United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1995 - Tanzania, 30 January 1996, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa3228.html [accessed 28 January 2015]
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
TANZANIA The United Republic of Tanzania amended its Constitution in 1992 to become a multiparty state. In October and November, the Republic held its first multiparty general elections for President and Parliament in more than 30 years. The ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), continued to control the Union Government, winning 186 of the 232 seats in Parliament. The CCM presidential candidate, Benjamin Mkapa, won a four-way race with 61.8 percent of the vote. The islands of Zanzibar are integrated into the United Republic's governmental and party structure, but the Zanzibar Government exercises considerable autonomy. The CCM won closely contested elections for the Zanzibar President and House of Representatives held in October. International observers noted serious discrepancies during the vote-counting process, calling into question the reelection of CCM incumbent Dr. Salmin Amour Juma as Zanzibar's President. The police have primary responsibility for maintaining law and order. They are supported by a variety of citizens' anticrime groups and patrols known as "Sungusungu." The police regularly committed human rights abuses. Agriculture provides 85 percent of employment. Cotton, coffee, sisal, tea, and gemstones account for most export earnings. The industrial sector is small. Economic reforms undertaken since 1986, including liberalization of agricultural policy, the privatization of state-owned enterprises, rescheduling of foreign debt payments, and freeing the currency exchange rate, have helped stimulate economic growth; however, poor fiscal management, and high inflation constrained economic progress. The multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections were an important development in the human rights situation. Although the ruling party retained significant advantages, new opposition parties were competitive in many races. However, human rights problems persisted, including police beatings and mistreatment of suspects which sometimes resulted in death. Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening. Arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention continued, and the inefficient and corrupt judicial system did not provide expeditious and fair trials for many citizens. There were limitations on freedom of the press, freedom of association, and worker rights. Mob justice remained severe and widespread, as did discrimination and violence against women. Some abuse of children continued. Following a March 31 change to the Government's longstanding policy of offering asylum, the Government refused entry to or forcibly repatriated several hundred Rwandan and Burundi refugees.
Respect for Human Rights
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing
There were no reports of political killings. At the end of 1994, prison officials in Bariadi were alleged to have beaten a prisoner to death shortly before he was due to be released. The officials covered up the death by telling the family that he had been transferred to another prison and did not confirm the man's death for several months afterward. No charges were filed in the case. In September six policemen in Mbeya were detained following the death of a suspected criminal in their custody. Credible observers estimate that police are responsible for the deaths of as many as 10 prisoners per year. Most of these deaths are the result of police beatings of persons in detention. There were no developments in the January 1993 police killing of a member of the opposition party Civic United Front (CUF) on the island of Pemba. After a lengthy investigation, the policeman who fired the shots was charged with murder without intent but remained free. CUF leaders complained that the President and Attorney General of Zanzibar blocked the prosecution of the police officer. At year's end the trial was still pending. Incidents of mob justice against suspected criminals continued to claim dozens of lives. Throughout 1995 suspected thieves were stoned, beaten to death, or doused with gasoline and set on fire. On a single day in February, mobs in Dar es Salaam killed four suspected car thieves in two separate incidents. In September a mob in Arusha burned a suspected thief to death. Although police occasionally rescue suspects, there are no reports of individuals being arrested or prosecuted for engaging in mob justice. The widespread belief in witchcraft has led in some instances to killing of alleged witches by their "victims," aggrieved relatives, or mobs. Government authorities condemned these practices, but took no active measures to prevent their occurence and rarely prosecuted participants. On September 13, one man was killed in a scuffle between CCM and opposition National Convention for Construction and Reform-Maguezi (NCCR-Mageuzi) supporters in Singida. The victim was claimed by both parties to be a member, and no one was charged with the crime. In a separate incident in Arumeru in September, a young NCCR supporter died in a clash between CCM and NCCR youth gangs. No one was arrested or charged. Harsh prison conditions led to the deaths of inmates (see Section 1.c.).
There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The Constitution prohibits the use of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, but the police regularly threatened, mistreated, and occasionally beat suspected criminals during and after their apprehension and interrogation. Although government officials usually condemned these practices, the Government seldom prosecuted officials for such abuses. The People's Militia Laws, as amended by Parliament in 1989, bestowed quasi-legal status on the traditional Sungusungu neighborhood and village anticrime groups. In the past, these groups had been criticized for using excessive force with criminal suspects. Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening. Government officials acknowledged that prisons are overcrowded and living conditions are poor. Prisons were designed to hold 21,000 prisoners, but the prison population was estimated at 47,000. Serious diseases, such as dysentery, malaria, and cholera, are common and result in deaths. Convicted prisoners are not allowed to receive food from the outside and are often moved to different prisons without notification to their families. Pretrial detainees are held together with those serving sentences but are allowed to receive food from the outside. There is no outside monitoring of prison conditions.
d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile
The Criminal Procedures Code, amended in 1985, requires that a person arrested for a crime, other than a national security charge under the Preventive Detention Act, be charged before a magistrate within 24 hours. However, in practice, the police often fail to do so. The 1985 amendments also restricted the right to bail and imposed strict conditions on freedom of movement and association when bail is granted. Because of backlogs, an average case still takes 2 to 3 years or longer to come to trial, during which time pretrial detainees remain incarcerated under poor conditions. The code provides for a right to defense counsel. The Chief Justice assigns lawyers to indigent defendants charged with serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, and armed robbery. There are only a few hundred practicing lawyers in Tanzania, and most indigent defendants charged with lesser crimes do not have legal counsel. Under the Preventive Detention Act, the President may order the arrest and indefinite detention without bail of any person considered dangerous to the public order or national security. This act was amended in 1985 to require the Government to release detainees within 15 days of detention or inform them of the reason for their detention. The detainee is also allowed to challenge the grounds for detention at 90-day intervals. Despite a landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal in 1991 that the Preventive Detention Act could not be used to deny bail to persons not considered dangerous to society, the Government has still not introduced corrective legislation. The Preventive Detention Act was not used in 1995. The Government has additional broad detention powers under the Regions and Regional Commissioners Act and the Area Commissioners Act of 1962. These acts permit regional and district commissioners to arrest and detain for 48 hours persons who may "disturb public tranquility." Police continued to make arbitrary arrests, although less frequently than in the past. For example, the police occasionally arrest relatives of criminal suspects, holding them in custody without charge for as long as several years in efforts to force the suspects to turn themselves in. Those relatives who manage to get their cases before a judge are usually set free, only to be immediately rearrested when they leave the courtroom. The Government took no legal action to correct these abuses. Police also detained CUF members when they attempted to campaign in rural areas. The editor and the publisher of two newspapers, Shaba and Rafiki, were detained on three separate occasions during the year after publishing letters critical of the Government. On one occasion, they were denied food and sleep for 2 days and denied access to their lawyer for 5 days (see Section 2.a.). Six Angolans, who had been detained after refusing offers of asylum, voluntarily returned to Angola in August.
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the judiciary increasingly demonstrated its independence and willingness to challenge the Government. For example, in March the High Court ruled against the Attorney General and Ministry of Home Affairs in a high profile commercial dispute between two brothers regarding the misappropriation of funds. In the past senior police or government officials pressured and sometimes reassigned judges who made unpopular rulings; no such incidents occured in 1995. However, the judicial bureaucracy is widely criticized as inefficient and corrupt, bringing into question a defendant's ability to receive a fair and expeditious trial in all cases. There are reports of prisoners waiting several years for trial because they could not pay bribes to police and court officials. The majority of individuals held in the two major prisons in Dar es Salaam are awaiting trial. Although the Government initiated efforts as early as 1991 to highlight judicial corruption, it has made little progress in correcting the situation. The legal system is based on the British model, with modifications to accommodate customary and Islamic law in civil cases. Military courts do not try civilians, and there are no security courts. Defendants in civil and military courts may appeal decisions to the High Court and Court of Appeal. Zanzibar's court system generally parallels the mainland's legal system, but retains Islamic courts to handle Muslim family cases such as divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Cases concerning Zanzibar constitutional issues are heard only in Zanzibar's courts. All other cases may be appealed to the Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania. Criminal trials are open to the public and to the press; courts must give reasons on the record for holding secret proceedings. Criminal defendants have the right of appeal. There were no reports of political prisoners. In November the Government pardoned nine former military officers who were sentenced in 1985 to life imprisonment following their conviction for plotting the overthrow of the Government in 1983.
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
The State continued to interfere with these rights, which are generally provided for in the Constitution. The CCM has historically penetrated all levels of society through local cells, varying in size from single family homes to large apartment buildings and containing from 10 to 200 persons. Unpaid party officials serve as 10-cell leaders with authority to resolve problems at the grassroots level and to report to authorities any suspicious behavior, event, or noncompliance with compulsory night patrol service in the neighborhood. In 1993, elections were held for new grassroots leaders to replace the CCM 10-cell leaders in nonparty business. In fact, few voters participated in these elections which were boycotted by the opposition, and the 10-cell leaders retained nearly all of their power and influence. CCM membership is voluntary and is estimated at 2 to 3 million card holders. While in the past, CCM membership had been necessary for advancement in political and other areas, the importance of such membership is waning. The Criminal Procedures Act of 1985 authorizes police officials (including the civilian anticrime units) to issue search warrants; however, the act also authorizes searches of persons and premises without a warrant if necessary to prevent the loss or destruction of evidence connected with an offense or if circumstances are serious and urgent. In practice, warrants are rarely requested, and police and other security services search private homes and business establishments at will. The security services reportedly monitor telephones and correspondence of some citizens and selected foreign residents. Compulsory participation in local anticrime groups known as Sungusungu continued in some areas and waned in others.
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press. Opposition political party members and others openly criticize the Government and ruling party in public forums. However, the Government on occasion attempted to pressure the media and journalists practice self-censorship. The press in Tanzania is, on the whole, lively and outspoken. There are over 50 privately owned newspapers and periodicals some of which are owned or influenced by political parties, both CCM and opposition. The Government continued to pressure newspapers to kill or ameliorate unfavorable stories throughout the year, and the media continued to practice self-censorship because of fear of Government reprisals. There is no official censorship. In February the Government filed sedition charges against the editor and two publishers of the private Swahili daily Majira for an article which embarrassed the Government over the purchase of radar equipment. Legal proceedings were continuing at the end of 1995, but Majira continued to publish similar articles. On two separate occasions in May and July, the editor and publisher of the biweekly Shaba were detained following the publication of letters from unamed army and police officers criticizing the Government. They were charged with violating the Official Secrets Act. In November both men again were detained following their publishing in the Rafiki newspaper letters criticizing the Government's management of the elections. The Government subsequently banned Rafiki; Shaba continues to publish, and the trial of the editor and publisher is still pending (see Section 1.d.). At year's end, a seditious libel case against another newspaper, the Express, had not been brought to court and the Express continued to publish. The Government sought to maintain some control over the private media by establishing a code of conduct for journalists and a Media Council. Led by the Tanzanian chapter of the Media Council for Southern Africa and the newly formed Association of Journalists and Media Workers, journalists forced the Government to agree to a voluntary code of ethics and Media Council instead. At year's end full registration of this Media Council was pending government approval. Generally, the official media--radio, television, and press--largely reflect official positions following guidance from the Ministry of Information. Senior officials often write editorials. Government-controlled Radio Tanzania, broadcasting in Swahili and English, reaches the largest audience throughout most of the mainland. Private radio and television stations broadcast in Dar es Salaam and in a few other urban areas. The private television station Dar es Salaam Television (DTV) was fined and threatened with closure for reporting a CUF victory in the election for President of Zanzibar (see Section 3) and an erroneous report of the death of the Prime Minister. Staff members of DTV said that they believe the fines were retribution for political reporting, and the station has stopped reporting controversial news. Opposition access to the government-owned radio station, which had been limited to a single weekly program before the election campaign, improved during the 2-month period before the elections, and political news was reported in a more balanced manner. On September 19, the four presidential candidates participated in an unprecedented public debate on an equal footing. The debate, which was sponsored by a private newspaper, was broadcast over government-owned radio and private television. The CCM had considerable advantages over opposition parties, in part because of its own daily Swahili-language newspaper (see Section 3). On Zanzibar, radio and television are controlled by the Government, which also practices a restrictive policy with regard to print media. Private mainland newspapers are widely available, and residents of Zanzibar can receive mainland television. Government-owned radio and television on Zanzibar was biased in favor of the CCM. Academic freedom exists in theory and largely in practice, particularly at the university level. Academics were increasingly outspoken in their criticism of the Government and suggestions for reform.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
The Constitution provides for the freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and citizens generally enjoyed the right to discuss freely political alternatives. However, the Constitution and other legal acts limit these rights and stipulate that citizens cannot run for public office unless they are members of a registered political party. Political parties must give police 48 hours' advance notice of rallies. Police have the authority to deny permission on public safety or security grounds, or if the permit seeker belongs to an unregistered organization or political party. Opposition parties were able in most cases to hold rallies. Police were usually present and occasionally ordered people to disperse for crowd control. Police used tear gas a few times at opposition political rallies, although it was unclear whether it was used to disrupt the rallies or in response to crowd provocation. On Zanzibar the opposition CUF party was not allowed to hold rallies throughout the islands until 2 months before the elections. Following the elections, in which the ruling CCM party claimed victory, local government officials prohibited any assembly of CUF supporters or the use of CUF slogans. In order to ensure public safety, regulations require nonpolitical organizations seeking to stage a rally to have the permission of either the District or Regional Commissioner. The Registrar of Political Parties has sole authority to approve or deny the registration of any political party and is responsible for enforcing strict regulations on registered or provisionally registered parties. The electoral law prohibits independent candidates; requires all standing Members of Parliament to resign if they join another party; requires all political parties to support the union with Zanzibar; and forbids parties based on ethnic, regional, or religious affiliation. Parties granted provisional registration may hold public meetings and recruit members. They have 6 months to submit lists of at least 200 members in 10 of the country's 25 regions, including 2 regions in Zanzibar, in order to secure full registration and to be eligible to field candidates for election. Nonregistered parties are prohibited from holding meetings, recruiting members, or fielding candidates. The most prominent unregistered party was Reverend Christopher Mtikila's Democratic Party, which advocates the dissolution of the union and the expulsion of minorities from the mainland. In 1993 Mtikila was charged with sedition, breach of the peace, and using abusive language against the CCM and the Government following a rally; the charges were dropped in November. Despite his political party's lack of government recognition, Mtikila was able to publicize his views through his legally registered church and through ongoing lawsuits against the Government. Under the Societies Ordinance, the Ministry of Home Affairs must approve any new association. Citizens formed several nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) in the last few years to address the concerns of families, the disabled, women, and children. A number of professional, business, legal, and medical associations exist, but they have only begun to address political topics. The Government continued to withhold registration from a group called Defenders of Human Rights in Tanzania (see Section 4). Opposition leaders complain that the Zanzibar Government is even more restrictive in registering societies than the union Government.
c. Freedom of Religion
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice, subject to measures it claims are necessary to ensure public order and safety. Missionaries are allowed to enter the country freely to proselytize, and citizens are allowed to go abroad for pilgrimages and other religious practices.
d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Immigration, and Repatriation
Short-term domestic travel is not restricted, but citizens must follow national employment directives stipulating the nature of employment and location of the residence. The Human Resources Deployment Act of 1983 requires local governments to ensure that every resident within their area of jurisdiction engages in productive and lawful employment. Those not employed are subject to transfer to another area where employment is available. These laws are also used as a pretext for police to solicit bribes and intimidate urban residents. In December 1994, the Dar es Salaam City Council rounded up 395 beggars and returned them to their home areas. Many returned to Dar es Salaam within a few weeks. Passports for foreign travel can be difficult to obtain, mostly due to bureaucratic inefficiency; and authorities subject those planning to travel or emigrate to close scrutiny. Citizens who leave the country without permission are subject to prosecution upon their return. Mainlanders are required to show identification to travel to Zanzibar, and are not allowed to work or own land on the islands. Tanzania had maintained a generous open border policy with regard to refugees from neighboring countries who sought political asylum. However, on March 31, the Government closed its border with Rwanda and Burundi following the influx of more than 600,000 refugees from Rwanda in 1994. New refugees continued to attempt to enter Tanzania, and several hundred were forcibly returned to both Rwanda and Burundi. Soldiers, deployed along the border to keep the refugees out, looted and physically abused refugees they forced back across the border. On August 17, soldiers entered the Kitali Hill refugee camp and rounded up approximately 400 refugees from the camp's reception center and forced 149 of them across the border into Burundi.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
For the first time in more than 30 years, Tanzanians exercised their right to change their government through national elections for president and parliament which were held between October 29 and November 19. A multiparty political system had been in place since 1992. The CCM retained control of the presidency and Parliament, winning 186 out of 232 parliamentary seats and 61.8 percent of the presidential vote on the mainland. The CCM retained huge advantages over opposition parties in membership and access to resources including its own daily Swahili-language newspaper (see Section 2.a.). The Government also employed tactics to restrict or delay activities of opposition parties during the campaign. Despite these problems, opposition candidates made credible challenges in many districts and for president. Voting was completed without violence or major disruption, although two people were killed in incidents that may have been campaign related. After widespread problems with the distribution of ballots on election day, the Government nullified the elections in seven Dar es Salaam constituencies and held new elections in these constituencies on November 19. Opposition parties demanded that the elections be nullified nationwide and boycotted the rerun elections in Dar Es Salaam. Most international and local observers, while noting the problems with the distribution of ballots, expressed overall satisfaction with the conduct of the elections. The Constitution of Zanzibar allows citizens the right to change peacefully their government; however, observers raised serious doubts about the accuracy of the outcome of the presidential election on Zanzibar. This contest between CCM incumbent Dr. Salim Amour Juma and Seif Sharif Hamad of the opposition CUF was particularly close and contentious. CCM intimidated and harassed the opposition, and did not allow opposition rallies until 2 months prior to elections. Government-owned radio and television on Zanzibar were biased in favor of CCM (see Section 2.a.). Also, voter registration was limited to individuals who had maintained the same residence for 5 years, which disenfranchised many voters. CUF members were also detained by police when they attempted to campaign in rural areas. On election day, voting was completed without significant problems. However, after the election, observers were denied access to the tabulation of votes from the polling stations. After 4 days, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), appointed by the Amour government, announced that Amour had defeated Hamad by 1,565 votes out of a total of 328,977. Totals tabulated by CUF showed a similarly narrow victory for Hamad. After efforts by the international community to reconcile discrepancies in the vote counting, observers concluded that the official results may have been inaccurate. Although these discrepancies were brought to the attention of Union President Mwinyi, he took no action before Dr. Amour was inaugurated as President of Zanzibar for a new 5-year term. Following the announcement of the CCM victory, there were credible reports that government security forces and CCM gangs harassed and intimidated CUF members on both of the two main Zanzibar islands, Pemba and Ugunja. Because CUF won all 20 Zanzibar seats in Pemba, Pembans living on Ugunja were regarded as CUF supporters and as a result were harassed. CUF members accused police of detaining dozens of its members including several local leaders. Some CUF supporters on Ugunja felt threatened and reportedly moved their families to Pemba or the mainland. There are no restrictions in law on the participation of women in politics and government. However, in practice few women are politically active. Eight of 232 elected members of the Union Parliament are women. An additional 37 women from both the CCM and opposition parties were appointed to Parliament to seats reserved for women. Three of the Cabinet's 23 ministers are women.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
The Government has obstructed the formation of local human rights groups. Persons seeking to register human rights NGO's, such as the Defenders of Human Rights in Tanzania, complained that the Ministry of Home Affairs continued to delay action on their application (see Section 2.b.). Government officials have said that visits by international human rights groups would be welcome, including those for the purposes of visiting prisons.
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status
The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on nationality, tribe, origin, political affiliation, color, religion, or lifestyle. Discrimination based on sex, age, or disability is not specifically prohibited by law but is publicly discouraged in official statements.
Violence against women remained widespread. Legal remedies exist, but in practice are difficult to obtain. Traditional customs subordinating women remained strong in both urban and rural areas, and often local magistrates upheld such practices. It is accepted for a husband to treat his wife as he wishes, and wife beating occurs at all levels of society. Cultural, family, and social pressure prevent many women from reporting abuses to authorities. Government officials frequently make public statements decrying such abuses, but rarely take action against perpetrators. Although the Government advocates equal rights for women in the workplace, it does not ensure these rights in practice. In the public sector which employs 80 percent of the salaried labor force, certain statutes restrict women's access to some jobs and hours of employment. While progress on women's rights has been more noticeable in urban areas, strong traditional norms still divide labor along gender lines and place women in a subordinate position. Discrimination against women is most acute in the countryside where women are relegated to farming and raising children, with almost no opportunity for wage employment. The overall situation for women is even less favorable in heavily Muslim Zanzibar. Women there and in many parts of the mainland face discriminatory restrictions on inheritance and ownership of property because of concessions by the Government and courts to customary and Islamic law. While provisions of the Marriage Act provide for certain inheritance and property rights for women, application of customary, Islamic, or statutory law depends on the lifestyle and stated intentions of the male head of household. The courts have thus upheld discriminatory inheritance claims, primarily in rural areas. Under Zanzibari law, unmarried women under the age of 21 who become pregnant are subject to 2 years' imprisonment. Several NGO's provide counseling and education programs on women's rights issues, particularly sexual harassment and molestation.
Government funding of programs for children's welfare remained minuscule. The Government made some constructive efforts to address children's welfare, including working closely with churches and NGO's to assess the well-being of orphans and neglected children. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is widely condemned by international health experts as damaging to both physical and psychological health. Although the Government officially discourages FGM, it is still performed at an early age in approximately 20 of the country's 130 main ethnic groups. Government officials have called for changes in customs which adversely affect women, but no legislation has been introduced which would specifically restrict the practice of female circumcision. However, some local government officials began to combat the practice. On July 11, parents near Dodoma were fined by local government officials after their daughters went to a local health center with excessive bleeding following circumcision. Seminars sponsored by various governmental and nongovernmental organizations are regularly held in an attempt to educate the public on the dangers of these and other traditional practices. Health authorities believe the practice is declining, but other sources maintain it is on the rise, especially in central Tanzania.
People with Disabilities
The Government does not mandate access to public buildings, transportation, or government services for people with disabilities. Although there is no official discrimination against the disabled, in practice the physically disabled are effectively restricted in their access to education, employment, and provision of other state services due to physical barriers. The Government provides only limited funding to special facilities and programs.
The Muslim community claims to be disadvantaged in terms of its representation in the civil service and government and in state-owned business, in part because both colonial and past post-independence administrations refused to recognize the credentials of traditional Muslim schools. As a result, there is widespread Muslim resentment of the perceived advantages enjoyed by Christians. Christians, in turn, have been critical of what they perceive as undue favoritism accorded to Muslims in appointments, jobs, and scholarships by former President Mwinyi, who is a Muslim. Some leaders in both camps appear to be playing up religious tensions. In fact, there does not at present appear to be any serious problem of discrimination due to religion in access to employment or educational opportunities.
In the past, the Government discriminated against the Barabaig and other nomadic people in northern Tanzania. These ethnic groups continued to complain of government discrimination, because of efforts to make them adopt a more modern lifestyle and to restrict their access to land that was turned into large government wheat farms. In August and September, an estimated 20 people were killed in Ngorongoro district in ethnic clashes between Maasai and Sonjo tribesmen. The Government deployed riot police to the area to quell the disturbances. The Asian community has declined by 50 percent in the past decade to about 50,000, a result of considerable antipathy by many African Tanzanians. There are, however, no laws or official policies which discriminate against them. As the Government places greater emphasis on market oriented policies and privatization, public concern regarding the Asian community's economic role has increased. This has led to demands for policies of "indigenization" to ensure that privatization does not increase the Asian community's economic predominance at the expense of the country's African population.
Section 6 Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association
Both the Constitution and the 1955 Trade Union Ordinance refer to the right of association of workers. Nevertheless, workers do not have the right to form or join organizations of their own choice. The Organization of Tanzania Trade Unions (OTTU) Act of 1991 addresses all labor union issues, and the OTTU is effectively the only trade union organization in Tanzania. In August the OTTU Congress adopted a new constitution and renamed itself the Tanzania Federation of Trade Unions (TFTU) which, pending government ratification, is to be made up of 11 independent trade unions. The new constitution provides for the President to retain the power to disband TFTU unions, although union leaders began efforts to delete the provision. The individual unions will have the right to leave the TFTU and to collect their own dues, 5 percent of which will be contributed to the federation. The OTTU leadership assumed the leadership positions of the TFTU. Only 1 of the 11 new independent unions, the Tanzanian Teachers Union, is presently fully registered. The OTTU represented 60 percent of workers in industry and government, but it had little influence on labor policy. Overall, roughly 25 percent of Tanzania's 2 million wage earners are organized. All workers, including those classified as "essential" service workers, are permitted to join unions, but essential workers are not permitted to strike. There are no laws prohibiting retribution against legal strikers. However, workers have the legal right to strike only after complicated and protracted mediation and conciliation procedures leading ultimately to the Industrial Court, which receives direction from the Minister of Labor and Youth Development. If the OTTU is not satisfied with the decision of the Industrial Court, it can then conduct a legal strike. These procedures can prolong a dispute by months without resolving it. Pending a resolution, frustrated workers have staged impromptu, illegal, wildcat strikes and walkouts. The OTTU limited its international affiliation to regional and pan Africanist trade union organizations. The TFTU has joined the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively
Collective bargaining is protected by law but limited to the private sector. Wages for employees of the Government and state-owned organizations, which account of the bulk of the salaried labor force, are administratively set by the Government. Although the OTTU negotiated on behalf of most private sector employees with the Association of Tanzanian Employers, collective agreements must be submitted to the Industrial Court for approval. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has observed that these provisions are not in conformity with ILO Convention 98 on Collective Bargaining and the Right to Organize. Tanzania's Security of Employment Act of 1964 prohibits discriminatory activities by an employer against union members. Employers found guilty of antiunion activities are legally required to reinstate workers. There are no export processing zones (EPZ's) on the mainland, but three new EPZ's on Zanzibar. Work conditions in the EPZ's are comparable to those in other Tanzanian work places. Labor law protections apply to EPZ workers.
c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The Constitution prohibits forced labor. However, as in the past, the ILO observed that provisions of various laws are incompatible with ILO Conventions 29 and l05 on forced labor. Specifically, the Human Resources Deployment Act of 1983 requires that every local government authority ensure that able-bodied persons over 15 years of age not in school engage in productive or other lawful employment. In some rural areas, ordinary villagers are still obligated to work in the village communal gardens or small construction projects such as repairing roads.
d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children
By law, children under the age of 12 years are prohibited from working in the formal wage sector in both urban and rural areas. However, this provision does not apply to children working on family farms or herding domestic livestock. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can be employed for daily wage and on a day-to-day basis, but must have parental permission and return to the residence of their guardian at night. The minimum age for entry into work of a contractual nature in approved occupations is set at 15 years. The law prohibits a young person from employment in any occupation which is injurious to health or which is otherwise unsuitable. Young persons between the ages of 12 and 15 may be employed in industrial work but only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., with some exceptions allowed. The Ministry of Labor and Youth Development is responsible for enforcement. The effectiveness of government enforcement has reportedly declined with increased privatization. Approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children engage in seasonal employment on sisal, tea, tobacco, and coffee plantations. Work on sisal plantations is particularly hazardous and detrimental to children. On one sisal plantation, children made up 30 percent of the work force; only half of the children had completed primary school. They had a high incidence of skin and respiratory problems, were not provided protective clothing, and lacked adequate nourishment and lodging. Another 1,500 to 3,000 children work in unregulated gemstone mines. In the informal sector, children assist their parents in unregulated piece work manufacturing. In the last decade, the percentage of children enrolled in primary school has dropped from over 80 percent to less than 60 percent.
e. Acceptable Conditions of Work
There is a legal minimum wage for employment in the formal sector. The OTTU often negotiated higher minimum wages with individual employers, depending on the financial status of the business. The legal minimum wage is $30 (17,500 Tanzanian shillings) per month. Even when supplemented with various benefits such as housing, transport allowances, and food subsidies, the minimum rate may not always be sufficient to provide an adequate living for a worker and family, and workers must depend on the extended family or a second or third job. Despite the minimum wage, many workers, especially in the informal sector, are paid less. There is no standard legal workweek. However, a 5-day, 40-hour workweek is in effect for government workers. Most private employers retain a 6-day, 44- to 48-hour workweek. In general, women may not be employed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Several laws regulate safety in the workplace. An occupational health and safety factory inspection system, set up with the assistance of the ILO, is now managed by the Ministry of Labor and Youth Development. Its effectiveness, however, is minimal. OTTU officials have claimed that enforcement of labor standards is effective in the formal sector, but no verification studies have been performed. Workers can take an employer to court through their OTTU branch if their working conditions do not comply with the Ministry of Labor's health and environmental standards. Workers making such complaints have not lost their jobs as a result. Enforcement of labor standards is nonexistent in the informal sector.