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

U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1994 - Tanzania

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 January 1995
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1994 - Tanzania, 30 January 1995, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa654.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 Ali Hassan Mwinyi was reelected to a final 5-year term as President of the Republic in October 1990. The Government sets and implements fundamental political policies, including steps toward the 1995 national multiparty elections. The islands of Zanzibar are integrated into the United Republic's governmental and party structure, but the Zanzibar Government exercises considerable autonomy. The structure of the union continued to be the subject of debate.

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 regularly mistreat and occasionally beat suspects during arrests and interrogations. The citizens' anticrime groups have also used excessive force at times 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 small. Economic reforms undertaken since 1986, including liberalization of agricultural policy, the privatization of state-owned enterprises, rescheduling of foreign debt payments, and the freeing of the currency exchange rate, have helped stimulate economic growth--estimated between 4 and 4.5 percent in 1994--for the eighth straight year.

There was little change in the human rights situation, and the Government and the CCM continued to restrict civil rights as they attempted to control the pace and direction of political change. In the process, the Government restricted freedom of the press, interfered with the right of peaceful assembly, and continued to infringe on citizens' rights of privacy and free movement. In December the Court of Appeal upheld an unprecedented High Court ruling nullifying a CCM by-election victory. The judicial system does not provide expeditious justice and fair trial for many citizens. The police continued to detain, abuse, and mistreat suspects arbitrarily, but the Government rarely prosecutes offenders. Prison conditions are harsh and life-threatening. Mob justice and discrimination and violence against women remained severe and widespread, and the Government did not usually prosecute offenders. Some abuse of children continued.

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 or other extrajudicial killings. There was no resolution of an extrajudicial killing from the previous year. On January 31, 1993, following a confrontation on the island of Pemba over the removal of opposition party flags of the Civic United Front (CUF), a local policeman shot and killed one party member and injured another. After a lengthy investigation, the policeman who fired the shots was charged with murder without intent, but remained free. Opposition leaders complained that there was no progress towards an actual trial. The case was still pending at the end of 1994.

In August, in a 10-day wave of "mob justice" in Dar es Salaam, mobs killed at least seven people, including by dousing suspected criminals with gasoline and setting them on fire. Government officials said that mob justice had killed 433 persons nationwide since 1992. The press highlighted those cases in which victims have been rescued by the police. Although government officials have condemned the practice, 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. For example, in March alleged witches were brutally murdered in Rungwe district. While government authorities attempt to discourage such practices, they rarely prosecute participants.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of 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 threaten and mistreat and occasionally beat suspected criminals during and after their apprehension and interrogation. Although government officials condemn these practices whenever such cases become public, the Government seldom prosecutes officials for such abuses. The People's Militia Laws, as amended by Parliament in 1989, bestow quasi-legal status on the traditional "Sungusungu" and "Wasalama" neighborhood and village anticrime groups.

Government officials acknowledge that prisons are overcrowded and that living conditions are poor. Serious diseases such as dysentery, malaria, and cholera are common and result in deaths. The Government does not release statistics regarding the number of prisoners or the number of 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 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. 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 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. The Act was also 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. The Preventive Detention Act was not used in 1994.

The Government has additional broad detention powers under the Regions and Regional Commissioners Act and the Area Commissioner 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, 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. 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 Government has not taken any action to correct these abuses In 1993 the police arrested Christopher Mtikila, the leader of the unregistered Democratic Party, and charged him with using threatening language against the President. The authorities dropped this specific charge on a technicality in March, but only after detaining him for 2 days in February to keep him from traveling to Kigoma, where a parliamentary by-election was being held (see Section 2.d.). Mtikila complained that the police used other continuing legal proceedings against him as a pretext to inhibit his travel around Tanzania and to harass him. While members of opposition parties have been harassed by government officials, particularly on Zanzibar, none was detained under the Preventive Detention Act during the year.

Six Angolans who entered Tanzania in July 1993 refused offers of political asylum. Therefore, they were classified as illegal aliens, arrested in December 1993, and held in prison at year's end.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

Weaknesses in the judicial system and government interference deny expeditious and fair justice to many citizens.

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 the Court of Appeal. 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. 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 Tanzanian Court of Appeal. While the judiciary is constitutionally mandated to operate independently from the executive branch, the Government sometimes influences cases. For example, judges who render decisions unpopular with senior police or government officials have been pressured or transferred and reassigned. In July a judge with a good record of supporting human rights withdrew himself from hearing a suit brought by Mtikila after the Government alleged that he lacked impartiality (see Section 1.d.). Government officials sometimes ignore judicial rulings. However, the judiciary asserted a measure of independence when the High Court ruled in favor of an opposition candidate, declaring the results of a parliamentary by-election in Kigoma null and void. The Court of Appeal upheld this ruling in December, but the National Electoral Commission announced that no new by-election would be held before the general elections in October 1995.

In addition to government interference, 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. Although the Government initiated efforts as early as 1991 to highlight judicial corruption, it has made little progress in correcting this situation.

There were no known political prisoners.

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. Because the Government reversed its position and subsequently held the elections on a party basis, most of the opposition parties boycotted the elections. In fact, few voters participated in these elections, and the former CCM 10-cell leaders retained nearly all of their power and influence.

CCM membership is voluntary and is estimated at approximately 2 to 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 waning.

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 person 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. The security services reportedly monitor telephones and correspondence of some citizens and selected foreign residents.

Compulsory participation in local anticrime groups known as "Wasalama" and "Sungusungu" continued in some areas. Historically, these groups have operated only in rural areas to combat cattle rustling and other criminal activity; however, government ministers continued to promote them vigorously in urban areas to combat crime.

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 criticized the Government and ruling party in public forums. Generally, the official media--radio, television, and press--largely reflect official positions, following guidance from the Ministry of Information. Editorials are often written by senior officials. Government-controlled Radio Tanzania, broadcasting in Swahili and English, is the medium through which most citizens receive their information. Radio has been slower than the print media to reflect a diversity of views.

In the past year, the trend towards press liberalization and openness continued. Media competition forced official newspapers to include more stories critical of the Government, as private newspapers increased both in numbers and frequency of publication. However, while there is no official censorship, public media often practiced self-censorship themselves due to fear of government reprisals.

The Government employed various methods to restrict what it considered objectionable voices in the independent press. In January the Government closed the Swahili paper Baraza for 1 month, nominally on technical grounds related to its license, but more likely for an article accusing a senior government official of involvement in the death of a Muslim cleric. The Government charged publishers and editors of the Express with seditious libel in March for an editorial that compared the Government to a garbage heap. At year's end, this case had not been decided in court, and the Express continued to publish. However, in May the Express and its Swahili affiliate Mwananchi announced that the two newspapers had been denied permission to begin printing daily. Opposition political leaders charge that the Zanzibar Government is much more restrictive than the union Government in limiting the publication of private newspapers.

Fair coverage of the political opposition, as well as direct access, are issues of continuing concern as Tanzania approaches national multiparty elections in October 1995. In August the High Court nullified the results of the February parliamentary by-election in Kigoma, based in part on allegations that Radio Tanzania improperly favored the ruling party in its election reporting. Despite this ruling, opposition parties continued to receive little official coverage and are limited to one 45-minute radio broadcast each week, which is repeated the following day. Two private television stations and two private radio stations began broadcasting in Dar es Salaam but featured only nonpolitical programming.

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.

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 political party.

Until a judicial reversal in October, the Government required permits from district commissioners for any public meeting, except for political party rallies during official election campaign periods. At times district commissioners issued permits too late for opposition parties to publicize their rallies, or the permits were too restrictive in terms of times or locations. In July the police used tear gas to break up an unauthorized march to the National Assembly in Dar es Salaam following a legal rally by opposition parties, and they required opposition party members to report for questioning. In August police issued a permit to the opposition party Chadema (Party of Democracy and Development) for a rally in Kigoma but warned that they would immediately break up the rally if speakers used "abusive" or "insulting" language. In Arusha the district commissioner issued a permit for an opposition party to hold a rally but then insisted that another permit was needed in order for the party to publicize the rall. Rally organizers complained that the ensuing delay sharply reduced attendance at the rally. The authorities also explicitly denied some requests for rally permits. For example, in April the district commissioner in Zanzibar prohibited the opposition party CUF from holding a rally 2 days before a national holiday, while the CCM was allowed to hold a rally on the same day.

In a major landmark ruling in October, a High Court judge determined that permits from district officials were no longer needed for public meetings. However, in December Parliament diluted this ruling by passing a legal amendment requiring registered political parties to obtain police approval for political rallies. Police were given the authority to deny permission on public safety or security grounds or if the permit seeker belonged to an unregistered party. At the end of 1994, the rally permit issue was confused, with permits being issued inconsistently and in a few cases being denied outright. On Zanzibar, officials announced that the mainland's High Court decision did not apply to Zanzibar, and permit requirements did not change.

In July police arrested 35 Muslims at a mosque in Morogoro after a May presidential announcement prohibiting rallies that slandered other religions.

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 political 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 from 10 of the country's 25 regions, including 2 regions on 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 dissolution of the union and the expulsion of minorities from the mainland. Despite his political party's lack of government recognition, Mtikila was able to publicize his views through his legally registered church and through a lawsuit against the Government challenging the appointment of Zanzibaris to the union Government.

Under the Societies Ordinance, the Ministry of Home Affairs must approve any new association. Several nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) formed 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. Leaders of a new human rights group, called Defenders of Human Rights in Tanzania, complained that the Government refused to act on their application to register (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.

Although freedom of worship is not infringed, there continued to be evidence of religious tension between Muslims and Christians, including the arrest of 35 Muslims at a mosque in Morogoro after a May presidential announcement prohibiting rallies that slandered other religions (see Sections 2.b. and 5). Some government officials have spoken out against religious intolerance, and the Government has banned meetings in which religious leaders attack other faiths. Except for the Morogoro incident, however, the ban has not been enforced. In December a local court sentenced 16 Muslim fundamentalists who had been charged in the rioting and destruction of several pork butcheries in Dar es Salaam in April 1993. The court acquitted 4 of the defendants and sentenced the remaining 12 to 4 years' imprisonment. One of the Muslim leaders who had been charged with instigating the violence and later with sedition, Sheikh Kassim Jumaa Khamis, died in January 1994.

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

Short-term domestic travel is not restricted, but citizens must follow national employment directives stipulating the nature of employment and the 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 employed are subject to transfer to another area where employment is available. In December the Dar es Salaam City Council rounded up 395 beggars and returned them to their home areas at government expense. Some vowed to return. These laws are also used as a pretext for police to solicit bribes and intimidate urban residents.

Leaders of the opposition party CUF complained that the Zanzibar government harassed them whenever they attempted to visit their party offices outside of Zanzibar town. Zanzibar regional government leaders have also interfered with CUF attempts to visit Pemba island, considered by CUF as its stronghold. In February Democratic Party leader Mtikila was briefly detained by the police as he was about to begin travel to the site of an impending parliamentary by-election in Kigoma. Although he was soon released and no charges were filed, the Government move was likely intended to prevent Mtikila from speaking in Kigoma against the ruling party and its candidate, a businessman of Asian origin.

In August the union Government announced that agreement had been reached with the government of Zanzibar to do away with the longstanding requirement that mainlanders present passports to travel to Zanzibar and Pemba. However, at year's end Zanzibar immigration officials continued to require mainlanders to present passports pending implementing legislation. Mainlanders are able to obtain special travel documents valid only for travel to Zanzibar and Pemba at no cost but are not allowed to own land or work in the islands.

Passports for foreign travel can be difficult to obtain, mostly due to bureaucratic inefficiency, and authorities subject those planning to travel or emigrate to intense scrutiny. Citizens who leave the country without permission are subject to prosecution upon their return.

Tanzania has a liberal policy toward refugees and admitted some 300,000 refugees from Burundi in late 1993 and nearly 600,000 refugees from Rwanda in 1994. While the majority of Burundian refugees repatriated in early 1994, Tanzania continued to host at year's end over 600,000 refugees, at considerable cost to the local environment and people. The United Nations and NGO's provide assistance to the refugees. Although Tanzania has made efforts, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to improve security in the refugee camps, security concerns persist due to the nature of the refugee population and inadequate police resources. The Tanzanian police have been unable to ensure the security of Rwandan refugees who wish to return to Rwanda, and crime in the camps, including rapes and killings of alleged "witches," has increased along with the population. Leaders associated with the former government of Rwanda have threatened or intimidated refugees in the camps. An unknownnumber of Rwandans and at least three Tanzanians have been killed in the Rwandan refugee camps located inside Tanzania. Approximately 30 Tanzanians have been killed in other violence associated with the influx of Rwandan refugees. The Government would like the Rwandan refugees to return home and has suggested that a safe haven should be created for them inside Rwanda. However, the Government kept its borders open to new refugees and did not engage in any forced repatriation in 1994.

In 1994 the Government reversed its policy and granted political asylum to citizens of Kenya who formerly had been denied refugee status in Tanzania. Refugees in Dar es Salaam are sometimes threatened with the loss of refugee status and assistance unless they agree to move to refugee camps in rural areas, although there were no such cases in 1994.

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 national elections in 1995, party elites within the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) continued to exercise effective control of the Government. In 1994 the CCM won all four parliamentary by-elections in which most of Tanzania's political parties participated. Although the elections were considered technically free, the governing party's monopoly of the radio, its use of government funds and other resources, and the Government's legal authority to grant rally permits outside of campaign periods, effectively denied the opposition a fair opportunity to present their case to the voters. However, in Kigoma a judge overruled the results of the February by-election because of irregularities in election proceedings.

The political parties also participated in the mainland's local government polls held on October 30. CCM won 97 percent of the local government seats for which results were available at the end of 1994. Following the Kigoma by-election decision, Radio Tanzania dropped blatant campaigning for CCM candidates, and the Government prohibited CCM candidates and their supporters from using government vehicles and congregating at government buildings. The opposition largely experienced no problems in holding its rallies. However, opposition parties charged that some CCM officials threatened voters with denial of services and other retributions if they voted for the opposition.

A group of mainland parliamentarians persisted in challenging their party's longstanding policy on the union's framework and criticized Zanzibar's disproportionate representation and influence in state institutions by introducing a motion to create a three-government system with a separate Tanganyika government for the mainland. Ultimately, however, the CCM leadership succeeded in reestablishing party discipline and in August declared party debate on the union issue closed. The Tanganyika government motion was defeated shortly thereafter.

There are no restrictions in law on the participation of women in politics and government. However, in practice few women are politically active, largely due to cultural impediments and traditional societal roles for women (see Section 5). Women hold 27 of 248 seats in the National Assembly and 4 of 25 cabinet positions.

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, like the newly created Defenders of Human Rights in Tanzania, complained that the Ministry of Home Affairs continued to delay action on their applications. While there were no visits by international human rights organizations, a leading cabinet minister said the Government would have no objection to such visits, including those for the purpose of visiting prisons.

Although the Government announced in 1993 plans to hold tribunals and conferences throughout the country on human rights abuses, focusing specifically on abuses against women and children, it did not hold any such conferences in 1994.

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

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 or 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 21 who become pregnant are subject to 2 years' imprisonment, although this has not been enforced for several years.

Violence against women is widespread. Legal remedies exist but are not used in practice. Traditional customs that subordinate women remain strong, and local magistrates often 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 take action against perpetrators.

Several NGO's provide counseling and education programs on women's rights issues, particularly sexual harassment and molestation.

Children

Government funding of programs for children's welfare remains miniscule, at only 2.3 percent of government development expenditure. The Government has 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.

Although the Government officially discourages female genital mutilation (FGM), it is still performed at an early age in approximately 20 of the country's 130 main ethnic groups. International health experts state that FGM is damaging to both the physical and psychological health of girls. 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 FGM. Seminars sponsored by various governmental and nongovernmental organizations are regularly held to attempt to educate the public on the dangers of these and other traditional practices. Health authorities state the practice of FGM is declining, but other sources maintain that it is on the rise, especially in central Tanzania.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The Government has discriminated against the Barabaig people of central Tanzania for many years. 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. In 1994 the Barabaig registered an NGO to press for redress of past discrimination and to preserve their culture.

The Asian community has declined by 50 percent in the past decade to about 44,000 as a result of considerable antipathy by many African Tanzanians. There are, however, no laws or official policies discriminating 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.

Religious Minorities

The Muslim community claims to be disadvantaged in terms of its representation in the civil service and government and in state-owned businesses, in part because both colonial and past postindependence administrations refused to recognize the credentials of the 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 the President, who is a Muslim. Some leaders in both camps appear to play up religious tensions (see Sections 2.b. and 2.c.). In fact, there does not at present appear to be discrimination based on religion in access to employment or educational opportunities.

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 for special facilities and programs.

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 labor union organization in Tanzania. In November 1993, the Government registered the Tanzania Teachers' Union (TTU), and the TTU elected its own leaders in May. The TTU, however, remained closely affiliated with the OTTU, and member dues deducted from salaries continued to go directly to OTTU.

In 1994, the OTTU continued a 3-year restructuring program which is intended to enable union workers to elect new leaders who have not been "prequalified" by the ruling party and to reshape the OTTU as an organization presiding over a federation of independent unions. However, the Labor Law still requires all union labor to be under the OTTU and permits the President of Tanzania to disband any member union of OTTU at his discretion. OTTU general elections under the restructuring program are expected by July 1995.

The OTTU, like its predecessor, the Association of Workers of Tanzania (JUWATA), represents about 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 the 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, 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 for months without resolving it.

Pending a resolution, frustrated workers often stage impromptu, illegal wildcat strikes and walkouts, and there were many such strikes in 1994. In March, for example, the OTTU called a 3-day nationwide public-sector strike which the Government declared to be illegal, threatening to discharge any workers who participated. Only workers in Mbeya participated to any notable extent. There are no laws prohibiting retribution against legal strikers.

The OTTU continued JUWATA's policy of limiting its international affiliations to regional and pan-Africanist 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, are administratively 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 negotiates 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 (EPZ's) on the mainland. The OTTU reports that two EPZ's opened on Zanzibar in 1994 using nonunion labor.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution prohibits forced labor. However, again in 1994, 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 of 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. In some rural areas, ordinary villagers are still obligated to work in the village communal garden or on small construction projects, such as repairing roads.

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 may be employed on a daily wage and on a day-to-day basis but must have parental permission and return to their residences at night.

The minimum age for entry into work of a contractual nature in approved occupations is set at 15. The law prohibits a young person from employment in any occupation that is dangerous or injurious to health. Those 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. According to a 1992 ILO report, approximately 12 percent of 10- to 14-year-old children who work outside the family are in the wage sector. Large numbers of children work 11-hour days in cotton ginneries and on sisal plantations. On one sisal plantation, children composed 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 with protective clothing, and lacked adequate nourishment and lodging.

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 was increased to about $19 (10,000 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 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.

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