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Look how Tanzania played catch-up after Mwalimu

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Dec 12, 2011
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    Look how Tanzania played catch-up after Mwalimu

    By Firoze Manji
    THE EAST AFRICAN

    Posted Saturday, December 10 2011 at 15:39


    How to celebrate half a century of Independence of a country whose name remains inextricably linked with that of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania? Known to us all as Mwalimu, his death in 1999 left a cavern in our consciousness, if not in our conscience. The 50th anniversary of Independence is both a cause for celebration as well as a time for reflection on the reversals of so many of Mwalimu's achievements that set Tanzania apart from so many of the post-Independence countries of Africa.

    Mwalimu's influence went well beyond the territory that he led to Independence. Perhaps the tragedy of all great people is that they are truly recognised for their achievements only after their passing. As Tanzanian people today reel under the impact of the concessions subsequent governments have made to the international finance institutions, as they suffer the assault of neo-liberal policies, as the commons that Nyerere fought so hard to retain as a public right is privatised, it is really only now that many have begun to realise the extraordinary achievements of the Nyerere years.

    Whatever criticism many of us may have had - and continue to have - about some of his policies during his lifetime, there is no getting away from the transformations that he brought about.

    One has only to look at the scale of theft and pillaging, the failure of the national project, the politicisation of ethnic identity, the open collusion with transnational corporations in the plunder of resources, that characterise neighbouring countries to understand what efforts Mwalimu had made to prevent the same happening in Tanzania. One only has to look at the speed with which Tanzania has played catch-up once Mwalimu ended his term as president in 1985, to be reminded how different things were.

    "Kambarage Nyerere," sang Neema Ndunguru in Africa's Liberation: Nyerere's Legacy:
    "How we wish you were here.
    …
    But dear Mwalimu, why didn't you tell us, expose and prepare us
    For the turmoil and struggles that have now engulfed us?"


    Nyerere was not simply a player on the national terrain. He was a pan-Africanist and an internationalist - not only in thought and writing, but crucially in his praxis. The support and refuge that Tanzania provided to the liberation movements was unprecedented.

    His
    commitment to welcoming and integrating refugees into Tanazanian life was extraordinary. And his willingness to speak out loud against injustices across the world, including Palestine, marks him out from the many so-called leaders who have come to be known more for their betrayal than any commitment to political principles.


    And consider the extraordinary act of solidarity in seeking to break the isolation of Zambia through the building of the TanZam railway - an extraordinary logistical enterprise that was a demonstration of South-South co-operation involving Zambia, Tanzania and China. There can be few comparable ventures in the history of the continent.

    We should not be shy in celebrating Tanzania's achievements. But at the same time, Mwalimu would have been the first to condemn any attempts to romanticise his period in office.

    It is a time both to celebrate Tanzania but also reflect on the tragedy of the reversal of so many gains in the early years of Independence. In 1970, for example, a massive national effort was undertaken to eradicate rampant illiteracy - such that, according to Salma Maoulidi, by 1986 (i.e., around the time Tanzania began adopting development prescriptions set by Bretton Woods Institutions) illiteracy for the population aged 13 years and above was systematically reduced to 10 per cent.

    By 1997 illiteracy for the population aged 13 years and above rose to 16 per cent. The 2002 census data revealed that for adults aged 15 years and above the literacy rate is 70 per cent (78 per cent for men and 62 per cent for women). Currently about 28.6 per cent of Tanzanians cannot read and write in any language. Illiteracy is higher among women (36 per cent compared with 20.4 per cent for men).

    But as unemployment grows, and more land is grabbed by international corporations, as more and more people become impoverished, and as a minority accumulate wealth at unprecedented levels, a young generation of the disenfranchised seeks desperately to find alternatives to the policies that make Tanzania just another impoverished African country. They would do well to reflect on the legacy of Nyerere and to retrieve the values of self-determination and self-sufficiency that so marked the glory years of the republic.

    Firoze Manji is editor-in-chief of Pambazuka News and publisher of Pambazuka Press


     
  2. U

    Uwezo Tunao JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Dec 12, 2011
    Joined: Nov 14, 2010
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    ... soon after I had just read the last line of thi most darling piece of writing on JF wall, I just found myself with an unpreventable all-time question so dear to my heart in ages that goes;

    HON PRESIDENT JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE, WHY ARE YOU AND YOU COHOURT OR THE CHOSEN-FEW SO BUSY LIKE THIS IN CRUCIFYING THE LATE MWALIMU NYERERE'S GOLDEN PAST AND PEOPLES JUST LIKE A NO-MAN'S-LAND LIKE THAT? SHALL OUR HISTORY BE ANY KINDER TO YOUR CROP AND STYLE OF LEADERSHIP SOME YEARS TO COME? Dr Bnna, WHYYYY?????????????

    ... na kweli inasikitisha sana; kila kitu na kila mahali wimbo murua ni UFISADI dhidi ya umma wa Tanzania - kisiwa cha amani ambacho hakikuwahi kujua machungu ya kudhulumiwa na serikali yake yenyewe mchana kweupe kwa kushirikiana na baadhi ya makampuni ya kitapeli kimataifa.

    Hebu vijana kote nchini tuendelee kuzidi kuendelea kusema hapana kwa dhuluma zaidi!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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