Tanzania Daima (the opposition Chadema daily), recently reported the crash of a Tanzanian army helicopter carrying ‘tourists’ from England, Canada, USA and Australia. It apparently happened in Arusha Region within the past three weeks. You can read Ndimara Tegambwage’s complete article if you just click here. It was also reprinted in the weekly Mwanahalisi (December 19 2007 issue). The business activities of the Tanzanian Army are no secret, certainly for those who have attended functions at their swish Msasani Beach Club in Dar, after being ushered into the grounds by a barrel chested NCO.

Regarding the tourism business, Tegambwage asks many pertinent questions, including:

Does the army have a tourism department? If so, how many planes and helicopters does it have? What else does it have for these type of activities? Is tourism one of the army’s fund raising projects? Is the army so cash strapped that it needs to start such projects?

Well, to answer the second question, it has at least three airplanes with which it runs an unofficial passenger and cargo service between Mwanza, Tabora and Dar es Salaam. Head down to the Air Wing section of the airport and watch the flights come in and the unloading of buckets of fish, cooking oil and furniture as you wait amongst the throng of friends and relatives waiting to receive loved ones, or just some fresh lake fish.

It’s an accident waiting to happen.