Name ID 1493
Extract Author: Charlotte Hill O’Neal
Extract Date: 2000 May 31
The following is a continuation of a series of articles in the ARUSHA TIMES that profile members of WSAT, Wanawake waSanii wa Arusha, Tanzania, a community based women’s art group.
As I strolled through the History of Arusha exhibition that was held a few weeks ago at the Arusha Natural History Museum, I found myself drawn time and time again to the color photos that were interspersed among the many faded black and white shots of the Arusha landscape and people of more than fifty years ago. I found myself standing in front of one of the photos, smiling as though I too, was inside that expertly captured moment. The image was of children enjoying the mechanical swings at an Arusha carnival, their eyes squinted to mere slits of excitement; their mouths wide open with shouts of joy and the sheer exhilaration of that unique experience.
rest of the item is about photography
The starting point for the new face of Arusha
Page Number: 3
Late in 2000,the Regional Commissioner, Daniel Ole Njoolay, appointed a committee to recommend to him ways of creating "A Better and Beautiful Arusha". One of its recommendations is a pedestrian walkway along part of Uhuru Road. Attempting to discipline minibus operators, initiating a mass transit system, streets becoming one way and keeping heavy trucks from the town centre are among the other recommendations.
But at the end of the day, the report adds, "Arusha will never be green, clean and a beautiful city till a proper system of garbage collection and disposal are implemented." Maybe turning the clock back to some of the German extremes is not what Arusha needs. The man responsible for cleaning up Dar es Salaam was promoted to cabinet in late 2000. This signal is not lost on Arusha’s municipal authorities.
The area of Arusha that is developing as the main tourist route stretches for three kilometers. From Boma Road, the visitor turns left along Old Moshi Road. This road contains the offices of the African Wildlife Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme as well as the Everest Chinese restaurant just across the Themi River, and the Mambo Café.
Then you come to Kijenge roundabout. An ugly giant beer bottle was put on the roundabout as part of as sponsors’ price for redeveloping it and was only removed after public protest.
Nevertheless it is an important junction. To the right down Njiro Road is Chez Nany which serves excellent French cuisine and whose owners have opened Le Bistro opposite the regional offices. Straight ahead on the old Moshi Road are the Dragon Pearl that serves Chinese food and Stiggy’s Pacific and Thai restaurant whose Australian owner has worked in many places as a chef.
On the Kijenge roundabout is the Impala hotel, certainly the best in Arusha, with a good Indian restaurant. A few metres away on Moshi road is Herb and Spices Restaurant which serves good African (including Ethiopian) and other food, and the Mezza Luna, an Italian restaurant that also incorporates an art gallery. Both restaurants have accommodation. The Mount Meru Hotel is on the Nairobi road.
If you want nyama choma (Swahili for roast or barbecued meat) - inexpensive and delightful if the meat is tender - then the Roaster Garden next door to the Everest Restaurant on Old Moshi Road is recommended.
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 2000 April 29
There's a very interesting visitor in town this year. Jan Mannaert thinks the labour office building between the Regional Library and Metropole Cinema is a beautiful building. To him, the Regional Library and Metropole Cinema are also very unique structures. In fact, to Jan Mannaert, Arusha is full of beautiful buildings.
He is former Professor of History of Arts at VKO Opwyk College in Belgium, and it happens, in a particularly ironic twist, that Jan Mannaert, the visitor, kindly agrees to take me, the native on a tour along Sokoine Road, among beautiful buildings and interesting histories.
Page Number: 7
Extract Date: 2000 April 29
The general urbanization structure in Arusha is very European, explains Jan. The town grew around the Boma, being the first building, during the German's time. The British developed the town from this area. The first road was from the Clock Tower to the Fire Station (School Road). The second road was Sokoine Road along which the new city developed. Studying the map of the town, it is obvious how all streets lead down to Sokoine Road from both sides of it. It appears that the streets were planned first and the buildings constructed later. 'It is a good example of what a new city should be.'
Jan Mannaert is currently working as a volunteer with the Natural History Museum on a project to promote Cultural Exchange through the establishment of a Via Vias Cafe, which will be a meeting place for tourists as well as local people. The Cafe is due to open sometime next year.
Africa News Online
Extract Date: 2000 July 28
Copyright (c) 2000 Panafrican News Agency. Distributed via Africa News Online (www.africanews.org).
Tanzanian security forces have beaten off Somali Bandits whose attacks in the northern region of Arusha have left scores of people dead and disrupted economic activities in the area.
Regional Commissioner Daniel ole Njoolay told PANA the security forces had been working together with the local militia, popularly known as 'mgambo'.
Military personnel were expected in the region to strengthen the security detail, Njoolay added. The region has important tourist spots and national parks teeming with wildlife.
Defence minister Edgar Maokola-Majogo recently told parliament that the military would be detailed in the region in order to end the Somali banditry once and for all.
'I would like to ensure Monduli and Ngorongoro district residents that this problem will be terminated,' he said, adding that the military had information of a detailed insurgency by Somali Bandits.
The bandits were suspected to have been launching their attacks from the Kenyan side around Kajiado town and the two Tanzanian districts were the most vulnerable because of their proximity to the border.
Tanzanian forces took long to subdue the attacks reportedly due to collaboration between segments of the local population and the Somali Bandits.
'But now the residents have been very helpful in flushing out the bandits,' Njoolay said.
More than 100 suspected bandits have been rounded up since 1999 by security forces in Kenya and Tanzania in a bid to identify and prosecute the real culprits.
Extract Author: Kipkoech Tanui In Arusha, Sunday
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 27
The Nation (Nairobi)
A celebratory mood was yesterday evident in Arusha town two days ahead of the historic signing of a peace accord crafted to stem bloodshed in the civil war-ravaged Burundi.
World leaders have started jetting into Arusha - whose history is replete with peace-making initiatives.
Former South African leader, Mr. Nelson Mandela, who is facilitating the talks - a task he took over following the death of former Tanzanian President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere - landed at the Arusha International Airport at 9 am.
After an interview with an army of local and international journalists, which has pitched camp in the modest town, Mr. Mandela headed straight to his guest house for talks with the representatives of the 19 parties at the centre of the conflict.
American President Bill Clinton is among the 24 world leaders expected to grace the signing ceremony at the Novotel Mt Meru Hotel.
The town is already swarming with US marines and FBI agents who have taken over security arrangements for the American leader.
President Moi will arrive for the talks and signing ceremony which has captured the world's interest in the same way the post-World War II accord did, tomorrow.
Burundi's President Pierre Buyoya, who is set to hand-over the reigns of power to a transitional government six months after the signing of the agreement, landed here at 1pm.
Those who were expected to arrive later in the day include the host - President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Ghanaian leader, Jerry Rawlings.
Key personalities in the ceremony which will take place at the Arusha International Conference Centre include presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Desire Kabila (DRC), Thambo Mbeki (South Africa) and Joachim Chisano (Mozambique).
Mr. Clinton who is attending the talks at the invitation of Mr. Mandela has made it clear that he will support the SA's elder statesman to the hilt in his endeavour during his visit. Mr. Clinton will meet Mr. Mkapa to express US appreciation for the role Tanzania has long played as peace-makers in the region.
A special satelite dish was being flown into Arusha to be used to beam the proceedings of the meeting live by world's TV stations. Six months ago Mr. Clinton made an appearance at one of the major Burundi peace conferences in Arusha, via satellite transmissions from Washington DC.
Mr. Clinton is expected to arrive here today at 3 pm to witness the fall of curtain on the seven-year civil war.
Clinton, Bill Address at Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha
Extract Author: Bill Clinton
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 28
Address at Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha:
Arusha, Tanzania -- President Clinton on August 28 urged the parties to the Burundi Peace Talks in Arusha, Tanzania, to drop their enmities and give peace a chance.
In a speech at Simba Hall Arusha International Conference Center, the last stop on his visit to sub-Saharan Africa, Clinton told peace conference participants and African heads of state that there will be no peace agreement for Burundi 'unless there is a compromise.'
Clinton said after viewing peace negotiations worldwide for the past eight years, 'I know that honorable compromise is important, and requires people only to acknowledge that no one has the whole truth, that they have made a decision to live together, and that the basic aspirations of all sides can be fulfilled by simply saying no one will be asked to accept complete defeat.
'So I plead with you,' Clinton said. 'I've seen this in a lot of places, and it's always the same. You have to help your children remember their history, but you must not force them to relive their history. They deserve to live in their tomorrows, not in your yesterdays.
'Let me just make one other point,' he said. 'When all is said and done, only you can bring an end to the bloodshed and sorrow your country has suffered. Nelson Mandela will be a force for peace. The United States will try to be a force for peace. But no one can force peace; you must choose it.'
Following is the text of Clinton's remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you very much, President Museveni, President Mkapa, distinguished leaders of the OAU and various African nations and other nations supporting this peace process. It is a great honor for me to be here today with a large delegation from the United States, including a significant number of members of our Congress, and my Special Envoy to Africa, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Howard Wolpe and others who have worked on this for a long time.
This is a special day in America and for Reverend Jackson. I think I should just mention it in passing. This is the 37th anniversary of the most important civil rights meeting we ever had: The great March on Washington, where Jesse Jackson was present and Martin Luther King gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech. I say that not because I think the situations are analogous, but because everybody needs a dream. And I think whether you all decide to sign this or not depends in part on what your dream is.
I thank my friend, President Mandela, for coming in to replace the marvelous late President Nyerere to involve himself in this process. After 27 years in prison and four years as president of his country, which some people think is another form of prison -- he could be forgiven if he had pursued other things. But he came here because he believes in peace and reconciliation. He knows there is no guarantee of success; but if you don't try, there is a guarantee of failure. And failure is not an acceptable option.
So I thank him, I thank the OAU and, Mr. President, you are here today. I thank the regional leaders; in addition to Presidents Museveni and Mkapa, President Moi, President Kagame, Prime Minister Meles for their work. I thank the Nyerere Foundation, Judge Bomani, Judge Warioba and I thank the people of Tanzania for hosting us here in a city that has become the Geneva of Africa, thanks to many of you.
I say again, I am honored to be in a place that is a tribute to the memory of President Nyerere, and I'm glad that Madame Nyerere is here today; I met her a few moments ago, and I thank her for her presence. I thank President Buyoya and all the Burundians from all the parties who have come to Arusha and for the efforts you have made. Peacemaking requires courage and vision -- courage because there are risks involved, and vision because you have to see beyond the risks to understand that however large they are, they are smaller than the price of unending violence. That you have come so far suggests you have the courage and vision to finish the job, and we pray that you will.
I confess that I come here with some humility. I have spent a great deal of time in the last eight years trying to talk people into laying down their arms and opening their hands to one another -- from the Middle East to Northern Ireland to the Balkans. I have had some measure of success and known some enormously painful failures. But I have not been here with you all this long time and maybe I have nothing to add to your deliberations. But I would like to share some things that I have learned in eight years of seeing people die, seeing people fight with one another because they're of different ethnic or racial or tribal or religious groups, and of seeing the miracles that come from normal peace.
First, to state the obvious, there will be no agreement unless there is a compromise. People hate compromise because it requires all those who participate in it to be less than satisfied. So it is by definition not completely satisfying. And those who don't go along can always point their finger at you and claim that you sold out: Oh, it goes too fast in establishing democracy. Oh, it goes too slow in establishing democracy. It has absolutely too many protections for minority rights. No, it doesn't have enough protections for minority rights.
And there's always a crowd that never wants a compromise. A small group that actually would, by their own definition, at least, benefit from continued turmoil and fighting. So if you put the compromise on the table, they will use it like salt being rubbed into old wounds. And they're always very good. They know just where the break points are to strike fear into the hearts of people who have to make the hard decisions. I have seen this all over the world.
But I know that honorable compromise is important, and requires people only to acknowledge that no one has the whole truth, that they have made a decision to live together, and that the basic aspirations of all sides can be fulfilled by simply saying no one will be asked to accept complete defeat.
Now, no one ever compromises until they decide it's better than the alternative. So I ask you to think about the alternative. You're not being asked today to sign a comprehensive agreement, you're being asked to sign onto a process which permits you to specify the areas in which you still have disagreements, but which will be a process that we all hope is completely irreversible.
Now, if you don't do it, what is the price? If you don't do it, what is the chance that the progress you have made will unravel? If you come back in five or 10 years, will the issues have changed? I think not. The gulf between you won't narrow, but the gulf between Burundi and the rest of the world, I assure you, will grow wider if you let this moment slip away. More lives will be lost. And I have a few basic questions. I admit, I am an outsider. I admit I have not been here with you. But I have studied this situation fairly closely. I don't understand how continued violence will build schools for your children, bring water to your villages, make your crops grow, or bring you into the new economy. I think it is impossible that that will happen.
Now, I do think it is absolutely certain that if you let this moment slip away, it will dig the well of bitterness deeper and pile the mountain of grievances higher, so that someday, when somebody else has to come here and sit at a table like this, they will have an even harder job than you do. So I urge you to work with President Mandela, I urge you to work with each other to seize the opportunity that exists right now.
And I urge those groups, including the rebels who are not now part of this process to join it and begin taking your own risks for peace. No one can have a free ride here. Now that there is a process for resolving differences peacefully, they should lay down their arms.
Now, if you take this step today, it is a first step. It can't restore the bonds of trust by itself, it can't restore the sense of understanding that is necessary for people to live together. So I will also acknowledge that success depends not only on what you say or sign in Arusha, also what you do in the weeks and months and years ahead in Burundi. The agreements you reach have to be respected and implemented both in letter and spirit. Again, I say, if you decide to do this, everyone must acknowledge there must be no victors and no vanquished. If one side feels defeated, it will be likely to fight again and no Burundian will be secure. And, after all, security for all is one of the main arguments for doing this.
Now, let me say something else. Of course, you must confront the past with honesty. There is hardly a Burundian family that has not felt the sorrow of losing a loved one to violence. The history must be told, the causes must be understood. Those responsible for violence against innocent people must be held accountable. But what is the goal here? The goal must be to end the cycle of violence, not perpetuate it.
So I plead with you. I've seen this a lot of places, and it's always the same. You have to help your children remember their history, but you must not force them to relive their history. They deserve to live in their tomorrows, not in your yesterdays. Let me just make one other point. When all is said and done, only you can bring an end to the bloodshed and sorrow your country has suffered. Nelson Mandela will be a force for peace. The United States will try to be a force for peace. But no one can force peace.; you must choose it.
Now, again, I say, I watched the parties in Ireland fight for 30 years. I've watched the parties in the Middle East fight for 50 years. I've watched the parties in the Balkans now go at it and then quit and then go at it again, and then I've watched -- saw a million people driven out of Kosovo. And when we began to talk about peace in Bosnia, the three different ethnic and religious groups didn't even want to sit down together in the same room.
But when it's all said and done, it always comes down to the same thing. You have to find a way to support democracy and respect for the majority, and their desires. You have to have minority rights, including security. You have to have shared decision-making, and there must be shared benefits from your living together.
Now, you can walk away from all this and fight some more and worry about it and let somebody come back here 10 years from now. No matter how long you take, when it comes down to it, they'll still be dealing with the same issues. And I say, if you let anybody else die because you can't bring this together now, all you will do is make it harder for people to make the same decision you're going to have to make here anyway.
So I will say again: If you decide, if you choose, not because anybody is forcing you but because you know it is right to give your children their tomorrows, if you choose peace, the United States and the world community will be there to help you make it pay off. We will strongly support an appropriate role for the U.N. in helping to implement it. We will support your efforts to demobilize combatants and to integrate them into a national army. We will help you bring refugees home and to meet the needs of displaced children and orphans.
We will help you to create the economic and social conditions essential to a sustainable peace -- from agricultural development to child immunization, to the prevention of AIDS. I know this is hard, but I believe you can do it. Consider the case of Mozambique. A civil war there took a million lives, most of them innocent civilians. Of every five infants born in Mozambique during the civil war, three -- three -- died before their fifth birthday, either murdered or stricken by disease.
Those who survived grew up knowing nothing but war. Yet today, Mozambique is at peace, it has found a way to include everyone in its political life, and out of the devastation, last year it had one of the five fastest-growing economies in the entire world. Now, you can do that. But you have to choose. And you have to decide if you're going to embrace that, you have to create a lot of room in your mind and heart and spirit for that kind of future. So you have to let some things go.
Now, Mr. Mandela -- he's the world's greatest example of letting things go. But when we got to be friends, I said to him one day, in a friendly way, I said, you know, Mandela, you're a great friend, but you're also a great politician. It was quite smart to invite your jailers to your inauguration. Good politics. But tell me the truth now. When they let you out of jail the last time and you were walking to freedom, didn't you have a moment when you were really, really angry at them again? You know what he said, he said, yes, I did -- a moment. Then, I realized I had been in prison for 27 years, and if I hated them after I got out, I would still be their prisoner, and I wanted to be free.
Sooner or later, hatred, vengeance, the illusion that power over another group of people will bring security in life, these feelings can be just as iron, just as confining as the doors of a prison cell. I don't ask you to forget what you went through in the bitter years. But I hope you will go home to Burundi not as prisoners of the past, but builders of the future. I will say again: If you decide, America and the world will be with you. But you, and only you, must decide whether to give your children their own tomorrows. Thank you very much.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 29
Text of President Clintons speech at Arusha released by the Tanzanian Government
Mr. President, Secretary Slater, Minister Nyanda, members of the Tanzanian and American delegations, ladies and gentlemen. First, Mr. President, thank you for your warm welcome, and will save your speech. (Laughter.) And thank you for your thoughtful and deep remarks.
I'd like to begin by also thanking you for the warm welcome that you gave to Chelsea and to Hillary when they were here. They both fell in love with your country, and Hillary asked me to give you her regards. Since you've just started a campaign, you will understand that she is otherwise occupied. (Laughter.)
I am honored to be here in a place of peace, to visit a champion of peace. Tanzania's story is too often not the stuff of headlines. For that I say, congratulations. Think of the headlines you have avoided. Because you have avoided headlines about repression, famine and war, and instead focused on the steady progress of democracy and development, being generous to your neighbors, and being a cause of peace and cooperation across the region, too many people in our country do not know enough about your country. I hope very much that my visit here, with so many members of the United States Congress who are here with me, will help to change that.
I look forward, Mr. President, to joining you and President Mandela and the other regional leaders shortly in your efforts to bring a lasting peace to Burundi, just the last chapter in the distinguished history that you have already made in such a short time.
One of the tragic ironies of life is sometimes the most terrible things happen to those who try to do the most good. You mentioned it was just over two years ago that the terrorist bombs went off at our American embassies not far north of here in Nairobi, and not far south in Dar es Salaam. They claimed hundreds of Tanzanian, Kenyan and American lives.
I believe the terrorists went after Tanzania, Kenya and the United States precisely because we are dedicated to tolerance, understanding and cooperation across frontiers and lines of division. They took a lot of our loved ones, but as you pointed out, they failed utterly to deter us from advancing our common principles.
So, two years later, I would like to say again to the Tanzanian families and the victims who survived, we still share your sorrow and your determination to see justice done. But we are grateful that your nation has stayed on the course of peace and reconciliation.
We also want to continue to support you during the current drought. We have already provided substantial food assistance, and will continue to do what is needed. We are also trying to help both Tanzania and Kenya deal with your significant refugee problems, which we had a chance to discuss in our meeting just a moment ago. We will keep working with you, Mr. President, to promote education and health, to bring the benefits of the global information economy to your nation and to the developing world.
I am glad that we were able to support Tanzania as one of the first three African countries to qualify for debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries initiative. So long as these economic reforms continue they will be worth the freeing of $100 million a year, which Tanzania can now invest in its greatest resource, your people.
And I might say, Mr. President, I was very moved by what you said in our meeting about how you intend to invest that money. And I hope that the members of our Congress will take home the powerful example that you have set as a good reason for us to fully fund our part of the global initiative to relieve the debt of highly indebted poor countries.
I also want to do more to encourage foreign investment here. When I last met with you, Mr. President, you were just finishing a very successful tour of the United States to promote American investment here. It has doubled in the last five years. The Open Skies agreement, just signed, will strengthen our economic ties further, giving both our countries' airlines unrestricted international access from any airport to any airport in either country, so that more people can travel and market their products to more places at lower cost.
It was the first of six such agreements we have negotiated with African nations, and I am honored that the first was here in Tanzania.
We will keep working with you, Mr. President, on all these issues, not only because your success is important in its own right, and because your people deserve a chance to live their dreams, but because you inspire all those around you who are struggling to achieve freedom and peace and reconciliation. I urge you to continue to inspire them.
I thank you for the power of your example. I support the work you do. And again let me say on behalf of all the American delegation, we are delighted and honored to be here. Thank you very much.
Extract Author: Vision Reporter
Extract Date: 2000 Aug 29
New Vision (Kampala)
....... the talks were being overshadowed by Clinton's visit, with the whole of Arusha focused on putting on a good show for the U.S. president.
Firemen hosed dust off the streets the presidential cavalcade will take and schools closed.
Africa News Online
Extract Author: Kipkoech Tanui
Extract Date: 2000 September 3
The Nation (Nairobi)
President Benjamin Mkapa stared in disbelief as US security agents opened the doors of the sleek limousine from which he had just disembarked to let in a a sniffer dog hunting for any 'hidden' bombs and grenades.
As the Tanzanian leader stood on the front steps of the Arusha International Conference Centre - ready to receive American President Bill Clinton and usher him into the hall where the Burundi Peace Accords were being signed on Monday - the American agents opened the boots and bonnets of his convoy and goaded the furred animal to sniff around for explosives.
Hundreds of Tanzanians hanging around the perimeter fence of the building watched with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment as the American agents meticulously searched the area for any danger to their President.
'Umaskini ni kitu mbaya mno' (poverty is a terrible thing), mused one of the Tanzanians pushing and elbowing each other around the barbed wire - in a bid to get a better glimpse of Mr. Clinton - when he noticed what the American security agents were doing to his President's car. 'It's amazing how far the Americans can go in throwing their weight and money around Africa,' the Tanzanian national added.
Mr. Mkapa, who was hosting the US President and at least 20 other African leaders or their representatives, was also in for a rude shock when he chaperoned Mr. Clinton to his seat, escorted by the facilitator of the peace talks, retired South African President Nelson Mandela.
Moments before President Clinton walked in, the mineral water and soda bottles on his table were cleared by the security agents. When President Clinton took his seat, an aide placed before him a can of Coca-Cola flown in from the US. The President drank directly from the can.
That was to be the only drink he took inside the hall for the five hours he was inside as the rest of the dignitaries on the podium - including President Moi and Mr. Mandela - sipped glasses of water bottled by a Tanzanian company.
Earlier, as Mr. Clinton's convoy arrived at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), a US helicopter was hovering over his car flying barely 30 metres above the ground. The chopper carrying heavily armed security agents had covered President Clinton's car all the way from the Kilimanjaro International Airport, taking every bend and corner with it.
Outside the conference centre, the helicopter hovered above Mr. Clinton as he disembarked from his car, greeted his hosts and entered the hall. The deafening noise and gushing wind from helicopter engines and rotor blades fluttered at the clothes of those present, at times exposing the firearms stuffed on the waists of some of the security agents.
All the tinted windows of President Clinton's 35-foot limousine were rolled up and the occupants waved to the ecstatic crowd behind closed windows. A Tanzanian security official told the Sunday Nation that an hour before his landing, the flight corridor over Arusha was closed.
With his arrival, most of the telephone lines around Arusha went dead. Even the walkie-talkies the security personnel of the African leaders were carrying ceased to work. But when he left the phones came back to life.
A source in the meeting said the security agents jammed the phones to abort any evil plot being hatched over the the lines and ensure total security and safety for the leader of the world's only superpower.
As a result of the electronic jamming of the phones, the State House team waiting for President Moi to land at the Moi International Airport Mombasa lost telephone contact with the security personnel in Arusha led by the Escort Commander and the President's aide-de-camp.
The security personnel in Arusha could not inform those waiting on the Mombasa airport's tarmac that the haggling between the Burundi Accord facilitators and the Tutsi extremists had prolonged the meeting and that the President was still inside the Simba Hall four hours after the meeting was expected to have been concluded.
In desperation, a senior State House official at the airport decided to call the Nation News Desk in Nairobi and enquire if the night shift reporter had received a word on the whereabouts of the President from our reporter in Arusha.
By 10 pm that Monday night, the official had called the Nation twice within an hour to say the team in Mombasa were anxious to know if the President had left Arusha.
Though he promised to call again at 11 pm, he did not, probably because telephone contact with Arusha had finally been re-established. However, a member of the President's press corps kept calling.
President Moi and his entourage finally flew out of Kilimanjaro International Airport after midnight for Mombasa, where in the morning he was on the road continuing his tour of the Coast Province.
A South African female journalist working for Channel Africa broke down inside the Arusha conference hall when the US marines barred her from leaving the theatre while President Clinton was speaking. She had wanted to look for a convenient place outside from which to call her station on the mobile telephone.
She thought that her phone set had ceased working because she was in an enclosed place. But as she rose to walk out, a US agent walked up to her and curtly said the doors won't be opened until the visiting President leaves the hall.
However, the marines changed their minds and decided to open the doors for people to walk in and out as it turned out that Mr. Clinton was going to spend a much longer period inside the hall.
The secret service agents could be identified using their hi-tech communication equipment composed of a wire running from the ear up to the left hand where a miniature microphone, the size of a sweet, was strapped to the arm. When they wanted to talk to one another, one just needed to open his palm and lift his hand as if to wipe his lips.
Except for Mr. Mandela's guards, all the security men accompanying the visiting Presidents carried walkie-talkies, which ceased working for the duration of Mr. Clinton's presence in the hall.
The US agents had began streaming into Tanzania months before Mr. Clinton was set to arrive, flying straight from Nigeria on his last African tour as President. By 2.50 pm, when he landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, more than 1,000 Americans - mostly security and secret service agents and the State Department staff - were swarming the streets of Arusha.
The marines and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had revolvers bulging from their waistlines and covered by immaculate jackets.
The agents arrived with communication and security equipment, such as satellite dishes and antennas, weighing five tonnes. They scanned the runway as if they were looking for landmines.
The President and his daughter Chelsea rode in the long limousine, which can withstand the devastating impact of a mine explosion. The limousine was flown in from the US together with ambulances and other cars in a convoy of more than 50 vehicles.
The convoy had earlier been flown from the US to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, and then driven by road - under heavy guard - for the 260 kilometres to Arusha. A similar security arrangement had been made for his visit to arathing was done for his Nigeria, and the visit to Egypt after he flew from Arusha aboard the luxurious Airforce One jet.
The plane itself is a magnificent piece of technology, complete with a parachute ejector to throw the President out to safety should there be any midair problem. It is furnished like a millionaire's house, complete with sauna, jacuzzi and a luxury bed.
As part of the security arrangements, all business outlets on the multi-storey AICC were closed on Monday. Notices to this effect were pasted on the walls and lift-area of the prestigious building from the Thursday before.
The US had negotiated expensive temporary takeover deals with owners of businesses on the basement, ground and first floors of the building. The rooms were stripped bare of the old furniture and transformed into offices, fax and e-mail bureaus and video-monitoring stations.
On the premises of the popular Arusha fastfood chain, Chick King - whose expansive room at the AICC was temporarily taken over - a host of telephone sets with a satellite connection to America were installed for use by the security agents, White House staff and the American press.
The other sections of the international press were frustrated when they walked up to the bureau thinking the business centre was open to all. 'They paid me upfront and I can't allow anyone else to use these facilities. They put up some of the machines themselves,' was the consistent reply the proprietor had for those seeking his services.
The US marines thoroughly screened anyone entering the premises, using bomb detectors. Those carrying still cameras had to click at least once - just to make sure that its trigger does not detonate a hidden bomb. Those with video cameras were asked to roll at least an inch of their tape before they could be allowed in.
In a hurry to impress the visiting leaders, especially Mr. Clinton, the Tanzanian government cleared the Arusha streets of hawkers and street children. On the morning of the big day, the town's fire brigade personnel, with their engines, washed the streets with water and soap.
Motorists were splashed with water sprouting from the huge canons normally used to fight fires.
The AICC itself was given a thorough wash. Throughout the weekend, workers scraped the floors with detergent and water. The floors were groomed, the walls stripped clean of any old notices pasted on them.
The meeting stole the thunder from the climax of the Tanzanian voter registration programme ending that Monday. The local media devoted its time and space to the Burundi meeting.
The Tanzanian government took advantage of Mr. Clinton's visit to promote its commercial ties with America. The Commerce Ministry published a glossy magazine titled: Ten Reasons Why Americans Should Invest In Tanzania.
The visiting Americans - even the secret agents - were given copies as they picked the keys to their hotel rooms from the receptionists.
In the airport and around the luxurious Novotel Mount Meru Hotel, where the security agents had pitched camp a week to the meeting, a forest of long antennae rose to the sky. Satellite dishes mounted on armoured cars dotted the premises.
The hotel was the base for the security agents and regular guests were kept off because all the rooms had been taken up. Only a few were reserved for the other visiting presidents and delegates. Mr. Clinton did not step in the hotel, on whose doors were mounted hi-tech security screen boxes.
The accreditation process for Simba Hall was a long and tedious affair. The lobbying for the pink badges issued by a team of facilitators led by Brig-Gen (Rtd) Hashim Mbita was as intense as it was frustrating.
In the end, more than 250 journalists who had travelled to Arusha to cover the meeting did not go in. Those locked out included such big news organisations such as Reuters.
Things were made worse by the fact that none of the Tanzanian TV stations had the capacity to relay the proceedings live.
The White House had arranged for the American NBC Television - which had the brief to beam live Mr. Clinton's speech to all the American stations via satellite - to bring in the necessary equipment.
But it turned out that the equipment was not compatible with Tanzania's and the plan flopped. An attempt to use the outside broadcasting facilities of the UN's Rwanda Genocide Tribunal flopped because the wiring was short and the cameras were permanently mounted on the court-house in the AICC.
In the end, journalists who flew in from as far as Europe with huge caches of communication equipment were either reduced to mere by- standers or covered the event from the periphery. Those in the print media mingled freely with the flag-waving Tanzanians who lined the streets to welcome the bigwigs.
The other Presidents inside the hall had to make do without the bulk of their security team because most of their agents could not obtain the badges to enter Simba Hall.
As Mr. Clinton stepped in, his security agents lined all the walls of the hall and when he finally sat, two of them sat on the extreme left and right corners of the front bench reserved for the Presidents.
An hour before Mr. Clinton's arrival, the agents shuffled the seating arrangements on the podium when the African leaders took a break. When they came back they were shown new places to sit.
However, during the Burundi peace negotiations, Mr. Clinton left his chair next to Mr. Mandela and moved from one seat to another talking to the African Presidents. He spent considerable time talking to Ghana's Jerry Rawlings.
But he reserved the best of his warmth for Mr. Mandela, whom he embraced as he bade him bye inside the hall. To the other leaders, he gave a handshake.
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Page Number: 139
Extract Date: 2000 September 23 -29
At first I thought I had misheard the statement. 'I am happy to be in this town which has become the Geneva of Africa,' said William Jefferson Clinton, the President of the United States of America, and the most powerful man in the world, referring to the very Arusha town I know of.
When I asked my colleague, sitting next to me, he acknowledged that Bill had actually said so. What promotional coup, I thought. No amount of money could make a President of the USA promote any destination in the world. And here he was calling the very Arusha whose suburbs include Unga Ltd. Majengo, Kaloleni, Sanawari, Ngaramtoni and the like, the 'Geneva of Africa.'
I looked at our President, the very Benjamin William (call him 'Bill') Mkapa. He was all teeth.
The smile was a yard long. He surely was also taken by surprise.
But come to think of it, the Arusha, Bill Clinton of the Lewinsky fame, saw when he visited the land of the Laibonis, was not the Arusha we know of. He landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, and surprise, there was a red carpet all the way from the Air force One to the 35 feet long American armored limousine he used.
From there he drove to Arusha along a road whose sides were three deep with smiling Africans waving a sea of miniature American and Tanzanian flags. The road he saw had a few hours before been shampooed in his honour. Arriving at the Arusha International Conference Centre, Bill, was received by a horde of African heads of state after walking again on another red carpet. The AICC had been scrubbed clean and everything had a temporary new lease of life.
After seeing all this and knowing that it was in Arusha that the various Rwanda factions signed the famous Arusha Accord in 1994 and that this is the head office of the UN Tribunal for Rwanda, the East African Community, the Pan African Postal Union, the Commonwealth Health Secretariat for East, Central and Southern Africa and the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute, Bill was in no position not to call Arusha the 'Geneva of Africa.'
What startles me now is why are we not taking advantage of this statement. Where are our tourism experts and our congress tourism gurus? In another country we could have had by now a flood of film clips and brochures quoting Clinton's statement for all and sundry to know. They could have told the whole world from Alaska to Vladvostock that Clinton has called Arusha the 'Geneva of Africa.'
It reminds me of some few years back when some unscrupulous tour operators decided to sell the Tanzanian mighty Kilimanjaro as an attraction in a neighbouring country. When this was disputed, they came up with a new spin on the mountain based in some fake colonial history. They claimed that the mountain had always been in Kenya and was given by Queen Victoria, then Queen of Kenya also, to the German Kaiser, the then colonial ruler of Tanganyika, as a birthday present because she already possessed Mount Kenya.
The truth as far is history is concerned is quite the opposite. I quote from a colonial history authority; 'In 1886 colonial rivalry between Britain and Germany flared again and a fresh Anglo-American Partition Agreement clearly defined German and British spheres of influence. A straight line traced between Kenya and Tanganyika along the actual boundaries divided the territories. North of the line Kenya and Uganda went to England. The southern part together with Ruanda-Urundi to the west went to Germany: this gave birth to German East Africa. ( . . . ). Another meeting leading to the `Heligoland Treaty,' was held in 1890 to ensure Africa `The benefits of peace and civilization' and settled the last disputes which still existed between Britain and Germany who abandoned some places in Kenya, receiving in compensation the Island of Heligoland in the North Sea. A lingering controversy plagued the area around Taveta claimed by
rival German and British explorers and with Germany giving in, and this is why it is the only stretch of this border which does not run in a perfectly straight line.'
Surely we do not need another `Heligoland Treaty' to prove that Arusha is the Geneva of Africa. Let us simply clean up the city, welcome all those meeting in Arusha or passing by to go to the Serengeti and then proclaim to everybody that Clinton calls us the 'Geneva of Africa.' Who are you not to?
BBC internet news
Extract Author: Joseph Warungu
Extract Date: 2000 October 16
Arusha has played an important role in Tanzania's history
The town forms a crossroads at the heart of the East African region
Arusha may not be the capital of Tanzania, but it jostles with Dar es Salaam for world recognition.
The International Tribunal on Rwanda is based in Arusha - as is the born-again regional baby known as the East African Community.
And if that's not reason enough for many to take off their hats to this cool, northern town, then historical reasoning comes to play.
It was here, in 1967, that the late Founding President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere set out his ideas of African socialism or Ujamaa - and later tried but failed to bring peace to neighbouring Burundi, through a process of dialogue that continues to date.
But this is not why political heavyweights have made a date with Arusha before polling day.
Last week, the UDP Presidential candidate John Cheo was here to woo the voters - followed on Tuesday by Professor Ibrahim Lipumba of the CUF-Chadema coalition.
The next day, the Tanzania Labour Party's Augustine Mrema took to the podium in search of votes.
President Benjamin Mkapa himself will also be in the area to explain to the people why five years is hardly time enough for anyone to drive Tanzania to the destination of peace and prosperity.
Much is at stake here. For years this region tended to go the opposition way, and now the ruling CCM is fighting tooth and nail to see if this time it can capture the heart and soul of northern Tanzania.
For the opposition, it is time to prove that the few bruising political battles that went the CCM way are a thing of the past.
As for the voters, they have a lot on their minds without worrying about the slanging matches going on around them.
This agricultural area has recently seen more sunshine rather than rainfall to water the crops.
Another issue has been the frequent fatal battles for Tanzanite mining rights in the Mererani area.
And hard economic times have been hitting the entire country.
With these concerns on their minds, many will only give a passing glimpse and a distracted ear to the numerous party flags and the poster-covered pick-up trucks that crawl across the town with huge loud speakers blaring the message 'kura kwangu' - vote for me.
Page Number: No.00153
Extract Date: 2001 Jan 13
Sundays 2:05pm - 3.00pm
1. It wasn't me - Shaggy
2. Feelme in - Craig David
3. El Wauwo - Magic System
4. Kachili - Kilimanjaro Band
5. Gozi Gozi - Mr. Paul
6. Usione Vyaelea - ChuChu Sound
7. Imagine That - LL Cool J
8. I wish - R. Kelly
9. Independent Woman - Destiney's Child
10. Baba Kaleta Panya - Olduvai Band
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Extract Date: 7 March 2001
The lonely naked bulb along Old Moshi road was switched on again this week. It must have felt very insecure because the other bulbs, which used to hang precariously along that road, are long gone. Only some loose electric wires can bee seen hanging loose in their place.
Initially I was surprised to see the lonely bulb, just next to Dr. Andrew's Hospital, struggling to outshine the noon sun. There must be a reason, I reasoned. No street light is ever switched on unless there are visitors to Arusha. It was then that I remembered that a number of heads of state from several African countries were in Arusha for the Burundi peace talks.
It seems that the authorities that may be are worried about the eyesight of VIPs visiting Arusha that they resort to switching on the street lights even during the day to improve light in the
municipality. I am tired of reminding them we all need light in our dangerous streets and we need it at night not during the day.
Still on the same topic, that stretch between New Arusha Hotel and Roasters Garden is increasingly becoming dangerous. Several people have been mugged during the night and sometimes during the day by thugs who hide under the bridge. I am sure the police do not need some imported ingenuity to nab the thugs who have turned the place into their heaven. Funny that there are no street lights on that patch of road.
I note with encouragement that serious work has begun on the roundabout near New Arusha Hotel. A new signpost showing directions to various parts of the world is in place and a new clock seems to be in the pipeline. The Clock Tower will now have a clock. Let us wait and see.
The same is not the case with the roundabout near the famous Barracuda pub. A few weeks ago I used to see a mzungu lady supervising the improvement on that place. She was quite enthusiastic and she could be seen there even when it was raining cats and dogs. I wonder what has become of her. She has suddenly vanished and the place has been left with logs lying around and it is in a mess. I am sure that is not an avant garde artistic presentation of nature.
The stretch of garden in front of the Regional Commissioner's office is still wanting. The flowerbeds are in shambles and the grass in unkempt. It is interesting to know that the eyes of the Regional Commissioner and those of his Regional Administrative Officer never fail to see that patch of garden. I would love know what they think of the place.
Nothing yet has been done by the authorities at the imposing Uhuru Torch monument near the stadium. I hope we may in the near future see some development on that site.
One development, which I have slowly come to notice, is the greening of Arusha. Actually it took a friend of mine from Dar es Salaam to wake me up to this fact. Slowly Arusha valleys and roadsides are turning into beautiful green forests. This can visibly be noticed along the Nairobi road and the river valleys passing through the town.
The same, however, is not the case with places like Makao Mapya, Kaloleni and some parts of Ngarenaro. Are there no local leaders in the name of ward councilors and ward executives who can initiate a similar development in the suburbs mentioned? Let us take action and make Arusha even greener.
Lastly it is about that Njiro road. Oh sorry! I already wrote in detail about that horrible road. Thank you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Extract Date: 13/08/2001
In the section of the Arusha Times called Dark Side
Some where between Cape Town and Cairo, there is this little town that has unpredictable weather, brown tarmac roads and a municipal council.
The town is extremely dusty at the moment, but that’s because the rains have stopped, otherwise it could have been extremely muddy.
The town is also very dirty at the moment, but it is not always like that..... sometimes it gets even worse!
However, there are no diseases in that town, that is apart from: Malaria, Tuberculosis, Typhoid fever, Cholera, Skin diseases, Measles, Worms, Rashes, Boils, Hypertension, Influenza, gout, Rabies, Jiggers, Constipation.....!
But the town still has a number of hospitals, all of which, are fully stocked with enough medicine, capable of curing any disease except, those mentioned above.
Hospital services are also very, very good, in that town. Both doctors and nurses are very “patient” with “patients”. They never insult them..... Well, not at midnight any way!
No criminal can ever be spotted in this little, utopian town maybe that’s why local police men keep on arresting innocent citizens.....After all, they surely must do some work.
As I told you, the town is the world’s most safest haven, though there is yet another part of it which is even safer.
That very safe area, of an even safer town, situated between Cape and Cairo, is known as..... Njiro! Good gracious.
At Njiro you can even sleep outside your house and no harm will ever come your way. The trouble comes when you try to sleep INSIDE!!
Between Cape and Cairo, there is also a timber factory, which instead of producing timber, it produces a river of dark water that flows freely into areas where people normally live.
The generous timber factory, never charge these people for this unique liquid.....See ? I told you, the town is a good example of an utopian state. Never mind that the liquid is being offered against the people's wishes.
It is believed that; a few centuries ago, three aliens landed in that town which is situated between Cape town and Cairo. In fact, their immortalized figures, can clearly be seen at one of the town’s round about.
Meanwhile, the unidentified flying saucer (UFO), by which the aliens flew into the town, can also be viewed at.....Well, yet another round about in town (to be precise, the largest round about in that town).
For some reason, the alien’s flying saucer keeps on sprouting water.....Water is a rare commodity in this town, by the way!
As I told you, the town has a municipal council, made up of very sane (not) people, whose sole purpose is ensure that the town is kept very clean (not) and undergoes fast Devil elopement (They pronounce it as: Development).
As for the town’s brown roads, it’s because the company that was hired to construct them, used treacle and molasses, instead of tar and gravel.
The craters carved in those roads, are actually the result of people scooping the sweet tasting molasses from the roads then using it as sugar, for their teas.....Come to think of it, treacle is also reported to be very handy in brewing that illegal gin known as Gong-gong!
Anyway, just for the records, sugar happens to be a very rare and expensive commodity in that town, mainly because of a certain guy known as Simba (not from the Lion King Movie), who apparently.....Okay! Let’s face it, I don’t know exactly what did this Simba guy do, but everybody seem to be blaming him, so I am also following suit.
Some where in the middle of Cape and Cairo, there are fleets of blue labeled vehicles with blue number plates, that move at speeds of light and the vehicle drivers are all “licensed to kill,” just like James Bond.
Speaking of light, thick clouds normally make this town dark, during the day, while another epitome known as TANESCO or something, makes it dark during the night.
In other words, the only place where people can’t tell the difference between Day and Night, is in this town which is..... situated between Cape and Cairo!
By the way, the town normally goes to sleep a few minutes before six in the evening!
The East African
Extract Author: Alfred Ngotezi Dar es Salaam
Extract Date: 2000 Oct 5
The East African (Nairobi) via www.AllAfrica.com
World statesmen who have been hosted by the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre include King Harold and Queen Sonja of Norway and their daughter Princess Martha Louise as well as South African President Thabo Mbeki and his wife.
Saifuddin Khanbhai, a jovial 34-year-old Tanzanian, has reason to feel on top of the world. On August 28, he became one of the few people in the world to host, albeit briefly, a reigning US president.
Khanbhai got the rare opportunity when American President William Jefferson Clinton paid a short visit to Arusha in Tanzania to witness the signing of a peace accord between Burundi's warring factions.
There was no confirmation of the planned presidential visit, ostensibly for security reasons, until a few minutes to 10 pm, Khanbhai recalls. All that evening, he was pacing up and down the lawns of his cultural centre. If the Burundi peace negotiations had not dragged on until late at night, Khanbhai says, perhaps Clinton would have arrived 'at a more conventional hour.' The American president personally held unscheduled lengthy talks with the Burundi belligerents.
Clinton's extended participation in the talks resulted in a rescheduling of his earlier programme, including a planned 15-minute private shopping session at Khanbhai's curio shop: the Cultural Heritage Centre on Arusha's Nairobi Road.
But to the delight of the young businessman, their friendly encounter lasted a full one hour and fifteen minutes as Khanbhai guided the president and his daughter around the cultural and entertainment sections of his centre.
As soon as Clinton arrived at the centre, Khanbhai presented him with a spear and a shield, the Maasai way of welcoming a respected leader.
The short traditional ceremony was performed in front of one of the tribal huts erected in the sprawling compound of the cultural centre. It was an amusing ceremony, Khanbhai recounts.
'But as warned earlier by security agents, we did not present the president with the spear, but only gave him a shield and gestured to the distant spear,' he says. But a jovial Clinton would not have it that way.
Grabbing the spear, he jokingly threatened his staff, saying, 'I'm the most dangerous person around now,' Khanbhai recalls.
From that moment onward, however, Clinton's itinerary became a private shopping visit, which saw the president and his daughter Chelsea visit every corner of the expansive centre. What impressed him most, says Khanbhai, is the fact that Clinton would stop from time to time to ask searching questions about the ways and values of different ethnic communities in Tanzania.
The American president was so moved by the cultural presentations, the proprietor says, that at one point he could not wait any longer: he joined in a traditional dance.
But where were the American security 'heavies' who had taken Arusha by storm with their sniffer dogs, one may ask. Khanbhai says the centre was swarming with security agents, but they were 'friendly and wanted to make the best of the occasion for us all.'
Indeed, Clinton went to the curio shop unaccompanied by local officials, in a deliberate relaxing of security measures to allow him some freedom to interact with people.
Clinton pulled quite a few surprises during the visit. For example, while earlier on at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), he had not been allowed by his assistants to take a local drink, instead quenching his thirst with a special canned Coke from Airforce One, he readily sipped a glass of fresh juice offered by Khanbhai.
The American president bought art and craft items worth about $1,400 and was given some more as gifts by the Khanbhai family. He promised to display them for a week at a prominent spot in the White House and said that as soon as he moved out of the White House next year, he would be looking for more souvenirs and would contact Khanbhai.
Clinton's visit to the Cultural Centre was missed by the local press and remains a mystery even to the host. 'I certainly would not have dreamt of inviting him,' he says.
Khanbhai says although US First Lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea have visited Arusha before, they did not visit the Cultural Centre. Former US Foreign Secretary James Baker visited the centre twice while on a private hunting safari.
Other world statesmen who have been hosted by Khanbhai include King Harold and Queen Sonja of Norway and their daughter Princess Martha Louise as well as South African President Thabo Mbeki and his wife.
What attracts world leaders to the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre?
Most visitors interested in Tanzania's cultural heritage will look for a place where the past and present of the country's 120-plus tribes can be viewed in a single compound. Khanbhai's project is a clear manifestation of the need for tourism investors in the country to be creative. Beginning with the nearby Maasai and other tribes close to Arusha town in northern Tanzania, he has set out to extend his coverage to other ethnic groups in the country.
The soft-spoken proprietor is also launching an e-commerce enterprise. Customers from all over the world will be able to place orders online for various works of art.
Apart from displaying and storing Tanzania's cultural heritage, the curio shop sells carvings, gemstones, artefacts, clothing and books. The business employs 68 people.
Khanbhai was born in 1966 in Muheza, in the northeastern region of Tanga. He went to school in Tanga and Arusha before going for his A- level education in England. Despite being selected to pursue medicine, he was attracted to the arts and returned home to pursue his studies.
Khanbhai, a Tanzanian of Asian origin, says his immediate business partner is his wife of 11 years, Zahra. Starting with a small store near Clock Tower in Arusha, Khanbhai expanded and opened several other stores around the town. Construction on the Cultural Centre began in 1990, a task that took him four years.
The Clock Tower in Arusha, incidentally, at the halfway point between Cape Town and Cairo.
On the future of tourism in Tanzania, Khanbhai says the industry has a lot of potential but that institutional red tape is stifling its growth.
Khanbhai is critical of the policy of imposing Value Added Tax (VAT) on works of art, proposing that such payments made by tourists should be refunded at the time of departure. He indeed goes on to suggest that the tax be waived altogether.
It may not be a bad idea, after all, for the establishment to listen to a young businessman who has just had the rare honour of hosting the most powerful president in the world.
The starting point for the new face of Arusha
Page Number: 5
Extract Date: 2002
Situated at 1,300 metres (4,290 feet) on the southern side of Mount Meru, Arusha would have once been covered in lowland forest. Approximately 130 resident species of birds exist in Arusha town and surrounding suburbia and this increases to almost 500 with "fly-by" and migrant species.
Among the commoner birds that occur in Arusha augur buzzards with their short red tails and broad, rounded wings are unmistakable in flight. Marabou storks and black kites, which feed on refuse and carrion, are common residents. Red-winged starlings are more often seen around tall buildings. Large and noisy silvery-cheeked hornbills with their distinctive casques (hollow bills), and crowned hornbills that are noticeably smaller, may also be seen.
Smaller birds include yellow-vented bulbul often seen in the town’s gardens, variable sunbird notable for the male’s striking violet-blue back and head and yellow underparts, bright green-collared, white-eyed slaty flycatcher distinguished by its broad white eye rings, red-eyed dove and long-tailed speckled mousebird that "crawls" though the vegetation.
Extract Author: Kaaya Shilia
Extract Date: 1 May 2002
Arusha the hub of action
People in elegant suits and badges
People smiling and hurrying
Shouting, Jambo, Jambo, Karibu
Within a stones throw
The roof of Africa towers
Snowy and beautiful
Despite the perceived scotching heat
Of the midday sun, along the equator
The relic of Arusha Declaration
A monument of fame and name
With Mwalimu stamp left vividly
Though in ashes of history
Arusha historical and memorable
The home of zinjanthropas
The mother of mankind
The foot of creation
Listed in the wonders of the world
The astounding Ngorongoro Crater
Amazing Serengeti migrations
Nature at its best
Arusha the boiling pot
Arusha home to the world
With peace sought by heart
Conventions and congress in progress
Here mankind converges
Praying for the injured world
That bleeds and smells of injustice
Hatched of greed and lust for power
Arusha of sirens for the powerful
Arusha of sirens for perpetrators
Of genocide and mass killing
Arusha the pride of Tanzania
And now crowned and indeed befitting
THE GENEVA OF AFRICA
By Kaaya Shilia
Extract Author: Harriet Sherwood
Extract Date: November 2, 2002
But our first taste of Africa was a long way from big game and open spaces. We drove through Arusha, according to most a dirty, lawless, crowded place, but for me more real than the luxury seclusion of game lodges that we were to experience. It was my first visit to Africa since having lived there as a child: born in Uganda, early childhood in Somalia, followed by a few years in Nigeria. The chaotic smells, sights and noise of the city on that first morning were instantly familiar, evoking half-forgotten memories, a sense of déjà-vu. It felt like the struggle to remember a dream once fully awake: the details have left your grasp and all you have is an intriguing but frustrating sensation. I wanted to stop, to get out of the Jeep, to touch and feel, to recapture my memories - but we were on a schedule, and Arusha is most definitely not part of the tourist itinerary.
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: No. 00250
Extract Date: December 14, 2002
A team comprising a popular British comedian, a professional chef and a film crew from a UK-based media corporation, has just completed a five day visit to Arusha and Moshi, pledging support to local street children.
The group consisted of Lenny Henry, a famous British comedian, Gordon Ramsey, a professional chef who runs his own restaurant in Britain and Kevin Cahill, the CEO of the UK based Comic Relief Charity.
The four were accompanied by a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) film crew which made a documentary film on the life and personal experience of local street children in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.
The Arusha Times visited the team at their camp on the St. Theresa Catholic Parish grounds on Wednesday last week and found Gordon Ramsey displaying his cooking skills by preparing lunch to over 100 street children under the local Arusha Referral Service for Street Children Project.
The group’s tour to the Tanzanian northern regions is part of the earlier efforts towards the grand Annual Red Nose Day to be observed on the 14th of March 2003 throughout the United Kingdom.
Organised by the UK Comic Relief Charity, the Red Nose Day is a carefree day aimed at encouraging people to raise money that will help some of the poorest and most vulnerable people of Africa and UK.
Hosting the charitable visit of the UK team in Arusha and Moshi are the two street children oriented organizations of Friends of Kids in Difficult Situations (FOKIDS) Of Arusha, under the coordination of Shermin Moledina and Mkombozi Street Children Centre of Moshi.
Kate McAlpine of Mkombozi told the Arusha Times that, the team interviewed the local street children in Moshi filmed around them and provided them with meals.
Ms Moledina said since they formed the voluntary service of providing daytime meals to street children many people have come forth to pledge their voluntary supports and that they currently feedover120 children, four times a week.
Both Ms Moledina and McAlpine however pointed out that, the feeding programme is only a small part of their mission intended to be a way of reaching out to the street children.
Afterwards, the children who are ready are sent to local centres such as CCF, Rollingstone and Mkombozi and so far about 20 children (one being blind and one deaf) have already been put in schools while five young men (ex street children) have been secured employment.
The Friends of Kids have also paid for the care of two orphans. One of whom severely handicapped and have been providing warm clothing and shoes to over 120 street children.
Twenty other street children have been referred to centre based care . FORKIDS also advocates street children’s rights.
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: 311
Extract Date: 13 March 2004
Chief Simeon Laiseri posing with British Government officers at the official inauguration of the first leadership of the United Waarusha community on January 14, 1948. (File photo)
The decision to change the identity of the road previously named after the legendary chief of the Waarusha community has annoyed various residents of the municipality and its environs.
Running between the Goliondoi roundabout and Sanawari junction via the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), Simeon Road was on the 2nd of March this year, given a new name.
The road was christened, "Barabara ya Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki" (East African Community road) in a ceremony graced by Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the current chairman of the EAC Heads of State.
This event preceded the official signing of the Customs Union protocol for the East African Community which was carried out by the three presidents of the EAC member states.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Sheikh Amri Abeid stadium, President Museveni lauded the Arusha Municipal Mayor, Paul Lotta Laizer for "donating" the road to EAC.
The news of the road-re-labelling reached the family of the late Chief Simeon, who later told The Arusha Times that they were shocked.
"We weren’t even contacted", said Mesiaki Simeon Kokan (67), the last born of the legendary chief and hero of the Waarusha tribe, when this paper visited his home at Olturoto village in Arumeru district.
Both Mesiaki and his wife, Hellen (61) admitted that they were irked by the decision to wipe out of public memory the first indigenous ruler of the Waarusha community.
Chief Simeon’s youngest grandson, Thadei Kokan lamented that the council had even ignored Simeon’s family. "They should have at least invited some family members to the road-naming occasion".
"He was the light of Arusha!" said Lazaro Simeon Kokan (85), the chief’s eldest son, when the Arusha Times visited his home also located in Arumeru.
Lazaro suggested that Simeon be given another road to immortalize his legend as the first chief to bring together the two communities of Waarusha namely Burka and Boru.
"In some ways it is also a legend that, Simeon’s name has kept one road long enough for it to mature into an East African one", added Lazaro. His views are also shared by the former head of the Arusha Town Council , Ismail Letawo who suggested that another road should be named after Simeon.
"A road like Goliondoi for instance", said Letawo, "Which was named after a river", he explained.
However, a Taxi driver operating from Sanawari was adamant: "Why should Simeon’s name be shifted?" he asked. "EAC should be given another unnamed road like the Kaloleni one which is being constructed". "They totally want to wipe out the history and presence of the Waarusha community, don’t they?" asked Gasper Mollel, a teacher in Arusha.
Other residents called for the remaining local elders to intervene and ensure that the old Simeon road has been restored in memory of the chief.
It took four phone calls before the Municipal Mayor, Paul Lotta Laizer finally made his comment.
"The decision to change Simeon road into EAC road was reached after the council received a letter of request from the Secretary of the East African Legislative Assembly", said the mayor.
Mayor Laizer, responding to the residents complaints said the council has decided to name the road which runs from Phillips junction to Kijenge roundabout after Simeon to replace the fallen identity.
However, the Philips-Kijenge roundabout road, had already been named after the first President of Tanzania. A large sign indicates that the road is actually called "Nyerere Road".
Died in April 1983 at the age of 95 years, Chief Simeon Laiseri Kokan Benne became the first "Orkasis" of the Waarusha community on the 14th January 1948.
Before that, Simeon was the "Orkasis" for the Boru community while his counterpart , Chief Simon headed the Burka community.
Later, the then British colonial rule, decided that the Waarusha tribe was rather small to be governed by two chiefs, hence a council of elders met and the two communities were united.
Both "Orkasises" Simeon (Boru) and Simon (Burka) resigned their positions, but after a new election, Simeon emerged the first Orkasis for the newly united Waarusha community. The chief was also instrumental in the campaign against colonialism.
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Page Number: 314
Extract Date: 3 April 2004
My friend, whom I will not name for obvious reasons, is very upset. He originates from Ngorbob a village located in the southern suburbs of Arusha. Most residents of this municipality do not know where this village is. Take heart! I will delightfully be your temporary Arusha guide.
There is a famous village, a few kilometers after the Arusha airport, along Dodoma road. The village is very popular with Arusha residents who love ‘nyama choma’ and those frothy liquids imbibed profusely during weekends.
To most people, the village is known as Kisongo. But that is a misrepresentation. Kisongo happens to cover a bigger area which includes that village, whose actual name is Ngorbob.
Now when you go for your weekend ‘nyama choma’ to those popular joints located next to the village market, you are actually going to Ngorbob. But that is another story all together.
I said that my friend is very upset. His anger began a few weeks ago. Actually it began to boil up soon after the inauguration of the East African Customs Union. It was then that something very traumatic happened to him and, he says, to other members of the Waarusha tribe as well.
My friend requested me to accompany him around the down town streets of Arusha. We went down the Sokoine road, the main shopping street in town. He told me that the name Sokoine is in recognition of a famous Maasai leader, who, had it not been for his untimely death might have been President of Tanzania.
We then explored the side streets. And here he explained to me the cosmopolitan nature of Arusha. Streets were and are named after various tribes and lands in recognition of their people’s historical presence and that of their descendants in this part of the world.
We came across the Wasangu Street, these are from Mbeya region. Actually my mother is Sangu, I proudly proclaimed to my friend. Then there was the Lindi Street you know Lindi is located deep-south near the border with Mozambique. The Wadigo Street, for the Tanga-line people was also there and the Wasukuma Street for the big tribe from western Tanzania was around.
Also there were the Wapare and Wachaga streets in recognition of people from Kilimanjaro region. The Zaramos from coast were not left out; they had a street in their name. So were the Makua from southern Tanzania, the Kikuyu from Kenya and Pangani from Tanga. There also was a street named after the migrants from the north, the Ehtiopia Street.
Even Seth Benjamin, the young man who lost his life marching in support of the Arusha Declaration had a street. And so was one Col. Middleton who, I am told, played a pivotal role in developing Arusha and her sports stadium.
Coming up to the Arusha Central Business District, my friend showed me India Street, in appreciation of the allegedly commercial role people who originated from India played in this town.
It was when we reached the street straddling the Arusha International Conference Centre that my friend’s anger boiled to the surface. Almost in tears he told me, "...and this is the only street which recognised the warmth and hospitality of the natives of this town. It used to be called Simeoni Street in recognition of the first chief of the united Waarusha. Now look what has happened!" he sobbed.
Truly the street had been re-named "Barabara ya Afrika Mashariki" the ‘East African (community?) Street". I cried with him.
Susie Steiner From Suffolk to the Serengeti
Extract Author: Susie Steiner
Extract Date: April 3, 2004
There was no blueprint or grand design for this house in northern Tanzania. Instead, the British couple who built it adopted what they called 'a daily plan' - put it up and see what it looks like. Susie Steiner reports
'It would have been much easier," says Nick Fisher somewhat mournfully, "to own a house in France."
Each winter, he and his wife Jo Jordan leave their farmhouse in Suffolk to board a plane for Nairobi, then travel five hours by rough road across the Kenyan border to the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha and beyond, to a hill on its outskirts.
Here, their wood and stone house, with chimney-like observation room, looks out towards the dormant volcano of Mount Meru to the east and the sweeping plains of the Masai to the south. Beyond the Monduli mountains, to the west, lies the Serengeti.
It takes about a day to open the house out once more, after months of lying empty. All their furniture has been in store - locked up in the 20ft shipping container that forms the centre of the building. "It's like having a mammoth metal safe on site," says Jo. Indeed, the container determined the site of the house, for once it had been lugged (with some difficulty) up the hill and deposited on the couple's land, it could move no further and the house was built around it - the bulk of the living areas laid on top of it like a giant chessboard on a too-small table.
Jo and Nick began building on their two-acre plot in the summer of 1997, without any kind of plan. "There was what the workmen called a 'daily plan'," says Nick. "We sort of said, 'Let's try this and see how it looks' - it just evolved. It was also dependent on the materials we had."
There was lots of pine, originally destined for a matchstick factory that went bankrupt, allowing the couple to buy it cheap. This wood formed the main struts of the house on which the 60ft veranda would sit. Then they discovered there was a quarry on the land, which gave them the mawe, or rock, which was incorporated into the walls after being broken up with a sledgehammer by a local farmer. The roof is tin, the floors concrete.
The lack of building regulations in rural Africa gave free rein to Nick's organic construction process. "Whereas here, the kitchen is the hub of the home, out there, the veranda is the hub," says Jo. "You get this incredible sweep of vision. The view is like the sea - it'll change the whole time, depending on the time of day and the weather."
Brian Benson, who photographed the house in December, remembers the tropical storm that greeted him: "On the second night of our stay, after flashes of light in the distant savannah, the rain came. This was tropical rain on corrugated iron - a fantastic sound. We sat around, drinking our way through a bottle of gin and shouting above the hammering noise."
The house's water supply relies on the rain, and 2003 proved a very dry year. "We rushed out with every container we had to supplement the rooftop drainage pipes," remembers Benson. But even the deluge wasn't enough to fill the water tank and a neighbour's well had to assist. "Many evenings, we would bump our way up the hill with eight or nine jerry cans swilling in the back of the Jeep."
The interior fittings are mostly old, borrowed or reclaimed, shipped out from the UK. "We've got a friend who has a business sending secondhand trucks out to Africa for the local market, so we could send things out in the back of them," says Jo.
The pink bathroom suite, for example, is a British art deco number (pink being very out of fashion in the bathroom world). The door to it is an Indonesian "rice store" doorway that was bought in the UK. Nick made the four-poster beds himself. "The expression 'I'm just making the bed' takes on a new meaning," says Jo.
And so the house is a jumble of Ikea throw-aways, car-boot sale lampshades, and artefacts from Jo and Nick's many travels. They have been Africaphiles since the 1970s, when they met on an overland truck journey shortly after Jo qualified as a lawyer. For a decade they organised expeditions across Africa for travellers, and the Tanzanian house bursts with souvenirs from these journeys, which have made their way back to Africa via the couple's home in the UK. The rugs, for example, are Moroccan, the paintings Ethiopian, the mud cloth from Mali, the masks and carvings from Ivory Coast and Ghana.
These days, Nick's primary work in Suffolk is as a farmer, while Jo practises law. They spend two months of the year in Africa, mostly working on the house, planting the land around it with climbers to make the building merge sympathetically with the landscape, and entertaining friends on their veranda. "Jo's ideas expand whenever we're there," says Nick. "So we're always building shelves or cupboards." The travel bug, it seems, has given way to putting down roots.
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 377a
Extract Date: 9 July 2005
Elsewhere fireworks would have been lit to mark the occasion, but for the Arusha's city launching ceremony, a thick, dark and pungent smoke, clouded the entire affair. The fumes sent most of the people, who had turned up at the fete held at the Mbauda market area, into uncontrollable fits of coughs.
The new Arusha City status, which became effective on Friday, the 1st of July 2005 was celebrated with a low scale event at the open space in Mbauda area where market auctions normally take place. Arusha was declared a township in 1948.
The smoke which clouded the venue was coming from a giant vehicle tire, which had been set on fire at the venue so that the local fire brigade could put it off, during an orchestrated live demonstration, that was to be displayed at the arena, among other shows.
The Municipal Fire brigade, normally accused of being slow, was also noted to arrive late, even to their own demonstration, such that by the time their trucks arrived, the guest of honor, who happened to be the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mohamed Babu, had already taken onto the stage to deliver a speech, amid the smoke.
The fire brigade trucks, with sirens at full blast had therefore to be stopped before entering the venue, so that the speakers, including the Regional Commissioner, could continue with their speeches, without interference. Meanwhile, the large tire continued to burn endlessly, emitting thick clouds of the dark carbon monoxide fumes.
When however the smoke got thicker and people started to vacate the market place, the firemen were finally allowed to put off the burning tire. The exercise again, proved to be not so easy either, since the water jets from the fire brigade trucks kept missing their target, ending up drenching unwitting spectators instead.
By the time the tire fire was quenched, confusion and chaos had reigned. Apparently, there were many people at the venue, who had shown up for various other reasons as well. The Mbauda Bi-Weekly market is normally held every Mondays and Fridays, thus the attendance at the Arusha City launching fete also had a lot to do with ordinary traders and shoppers.
Most of the official speeches, including the Council's financial report being presented by the Municipal Director, Noah Mwaikuka, went unheard at the rather noisy gathering. It is not clear why local leaders decided to celebrate the city launch in Mbauda instead of the town stadium.
Friday, the 1st of July, was also the inaugural, 'Local Government Day!' which is set to be an annual national holiday to be marked countrywide on each first day of July.
Apart from the Regional Commissioner, other distinguished guests were the Arusha District Commissioner, Fulgence Saria, Municipal Mayor, Paul Lotta Laizer and Municipal Director, Noah Mwaikuka, including other local ward counselors.
On the same day, the Arumeru District Council was upgraded to attain municipal status, while other two municipal councils of Tanga and Mbeya were also transformed into cities. RC Babu said Arusha urban now stands to wield more local authority than it used to be in the past.
With a population of less than 300,000 Arusha is yet to meet the international requirement of 400,000 residents, necessary for a town to be accredited with such urban status. However, it is being speculated that, the fact that the area hosts a number of international institutions such as the UN-ICTR and the EAC, it was a politically correct reason to award it the status.
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 377b
Extract Date: 9 July 2005
The new Arusha City status, which became effective on Friday, the 1st of July 2005 was celebrated with a low scale event at the open space in Mbauda area where market auctions normally take place. Arusha was declared a township in 1948.
. . . .
With a population of less than 300,000 Arusha is yet to meet the international requirement of 400,000 residents, necessary for a town to be accredited with such urban status. However, it is being speculated that, the fact that the area hosts a number of international institutions such as the UN-ICTR and the EAC, it was a politically correct reason to award it the status.
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Page Number: 382
Extract Date: 13 Aug 2005
I was absolutely amazed to read an extract on sport from a 1929 brochure "Arusha: A Brochure of the Northern Province and its Capital Town." The extract on page 21 reads, "The best traditions of British sportsmanship are followed in Arusha and the Northern Province. Arusha itself has two Rugby Football Clubs and a team for the dribbling code, as well as a Cricket Eleven. There is also a Rifle Club while a Golf Course is being prepared on the local aerodrome."
It is amusing to also read about the then eastern expansion of the Arusha town from the Boma area. This expansion included the golf course. "To a sociologist it appeared difficult to justify the eviction of peasant cultivators living at a density of over 1000 to the square mile to give Europeans space to knock a small rubber ball around.
"But the town planners pointed out the desirability of having an open area between the low density housing and peasant cultivation to control the spread of disease, particular malaria." Now you know why the golf course separates the Corridor (Uzunguni) area and the native suburbs of Sekei and, Kimandolu and Kijenge. But that is not what I want to labour about here today.
The history of Arusha is marked by early international integration between locals, Europeans and Asians. Actually it all began with a steady influx of traders and farmers into Arusha in the 19th century, notably Indian traders, private German farmers and other Europeans.
The Germans (the colonial masters) had come up with several schemes to import settlers from bizarre backgrounds after conceiving an idealistic vision of a vast white settlement of their own construction. The fist of these plans back-fired when Boer farmers of German origin who had taken up the offer of free farmland proved too uncouth for the ideal community.
The grand scheme was revised: now 10,000 German peasants from settlements around the Volga Basin and Caucasus in Southern Russia were to be imported. The four families who arrived as test project were painfully disappointed to discover Arusha did not have four harvests a year, as they had been led to believe, and soon made their way to Tanga begging to be sent home, writes Annabel Skinner in Tanzania & Zanzibar.
In the end Arusha's medley of settlers moved in at their own accord, with the South African Dutch as farmers, the Greeks initially as railway contractors and farmers and, the Asians, as traders, clerical and professional workers. The Africans – you can guess to what category they belonged.
But the history of modern Arusha can not be complete without the mention of Kenyon Painter, an American millionaire banker from Ohio. Enchanted by Africa, he arrived in Arusha by ox wagon in 1907 to go on a 3-month hunting safari. He was without doubt one of the first paying clients to come out on safari to Tanganyika.
In the book 'Evolution of Hunting Hub' it says that at this time the town boasted only one tiny hotel bearing the name of its Jewish owner, 'Bloom's'. This was nothing more than a whitewashed, mud-brick building with a roof of corrugated iron sheets. "It had a dozen bedrooms, a chintzy lounge, and a bar cum dining room overlooking a fast snowmelt stream called the Themi [Temi] River."
Right next to the hotel was John Mulholland's store, a grocery store which dealt with everything from rhino horn and ivory tusks to trophies of every sort, along with the best groceries in town.
The influx of hunters and hunting clients started seriously around 1913. Their safari adventures mostly took them to the Serengeti. But seven years later, in 1920, an American arrived with a strange new contraption, which would eventually revolutionise the travel trade. The contraption was known as the Ford motorcar.
After German East Africa collapsed and Tanganyika was born, with Arusha being taken over by the British on 20 March 1916, Painter became one of the town's most significant investors, having invested over a million dollars in the area. He built Arusha's first post office, church and hospital.
In 1927, Painter acquired land on the south side of the 'Arusha Clock Tower', (donated by a Greek, Galanos), and started building the 'New Arusha Hotel' as there already was 'Arusha Hotel', previously known as 'Bloom's'.
In 1928, Ray Ulyate, owner of Meru Estate farm at Lake Duluti, leased the newly finished 'New Arusha Hotel' from Kenyon due to recession in coffee market prices. Amazingly the opening ball of the New Arusha Hotel was attended by among other notables, the Prince of Wales, Edward the 8th.
Another noted landmark addition to Arusha was the Safari Hotel. "Newer and fancier than the New Arusha it lacked the trout river frontage, lovely grounds and old-world charm of its rival." However it was masterfully managed by an Englishman, Ben Benbow, who was on a first name basis with every white hunter as well as with celebrity actors such as Robert Taylor, John Wayne and Harry Krugger that visited and stayed, during the filming of 'HATARI' in 1961.
And as they say the rest - for Arusha's growth - is history. Much as trout is also history to Themi [Temi] River – see how destructive we are – there are several new establishments in town which are striving in one way or another to promote this cosmopolitan spirit of Arusha.
Last week I was privileged to attend the first Jazz Pub in Arusha at Klub Afriko on Moshi-
Arusha road. It has that atmosphere which would jolt the emotions of any lover of Jazz music. That evening we were treated to jazz by such greats as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, George Coleman, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Louis Armstrong and the like.
And in a few weeks to come another unique and outstanding facility, the Friedkin Recreation Centre at Burka Coffee Estate, opposite the Arusha Airport will be opened - hopefully I will be invited to the function. The centre has world class sporting facilities including a Rugby field – Phew! At long last – cricket, soccer, tennis courts, a 30 m swimming pool and a gymnasium. Also available are two bars, a fine dining restaurant and lounge as well as a convenience store, hair salon and spa, laser firing range and ATM. The Friedkins, too an American family, bought the land and built the facility I am sure after also getting enchanted by Africa and Arusha in particular. Is this another Kenyon Painter? Truly! Arusha has come of age. L
IPP Media - including the Guardian
Extract Author: Adam Ihucha, Arusha
Extract Date: 10 Nov 2005
The Woolworths Company Tanzania Limited has officially opened a new store in Arusha town, the centre of the Northern Tourist Circuit.
With a total trading area of more than 500 square metres, the new Woolworths store, located in the Tanganyika Farmers Association (TFA) shopping centre in Ngarenaro suburb is the largest of its kind in Arusha City.
The chairman and Chief Executive officer (CEO) of Woolworths Company Tanzania Ltd, Ali A. Mufuruki, has praised TFA leaders in Arusha for creating a real estate opportunity that made it possible for his company to open a store in the city.
’The concept of the TFA shopping mall is cost effective one. The TFA people have made it possible for retailers, not only Woolworths but also all the tenants in the complex to work close together,’ Mufuruki said.
Officiating at the opening of the store, the East African Customs Commissioner, Kenneth Bagamuhunda said: ’The EAC recognises the vital role of the private sector and in particular the growing significance of formal retail trade in our economy.’
The opening of the Arusha Woolworths store was part of an East African retail boom.
Extract Author: Jon Snow
Extract Date: January 3, 2006
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006
On our way back to Namasagali [Uganda] he wanted us to see an extraordinary project in northern Tanzania. Usa is a village of 167 people close to Arusha in northern Tanzania. A year ago each of the villagers was equipped with a longlife mosquito net. In the months since, the incidence of Malaria in the village has fallen to zero. Elerehema Manga, a 60-year-old farm labourer earning £2 a week, is typical. He was given nets not only for his bed but also for his windows and the gaps in the eaves of his hut. The total cost was £8, hence the need for outside funding from agencies such as Unicef. I asked him about his experiences of Malaria. "I had it three times last year. Now, since the nets were brought in February I haven't had it once."
The source of Elerehema's malarial relief is the A to Z plastics factory in Arusha. The revolutionary net is being produced here on a truly dramatic scale. The net is made of extruded resin sold at market price by Exxon Mobil. Hardly at the forefront of altruistic repute, Exxon too is a member of the global partnership to "Roll Back Malaria". The money it makes from the Saudi-produced resin, Exxon gives back to Unicef to buy more nets, to try to create a mosquito net market. Sumitomo hasn't given money. Instead it has made a free technology transfer of the secret ingredient that gives the net its longlife properties. Mosquito repellent is introduced into the resin compound which, when extruded, enables the chemical to bleed very slowly out of the yarn - so slowly that the repellent remains effective for between five and seven years. This is a remarkable advance on the standard nets, which require "reproofing" every six months. Such nets are rendered useless by a lack of funds, equipment and organisation to respray them.
Inside the A to Z factory, blue longlife netting cascades from 50 huge industrial looms. There are about 1,200 African workers working to save the lives of other Africans. But Anuj Shah, who runs the company is no do-gooder. He's in it for profit and is determined that net making in Africa is a seriously commercial activity. Currently producing 3m of these nets a year, he expects his new factory, which is under construction nearby, to start producing 7m a year by April. After that he hopes to expand to 20m - a tenth of Africa's entire need.
Technology transfer and money from the G8 and beyond have combined to enable Africa to start combating its number one killer disease. So far, so good.
Namasagali is to be the next serious "upscaling" of net testing. A village 10 times the size of Usa it is to be netted up for a year to see whether blanket net provision can make as startling a difference on a bigger scale.
By the time we arrived in Uganda, a small committee headed by the village chief had already been established to handle the dispersal of the nets. The process of handing them out was orderly despite my own slight suspicion that the good parishioners of St Paul's saw me as some kind of "second coming". We shall return to Namasagali in a year's time to see who's had Malaria and who's sold their net, or simply gone fishing with it.
As we left Namasagali news came through of the Ugandan government's decision to go after the officials who had stolen $280,000 of Global Fund money made available to buy the longlife nets. Among those under suspicion was President Museveni's own brother-in-law.
The money is there. The nets are being manufactured in a process that has the potential to be rolled out right across Africa. Africa's governance alone now seems to stand in the way. For Malaria to be "rolled back" by 2015, the goal set by Gleneagles, the answer seems to lie with Africa itself.
· Jon Snow's film on Malaria aired on Channel 4 News on January 3 2006
Extract Author: Adam Ihucha, Arusha
Extract Date: 2006-07-05
The fate of Arusha to either attain city status or remain simply a municipality now depends on the on-going parliamentary session in Dodoma.
Arusha Municipal Director, Noah Mwaikuka admitted that the issue still hangs in the balance but was optimistic that before the end of this year, Arusha would become a city.
’’The final decision will come from the National Assembly whose members are expected to either endorse or shelve the current ’city’ proposals during the ongoing budget sessions in Dodoma’’ Mwaikuka said.
Already the municipality has been allowed to extend its boundaries to some specific distances into the Arumeru District in order to boost the size of the rather tiny urban center which also doubles as ’Arusha District.’
?The Arusha Municipality will now embed three wards from Arumeru, namely; Moshono, Matevesi and Olasiti.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, (Regional Administration and Local Governments,) Mizengo Pinda, announced these changes during a visit to Arusha region recently.
The municipal councillors wanted Arusha to be allowed to extend boundaries beyond the Kisongo location and move up 500 meters from the main Namanga-Arusha-Moshi road, a proposal which was later overruled.
At the moment, the northern boundary separating Arusha and Arumeru lies 200 meters from Namanga-Arusha-Moshi Road. If the municipal extension demands were passed, then even the Arumeru District Council Headquarters, would fall within Arusha Municipality.
The municipal officials had in May this year, wanted the 200 meters to be extended to 500 meters, based on the argument that the current borderline cuts through a number of households such that ’’while the living rooms are in Arusha, the bedrooms would be in Arumeru and vice-versa.’’
On the other hand, the Arumeru officials had another idea. They proposed that the 200 meters that cut into their administrative area be reclaimed, such and the borderline between the two precincts should be the Arusha -Moshi Highway, a move that would have made Arusha lose its important residential locations of Sanawari, Mianzini, Sakina, half of Kimandolu and about 70 percent of Kwa-Ngulelo area.
Last March, President Jakaya Kikwete ordered the Arusha Municipality measuring some 93 square kilometers to stretch its borders in order to cater for increasing population, the imminent growth of economic undertakings and social facilities that will be needed once the urban centre becomes a city.
the President instructed that the city should not expand into areas earmarked for farming activities.
He also rejected earlier proposal which had granted Arumeru District with municipal status, saying the vast precinct was still not adequately developed.
He advised the local leaders to split the district into two autonomous councils.
Deliberating the President’s order during the recent Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) meeting the two authorities found themselves being divided over their respective proposed boundaries.
Submitting the proposal as agreed by the local full council session to the RCC, Arusha, Municipal director, Noah Mwaikuka said the councillors proposed that the Arusha Municipal boundary should be expanded to 500 meters north from Moshi-Namanga Highway.
”The Arusha Municipality full council session which was held on 21st of April 2006, prior to the regional meeting suggested that the five wards from Arumeru, namely; Moshono, Murrieti, Oljoro, Mateves and Kisongo, be also included in the Arusha Municipality mainly because their geographical location would simplify the proposed Arusha city’s expansion plan.’’ Mwaikuka stated.
This earlier proposal intended that the future ’Arusha city’ to have over 700 square kilometers, but much of that, accounting for 607 square kilometers, should be caved from the vast Arumeru district.
Oh his part, the Arumeru district council Executive Director Raphael Mbunda said his councillors were against the proposal of expanding the Arusha-Arumeru border.
The Arumeru officials opposed the proposal to take Mateves and Kisongo wards located between Arumeru and Monduli districts, arguing that Arumeru would be totally cut off from Monduli.
Meanwhile, Arumeru District is now set to be zoned into two councils namely, Arumeru Rural and Meru District, according to Minister Pinda.
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: 427a
Extract Date: 8 July 2006
The Arusha Municipality seems to be already tired or ashamed of carrying the 'Geneva of Africa' tag.
The words 'Geneva of Africa,' were previously painted on the upper part of the entrance to the Municipal Council's headquarters' building, along Boma Road and above the front lobby which leads to both the Kilimanjaro and Serengeti buildings, at the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) complex.
The decision was followed with an uproar from critics who opposed the idea of using an imported catch-phrase to describe Arusha town which is already too famous in its own right, without the need to call it Geneva.
Recently however, these words disappeared from both premises. When asked if the council was ditching the 'Geneva of Africa' tag, the Municipal Director was non-committal but explained that the words probably 'disappeared' when the council re-painted the address banner at the entrance.
"We needed to re-write the address because the previous one was written 'Arusha City Council' but since the 'city status' is now an issue which is being reviewed, we removed that and restored the previous 'Municipal Council' Address," explained Mwaikuka.
The supplementary, 'Geneva of Africa' title became a 'popular' yet a controversial catch-phrase, after the former US president, William (Bill) J. Clinton compared Arusha with Switzerland's city, which also hosts the United Nations' offices among other various International organizations.
Clinton made the remark when he visited Arusha in August 2000 to witness the Burundi peace signing agreement, which was preceded by the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. The former US president had apparently discovered that in addition to hosting the peace accord previously chaired by the late Mwalimu Nyerere, Arusha was home to various international organizations as well.
Later in 2002 both the Arusha Municipal Council and the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) held a special meeting through which they both struck a pact agreeing to start working together in making the 'Geneva of Africa,' status symbol a reality. Then the two institutions went ahead and painted the catch-phrase at the buildings.
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporters
Page Number: 427b
Extract Date: 8 July 2006
Arusha, whose first town building (now the Boma Museum) was constructed in 1902, became a township 46 years later in 1948. The urban center was named a 'city' in July 1. 2005 but this status was later revoked and the issued tabled for review.
Also snubbed was the Arumeru District Council which became a 'Municipal Council' on the same date only to have the decision nullified early this year on grounds that the vast precinct was undeveloped.
The State Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, in charge of Regional Administration and Local Governments, Mizengo Pinda, stated recently that the Arumeru District is now set to be zoned into two councils namely, Arumeru Rural and Meru District, according to the Minister a committee should be formed to evaluate the current district properties and how they should be divided equally among the two proposed new councils.
Extract Author: Edward Selasini
Page Number: 434
Extract Date: 26 Aug 2006
Even before Arusha explodes into a major city, being the headquarters of the East African Community and other regional and international organizations, the municipality's roads are already choked with traffic jams.
What however, worries many residents especially motorists is that, in their opinion, authorities are not concerned of the situation let alone take measures to ease the traffic jams. But, municipal officials say they have already done much.
Driving from Ngarenaro along Sokoine road to the Kijenge roundabout, a drive that only two years took less than 15 minutes now takes well over one hour during morning and evening rush hours.
Notorious roads for bumper to bumper traffic jams include Sokoine road, Old Moshi road, Njiro road, Phillips-Sakina road, Chagga road and Colonel Middleton road.
"Practically all the roads in Arusha are a traffic nightmare," said Patrick Magorwa , a taxi driver who is irked by the fact that the town has very few roads and there are no plans to create more.
He said that authorities should act now to erase traffic flow or else it will soon be too late to build new roads or to ease the traffic flow.
The Faya-Unga Limited road, municipal authorities boast of having established recently is not even fit to be called a road unless it is improved and paved with tarmac, said Magorwa.
He also suggested that Kanisa road which passes by the State Lodge and the High Court be extended to Arusha-Moshi road as the case was during colonial times and during the 1960s and early 1970s.
Another motorist who identified himself as Phillip Mushi said he is generally annoyed by the traffic flow in Arusha and to him the situation is hopeless all day long.
"Every hour, every street is chaotic," he said. He attributes the problem partly to municipal officials laxity and allowing heavy trucks and commuter mini buses to trespass any of the town streets as they wish.
Most cities worth to be called so restrict heavy vehicles from entering the central business area.
He appealed to municipal officials if they do not have resources to create new roads to at least use common sense in controlling traffic flow.
He said if they change some of the roads to one way passages then there would be no traffic jams in Arusha at least in the central business area. If for example, Sokoine (Uhuru) road, Chagga road, Makongoro and Boma roads are declared one way passages then it would be easy to drive around the central business area without any hustle," he said.
His suggestion tallies with a proposal given by a British transport engineer who came to Arusha as a volunteer in late 1990. He was also of the opinion that most of Arusha's roads should be one- way passages but authorities ridiculed his ideas.
George Mollel of Kijenge says he has been forced to buy a motorcycle that can manouevre around snailing cars because it is very difficult to drive his motor car into town.
"I have a car, in fact a pick-up truck, but where do I pass when I want to go to the central business area? He asked.
But despite the chaos many people say Arusha has yet to see traffic jams. Many are worried about the impending raucous situation when construction of the East African Community headquarters is complete. The massive structure whose construction was earmarked to start "last quarter" of this year will be located at the backyard of the Arusha International Conference Centre complex.
Commenting about the traffic jams, Arusha's Municipal Director, Dr. Job Laizer said that the Municipal Council has opened a new road connecting Unga Limited, Fire Station and Tanzania Breweries Limited but motorists are not making use of it. He said if drivers choose to use that route, the traffic jam to Njiro would be eased.
He mentioned other new roads such as the one joining TANAPA along Dodoma road with Sakina along Nairobi road and also the one connecting Majengo and Sakina. He claimed that the traffic jam problem has already been solved but the problem is with the drivers themselves.
On heavy trucks roaming town centre roads, Dr. Laizer, said there was already a ban on such vehicles.
Independent / Independent on Sunday
Extract Date: 21 January 2007
Smell the coffee
09.00: Breakfast at Arusha Coffee Lodge (00 255 27 254 06301; tanzania-web.com/lodges_info/arusha_coffee_lodge.htm), a couple of miles outside the centre. This luxury hotel is on the site of Tanzania's largest coffee plantation. Its Victorian-style bungalows are full of Europeans and Americans waiting to go on safari. There are excellent views of Mount Meru. Doubles from $100 (£51) per person per night, including breakfast.
10.00: Take a daladala (mini-van taxi) to the Central Market. There you can buy herbs, spices, sandals made from old tyres, colourful kangas, traditional medicines and other produce including baobab seeds and tamarind, both of which can be sucked like sweets. Open daily, 7am-6pm.
11.00: Time for more coffee and the best is to be found at Jambo's next to Makuti Gardens. While you're there, you can take a look at Aang Serian's stall selling "Mazingira Monkeys", cuddly toys stuffed with plastic bags. Or, try the Ice Cream Parlour on Sokoine Road, which does good sundaes.
Cut a gem deal
12.00: Go shopping. Visitors to Arusha usually buy Tingatinga paintings, Masai jewellery and batiks, all of which can be found at the craft shop on Goliondoi Road (they can arrange shipping). Ask about the ethically mined Tanzanite gems and a dealer will come to meet you.
Time for a curry
13.00: It's lunchtime. Arusha Naaz Hotel (00 255 27 250 2087) on Sokoine Road near the Clocktower, serves great Indian food. All you can eat for 4,000 tzs (£1.60).
Head for the hills
14.00: Take a daladala to Ng'iresi Village (about four miles from Arusha) from where you can walk to Lekimana Hill for views of the Masai steppes and, on a clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro. Or try Kivesi Hill, an extinct volcano with forested slopes full of birds. To visit Ng'iresi itself you will need a guide, which costs around £8 for half a day, £2 of which goes to local schools.
16.00: Visit the Old Boma Museum at the end of Boma Road. A German fort, built in 1889 (and the centre of disputes between Masai and colonialists), it now houses a small display of animal and hominid fossils unearthed at Olduvai and Laetoli, plus life-size models of man's ancestors. Open 9am-5pm.
The next chapter
17.00: Browse the shelves at Bookmark on Sokoine Road (opposite Twin Peaks Casino), which stocks maps and books about Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen. You can also buy maps and guides at stalls clustered around the Clocktower or second-hand books along the alley that connects Boma Road and India Road.
Eat by the water
19.00: Eat dinner at Via Via, part of the Boma complex on the banks of the Themi [Temi] river. Take a seat overlooking the river and dine on a mixture of European and African food. If Kilimanjaro beer doesn't appeal try Meru banana wine (available sweet or dry). Main courses from just 4,000 tzs (£1.60).
Hit the clubs
21.00: Nightlife options include Colobus Club on the old Moshi Road, which hosts a disco and pool bar, or nearby Rick's Bar. Soweto Gardens has an outdoor bar with live music at weekends. For real night owls ask at Via Via about their "Arusha Nightlife Tour" of the city's outskirts, which costs 5,000 tzs (£2) plus taxi and drinks.
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 506
Extract Date: 18 Feb 2008
Normally on every February 18, America celebrates ‘President’s Day.’ This year, Arusha residents unwittingly found themselves celebrating the holiday, they are hardly aware of, when American President George W. Bush made scene here last Monday.
Monday February 18 became an unofficial holiday here when all activities stopped and people lined up streets to cheer speeding American State cars. Commercially, it was a ‘Blue Monday’ in the whole of Arusha.
With only one main road, part of which was forced into closure for 8 hours, Arusha town faced a major transport freeze on Monday after practically all vehicles were grounded to clear the way for visiting American president, George Bush.
Most of business centers remained closed because the majority of workers could not afford to make it to workplaces as all town commuter vans and taxi-cabs ceased to operate as early as 7:00 am to pave the way for the US president's entourage.
Last time such a situation occurred in Arusha was coincidentally on another ‘blue Monday’ of August 28, 2000 when the immediate retired US president, Bill Clinton visited the town to witness the Burundi peace accord signing ceremony.
During Clinton's brief visit which lasted not more than 12 hours the 'whole world' in Arusha came to a standstill. By comparison, there was more preparation during Bill’s ‘drop in’ tour than Bush’s extended visit. On the other hand Bush enjoyed more fanfare at his state visit.
For Bush, there were huge crowds of people that could be seen lining up on either sides of Arusha-Moshi road all the way from Philips to Mianzini suburb and along Namanga road from Col. Middleton road junction to the Sakina-TCA crossroads.
Others lined up from Kambi-ya-Fisi suburb, along Nairobi road to Ngarenaro villa corner, then onto Mbauda-Majengo section along Dodoma road, all the way to Burka.
The section of Dodoma road from the so called Nairobi corner all the way to Makuyuni area at the border of Arusha and Manyara regions was put ‘under siege’, but residents filled the roadsides.
Primary schools suspended lessons that day, while non-boarding secondary schools released their students much earlier. In other parts of town saved from Bush’s entourage, juvenile drivers seized the opportunity to put either their family cars or ‘borrowed vehicles’ to test, comfortably knowing that traffic police were busy with Bush to bother about checking ‘driving licenses!’
Majority of Arusha residents apparently believed that President George W. Bush would greet them by holding their hands as it was the case in Dar-es-salaam, but their hopes turned into nightmares when the American state motorcade simply sped past them as local police officers pushed the enthusiastic crowd back.
There was a sudden scarcity of fresh milk in town because hawkers who normally bring the commodity to town, from Arumeru hills could not find their way to town. Reason? Their bicycles were refused to cross the road with huge containers.
With the 45- kilometer road stretch from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha town closed, newspapers could not get to town in time and the hunger for news especially about Bush himself, intensified.
It was until about 2.00 pm that the papers reached town, add another hour for distribution and people here got their morning newspapers in the evening.
An agent of Kilimanjaro Express Bus services, Victoria Obeid said the US President Bush tour of Arusha forced them to cancel one of their bus scheduled trips to Dar-es-Salaam as the highway was cordoned off as early as 8:00 AM at the time when their second vehicle was to leave Arusha.
Kilimanjaro Express is among nearly 60 passenger buses plying between Dar and Arusha, these together with about 100 minibuses ferrying passengers between Arusha and Moshi townships that were grounded for the whole day to clear-the-coast for George Walker Bush.
Passengers traveling from Nairobi Kenya, to Dar-es-Salaam, were forced to pitch temporary camp in Arusha because the about 10 buses traveling from the neighboring country were forced to stop here for hours before resuming their journey.
With Dar located 600 kilometer from here it is not known when did the buses, most of which left here long past 2pm, managed to get to the City taking into consideration that traffic laws in Tanzania do not allow passenger vehicle to be on the road after 10pm.
The security measures also never spared Tour operators as they have to abide by the no go zone declaration.
Only scheduled airlines were allowed to land at between 10:00-18:00 hrs, according to an e-mail message from the Tanzania Tour Operators Association Executive Secretary Mustafa Akuunay circulated to all tour operators.
Within radius of 60km from Arusha Airport some 8km west of Arusha town, no training, Aerobatics, Hand Gliders, Hot Air Balloons parachuting, and Flights etc were allowed.
The road from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) via Mianzani, corner of Nairobi road, down to Tanzania National Parks Authority Headquarters, Arusha Airport to A to Z Textile Mills factory in Kisongo was closed between 8.00 -15.00 hrs.
Bush landed here, in sight of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, and was greeted by Maasai women dancers who wore purple robes and white discs around their necks. The president joined their line and enjoyed himself. He also tried to dance away the afternoon.
IPP Media - including the Guardian
Extract Author: Adam Ihucha, Arusha
Extract Date: 2008-02-19
Business in Arusha ground to a virtual standstill yesterday as US President George Bush entered the city on the third day of his historic four-day state visit to Tanzania.
The visiting President and his entourage jetted in from Dar es Salaam, where the first leg of their high-profile tour began on Saturday evening.
With the only major road linking the city to the outside world closed for hours to facilitate the tour, local motorists parked their vehicles, seriously disrupting transport schedules.
Most workers and other local residents were unable to make it to the city centre following the absence of commuter buses and taxis and other means of transport from as early as 7am. As a result, shops remained closed and most other business premises deserted.
According to an earlier police alert, the relevant stretch of the busy Moshi-Arusha road would be closed to the public from 8am to 5pm.
A similar situation was witnessed here in August 2000 when President Bush?s predecessor, Bill Clinton, attended the Burundi peace accord signing ceremony.
People lined the road stretch all the way from the Philips factory to the Mianzini suburb as well as the Namanga road portion from the Col. Middleton junction to Sakina/TCA.
Hundreds of others had camped at Kambi ya Fisi, along the Ngarenaro Villa corner stretch of the road to Nairobi and at Mbauda/Majengo along the road to Dodoma.
The Dodoma Road section from the so-called Nairobi Corner and all the way to Makuyuni at the border between Arusha and Manyara regions was a no-go zone.
Many Arusha residents had hoped that President Bush would greet them by shaking their hands just as had happened in Dar es Salaam but that was not to be, as his motorcade simply sped past them.
Meanwhile, there was a sudden scarcity of fresh milk in the city since most hawkers normally bringing the milk from the Arumeru hills by bicycle were barred from entering the central business district.
Also, with the 45-kilometer road stretch from the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to Arusha closed, newspapers could not reach here on time. It was not until about 2pm that they were delivered,which means that they were ready for sale at least two hours later.
An agent of Kilimanjaro Express Bus services, Victoria Obeid, said the Bush visit to Arusha forced them to cancel a scheduled trip to Dar es Salaam.
Normally, some 40 commuter buses ply the Dar es Salaam-Arusha route on a daily basis.
The services of the 300-plus minibuses that routinely ferry passengers between Arusha and Moshi everyday were similarly disrupted yesterday.
The security measures did not spare tour operators, who had no option but to observe the travel restrictions.
Only scheduled airlines were allowed to land at KIA between 10am and 6pm, according to an e-mail message from Tanzania Tour Operators Association Executive Secretary Mustafa Akuunay copied to all tour operators.
Within a radius of 60km from the smaller Arusha Airport, some 8km west of this city, no flight training, aerobatics, hand gliding, hot air balloon parachuting exercises were allowed.
The road from KIA via Mianzini, Nairobi Road corner and down to the Tanzania National Parks Authority head offices, Arusha Airport, and A to Z Textile Mills at Kisongo was also closed between 8am and 3pm.
President Bush and his entourage landed at KIA with the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro fully visible. They were welcomed by Maasai women dancers in purple robes, white discs hanging around their necks. The VIP guests admired the show from a short distance, some nodding in appreciation but not actually joining in the dance.
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush began the day by touring a hospital, before visiting A to Z Textile Mills that makes treated mosquito nets recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The Arusha net factory, the only one in Africa passed by WHO for the purpose, is a 50/50 joint venture between the Tokyo-based multinational Sumitomo Chemical and Arusha?s A to Z Textile Mills.
The venture is an expansion of a business relationship that took off with royalty-free technology transfer in 2003. The new facilities can make up to 10 million treated mosquito nets a year, much in excess of Tanzania?s needs.
The venture is reported to have created more than 3,200 jobs supporting at least 20,000 people.
``We are delighted to celebrate with you all, this significant milestone. Our collaboration has grown to a full-fledged joint venture,`` said Sumitomo Chemical President Hiromasa Yonekura at the factory?s official inauguration yesterday attended by President Bush.
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 558
Extract Date: 14 March 2009
Tira Shubart relaxes on the front porch of the Patisserie near Clock Tower. Her Arusha-based film, "Taking the Flak" is now complete and will be aired on BBC-2 anytime this year.
But as the veteran journalist turned producer sips her morning coffee, somebody makes her angry; an arrogant German tourist, who bulldozed his way to the next table, had apparently said something bad about Arusha.
"… This little, dirty town …" were among the words he used.
Now if Tira has a favourite place in the world then it is Arusha, she visits the town every year and has been doing so for the last decade.
"It is like a pilgrimage to me," she says, "Arusha is beautiful. I have made lots of friends here …"
And this arrogant German is now busy insulting the place.
"This German is probably a tourist who has been here for just three days, knows nothing about the town yet is already judging it," Tira, who co-produced "Taking the flak" stated.
Coincidentally "Flak" is German acronym for anti-aircraft gun.
"Come to think of it, if I had met this guy a year ago I would have probably convinced him to act his own role in "Taking the flak!" she says with a smile as her anger melts into the prospects of this rather bright idea.
Taking the facts
"Taking the Flak," is a forthcoming comedy-adventure sitcom set to appear on BBC-2 later this year. It is set in a small civil war-torn African country known as "Karibu."
The action takes place between a team of BBC journalists sending back live war reports to BBC News at Ten.
The German"s attitude at the Patisserie wasn"t a new one either. When she shifted the filming project from Nakuru to Arusha, the Kenyan crew involved were sceptic.
"They had never been here and what they have been hearing about this country may not have been that good besides, Tanzania does not even have a film industry, so they tried to talk me out of shifting the film shooting to Arusha," she recalls.
In the movie, the foreign journalists who claim to know everything about Africa are the ones who get sent here to cover the on-going war in Karibu.
However, as days go on, they realize (to their surprise) that what they thought they knew about this continent did not even come close to the actual reality.
Taking the flat … plains
Part 1 of the sitcom was filmed in Nakuru in early 2007 but when a real civil war broke out in Kenya following the country"s General Elections the following December, the shooting had to be shifted to Tanzania.
Arusha was chosen as the alternative location being only 4 hours drive from Nairobi, almost the same distance from the Kenyan Capital to Nakuru. Parts 2 -7 were thus filmed here.
So how could the Nakuru scenery fit with that of Arusha?
"Most of it was just landscape shots that look the same," said Tira. But the script was slightly adjusted to explain the change from the original hotel used in Nakuru to Arusha"s Equator Hotel, or "The New Waterbuck" as it is known in the film.
According to the story, the first hotel in which the journalist had set up base in Karibu (then Nakuru) got shelled by bombs (after all, there is a war going on) therefore the team had to find another base the "Waterbuck" (Hotel Equator); very clever.
On the fiction part there is Samson Pambazuka the rebel leader, Sarah Simba an opposition activist living in exile abroad and Kubisana the current president of Karibu.
Anyway, in between them there is a major war (or movie) going on. Arusha (or Karibu) is the ultimate battleground.
The series is written by Tira Shubart, Sandra Jones and Jon Rolph. It stars Martin Jarvis, Doon Mackichan, Bruce Mackinnon, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Lloyd Owen, Mackenzie Crook and Ruby Wax.
A pilot for "Taking the Flak" was filmed in January 2007 in Kenya under the working title "The Calais Rules." The BBC later commissioned the series, filmed in the city of Nakuru before being later shifted to Arusha in 2008.
"Kisongo plains provided wonderful sceneries; the gorges, valleys, scattered villages, endless flat landscapes, hills and mountains. We also enjoyed filming in different locations of Usa-River, the Arusha airport and the town center," said Tira.
"Taking the flak" eventually covered more than 20 locations of Arusha. There were 50 official crews a third of whom were Kenyans. In some days the set had to employ more than 100 extras.
Two of the script writers, Shubart and Jones are journalists, and the series was filmed by an award-winning news cameraman.
The film cast include, Doon Mackichan as Jane Thomason acting as the BBC Producer. Bruce Mackinnon playing Harry Chambers the BBC Stringer in Karibu and Martin Jarvis as David Bradburn the Correspondent.
Others were Joanna Brookes as Margaret Hollis, BBC World Service radio, Lydia Gitachu as Grace Matinko, receptionist at The Waterbuck hotel, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Joyful, the local fixer in Karibu, Damian O'Hare as Rory Wallace, BBC cameraman.
There was also the team in In London: Harry Lloyd as Alexander, the Desk Producer and a dozen BBC Newsreaders as themselves!
In most episodes there are guest stars from the UK and Kenya including: Ruby Wax, Sean Power, David Mulwa, Rosalind Ayres, Rhashan Stone, TK Kitana, Rufus Gerrard.
Most of the storylines are based on Shubart's own experiences as journalist who has covered 50 countries in over 20 years.
Supporting acts in the film were people working in local communities around Arusha. One such artist was Neema George, a worker in an education centre here. Some tourists were also used in filming the show, including Fraser Ross and Stephanie Wilson, both from Scotland.
American actor and singer, Will Smith who was in Arusha sometimes during the filming time, ran into the cast at The Arusha Hotel but decided to ignore them by barricading himself with a fortress of bodyguards.
Taking the flash
Now, Arusha is known for its regular power outages courtesy of the ineffective local power supplier, TANESCO. So how did the film-maker cope with such inconveniences?
"We brought in a special power generator for filming from Nairobi," said Tirra explaining that the machine had to be a silent one so as to limit noise interference with ongoing production.
Was there thunder and flashes of light as the war torn "Karibu" experienced heavy gunfire and exploding houses?
"Basically "Taking the flak" is a war comedy," explained Tira but the war runs in the background, the film addresses ordinary episodes of people going on with their normal lives, (including falling in love) as the war goes on."
So will it be a bit like "Casablanca"? We asked. "Well not exactly, much as I would have liked my film to be compared to the great classic. Casablanca has more serious tone, while "Taking the flak" is on the funny side.
The "fall in love" scene is played at Hotel Equator, where one of the journalists falls in love with a receptionist .
In reality however, the cast did fall in love … with Arusha. "The Kenyans who were adamant at first not only liked Arusha but even considered of moving into the town for good," said Tira.
Taking the parts
" … The Arusha Hotel was just superb; we turned one of its conference rooms into an operational studio. The hotel was also our main base and I can say the services were very good," the producer stated.
They had to build most of their own sets though some readymade scenery such as the Meserani Snake Park, Sykes building and Tanzanite Hotel (Usa River) came in handy.
The Nane-nane fairgrounds of Njiro on the other hand proved to be even better for the ultimate film climax; a political rally scene.
The seven-part sitcom ends with the war being over and Karibu undergoing "free and fair" elections.
Whatever the outcome, that is how an Arusha war ended but at the lobby of The Arusha Hotel the British cast shed tears; the producer explained, "They wept because Arusha people were so good to them and the thought of leaving the town pained them!"
Well, but will there be a sequel or maybe prequel? Tira isn't ruling out the possibility, especially if the "flak" becomes a runaway success.
After all, the British cried when the first war (or film), was over.