President Samia, scholars and politicians mark Nyerere’s 100th birthday

SANF 22 no 13 – by Jacob Mosenda (The Citizen, Tanzania)

President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania has called for Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School based in Kibaha, Coast Region to be a centre for the writing and preservation of the history of the liberation movement in southern Africa.

At a conference convening a national debate to mark the 100th anniversary of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s birthday, President Hassan directed relevant authorities to also ensure that all parts of the country involved in the liberation struggle were used as historical attractions.

Ms Hassan said the presence of a history of liberation movements in those countries at the institution would facilitate and help document the great achievements of Mwalimu Nyerere in pursuit of the independence of African countries.

“This institution should be an archive and hub of the history of our liberation. All information relating to the liberation movement should be collected from within and outside Tanzania and stored here,” she directed.

“And all the areas used in the liberation movement in the country should be developed to be attractions in history because by doing so we will be honouring the Father of our Nation,” stressed the Head of State.

On the other hand, President Hassan challenged every person to embrace great lessons from Mwalimu Nyerere on patriotism, the importance of protecting and strengthening national unity and the spirit of equality for all people.

“Here in unity and solidarity there is a challenge that requires us all to ensure that as a nation we remain united in pushing the wheel of development of our country,” she said.

The President said Kiswahili has continued to spread across the world because of its use encouraged by Mwalimu Nyerere and now was being used in some southern African countries and even in the African Union (AU), with a special international Kiswahili day allocated.

For their part, some of the delegates spoke of Mwalimu Nyerere on various issues including how he valued humanity and brought about a foundation of peace in the country.

“The ideology of Mwalimu was based on one basic principle: all human beings are equal. This is a very serious matter as for centuries, still there exists a struggle to build a more equitable society because there is still no equality,” said Prof Issa Shivji of the University of Dar es Salaam.

“That is why due to his philosophical and theoretical foundations, Mwalimu saw fit to lay the three main foundations for equality in the Arusha Declaration: equality, freedom and accountability, all for the betterment of humanity,” he said.

Given the existence of divisions since 1961, Mr Stephen Wassira said Mwalimu Nyerere discovered and then led to the drafting of the Arusha Declaration which restored great hopes to the people by eliminating classism and oppression.

Although GDP was growing, the benefits did not trickle down to the ordinary persons as only top leaders benefitted themselves, leading to the need to come up with alternatives, Mr Wassira explained.

“Then TANU met in Arusha to assess the seven years of independence which showed that we had erred in the way and therefore announced the Arusha Declaration on socialist politics and self-reliance, a step that restored equality and development for all,” argued Mr Wassira.


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