Arusha: Town Hall

Name ID 1655

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 204
Extract Date: 1957

My Office

Back in Arusha, I established my two-room office in the new Town Hall building in the main street not far from the provincial headquarters. I was allocated a pleasant bungalow a few hundred yards away, from which I could walk to work each day over a footbridge across the river, if I did not need my new car, a grey Peugeot 203.

I had brought the faithful Kitwana Chumu with me from Dar es Salaam as my PR assistant and proceeded to recruit locally a young Chagga typist called Robert and a bright 17-year-old ex-Standard 8 Mwarush youth called Loanyuni as our local guide and interpreter. Alfred Musa, with whom I stayed in Machame, was a Standard 12 student on holiday employed temporarily. Robert could be sullen and temperamental, but he was a brilliant typist who could take dictation straight onto the machine and he rarely made a mistake.

It was a wonderful feeling to be back upcountry again with a small independent command and no one breathing down one's neck. Best of all, it was fun to be opening a brand new office and carrying out an unprecedented task to which I could devote as much or as little time and energy as I pleased. We started with virtually empty rooms and had to build up the office from scratch. I enjoyed choosing carpets and furniture, and getting a typewriter and stationery. After a week or so we were all set and ready to go. The arrival of our telephone marked the kick-off.

My director in Dar es Salaam and the PC gave me a free hand. The original ideal was to have a PRO in each of the eight provinces, starting with me as a kind of guinea pig in the key Northern Province. In the event, so far as I can recall, I was the first and last provincal PRO and a short-lived one at that. Though I had a successor for a few months, the experiment was not extended.

Extract ID: 4384