Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1993 - Tanzania

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 January 1994
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1993 - Tanzania, 30 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa464.html [accessed 28 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis 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.
 

The United Republic of Tanzania amended its Constitution in 1992 to become a multiparty state; however, pending national elections scheduled for 1995, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) continued to control the Government. President Mwinyi was reelected to a final 5-year term as President of the Republic in October 1990. The Government lays down fundamental political policies and monitors their implementation, including steps toward national multiparty elections scheduled for 1995. The islands of Zanzibar are integrated into the United Republic's governmental and party structure, but the Zanzibar government exercises a considerable degree of autonomy. There has been growing debate about the viability of the current Union structure (see Section 3).

The police have primary responsibility for maintaining law and order. They are supported by a variety of citizens' anticrime patrols known as "Sungusungu" in urban areas and "Wasalama" in rural zones. The police occasionally beat suspects during interrogations. Likewise, there have been instances when the citizens' anticrime groups have used excessive measures while carrying out their tasks.

Agriculture provides 90 percent of employment. Cotton, coffee, sisal, tea, and gemstones account for most export earnings. The industrial sector is one of the smallest in Africa. Economic reforms undertaken since 1986, including liberalization of agricultural policy, the beginning of privatization of state-owned enterprises, rescheduling of foreign debt payments, and the freeing of the currency exchange rate, have helped stimulate economic growth – estimated at 3 to 4 percent in 1993 – for the seventh straight year.

While the Government permitted the registration of 11 new political parties and allowed increased freedom of speech and press, it continued to restrict human rights. Moreover, the Government attempted to control the pace and direction of political change, purportedly to ensure social stability. In the process it used short-term detentions of some political opponents, engaged in several intrusive actions against the independent press, sometimes interfered with the right of peaceful assembly, and continued to impinge on the citizens' right of privacy and free movement. Although the government held no known political detainees or prisoners at year's end, it had not rectified a variety of problems in the judicial system which, in their totality, amounted to the denial of expeditious justice and fair trial for many citizens. During the year, religious tensions heightened with the public appearance of Muslim fundamentalism. Discrimination and violence against women remain severe and widespread, and offenders were not usually prosecuted.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There was one extrajudicial killing in 1993. On January 31, following a confrontation on the island of Pemba over the removal of a flag of the opposition party Civic United Front (CUF), a local policeman shot and killed one party member and injured another. Investigating what was widely viewed as an unfortunate local incident, a police commission recommended the policeman be charged with murder without intent and with causing injury to another person. CUF leaders filed separate charges against another policeman involved. Both cases were still pending in the courts at the end of the year.

Spontaneous mob "justice" for suspected criminals also remained a common practice throughout the country. For example, in May a mob in Dar es Salaam killed three armed men and injured a fourth following a gas station robbery. No one was arrested.

b. Disappearance

There were no reported cases of disappearance.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution prohibits the use of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and government officials condemn these practices whenever cases become public. In practice, however, the police occasionally threaten and mistreat suspected criminals during and after their apprehension. Officials are seldom tried for such abuses when they occur.

The People's Militia Laws, as amended by Parliament in 1989, bestow quasi-legal status on the traditional Sungusungu and Wasalama village and neighborhood anticrime groups. The press in April reported that eight members of a Sungusungu patrol in Mwanza were imprisoned for beating a teacher accused of misuse of school property. The widespread belief in witchcraft has led, in a few instances, to the killing of alleged witches by their "victims," aggrieved relatives, or mobs. While government authorities attempt to discourage such practices, they rarely prosecute participants.

Although there is no independent monitoring, prison conditions generally reflect Tanzania's depressed economic conditions. There has been little improvement over the past year. Government-furnished food and medical care are limited in quantity and quality, leading to outbreaks of serious diseases such as cholera and malaria that have reportedly led to some deaths. On the other hand, prisoners' families usually may visit and attend to feeding and health care needs.

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Criminal Procedure Code, amended in 1985, requires that a person arrested for a crime, other than a national security offense under the Preventive Detention Act, be charged before a magistrate within 24 hours and be permitted the right to defense counsel. These amendments also restricted the right to bail, reduced the number of bailable offenses, limited judges' discretion in granting bail, and imposed strict conditions on freedom of movement and association when bail is granted. An average case still takes 2 to 3 years or longer to come to trial, with the defendant incarcerated under poor conditions.

Under the Preventive Detention Act, the President of Tanzania may order the arrest and indefinite detention without bail of any person considered dangerous to the public order or national security. The 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 was 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.

Arbitrary arrest in criminal cases occurs. For example, police occasionally arrest innocent 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. Such relatives who manage to get their case before a judge are usually set free, only to be immediately rearrested when they leave the courtroom. The legal community appears helpless to correct these abuses. Local lawyers estimate the number of such cases at several hundred.

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." There are credible reports that these powers continued to be abused to detain political "troublemakers," citizens who question authority, or those who resist forced contributions to the ruling party.

In 1993 the Government sometimes used its legal powers to harass and intimidate political opponents. The authorities arrested opposition speakers who were particularly critical of the Government during public rallies for using "abusive" language. After a few hours or days in jail, the Government routinely dropped charges. In June the Government arrested three members of the unregistered Democratic Party and charged them with inciting Muhimbili Medical Center nurses to demonstrate for payment of benefits. It also arrested and charged five others with unlawful assembly and assaulting a police officer. While members of opposition parties have been harassed by security officials, none was detained under the Preventive Detention Act in 1993.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

Weaknesses in the judicial system and government interference have the effect of denying expeditious and fair justice to many citizens (see below).

The legal system in Tanzania is based on the British model, with modifications to accommodate customary and Islamic law in civil cases. Criminal trials are open to the public and the press; courts must give reasons on the record for holding secret proceedings. Criminal defendants have the right of appeal. 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 the 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.

While the judiciary is constitutionally mandated to operate independently from the executive branch, the Government can influence cases. For example, judges who render decisions unpopular with senior police or government officials may be subject to pressures or may be transferred and reassigned. Government officials also sometimes ignore judicial rulings.

In addition to this interference, the judicial bureaucracy is widely criticized as inefficient and corrupt, bringing into question the defendants' ability to receive a fair and expeditious trial in all cases. There are reports of prisoners, who could not pay bribes to police and court officials, waiting several years for trial. Although the Government initiated efforts as early as 1991 to highlight judicial corruption, there has been little evident progress in correcting this situation.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the celebrated case of former Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Sharif Hamad. He had been released from detention on November 20, 1991, and allowed in late 1992 to travel abroad and engage in political activities.

There were no known cases of political detainees or prisoners held at year's end.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The State continued to interfere with these rights, although the Government began to disassociate the intrusive, neighborhood watch "10-cell" function from the CCM Party. 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 served 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 the 10-cell function continued in some areas but was weakened in others as leadership was transferred to individuals elected in recent "grassroots elections." The CCM was withdrawn from most public establishments, and the military was forbidden to belong to any political organization.

CCM membership is voluntary and is estimated at approximately 3 million cardholders. While in the past CCM membership had been necessary for advancement in political and other areas, the importance of such membership is beginning to wane.

The Criminal Procedure 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 the police and others search private homes and business establishments at will. Reportedly, the security services monitor the telephones and correspondence of some citizens and of selected foreign residents.

Compulsory participation in local civilian anticrime groups continued in 1993 in some areas. Historically, these groups have operated only in rural areas to combat cattle rustling and other criminal activity. Peasant farmers are no longer required to join agricultural cooperative societies controlled by the ruling CCM party. The 1992 Cooperative Act eliminated government interference in cooperative formation, and cooperatives now serve economic rather than political ends. Members elect their own officers. Various ordinances allow the authorities to remove "undesirable" or destitute persons from one area to their prior place of residence or origin if employment is not available for them (see Sections 2.d. and 6.c.).

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech and press is provided for under the Constitution. Political activists openly criticized the Government and ruling party in public forums, although there were a few incidents in which vociferous opponents were briefly detained, in some cases allegedly for using "abusive" language (see Section 2.d.). While police were often seen at political rallies, their presence was principally for crowd-control purposes.

The single most important medium, radio, remained under government control, with access for the nascent political parties restricted to one or two weekly programs. On occasion, the Government refused opposition political parties permission to announce public meetings or purchase advertisement time on the radio. The Government had not formulated a public policy on access to government-controlled media by political parties or nongovernmental organizations by the end of the year, although political party leaders and Radio Tanzania officials discussed the issue in July. During 1993 the Government laid the groundwork for a reorganization of radio and the licensing of private radio and television stations, culminating in the inauguration of the National Broadcasting Commission on November 15.

Daily papers available at the end of 1993 were the CCM-owned Swahili-language Uhuru (circulation 80,000); the government English-language Daily News (circulation 50,000); and a third, the private Swahili-language Majira with an initial printing run of 50,000 copies. A large number of other English- and Swahili-language private newspapers and magazines appeared regularly. These newspapers were also available in Zanzibar, where the only local journal was a Ministry of Information bimonthly. The official media generally reflect the CCM's ideological line, publicizing and defending the Government's programs with guidance from the Ministry of Information. Editorials are often written by senior government officials. Although there is no formal censorship, the official media still exercise considerable self-censorship.

Numerous foreign newspapers and magazines were widely available. Although the local newspapers and magazines varied widely in quality, about half formed the core of a serious, free, independent press. They have been largely critical of the Government and have given extensive coverage to opposition parties. The Government attempted to curb the critical independent press with relatively little success. The Information Ministry revoked the licenses of two newspapers in January, ostensibly for printing obscene articles. This action was broadly criticized as arbitrary, and the owners of one of the newspapers had an appeal pending in the courts at year's end.

The Government also proposed legislation to establish a press council, ostensibly to handle complaints against the press and to uphold standards of professionalism in journalism. This bill was harshly criticized by the media, some academics, and parliamentarians as a thinly veiled attempt to control the newly independent media. The bill included provision for licensing journalists as well as a binding code of ethics. The negative response was so overwhelming that the Government withdrew the bill.

Academic freedom exists in theory, although most academics are employed in government institutions and hesitate to promote sensitive subjects in their classrooms. On the other hand, in publications and public appearances, they have been outspoken and frank in their views, whether critical or supportive of government policies.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Although Tanzanians enjoyed the right freely to discuss political alternatives, local government officials sometimes used existing laws to impede freedom of assembly and association. In order to preserve public order, the Government warned political opponents against employing "abusive" or "inciting" language at public rallies. Permits must be obtained from the Government for any public meeting. The responses to requests of opposition parties for permits to hold meetings were at times issued too late to publicize the rallies or too restrictive in terms of approved times and locations. Some requests were explicitly denied.

The registrar of political parties has sole authority for approving or denying the registration of any political party and is responsible for enforcing strict regulations on registered or provisionally registered parties. Electoral amendments approved in 1992 prohibit independent candidates, require standing Members of Parliament to resign if they join another political party, require all political parties to support the Union with Zanzibar, and forbid 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 from 10 of the country's 25 regions, including 2 regions of the islands, 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 expulsion from the mainland of minorities and the establishment of a Christian state. The authorities arrested Mtikila and four others in January and charged them with unlawful assembly, breach of the peace, sedition, and using abusive language against CCM leaders and the Government when a public rally in Dar es Salaam prompted a riot. They were released on bail 2 weeks later and hearings continued throughout the year. In September the Government held Mtikila another 2 weeks and charged him with intimidation and sedition against the Government after he called for the expulsion of President Mwinyi and other Zanzibari leaders from the mainland and issued veiled threats against their safety. He has since been released.

In May the entire undergraduate student body of Sokoine University was suspended after students barred university officials from entering the administration building in a protest over health and related services. All students were reinstated by the end of the year.

Under the Societies Ordinance, the Ministry of Home Affairs must approve any new association. A number of professional, business, legal, and medical associations exist but have only begun to address political topics. Several nongovernmental organizations were formed within the last 2 years to address the concerns of families, women, and children.

c. Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is provided for in the Constitution and is respected in practice, to the extent that public order and safety are not jeopardized. A rise in religious tension and violence (see Section 2.b. and below) did not impinge on freedom of worship, but raised public concerns for the future of religious tolerance. Missionaries are allowed to enter the country freely to proselytize, and Tanzanians are allowed to go abroad for pilgrimages and other religious purposes. Since 1988 the Government has allowed the Jehovah's Witnesses, who were banned in Tanzania for many years, to hold services, to register as an organization, and to proselytize.

In April the Government arrested 38 alleged Muslim fundamentalists and charged them with destroying several pork butcheries in Dar es Salaam. A subsequent demonstration during a court hearing led to the arrest of at least 12 Muslim sympathizers for illegal assembly. The authorities charged two Muslim leaders, Sheikh Yahya Hussein and Sheikh Kassim Jumaa Khamis, with instigating the violence, and Kassim also faced charges of denigrating the beliefs of a religious group and two counts of sedition. They released Sheikh Kassim on bail and dropped charges against most of the accused in June. The Government also banned Balukta, the Koran Reading Association, for its alleged involvement in the incidents and arrested Sheikh Kassim in August, charging him with four additional counts of sedition. He was released on bail and awaited trial at year's end. In April the Government expelled three Sudanese Muslim teachers from the country for allegedly inciting religious hatred and urging the establishment of an Islamic state.

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

Apart from the Zanzibari requirement for documentation for travel between Zanzibar and the mainland, short-term travel generally is not restricted within Tanzania, but citizens must follow national employment directives stipulating the nature of employment and location of residence. The Human Resources Deployment Act of 1983 requires local governments to ensure that every resident within their areas of jurisdiction engages in productive and lawful employment. Those not so employed are subject to transfer to another area where employment is available. For years city dwellers unable to show proof of employment during police checks have been forced to return to rural areas as the Government has sought to control increasing pressure on urban resources. In early 1993, the Dar es Salaam police shipped many of the city's beggars back to their home villages. In April Zanzibar President Salmin Amour ordered an alleged antigovernment activist to move to his ancestral village on the mainland.

Mostly due to bureaucratic inefficiency, passports for foreign travel can be difficult to obtain. Former exiled opposition figure Oscar Kambona was finally issued a passport in August after an unusually long investigation into his claim to Tanzanian citizenship. The delay in his case appeared excessive and possibly was politically motivated. The authorities require citizens to obtain central bank and tax office clearances in order to buy airline tickets and subject those planning to travel or emigrate to intense scrutiny. Tanzanians who leave the country without authorization are subject to prosecution on their return. The Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act empowers the courts to try Tanzanians who commit offenses outside the country. Although it is legally possible for citizenship to be revoked, there have been no reports that this has been done in recent years. Parliament passed a bill in 1986 that required the registration and identification of everyone over the age of 10 who resides in Tanzania, apparently in an effort to control foreign workers, but it has not been implemented.

Tanzania has a liberal policy towards refugees and displaced persons. Following an attempted coup and ethnic conflict in Burundi in October, Tanzania received an influx of over 300,000 Burundian refugees. Tanzania also continued to host some 292,000 refugees from earlier influxes from Burundi, Rwanda, and Mozambique. In 1993, prior to the Burundi coup attempt, several thousand Burundian refugees voluntarily repatriated.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

A multiparty political system was officially introduced in 1992 after 28 years of one-party rule. Pending local elections postponed until 1994 with the concurrence of the opposition parties and national elections in 1995, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party remains the sole party in the Government. In April all but one opposition party boycotted a parliamentary by-election in Zanzibar, ostensibly to protest the absence of further constitutional and legislative reforms they believed necessary for free and fair competition. However, most opposition parties have indicated that they will participate in two parliamentary by-elections in early 1994. In 1992 the Constitution was amended to allow for the impeachment of the President and votes of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

By the end of the year, there were 11 newly registered political parties, with the main potential opposition to the CCM found in James Mapalala's Civic United Front, two factions of the Union for Multiparty Democracy headed by Christopher Kassanga Tumbo and Chief Abdullah Fundikira, Edwin Mtei's Party for Democracy and Development, and Mabere Marando's National Conference for Construction and Reform.

Growing political discussion has brought to the surface open controversy over the issue of the Union between Zanzibar and the mainland, leading to mainland parliamentarians engaging in an unprecedented questioning of government policy. Many mainlanders have resented Zanzibar's disproportionate representation and influence in state institutions, heightened by Zanzibar's decision in late 1992 to join the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Pressure from mainland parliamentarians forced Zanzibar to withdraw from the OIC in August, and at the same time Parliament approved a motion calling for the establishment of a separate mainland government of Tanganyika. The Union Government agreed to solicit public opinion on possible modalities to establish a separate Tanganyika government and report its recommendations by April 1995. Other issues debated in the 1993 budget session by Parliament broke new ground in their substance and tone.

There are no restrictions in law on the participation of women in politics and government. However, in practice the number remains small, largely due to cultural impediments to the schooling of women, as well as to the economic exigencies of raising large families and engaging in subsistence agriculture (see Section 5.a.). Females comprise 28 of 248 members of the National Assembly and 3 of 25 cabinet members.

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights

Local groups devoted solely to monitoring human rights abuses began to form in 1993 but had not established effective procedures to address specific cases of human rights abuse. While the Government continues to resent outside inquiries into alleged violations of human rights, it has allowed visits by representatives of international human rights groups in the past. In August the Government announced plans to hold tribunals or conferences throughout the country on human rights abuses, focusing specifically on abuses against women and children. The Tanzanian women's media association sponsored such a workshop in November.

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.

Women

Both party and government constitutions endorse equality in the workplace. Nevertheless, strong traditional norms still divide labor along gender lines and place women in a subordinate position. For example, women face widespread discrimination in access to educational opportunities, and in the countryside they are relegated largely to farming and raising children. Female students who become pregnant are dismissed from school. Under Zanzibari law, unmarried women under the age of 21 who become pregnant are subject to 2 years' imprisonment, although this has not been enforced for several years.

Progress on women's rights has been more noticeable in urban areas, where traditional values are weaker, but even there and in the public sector, which employs 80 percent of the salaried labor force, certain statutes restrict their access to some jobs or their hours of employment. According to 1988 statistics, only 3 percent of economically active women are engaged in the wage and salary employment sector, and women are still concentrated in the traditional fields of nursing, teaching, clerical, and related jobs.

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.

Violence against women is widespread. Legal remedies exist but in practice are difficult to obtain. Traditional customs subordinating women remain strong in both urban and rural areas, and often local magistrates uphold them. The husband has a free hand to treat his wife as he wishes, and wife-beating occurs at all levels of society. Cultural, family, and social pressure prevents many women from reporting abuses to authorities. Government officials frequently make public statements decrying such abuses, but rarely is action taken against perpetrators. Several nongovernmental organizations provide counseling and education programs on women's rights issues, particularly sexual harassment and molestation.

Children

Tanzania has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has made a number of constructive efforts to address socioeconomic conditions that adversely affect children. For example, the Government has allotted a plot to erect an edifice to house street children near Dar es Salaam and has worked closely with churches and nongovernmental organizations to assess the well-being of orphans and neglected children. The ruling party's National Policy for Children and Young Persons' Welfare has exerted continuing pressure for commitment of public policy to welfare and advocacy of children's rights. However, government funding of programs for children is only 2.3 percent of government development expenditure, and nongovernmental organizations that could support governmental efforts to provide services and protection to children are only just emerging.

Although officially discouraged by the Government, female genital mutilation (circumcision) is still performed at an early age in approximately 20 of the country's 130 mainland ethnic groups. Government officials have called for changes in customs which adversely affect females, but no legislation has been introduced that would specifically restrict the practice of female 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 state the practice is declining, but nongovernmental sources maintain it is on the rise, especially in Central Tanzania.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The Barabaig people of Central Tanzania have been subject for many years to government discrimination. The Barabaig and their attorneys maintain that the Government has illegally dispossessed them of their traditional lands in order to implement a government-run agricultural project. A probe team established to investigate Barabaig complaints made over 30 recommendations in May but supported continuation of the agricultural project that prompted the conflicts. The probe team confirmed cases of violence against the Barabaig and noted that several cases were still pending in court.

The Asian community has declined by 50 percent in the past decade to about 44,000. The Asians have been regarded with considerable antipathy by many African Tanzanians since they are a business-oriented minority in a recently Socialist society, since they have disproportionate influence in key sectors of the economy, and since they have remained culturally and economically exclusive. There are, however, no laws or official policies discriminating against them. As the Government places greater emphasis on market-oriented economic policies and privatization, concerns regarding Asian economic dominance have increased. This has led to demands for policies of "indigenization" to ensure that privatization does not increase Asian economic predominance at the expense of the African population. Several Asians were attacked, robbed, and injured in Dar es Salaam in April after Democratic Party leaders vociferously denounced nonindigenous businessmen during a public rally. There is a similar but smaller Arab community.

Religious Minorities

As a consequence of colonial and postindependence administration, which refused to recognize the traditional mosque schools, there are significant disadvantages for the Muslim community in educational achievement, prominence in civil service and government, and in business success, with resulting widespread Muslim resentment of the perceived unfair 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 the President, who is a Muslim. Some leaders in both camps appear to be playing up imbalances, which reflect past historical circumstances rather then deliberate discrimination. In fact, there does not at present appear to be any serious problem of discrimination on account of religion in access to employment or educational opportunities. Muslim parents, however, especially in rural areas, often do not send their daughters to school because of a traditional belief that education is unnecessary or even detrimental for women.

People with Disabilities

Physically disabled individuals are effectively restricted in access to education, employment, and provision of other state services due to physical barriers, which are not legally prohibited, and limited funding for special facilities and programs.

Section 6 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

Workers do not have the right to form or join organizations of their own choice. At the end of 1993, there was still only one labor union organization, the Organization of Tanzania Trade Unions (OTTU), to which all unionized workers belong. A subgrouping of teachers (Chakiwata) negotiated an arrangement to operate independently of OTTU in 1993. And in November, the Tanzania Teacher's Union (known as CWT in Swahili) was registered. This union exists only on paper pending union elections in early 1994.

The OTTU is nearing the end of a 3-year restructuring period which will culminate in union general elections in 1994. The purpose of the restructuring is to enable union workers to elect new leaders who have not been "prequalified" by the ruling party and to reshape the organization as an umbrella organization presiding over a federation of independent unions. The initial steps taken thus far have been to make the OTTU legally separate from the ruling party. However, the new Labor Law which accomplished this also mandated that all union labor must be under the OTTU and permits the President of Tanzania to disband any member union of the OTTU at his discretion.

While the OTTU is no longer considered to be a mass organization of the CCM party, it has pledged continued affiliation to the CCM, and most of its officials are current or former CCM officers. The OTTU, like its predecessor, JUWATA, represents approximately 60 percent of the workers in industry and government, but it has 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 OTTU, but "essential" workers are not permitted to strike.

Workers have the legal right to strike only after complicated and protracted mediation and conciliation procedures leading ultimately to the Industrial Court. The Industrial Court 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 for months without resolving it. Pending a resolution, frustrated workers often stage impromptu wildcat strikes and walkouts. Although most strikes are in effect illegal (there were no legal strikes in 1993), there were several wildcat strikes, notably in the railway sector, and a number of managers were locked out of company premises by workers over labor disputes. There are no laws prohibiting retribution against legal strikers. However, penalties are seldom, if ever, imposed against even illegal strikers, and there were no cases of retribution against striking workers in 1993.

The OTTU continued JUWATA's policy of limiting its international affiliations to regional and pan-African trade union organizations.

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 for the bulk of the salaried labor force, have routinely been set by the Government. However, the Ministry of Labor established a board to review and regulate wage rates which included representatives of the Government, trade unions, and employers' organizations.

Although the OTTU may negotiate on behalf of most private sector employees with the Association of Tanzania 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.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution prohibits forced labor. However, again in 1993 the ILO observed that provisions of various Tanzanian laws are incompatible with ILO Conventions 29 and 105 on forced labor. Specifically, the Human Resources Deployment Act (1983) requires every local government authority to ensure that able-bodied persons over 15 years of age not in school engage in productive or other lawful employment. As in previous years, police officials rounded up beggars and street people and returned them to their home villages. In some rural areas, ordinary villagers are still obligated to work in the village's communal garden a set number of days per week. In one case, residents complained that the income from these plots was never distributed.

d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children

By law, children under the age of 12 are prohibited from working, but this provision applies only to the formal wage sector in both urban and rural areas and not to children working on family farms or herding domestic livestock.

Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can be employed on a daily wage and on a day-to-day basis but must have parental permission and return to their residence at night.

The minimum age for entry into work of a contractual nature in approved occupations is set at the age of 15. It is prohibited for a child or young person to be employed in any occupation that is injurious to health and that is dangerous or that 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.

A 1992 ILO report stated that the problem of child labor in Tanzania is widespread and prevalent, with conditions in the plantation industry particularly detrimental to children. According to the report, the existing legal framework regulating the employment of children is not fully adequate and does not conform with international standards, nor are the enforcement machinery and the Ministry of Labor inspectorate equipped to deal with the problem. Government officials and nongovernmental organizations are aware of the growing problem but are limited in their responses by lack of resources and institutional capacity.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is a legal minimum wage for employment in the formal sector. The OTTU often negotiates higher minimum wages with individual employers, depending on the financial status of the business. A worker earning the minimum wage, even when supplemented with various benefits such as housing, transportation allowances, and food subsidies, may not always be able to provide an adequate living for his family, and must depend on the extended family or a second or third job. The official minimum wage averages from $7 to $11 (3,500 to 5,000 Tanzanian shillings) per month, but many workers, especially those 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- or 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 fairly 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.

Search Refworld