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ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, HIS EXCELLENCY BENJAMIN WILLIAM MKAPA, AT THE STATE FUNERAL FOR MWALIMU JULIUS KAMBARAGE NYERERE, NATIONAL STADIUM, DAR ES SALAAM,
THURSDAY,  21ST OCTOBER, 1999

This is the most sad day in the history of our country.  It marks a life ceased and a service ended. …
I thank everyone who stood by us, and helped us, and all those that sent messages of support and encouragement during Mwalimu’s illness, and condolences on his demise. …
Now that he is no more we have all joined hands across the country, regardless of tribe, faith, gender or race to mourn his passing away in unity, solidarity, peace and tranquillity just like Mwalimu taught us. We have learnt well, and this is clearly a good beginning for life after Mwalimu. …
I cannot read all of the messages to you.  But on behalf of our continent I will read part of the message sent by the OAU Chairman, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria.  He refers to Mwalimu as:

“(T)he peerless leader who devoted his life to the service of his country and the continent, the tireless defender of just causes and worthy architect of the conquest by African peoples of their rightful place among nations of the world.” …

Mwalimu is one of the leaders of developing countries who challenged and critiqued the economic prescriptions of financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the early 1980’s when he was still President, and afterwards as Chairman of the South Commission.  I believe Mwalimu had an influence in changing the perspectives of these institutions and making them more responsive to our points of view.  For that reason, on behalf of international financial institutions, I will read the full message of the President of the World Bank, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn.  He said:

“For the men and women who have served the great cause of development in the world, one of the lights of our lives went out today.  Mr. Julius Nyerere was one of the founding fathers of modern Africa.  He was also one of the few world leaders whose high ideals, moral integrity, and personal modesty inspired people right around the globe.

While world economists were debating the importance of capital output ratios, President Nyerere was saying that nothing was more important for people than being able to read and write and have access to clean water.

He gave his compatriots a sense of hope and achievement early in their life as a country.  And he gave them a sense of nation with few parallels in Africa and the world – bound by a common language (Kiswahili) and a history almost entirely free of internal divisions and conflict.  His political ideals, his deep religious convictions, his equally deep religious tolerance, and his belief that people of all ethnic and regional origins should have equal access to knowledge and material opportunities have marked his country – and Africa – forever. … Many of us still regard ourselves as his students, and we feel very honoured to have known and worked with him in his life. …the example he set and the ideals he represented will remain a source of inspiration and comfort for all of us.   …

There are very, very many in this country who, like me, consider ourselves lucky that our lives were touched by Mwalimu.  I for one have no hesitation to say, with pride, that I learnt politics at the hand of a true master; a man who proved that politics does not have to be, as conventionally portrayed, a dirty game; an upright man, a man who would stand for what is right and just mkapathough heavens fell. …
In his 77 years of mortal life, Mwalimu did much for our nation, for the African continent, and for the world.  He made us free and contributed to the freedom of others beyond our borders.  Like Nkrumah he believed the indignity of one African was the indignity of all Africans; and that as long as there was an African country under colonial domination, the freedom of one African country was meaningless.  He mobilised our national will, spirit and resources for the total liberation of Africa.
His life long philosophy rested on the premise that all human beings are created equal and deserve equal freedom, justice, respect and dignity.  He believed in, and practised, that principle in whose advocacy he was both passionate and inspiring.  He built a united nation with a vision of equality and respect across racial, religious, tribal, and gender divides.  Until this day, the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar remains an enduring example of African unity.  We shall defend and strengthen this Union with all our might.
His commitment to unity within the country, and African unity, had an almost missionary zeal.  To him the imperative of unity, solidarity, and co-operation between poor and weak countries in pursuit of greater democracy on a global scale, and the sovereign equality of nations, was paramount.  We are not less human just because we are poor, he consistently told his political and economic interlocutors.
His view of freedom was all-encompassing.  It was not restricted to political independence, but extended to a vision of a totally liberated human being – in political, economic, social and cultural terms. …
Love begets love, trust begets trust, respect begets respect, he taught us. Mwalimu, as a result, was loved, trusted and respected by all tribes, all races, all religions and all regions of Tanzania. …His concern, perhaps even obsession, with removing inequalities in society, and in the world is legendary. …
This is a sad occasion.  But I am sure if Mwalimu could speak to us now, he would be exhorting us to pick up his mantle and carry on the struggle against poverty, against injustice, against bigotry.  He would exhort us, as he always did in his life time, to cherish and protect the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.  He would ask us to be on guard against any divisive tendencies.  He would urge us to move much more quickly to integrate African economies, and promote African unity.  He would appeal for collective South-South self-reliance.
So sad as we are, this must also be a celebration of the life of an outstanding man – an extraordinary man who more than any other devoted his whole life and being to the service of others, within and beyond Tanzania. …
Today all Tanzanians weep for Mwalimu, a man in whom all kinds of people saw a saviour.  A man who believed in giving everyone an education, so that everyone can have a chance in life. There are many in this country today who hold important positions in government and society who will never forget Mwalimu for giving them the key to their present status – the key of education. A man who two years ago at his 75th birthday grieved that “we are wasting too much life” on account of the many children and adults who die of preventable or curable diseases, or lack of proper nutrition. …
Let us not forget, my dear brothers and sisters, that the presence among us of so many leaders from our sub-region and the African continent, from Europe and the Americas and from Asia is testimony to the stature in the world that Mwalimu earned for his pursuit of the legacy he has left us.  Their presence here, therefore, is not only in honour of Mwalimu but also an exhortation to us to be worthy inheritors of Mwalimu’s legacy.  We must stay the course. …
There is no doubt that Mwalimu was richly blessed by the Almighty God.  He used those talents as his Maker wanted him to. And as he stands before God at the end of his life’s ministry, I am sure he can say with confidence: Lord, I used everything you gave me, not for personal gain or comfort, but for the freedom, dignity and well-being of the people you put under my charge, and those well beyond Tanzania’s borders and shores.
Our world is composed of givers and takers.  The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better. In death, as in life, Mwalimu sleeps better.  For his entire life was a life of giving, not taking.

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