Corruption and landgrads in Tanzania, Zambian president dies

Doug Miller comments various news items :

– Masai lands once again up for grabs by Gulf State game hunters
– Zambian president Michael Sata Dies and is replaced by Guy Scott

Looking at the case of the North Mara gold mine in Tanzania

The relationship between the mining company African Barrick Gold and the communities of North Mara, Tanzania is a story of intimidation, sexual abuse, death and  poverty. Amandla’s Gwen Schulman talks to filmmaker Tamara Herman on the history of the conflict and recent developments that point to new strategies to seek justice and change.

A look at Dar in the 60’s and 70’s

Amandla’s Doug Miller talks to Andrew Ivaska about transnational activism in Tanzania in the 60’s and 70’s, when Dar es Salaam was a hub of activism attracting key figures of anti-colonialism from around the world.

Andrew Ivaska is associate professor in the history faculty of Concordia University in Montreal and also the author of "Cultured States: Youth, Gender, and Modern Style in 1960s Dar es Salaam".

A look at the legacy of Julius Nyerere (part 1)

Julius Kambarage Nyerere was the first President of Tanzania from the country’s founding in 1961 until his retirement in 1985.

Our regular contributor Doug Miller has been traveling for the past two months in Africa and was recently in Tanzania as part of a research project for an upcoming book on social movements in the 60 and 70s in that part of the world. While in Tanzania Doug met an old friend named Kapote Mwakasungura who was part of the united students African revolutionary front that brought together students from all over southern Africa. In those days, Dar es Salaam was at the crossroads of revolutionary movements from all over Africa.

Here is part of a discussion with our good friend and collaborator Doug Miller and his old acquaintance Kapote Mwakasungura.

One of the largest Gold mining companies in the world fights Tanzanian villagers

Mining Watch Canada’s Jamie Kneen talks to Gwen Schulman about the recent disclosure of a secretive mechanism African Barrick Gold has put in place to manage grievances at its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania.

African poetry, mining in Southern Africa and the resignation of Bev Oda

The entire show:

In the first part, Amandla collaborator David Lieber presents Langston Hughes, an African American poet, in the context of July 4th, then (circa minute 20) Amandla Host Gwen Schulman speaks to independent journalists and filmmakers Tamara Herman and Susanne Porter-Bopp about their recent investigation in Southern Africa visiting communities impacted by Canadian mining companies, and finally Amandla regular Doug Miller comments on Canadian International Development minister Bev Oda resignation.

Foreign mining in Tanzania

Foreign mining in Tanzania continues to proceed against a backdrop of human rights and evironmental violations. Gwendolyn Schulman talked to Barbara Fullerton about her recent trip to Tanzania, on behalf of the United Church of Canada, to see conditions on the ground.;line-height:115%;font-family:"background:white;%20%20lang=EN-CA

Une loi contraignant le droit de grève en Tanzanie/ A law restraining the right to go on strike in Tanzania

(Lien en anglais/ link in english)

Le “Employment and Labour Relations Act, No.6” est une loi votée en 2004 et qui sera bientôt mise en application. Elle limitera le droit de grève en Tanzanie. Les magistrats, procureurs et les personnes travaillant pour des services essentiels n’auront pas le droit de grève. Voir The Express (en anglais).

The Employment and Labour Relations Act, No.6 of 2004 who will soon be applied limits the right to strike in Tanzania. Here is the news by the Express:


By Kizito Makoye
The new labour laws to be implemented soon will make it increasingly difficult for workers to exercise the right to strike because conditions imposed are too stringent.
The Employment and Labour Relations Act, No.6 of 2004 pending to be gazetted, gives workers the right to strike on disputes of interests on the one hand, and indirectly denies it on the other.
Section 75 of the Act gives employees the right to strike but the right should be in line with limitations stated below, which observers say are too severe. The proposed striker or strikers should not be: • Engaged in an essential service;
•Engaged in a minimum service;
• Bound by an agreement calling for arbitration;
• Bound by wages determination;
• A magistrate or a prosecutor;
• Where the issue in dispute is a complaint;
• Where the procedure of engaging in a lawful strike has not been complied with.
Speaking to The Express yesterday, a Labour Officer at the Regional Labour Office who sought to remain anonymous on the grounds that he is not the spokesperson, admitted that the new laws are one sided, basically favouring employers and suppressing employees rights. He said workers strike for a variety of reasons, but the mostly for economic reasons such as poor remuneration, poor working tools, an unfavourable working environment, lack of motivation and dissatisfaction.
He further said that the new law provided no grounds for employees to embark on a conflict of rights.
The new law defines a strike as “a total or partial stoppage of work by employees if the stoppage is to compel their employer to accept, modify or abandon any demands that may form the subject matter of dispute of interest.”
Section 80 stipulates that before engaging in a strike, workers should ensure that the dispute is of interest and that the dispute has gone through mediation and remains unresolved after mediation. The law also calls for a trade union to approve the strike through a ballot conducted under union constitutions.
The prevailing legal discrepancy is costly to the employees especially when engaging in disputes, because failure to meet the conditions necessary to the strike might be taken to mean violation of laws, therefore civil or criminal proceeding might be taken against them. Analysts who spoke to The Express on Tuesday, said that the conditions for calling a strike have been made strict deliberately to prevent more strikes, in the wake of massive strikes similar to the one which involved interns at Muhimbili National Hospital in June.
The MNH strike almost brought to standstill crucial services at the hospital. The interns were demanding a salary increment, following the management’s decision to reduce their salaries by 20 per cent.
Initially the government sacked them, subsequently the specialist doctors followed suit with a movement of sympathy, consequently forcing the government to reverse its previous decision by complying with all their requirements.
In an interview with The Express yesterday, Senior Lecturer with the University of Dar es Salaam, Prof. Issa Shivji, said the Employment and Labour Relations Act allows the right to strike on the one hand, and indirectly takes away the right by imposing strict conditions, which workers must follow before they strike.
He said that the regulations incorporated in the new law are outdated, because they were implemented during the colonial era.
“It is true that the new law provides strict conditions which workers have to meet before they strike, the laws are normally very difficult to interpret, as they tend to give a right and then take it away, … sometimes the laws do not say workers should strike, nor do they say that they should not.”
According to Shivji, the definition of ‘essential services’ is also mischievous, because it limits people from certain institutions from engaging in industrial action, on the grounds that they play crucial roles, no matter how dissatisfied those people are.
Shivji, who teaches law, also said the new labour laws give the Minister Responsible for Labour, Youth Development and Sports the mandate to further declare services essential.
Shivji said the essential services were adopted from Britain, without knowing that by then such services were declared ‘essential’ during the period of war, where there was an emergency situation, adding that it is absolutely wrong to declare a service essential without any emergency.
He added that essential service could be private or public. According to the Act, essential services include: water and sanitation, electricity, health services, fire fighting services, air traffic control and civil aviation. Any disputes of interests in essential services, must, according to the law, be referred to mediation or arbitration.
A lawyer with the Association of Tanzania Employers, Anthony Mseke, said that most strikes which are held in most institutions in the country are illegal, because the strikers fail to comply with the procedures for making the strikes legitimate as instructed by the laws.
He said the workers should not just strike unilaterally without involving a trade union, which in this case has the mandate to approve the strike by casting ballots.
The trend of strikes in Tanzania is alarming. In June the police were forced to intervene in a riot at Karibu Textile mills factory, in which workers were engaging in industrial action because of alleged poor remuneration.
Disgruntled workers assembled outside the factory’s main gate and started throwing stones at the interior, while shouting slogans against the management, which responded by calling the police.
Again in August, about 600 casual workers with Dar es Salaam-based Shelys Pharmaceuticals Limited went on strike, to press for better pay and working conditions
These instances show that the country has been confronting a new situation, but is the government’s reply to it appropriate?.

Émission Amandla du 9 mai 2007/ Amandla show from May 9th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant l’émission Amandla du 9 mai dernier sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez la télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Interview avec la présidente d’AMARC-Africa (World Association ofGrace Githaiga Community Broadcasters (AMARC) Africa): Grace Githaiga (photo ci-contre) – en anglais. Elle est aussi directrice-exécutive d’Econews Africa. Elle nous parle de l’impact des radios communautaires en Afrique de l’Est (Ouganda, Kenya, Tanzanie). Elles opèrent dans différents contextes politiques et abordent les sujets liés à la justice sociale.

Analyse sur une division au sein du parti d’opposition zimbabwéen, le MDC – en anglais. Analyse tirée du New-York Times. Le Movement for Democratic Change vit un tumulte interne, alors que la situation sur le terrain s’aggrave. En effet, depuis longtemps déjà, la population du Zimbabwe est affamée et rien n’est fait pour améliorer sa condition (voir Zimonline).

Mini-revue de la musique ghanéenne – en anglais.

Les agro-industries, nourrir la planète ou gonfler les profits?- en français. Analyse de l’industrie agro-alimentaire tirée du site d’Agoravox. On s’inquiète de la mainmise des multinationales de l’alimentation qui contrôlent la chaîne alimentaire et qui transforment la faim en marché.

Scandale à la Banque Mondiale – en français. Analyse du pétrin dans lequel Paul Wolfowitz, président de la Banque Mondiale s’est mis.
Here are the subjects that were addressed in the May 9th Amandla radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the show here (link valid for two months only).

Interview with the president of l’AMARC-Africa (World Association of Community Broadcasters (AMARC) Africa): Grace Githaiga (see picture above) – in english. She’s also the executive director of Econews Africa. She talks about the impacts of community radios in eastern Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). They operate in different political contexts and are located in places where there are no other radios. They address social justice issues which makes them popular and the public response is important.

Mini-review on music in Ghana – in english.

Analysis of a split within the MDC, the zimbawean opposition party – in english. Taken from the New-York Times. A split occurs within the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) while the situation in Zimbawe worsen. People are starving and nothing seems to be done.

The agrobusiness, feeding the world or pumping up profits ? – in french. Analysis of the agrobusiness from the Agoravox website. The influence of that industry is worrying. The agro-multinationals control the food chain and turns hunger into a market.

Scandal at the Worldbank – in french. Analysis of the trouble that Paul Wolfowitz, president of the Worldbank, has fallen into.

Rumeurs: Barrick Gold achèterait Newmont Mining/ Rumors: Barrick Gold could buy Newmont Mining

(Liens en anglais/ links in english)

Une nouvelle économique d’importance pour le continent africain vient de paraître. Par contre, on demeure au stade des rumeurs. La compagnie minière canadienne, Barrick Gold, première productrice d’or au monde, pourrait acheter sa principale rivale, l’américaine Newmont Mining (liens aux sites de Forbes et du Denver Post). Barrick réfute cette rumeur alors que Newmont Mining demeure silencieuse. Les marchés semblent favorables à une telle fusion puisque l’action de Newmont a monté Vendredi dernier.

Il faut savoir que Barrick Gold et Newmont possèdent plusieurs sites miniers en Afrique, au Ghana et en Tanzanie, les plus grands producteurs d’or du continent après l’Afrique du Sud:

Barrick Gold; sur 27 mines en opérations, elle exploite trois grands sites en Tanzanie:Barrick Gold Bulyanhulu, North Mara et Tulawaka JV. Le continent africain compte pour 23% des réserve d’or de l’entreprise.

Newmont Mining Corporation; elle a deux mines africaines en opération, toutes deux au Ghana: Ahafo et Akyem.

NewmontIl faut savoir que Barrick et Newmont sont impliquées dans plusieurs projets d’exploration minière sur le continent africain. Déjà considérées séparément comme des géantes par les États du continent qui font affaires avec elles (avec le Ghana et la Tanzanie en première ligne), quelle sera la nature de la relation lorsqu’une méga-entreprise “Barrick-Newmont” verra le jour? Sachez que, selon le dernier rapport annuel de Newmont (2005; pdf téléchargeable ici), ses revenus d’opération étaient de 374 millions de dollars US. Les revenus nets de Barrick Gold étaient de 401 millions en 2005 (dernier rapport ici – pdf). Les actifs des deux entreprises se comptent en milliards de dollars. Cela signifie qu’il existe une asymétrie flagrante dans les pouvoirs de négociation entre l’État et l’entreprise étrangère…

An important economic news item for the African continent just came out. But it could only be a rumor. The Canadian gold mining giant, Barrick Gold, world’s first gold producer, could buy it’s main rival, the american Newmont Mining Corp. (links: ForbesDenver Post). Barrick denies the rumor and Newmont remains silent. But the market showed positive signs for such a merger since the stock value of Newmont went up last Friday.

It’s important to know that Barrick and Newmont operate several mining sites on the African continent, in Ghana and Tanzania, the two biggest gold producers of Africa after South Africa:

Barrick Gold; from the 27 mines the company has, 3 are in Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Tulawaka JV. The african continent represents 23% of the total gold reserves Barrick has.

Newmont Mining Corporation; the company operates two african mines: Ahafo and Akyem, both in Ghana.

Both companies are also involved in several exploration projects throughout the continent. Already considered as giants seperately by the African States who deals with them (with Ghana and Tanzania on the front line), what will be the nature of the relation involving a “mega-Barrick-Newmont” company? We must know that, according to Newmont’s last yearly financial report, in 2005 (download pdf here), the company’s operation revenues were 374 millions dollars US. Barrick’s net revenues were 401 millions the same year (last report here – pdf). The assets of both companies are calculated in billions of dollars. All this means that there is a blatant asymmetry between the negociation powers of the African States and Barrick Gold/Newmont.