1.7 million wildebeest, and about a million other animals.

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Kikwete elected

2005 December - Jakaya Kikwete, foreign minister and ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi candidate, wins presidential elections.

2006 August - The African Development Bank announces the cancellation of more than $640m of debt owed by Tanzania, saying it was impressed with Tanzania's economic record and the level of accountability of public finance.

2008 January - Central Bank Governor Daudi Ballali is sacked after an international audit finds the bank made improper payments of more than $120m (£60m) to local companies.

2008 February - President Kikwete dissolves cabinet following corruption scandal which forced the prime minister and two ministers to resign.

2009 November - Main opposition party in Zanzibar, Civic United Forum, ends five-year boycott of the island's parliament ahead of upcoming elections.

Tanzania's Hassan to make history as first female president

Samia Suluhu Hassan is a soft-spoken, Muslim woman thrust from the obscure role of vice president to become Tanzania's first female leader after John Magufuli's sudden death.

Under the constitution Hassan, the country's 61-year-old vice president, will serve the remainder of Magufuli's second five-year term, which does not expire until 2025.

A former office clerk and development worker, Hassan began her political career in 2000 in her native Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago, before being elected to the national assembly on mainland Tanzania and assigned a senior ministry.

A ruling party stalwart, she rose through the ranks until being picked by Magufuli as his running mate in his first presidential election campaign in 2015.

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) comfortably won and Hassan made history when sworn-in as the country's first-ever female vice president.

The pair were re-elected last October in a disputed poll the opposition and independent observers said was marred by irregularities.

She would sometimes represent Magufuli on trips abroad but many outside Tanzania had not heard of Hassan until she appeared on national television wearing a black headscarf to announce that Magufuli had died at 61 following a short illness.

In a slow and softly spoken address -- a stark contrast to the thundering rhetoric favoured by her predecessor -- Hassan solemnly declared 14 days of mourning.

She will consult the CCM over the appointing of a new vice president.

Analysts say Hassan will face early pressure from powerful Magufuli allies within the party, who dominate intelligence and other critical aspects of government, and would try and steer her decisions and agenda.

"For those who were kind of expecting a breakaway from the Magufuli way of things I would say hold your breath at the moment," said Thabit Jacob, a researcher at the Roskilde University in Denmark and expert on Tanzania.

"I think she will struggle to build her own base. We shouldn't expect major changes."

Her loyalty to Magufuli, nicknamed the "Bulldozer" for his no-nonsense attitude, was called into doubt in 2016.

Her office was forced to issue a statement denying she had resigned as rumours of a rift grew more persistent, and Hassan hinted at the controversy in a public speech last year.

"When you started working as president, many of us did not understand what you actually wanted. We did not know your direction. But today we all know your ambitions about Tanzania's development," she said in front of Magufuli.

Hassan was born on January 27, 1960 in Zanzibar, a former slaving hub and trading outpost in the Indian Ocean.

Then still a Muslim sultanate, Zanzibar did not merge formally with mainland Tanzania for another four years.

Her father was a school teacher and mother a housewife. Hassan graduated from high school but has said publicly that her finishing results were poor, and she took a clerkship in a government office at 17.

By 1988, after undertaking further study, Hassan had risen the ranks to become a development officer in the Zanzibari government.

She was employed as a project manager for the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and later in the 1990s was made executive director of an umbrella body governing non-governmental organisations in Zanzibar.

In 2000, she was nominated by the CCM to a special seat in Zanzibar’s House of Representatives. She then served as a local government minister -- first for youth employment, women and children and then for tourism and trade investment.

In 2010, she was elected to the National Assembly on mainland Tanzania. Then president Jakaya Kikwete appointed her as the Minister of State for Union Affairs.

She holds university qualifications from Tanzania, Britain and United States. The mother of four has spoken publicly to encourage Tanzanian women and girls to pursue their dreams.

"I may look polite, and do not shout when speaking, but the most important thing is that everyone understands what I say and things get done as I say," Hassan said in a speech last year.

She is among a very small circle of women to lead East African nations. Burundi briefly had an acting female president in 1993, while both Mauritius and Ethiopia have had women appointed to the ceremonial role of president.

Tanzania News - History

A concerted effort is needed to restore the country’s economic growth momentum, slowed by COVID-19.

Across Africa, the World Bank is calling for countries to seize the opportunity to scale-up efforts for climate resilience.

Learn more about the World Bank Group’s response to COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tanzania At-A-Glance

Following two decades of sustained growth, Tanzania reached an important milestone in July 2020, when it formally graduated from low-income country to lower-middle-income country status. Tanzania’s achievement reflects sustained macroeconomic stability that has supported growth, in addition to the country’s rich natural endowments and strategic geographic position.

Tanzania orders wall built around tanzanite mines to end illegal trade

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania’s president ordered the military on Wednesday to build walls around its tanzanite mines and directed the central bank to buy the precious stone to boost reserves - the latest twist in a spat with mining firms over alleged tax evasion.

President John Magufuli’s government accuses mining firms of cheating Tanzania out of its fair share of mineral wealth through tax dodging and smuggling, allegations they deny.

“All tanzanite gemstones will be controlled and will pass through one gate and he (Magufuli) ordered the (central) Bank of Tanzania to take part in the tanzanite buying trade,” a statement from the presidency said.

A parliamentary inquiry team said on Sept. 7 that it had uncovered massive smuggling of the blue-violet tanzanite gemstone, found only in the East African nation.

Magufuli ordered the military to build walls with security cameras and checkpoints around all tanzanite mining concessions in northern Tanzania “to control illegal mining and trading activities,” the presidency statement said.

“Even if someone swallows some tanzanite gemstones, they will be detected at the proposed checkpoint,” Magufuli said.

“Tanzania gets just 5 percent of revenues from the global tanzanite trade - all the rest of this precious gemstone benefits other people abroad. This is unacceptable.”

Sammy Mollel, the chairman of the Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA), welcomed the new directives, including the construction of a wall.

“We recommended that a perimeter wall should be built and the tanzanite mines should be declared as a controlled area, since 2002, to curb smuggling and government revenue loss,” Mollel, who is a tanzanite miner and trader, told Reuters.

“The proposed government control in this trade will help assure buyers in the U.S that the gemstones are legitimate and all the relevant taxes, including royalties, were paid.”

Tanzania overhauled the legal, regulatory and fiscal framework governing the mining sector with three new laws in July, sending stock in foreign-owned mining companies plunging.

The new laws established a National Gold and Gemstone Reserve under the control of the central bank.

On Sept. 7, the government confiscated a consignment of diamonds from a mine majority-owned by Petra Diamonds after accusing the London-listed firm of under-declaring the value of the stones by around half. Petra denies the charge.

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala Writing by Katharine Houreld and Duncan Miriri Editing by Mark Heinrich and Edmund Blair

SADC 40th Anniversary: Dar’s victorious history

Africa-Press – Tanzania. FORMER President Dr Jakaya Kikwete has urged Tanzanians, especially youths to learn the African liberation history and the position of Tanzania in supporting the formation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday at the symposium on the experiences and history of SADC as it marks its 40th anniversary, Dr Kikwete said Tanzania, and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in particular, played a leading role in the formation of the regional bloc.

“You cannot write the history of SADC without mentioning and recognising Tanzania’s contribution unfortunately, the youth in the country do not know the crucial relationships as 60 per cent of Tanzanians are under 35, that implies we have a huge population in the country that does not know what SADC means,” he noted.

Dr Kikwete said the origin of SADC lies in the integration of Southern African states in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

After South Africa, Angola and Namibia saw their failed attempts to claim independence through peaceful means, they decided to use weapons to liberate themselves.

He further said Tanzania was the only independent country in the region and the freedom fighters from other countries decided to come to the East African nation whereby Mwalimu Julius Nyerere welcomed them and offered them places for military training.

He also helped them to acquire weapons and other necessities for their struggles. The Former President who is also the Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said the formation of SADC, was proceeded by the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), which was formed in Lusaka, Zambia on April 1, 1980 with the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration (Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation).

Dr Kikwete noted that SADCC was formed to advance the cause of national political liberation in Southern Africa and to reduce dependence particularly on South Africa “The idea of forming SADCC, a tool of the Frontline States that struggled against racism and dictatorship in the southern African states, was born in Tanzania.

Since its inception, the SADC has been guided by the desire to establish a regional integration bloc to link regional economies, strengthen the economic performance, and enhance the political stability,” he explained .

He added “Initially established in 1980 as the SADCC, the grouping wanted not only to reduce economic dependence on the then apartheid South Africa but to forge economic links for the creation of a genuine and equitable regional integration through the mobilisation of resources for the promotion of interstate and regional policies,” Dr Kikwete said when SADCC was formed it had a membership of nine countries that signed the Lusaka Declaration in 1980.

Today, the membership of SADC has expanded to 16 countries. These are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly Anne Makinda said Tanzania has made a significant contribution to the existence of today’s SADC.

“When we gained independence the whole Southern part had several problems so it seemed impossible to continue like that, while we gained independence and then the other side South Africa was oppressing almost all southern states,” she said Ms Makinda further said Mwalimu Nyerere was the one who encouraged others that they cannot continue to be ruled.

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