Nyerere and Nkrumah: Towards African Unity

kajembe

JF-Expert Member
Nov 8, 2010
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Nyerere and Nkrumah: Towards African Unity

From the Book written by Godfrey Mwakigile

Book title "Nyerere and Africa End of an Era"


THEY WERE some of the most influential African leaders in the twentieth century; probably the most influential. They also shared a vision of a united Africa under one continental government. But they differed on how to achieve this goal.

Kwame Nkrumah led the Gold Coast to become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to win independence as Ghana on March 6, 1957. Four years and nine months later, Julius Nyerere led Tanganyika to become the first country in East Africa to win independence on December 9, 1961. Both countries won independence from Britain.

In May 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the African heads of state and government from 32 independent countries. The other 21, out of a total of 53 African countries, were still under colonial or white minority rule. The founding of the OAU was also marked by another event: publication of Kwame Nkrumah’s book, Africa Must Unite.1 The book was released around the same time African leaders met in Addis Ababa in May 1963.

It was a timely release of a book that said Africa Must Unite at the very same time that African leaders met to form the Organization of African Unity. Nkrumah thought the book was appropriate for the occasion, to capitalize on the momentum provided by the founding of the OAU towards achieving continental unity under one government.

Most of his colleagues thought otherwise. They saw it as an attempt by Nkrumah to dominate Africa and realize his ambition to become the president of a United States of Africa. Earlier in 1960 during the Congo crisis, his proposal for an African high command to defend Africa with a continental army and liberate the remaining colonies and other countries still under white minority rule - South Africa, South West Africa, and Rhodesia - had been equally rejected by other African leaders, except a few, who believed that Nkrumah would control and dominate the Pan-African force and use it to overthrow them.

In many fundamental respects, he was ahead of his time and most of his colleagues, but was later vindicated by history when Africa remained weak and powerless as a divided continent composed of non-viable independent states because they did not heed his call to unite under one government as he urged them to, back in 1963. If he were alive today, in his 90s, he would probably be tempted to say, “I told you so!”

While Nkrumah advocated immediate continental unification, Nyerere sought a regional approach as the more realistic way to eventually achieve continental unity under one government, and became the strongest proponent of an East African federation as a step towards achieving this goal. Because of his opposition to this approach which he called “balkanization on a grand scale,” and for other political reasons as Nyerere’s rival whom he felt posed a challenge to his leadership of the continent and would make history - before he did - as the first African leader to unite independent countries even if on a regional scale, Nkrumah intervened in East Africa to thwart attempts by Nyerere to form an East African federation. As he stated in Africa Must Unite:

“The idea of regional federations in Africa is fraught with many dangers. There is the danger of the development of regional loyalties, fighting against each other. In effect, regional federations are a form of balkanization on a grand scale.”2

Nyerere dismissed Nkrumah’s opposition to regional federations as “attempts to rationalize absurdity.” As he stated on the third anniversary of Tanganyika’s independence on December 9, 1963 - the three East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika had agreed to form a federation before the end of that year but failed to do so - reiterating his call for an East African federation as an imperative need and as a step towards African unity:

“We must reject some of the pretensions that have been made from outside East Africa. We have already heard the curious argument that the continued ‘balkanisation’ of East Africa will somehow help African unity.... These are attempts to rationalize absurdity.”3

Nkrumah’s opposition to the East African federation, and his interference in East Africa in an attempt to thwart any efforts towards consummation of such a union, tarnished more than enhanced his image as a Pan-Africanist in the eyes of many people, and was seen as an attempt on his part to further his own political ambitions. It also vindicated the position of many African leaders who felt that Nkrumah wanted to undermine their governments and replace them with those subservient to him, while professing African unity to hide his real intentions. As Basil Davidson says about Nkrumah’s involvement in East Africa and his attempts to block formation of the East African federation, in his book, Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah:

“Some, like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, chastised Nkrumah for his interference. East Africa, Nyerere believed, could best contribute to continental unity by moving first towards regional unity. Although knowing little about East Africa, Nkrumah not only disagreed but actively interfered to obstruct the East African federation proposed by Nyerere.... It was one of Nkrumah’s worst mistakes.”4

Although the three East African countries failed to form a federation in 1963, Nyerere never gave up and continued to advocate African unity at the regional level, as well as on a continental scale. He told Jomo Kenyatta, the least interested of the three East African leaders, that Tanzania would renounce her sovereignty right away if Kenya was ready to unite. And he reiterated that in different forums. As he stated on June 25, 1965, in an address to the International Press Club during his visit to London for the Commonwealth Conference: “We stand for unity in Africa. In particular we still urgently desire an East African Federation. If Mzee Kenyatta today says he is ready, then we will federate tomorrow.”5

And as Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s vice president under Kenyatta but who resigned to form the opposition Kenya People’s Union (KPU), states in his book Not Yet Uhuru:
“As late as 8 July 1965, Nyerere said that Tanzania was still ready for East African Federation no matter that outside influences had interfered in the hope of blocking its formation. He said ‘If we listen to foreign influence we should be made to quarrel with Kenya and Uganda, but this we will not do.’ He had already told President Kenyatta that if his country was ready to unite, Tanzania was also ready.”6

But, in spite of their differences on the East African federation and regional federations in general, Nyerere and Nkrumah continued to work closely because of their ideological affinity and the Pan-African vision they shared. They even corresponded on numerous occasions on a number of issues, including ways to achieve African unity, as Nyerere himself said in an interview with Ikaweba Bunting in December 1998 not long before he died, published in the New Internationalist, and cited earlier in this book.

They may have taken divergent paths - immediate continental unification for Nkrumah, and a gradualist approach for Nyerere - but were united in their passionate quest for one government for the whole continent.

Nyerere was not, on principle, opposed to immediate continental unification as advocated by Nkrumah, but felt that Nkrumah underestimated the suspicion and animosity such an approach generated among other African leaders - most did not trust him - and would not get the necessary support needed to achieve a continental union immediately; a point he underscored during the 40th anniversary of Ghana’s independence in March 1997 when he was invited to Accra by President Jerry Rawlings as one of the honoured guests to participate in the celebrations on that momentous occasion, as we will learn later on.

He also told his audience in Ghana that African leaders should have set up a special committee under the auspices of the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) to work on ways to achieve continental unification in the same way the OAU Liberation Committee was created to coordinate the struggle for the liberation of the countries still under white minority rule on the continent.

It was Nyerere who first proposed and introduced a resolution at the OAU summit in Cairo in July 1964 to retain the colonial boundaries inherited at independence. The resolution was adopted by his colleagues and became one of the bedrock principles of the OAU, enshrined in the OAU Charter, maintaining territorial integrity of the new African nations and barring interference in the internal affairs of another state.

Unfortunately, other African leaders saw this as a way of maintaining their separate sovereignties and consolidating their independence without pursuing continental unity, something Nyerere never intended. He remained firm in his commitment to continental unification, a Pan-African goal and ideal he shared with Nkrumah more than any other African leader, besides Obote, Sekou Toure, Modibo Keita, and Kenneth Kaunda. As he stated in the interview with the New Internationalist:

“Kwame Nkrumah and I were committed to the idea of unity. African leaders did not take Kwame seriously. I did. I did not believe in these small little nations. Still today I do not believe in them. I tell our people to look at the European Union, at these people who ruled us who are now uniting.

Kwame and I met in 1963 and discussed African Unity. We differed on how to achieve a United States of Africa. But we both agreed on a United States of Africa as necessary. Kwame went to Lincoln University, a black college in the US. He perceived things from the perspective of US history, where 13 colonies that revolted against the British formed a union. That is what he thought the OAU should do.

I tried to get East Africa to unite before independence. When we failed in this, I was wary about Kwame’s continental approach. We corresponded profusely on this. Kwame said my idea of ‘regionalization’ was only balkanization on a larger scale. Later, African historians will have to study our correspondence on this issue of uniting Africa.”7

Nyerere and Nkrumah worked closely on other issues, especially the liberation of southern Africa. Together with Nasser, Ben Bella, Sekou Toure, and Modibo Keita, they even had their own group, known as the Group of Six, within the OAU and coordinated their efforts on a number of issues, such as the Congo crisis during which they were infuriated by Tshombe and his Western backers, and had little regard for other OAU members whom they felt were not doing enough to unite and liberate Africa. Kenya, for instance, did virtually nothing for the liberation struggle in southern Africa. And President Jomo Kenyatta hardly spoke about it - let alone contribute material and financial support to the freedom fighters - in spite of his status as the Grand Old Man of the African independence movement who inspired, though he did not lead, Mau Mau in Kenya.

He was just one of the leaders the Group of Six found to be useless in pursuit of Pan-African goals, especially the liberation of southern Africa and Congo from Western domination. As Ben Bella said about the Congo crisis, progressive forces had arrived too late in the Congo.8 He was equally blunt on the Group of Six in an interview in 1995 with Jorge Castaneda, who became Mexico’s minister of foreign affairs in the late 1990s. As Castaneda states in his book Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara: “According to Ben Bella, these leaders had a group of their own within the OAU; they regularly consulted and conspired among themselves.”9

Before he died in October 1999, at 77, Nyerere was one of only two surviving members of the Group of Six. The other one was Ben Bella who outlived Nyerere but lived in exile in Switzerland. He was overthrown in June 1965 and was imprisoned for 15 years. But he did not continue to have much influence like Nyerere who remained a revered international statesman even after stepping down from the presidency in November 1985.

The other members of the Group of Six who died before Nyerere were Nasser who died of a heart attack in Egypt in September 1970 at the age of 52; Nkrumah, of cancer, at a hospital in Romania in April 1972, when he was 62; Modibo Keita in Mali in May 1977, also at 62, when he was under house arrest since he was overthrown in November 1968 - mass demonstrations at his funeral against the government of President Moussa Traore (military-turned-civilian head of state) who overthrew him led to the invocation of emergency powers by the despotic regime; and Sekou Toure during an emergency heart operation in the United States in March 1984, also when he was 62. Nyerere remained on the scene as the most ardent supporter of African unity and the liberation movements on the continent.

And just as Nkrumah released his seminal work Africa Must Unite in 1963, Nyerere’s article on the same subject was published about two months before Nkrumah’s book was. The article was entitled, “A United States of Africa,” and was published in The Journal of Modern African Studies in March 1963, about two months before the African heads of state and government met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and formed the Organization of African Unity (OAU) towards the end of May. In that article, Nyerere advocated continental unification but, unlike Nkrumah, took a regional approach as the most practical way to achieve this goal.10

The two leaders had a heated exchange on the subject the following year at the second summit of the OAU in Cairo in July 1964 - Malcolm X also addressed the conference and asked African leaders to raise the issue of racial discrimination and injustices in the United States at the UN - and Nyerere won majority support for his approach towards continental unification. As he put it: “When you set out to build a house, you don’t begin by putting on the roof; first you start by laying the foundations.”11

Nkrumah, on the other hand, contended that a regional approach towards continental unification would only benefit the enemies of Africa as they continued to exploit the weaknesses of a divided continent. It would also make it impossible for the whole continent to unite. And time was critical. Africa must unite now. The proposed East African federation would accomplish exactly the opposite.

And he probably underestimated Nyerere and did not expect a sharp response from him and saw him as his junior, given the age difference between the two, 13 years apart; and because of his status as the trail-blazer of the African independence movement, having led Ghana to become the first black African country to win independence in 1957. And as Professor Ali Mazrui stated in his lecture at the University of Ghana in 2002:

“Nkrumah pointed out that his own country could not very easily join an East African federation. This proved how discriminatory and divisive the whole of Nyerere’s strategy was for the African continent.

Nyerere treated Nkrumah’s counter-thesis with contempt. He asserted that to argue that Africa had better remain in small bits than form bigger entities was nothing but ‘an attempt to rationalize absurdity.’ He denounced Nkrumah’s attempt to deflate the East African federation movement as petty mischief-making arising from Nkrumah’s own sense of frustration in his own Pan-African ventures.

Nyerere was indignant. He went public with his attack on Nkrumah. He referred to people who pretended that they were in favour of African continental union when all they cared about was to ensure that ‘some stupid historian in the future’ praised them for being in favour of the big continental ambition before anyone else was willing to undertake it.

Nyerere added snide remarks about ‘the Redeemer,’ Nkrumah’s self-embraced title of the Osagyefo.

On balance, history has proved Nkrumah wrong on the question of Nyerere’s commitment to liberation. Nyerere was second to none in that commitment.

At that Cairo conference of 1964 Nkrumah had asked ‘What could be the result of entrusting the training of Freedom Fighters against imperialism into the hands of an imperialist agent?’ Nyerere had indeed answered ‘the good Osagyefo’ with sarcasm and counter-argument.”12

Despite their shared Pan-African vision, and genuine Pan-African commitment, there was rivalry between the two leaders, fuelled by their strong personalities and charisma as well as militancy. And their different approaches to African unity only intensified this rivalry, as did Nyerere’s increasing prominence on the African political scene Nkrumah saw as his exclusive domain and himself as the brightest black star in the African firmament:

“In reality Nkrumah and Nyerere had already begun to be rivals as symbols of African radicalism before the coup, which overthrew Nkrumah. Nkrumah was beginning to be suspicious of Nyerere in this regard. The two most important issues over which Nyerere and Nkrumah before 1966 might have been regarded as rivals for continental pre-eminence were the issues of African liberation and African unity.... The Organization of African Unity, when it came into being in May 1963, designated Dar es Salaam as the headquarters of liberation movements. The choice was partly determined by the proximity of Dar es Salaam to southern Africa as the last bastion of colonialism and white minority rule. But the choice was also determined by the emergence of Nyerere as an important and innovative figure in African politics.

Nkrumah’s Ghana did make the bid to be the headquarters of liberation movements but Nkrumah lost the battle....

The great voice of African self-reliance, and the most active African head of government in relation to liberation in Southern Africa from 1967 (after Nkrumah was overthrown in February 1966) until the 1980s was in fact Nyerere.... He became the toughest spokesman against the British on the Rhodesian question. His country played a crucial role at the OAU Ministerial meeting at which it was decided to issue that fatal ultimatum to Britain’s Prime Minister, Harold Wilson - ‘Break Ian Smith or Africa will break with you.’”13

While Nyerere will always be remembered as the most relentless supporter of the liberation movements in Africa among all the heads of state on the continent after Nkrumah was overthrown; Nkrumah will, on his part, be always acknowledged not only as the leader who blazed the trail for the African independence movement when he led the Gold Coast (renamed Ghana) to become the first country in black Africa to win freedom; he will also be always remembered for his bold initiatives, including his call for immediate continental unification, a Pan-African quest given eloquent and forceful expression in his seminal work, Africa Must Unite. As he stated from exile in Conakry, Guinea, on April 22, 1970, almost exactly two years before he died in April 1972:

“The wave of military coups, and the stepping up of imperialist and neocolonialist aggression in Africa since 1963, when Africa Must Unite was first published, have proved conclusively the urgent need for political unification. No single part of Africa can be safe, or free to develop fully and independently, while any part remains unliberated, or while Africa’s vast economic resources continue to be exploited by imperialist and neo-colonialist interests.

Unless Africa is politically united under an all-African Union Government, there can be no solution to our political and economic problems. The thesis of Africa Must Unite remains unassailable.”14

Nkrumah’s thesis that Africa Must Unite indeed remains unassailable. But why has Africa failed to unite? Africa has failed to unite because of nationalism more than anything else. Countries on the continent jealously guard their independence and don’t want to surrender their sovereign status to a higher authority for the sake of African unity. That Africa is still not united 40 years after the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963, also vindicates Nyerere’s position that immediate continental unification was not a realistic goal - more than just a tough proposition - and would have been rejected by most African leaders, as it indeed was, back in 1963 and through the decades.

But it also vindicates Nkrumah’s position that if African countries don’t unite now, they probably never will, but will only drift farther and and farther apart. Ironically, Nyerere shared the same position, in terms of divided loyalties as each country consolidated its independence and separate identity the longer it took to unite, even regionally, thus making it virtually impossible for them to form such a union.

That is one of the strongest arguments he made when he called for the establishment of the East African federation right away at independence or soon thereafter. But after the three countries - Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika - failed to unite, he no longer saw such an approach, immediate unification, as a practical proposition. The concrete blocks of nationalism built since independence had to be whittled away, and transcended, gradually in order to achieve continental unity. Otherwise Africa will never unite.

And it is an approach that has been accepted by most African leaders, thus vindicating Nyerere, and has been validated by experience even in contemporary times; as has been clearly demonstrated by the formation of such regional blocs as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the Southern African Development Community (SADC); the East African Community (EAC); and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

It is our hope that these regional bodies will one day merge to form a continental union under one government as advocated by Nkrumah and Nyerere; two African titans who remain an embodiment of Pan-African ideals cherished by millions across our beleaguered continent whose only salvation lies in unity.

Although dismissed as a Utopian ideal, Nkrumah’s quest for immediate continental unification had emotional and rhetorical appeal on this divided continent, especially among the young. And his Pan-African militancy resonated well across the continent. It inspired many people, especially in the euphoric sixties soon after independence and during the liberation struggle in southern Africa, to pursue higher goals that transcended parochial nationalism to affirm what Nkrumah called the African personality in a world where Africans are not accorded due respect.

Nelson Mandela was one of those who greatly admired Nkrumah, as he states in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.15 So did Robert Mugabe and millions others across Africa and beyond.

Nkrumah remained a source of inspiration to Mandela, Mugabe and their compatriots during their years in prison, as much as Nyerere was, and through the liberation struggle in southern Africa. In fact, Mugabe even went to live and taught in Ghana during Nkrumah’s reign and got married to a Ghanaian, Sarah, who became Zimbabwe’s First Lady when Mugabe became president.

Nyerere also saw Nkrumah as an embodiment of Pan-African ideals he shared with him and strongly condemned those who overthrew him in February 1966. Tanzania never recognized the government that replaced Nkrumah. And Nkrumah himself paid tribute to Nyerere for his support and for his bitter condemnation of the Ghana coup, as he states in the book he wrote in exile in Conakry, Guinea, after he was overthrown, and appropriately entitled, Dark Days in Ghana.16

And both went down in history probably as the most revered statesmen Africa has ever produced, together with Nelson Mandela who was also a close friend of Nyerere. Tragically, they died before their goal of African unity was realized.

The quest for African unity is going to be the biggest challenge Africa faces in the twentieth-first century. Without unity, all talk of an African renaissance is no more than empty rhetoric. African countries are too weak to be viable entities. They just don’t make any sense. None.
 

mose

JF-Expert Member
Jun 5, 2009
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Kwa hivyo Mwalimu Kambarage Julius Nyerere, kama ilivyo kwa Obama siku za karibuni—hawakuzungumzia Elimu, Elimu na Elimu… Bali walizungumza kwa minajili ya >ELIMU 1.0<…

Kwa hivyo, hebu tutumie ‘Uono na Ufikirifu Mifumo’ kubaini sura na muktadha kwa ususi wa nchi-taifa…

Mwalimu katika ‘Uhuru na Maendeleo’ alisema:

Yet there is more that one way in which the present-day African societies can reduce the dangers to themselves which come from the proliferation of nation states. While we work towards world unity, we can create unity in our continent. Or, if African Unity is still too big a step to take at once, then we can create greater African unity by unions, federations or mergers of the present nation states, so that the number of sovereign societies in Africa is reduced.
Na hapo hapo kuna njia moja ambayo jamii za leo za Kiafrika zinaweza kuzipunguza hatari za zenyewe kwa zenyewe ambavyo huja na kujijazia uhai wakimanchi-taifa. Wakati tukifanya kazi kuelekea umoja wa kidunia, tunaweza kuunda umoja katika bara letu. Au, ikiwa umoja wa Kiafrika bado ni hatua kubwa sana ya kupiga kwa mara moja, basi tunaweza kuunda umoja wa Kiafrika mkubwa zaidi kwa yuniani, mashirikisho na mamezano ya nchi-taifa zilizopo, hivyo kwamba idadi ya jamii sovereini katika Afrika ipunguzike.

These preliminary steps need not be day-dreaming. If we have courage and intelligence, they can become reality in the immediate future. And certainly, they are essential if the ordinary African citizen is ever really to overcome the poverty which at present grips him and if he is to increase his degree of personal safety. For this is, and must be, the purpose of greater unity in Africa as elsewhere. Not size for its own sake, but strength and power used to defend the real freedoms of the ordinary man and to help him progress in his freedom.

Hatua hizi za mwanzo mwanzo zisiwe ndoto-za-mchana. Ikiwa tunao ujasiri na ujuzi wa kuona sura nyingi za mambo kwa wakati mmoja, hizo zaweza kuja kuwa ni uhalisia katika mustakabali wa karibu sana. Na kwa hakika, hizo ni za umuhimu sana ikiwa raia wa kawaida wa Kiafrika ni mwenye kujinasibu kweli hasa na kuuvuka umaskini ambao leo hii umemshikilia pasi kufurukuta na ikiwa yeye ajekuongeza mapana ya usalama wake binafsi. Kwani hili ni, na yapaswa kuwa, dhumuni kuu zaidi katika Afrika kadiri ya kungineko kokote. Siyo kwa ajili ya ukubwa wake yenyewe, ila pumzi na nguvu itumikayo kulinda uhuru halisi wa mtu wa kawaida na kumsaidia yeye apige hatua katika uhuru wake.


Katika fikra hizi, ni dhahiri Mwalimu alikuwa anaunasibu Umma wa Waafrika na mabadiliko yanayokuja kwa >sura ya kike—yaani hatua kwa hatua< … Kama vile Obama alivyosadifu maudhui ya changamoto za leo na masuala yaliyotokana na fikra za waasisi wa taifa la Wamarekani, sisi pia hatuna budi kuyamulika maudhui na fikra za waasisi wetu wa taifa.

Hadi hapa na sasa, tunaona—tangia mwanzo kulikuwa na wazo kwamba lije kuwapo taifa moja moja lenye uhuru. Taifa hili si jingine bali lile la ‘Waafrika’. Mwanzo wa ‘mchicha’ huu wa Afrika, kwa ukanda huu wa Afrika Mashariki, na Tanganyika -- kuwa mahsusi, ni harakati za kisiasa kupitia shughuli za vyama vya kisiasa kama TAA na baadaye TANU. Kama vile kule Amerika kumekuwako na vyama vikuu pinzani vya Republican na Democratics, ambavyo misingi, tofauti ya kimsimamo ni juu ya ‘tawala nchi’ na ‘stawi za jamii’; vyama vya kisiasa ni daraja kwa ‘machaguo ya kitaasisi’ yenye kukadirisha sura, mapana, ustawi na maendeleo ya jamii katika muktadha wa nchi-taifa.

Kiuono mifumo, falsafa za ‘Ujamhuri’ ni juu ya mipaka ya nchi-taifa na namna zote za watu wa mlengo wake, kitaasisi chama, kuona taifa lao kama ‘nguvu moja’ katika kujipambanua dhidi ya mataifa mengine kiuchumi, siasa na maendeleo. ‘Udemokrasia’ ni ‘mlengo wa kushoto’ kwa ujamhuri, kwa kuwa kiutaasisi chama, huu hujinasibu na watu, utamaduni na maendeleo isivyo ‘utaifa kwanza’ hasa. Ndivyo hivi kwa nini siasa za Obama zilikuja kupitia kwa chama cha ma-demokrati, na tena muendelezo za >‘sera za njia ya Tatu’< za Rais mtangulizi wa chama hicho hicho cha Demokrati—Bill Clinton(wa 42). Yeye Obama alipata nguvu ya umaarufu kutokana na kupinga siasa na sera za ki-Ujamhuri za George Bush (wa 43)…

Kwa Tanzania, nchi-taifa yetu ni matokeo ya Muungano wa Tanganyika na Zanzibar, ambapo chama tawala kwa Tanganyika wakati wa uhuru kilikuwa ni TANU(Tanganyika African National Union—Yuniani ya Kitaifa Afrika ya Tanganyika); na kwa visiwani Zanzibar, ASP(Afro-Shirazi Party—Chama cha Washirazi Afrika); vyama hivi viwili vilikuja kuungana kuwa chama kimoja—Chama cha Mapinduzi, CCM, mnamo mwaka 1977 ili kukadirisha rasmi mwanzo mpya wa >Taifa lenye kujinasibu na Siasa za Ujamaa na Kujitegemea<.

Chama cha Mpinduzi, ni chama kilichoasisiwa na Mwalimu Nyerere na pamoja na waasisi wengine wa vyama vilivyotangulia na watendaji/watumishi wa serikali waliounga jitahada za jamii ya watu huru na yenye kushirikiana ili kutatua, kwa maneno na vitendo, adha za umaskini, maradhi na ujinga. Shabaha kuu ya kuanzishwa kwa chama hichi ni kuendeleza mapambano dhidi ya mifumo ya kinyonyaji na dhuluma miongoni mwa wanajamii wa serikali ya watu walio huru. Misingi ya chama hichi si tu inalandana na maudhui ya katiba iliyopo, Chama hichi ni chombo cha sauti na harakati za Wanamapinduzi wote—walioko ndani na nje ya nchi.

Kwa takribani miaka 60 sasa, Ujenzi wa taifa jipya la Kiafrika, imekuwa ni mapambano dhidi ya mifumo kandamizi kwa ustawi wa umma -- ni vita ya wazi wazi na hata chini chini kati kwa itikadi na mlengo juu ya ustawi wa watu na maendeleo yao wanaotambuliwa kama wakulima na wafanyakazi. Hata jitihada kwa kuunda na kuimarisha Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki ni sehemu ya muktadha wa kukabiliana za athari ya mifumo ya kibeberu ya uchumi duniani.

Tukitazama sura ya pilika na harakati za siasa kiduniani, mgongano wa kifikra za kisiasa ndani ya mataifa ya kibeberu, akina Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Gerhard Schröder na wengine walikuja kuona na kung’amua umuhimu wa sera za njia ya tatu mnamo miaka ya tisini na mwanzoni mwa miaka ya 2000 lakini Chama cha Mapinduzi—kwa sura na namna ya utaasisi wake, msingi wa ‘njia ya tatu’ ilishategeshwa tangu kuasisiwa kwake.

Katika nchi zilizoendelea, na siku za leo, demokrasia yao imeleta somo la kuonesha hata namna gani ‘itikadi ya kisiasa’ ni ‘biashara’; na basi hata kwa kutumia umodelishi wa kihisabati, sera za njia ya tatu ‘zinauzika zaidi’ kuliko za tofauti na hapo hususani katika kipindi hichi chenye umma wenye muamuko. Lakini hili pia kwa wao limekuja kutokana na matunda ya ‘mema na mabaya’ ya fikra za >uliberali wa kileo na masoko<. Katika ligi za kimataifa, siasa ni ulingo wa ‘kupambanisha fikra za umma’ juu ya hatma za Maisha yao na kuratibu maoni kwa ajili ya hijimoni za kisiasa na utawala. Na hii imejaa ufundi na ujuzi kwa hadaa na michezo ya ‘siasa za utawala’ kwa gharama ya uchumi wa mtu mmoja mmoja na makundi ya maslahi binafsi…

Chama cha Mapinduzi ni taasisi iliyoundwa kuinasibu nchi-taifa ya Tanzania na siasa za ujamaa na kujitegemea katika ulimwengu wa ubepari na unyonyaji. Katika hili, siyo kwamba magumu na changamoto havikuonwa ama kuonjwa hata na waasisi wa chama na serikali; ni kwa moyo mkuu, maono, Imani na tumaini chama hiki kimepewa majukumu na wajibu wa kulinda, na kutetea siasa za ujamaa na kujitegemea. Hata katika kipindi ambacho taifa letu limepitia >‘marekebisho ya kimuundo’<—miundo uchumi, kuratibiwa na vyombo vya jumuiya ya kimataifa, na leo hii utandawazi; kudumu kwa chama katika hatamu ni kwa ajili ya mustakabli wa taifa -- kwa lililo jema huko tuendako na jinsi tuendavyo.

Uhai wa Chama cha Mapinduzi upo katika mioyo ya watu, watu wenye kushiriki kwa kina Imani na kusudi la chama chenyewe. Na basi kama ilivyo kwa jina lenyewe, watu hawa ni wanamapinduzi; watu hawa ni wenye kuwa na nia ya upande mmoja na katiba inayoelekeza juu utekelezaji wa siasa za ujamaa na kujitegemea, na pia sera zinazojibu kwa shabaha ya katiba yenyewe. Na basi, ikiwa Imani na tumaini hili la wanaoshiriki kwa kina Imani na itikadi kwa chama si ya bure—hata mapinduzi ya kweli na kheri yanatokea ndani ya CCM yenyewe.

Katika kipindi chote tokea kuasisiwa kwake CCM 1.0 imepitia misukosuko na changamoto zijazo kutokana na shinikizo za siasa na/ama uchumi wa ulimwengu na basi pia tabia za walimwengu; lakini daima iko CCM 2.0 ambayo ni ufunguo kwa kuzidia mbali ‘siasa za chuki, fitina na unafiki’ zilizo ni magugu katika ulingo na duru za ‘siasa za utawala’; Na basi, pale wakati muafaka ukiwadia, ufunguo huu utadhihiri vile ambavyo >‘Mapinduzi hayatotangazwa kwenye luninga’<...

Wasaliti wa chama na serikali ni zao lile lile la nasibu ya ‘utashi wa kisiasa’ ulio ni mwepesi kuathirika na makusudi mabovu ya kiuanadamu. Basi >Fikara, Maneno na vitendo< hukadirisha >usafi ama uchafu wa tabia za walimwengu<, na haya huja kwa sura ya ‘kilichoko ndani ndicho huja nje’ kupitia ‘dhamira’; vile sawa pia na kwa ule ‘uruhusu’ iwe kwamba >‘kimuingiacho mtu asiye na utashi, ndicho kimtokacho kwa hata lile ovu’<…

Kwa hivyo umma hauna budi kuwa tayari kujimulika na siyo kuburuzwa ama kukorogana na ‘vitovu vya uovu’. Ikiwa chama kina muongozo kwa sifa kuu tatu (3) za kiongozi wa chama; na miiko yake mikuu mitatu (3) ya uongozi; lolote lililokinyume na haya, katika safu ya watendaji wa moja kwa moja serikalini, linaweza kutia doa la kiutendaji kwa serikali ya chama kilichoshika hatamu; lakini hili haliathiri chochote kwa watu wenye mioyo safi, na wenye kusimama katika misingi ya chama na pia jamii, utu na maendeleo.

Kwa mtu anayetafuta mwangaza katika kuelewa na kutafakari kwa kina makusudi na matendo ya chama na serikali, mtu huyu hana budi kuwa ni mtu wa visomo. Awe ni mtu mwenye bidii katika kujielimisha na mambo ya ulimwengu na jamii kwa ujumla. Ni vema atambue siasa ni chombo cha kutekelezea malengo, lakini si ‘lengo’ lenyewe katika mafikio ya mtu. Ikiwa ‘lengo la siasa’ litafikiwa, siasa itakoma.

Chama cha Mapinduzi, kwa mwenye bidii ya elimu ama tena ‘uono mifumo’ aweza kubaini ya kwamba hiki kina nasibu na mawezekano ya kukaba uwanja wa siasa za tawala ya nchi kama namna ya kukuza demokrasia miongoni mwa wanachama wake na huku kimkakati, kuilinda siasa ya ujamaa na kujitegemea kwa ajili ya Afrika ya kisoshalisiti. Sasa ni wengi wanaweza kutaka kubeza, kuleta upinzani ama kukosoa fikra za Ushoshalisti wa Afrika—kana kudai ni ‘ndoto za Alinacha’; ama kufikiri, Afrika hakuna awezaye kuja na mawazo ya ‘maajabu’ labda hata kumzidi ‘mzungu’…

Na hichi basi kiwe ni kionjo cha kustaajabu katika muktadha wa CCM 2.0, Afrika ya Kisoshalisti si ya ‘Mtu Mweusi’… Ni ya Mchina, Mjapani, Mkiwi, Muamerika na basi watu wote wenye ‘fikra za Kimapinduzi’ -- kutoka kokote duniani na kupita… Na ndivyo kuelekea kuitimiza ‘#Ndoto_Mama_Afrika’ ilivyo ni ‘Usoshalisti wa Kiafrika’.

Na hili latutaka kuibaini misingi ya uundaji wa nchi-taifa…

Wakosoaji wa siasa za ujamaa na kujitegemea hukumbusha adha ya vijiji vya ujamaa, kati ya miaka ya 60 katikati na 70, kwa kulibayanisha hili kwamba ni jambo lililotenganisha watu na ardhi zao mama kwa ajili ya ‘ndoto za ujamaa’—ambapo baadhi yao iliwabidi waache mambo ya mila na desturi zao kwa ajili ya namna fulani ya ‘usasa’ wa kimaisha—ya hata ukoloni mamboleo labda(?)
...

Sasa, upande wa kiza ni mwingine kwa ulio wa mwangazani; hauwezi kuunda taifa jipya pasipo kuchagua ‘kusuka ama kunyoa’ mambo fulani katika mapana ya jamii isiyo na mlandano wa taratibu zake za maisha. Kuliunda na kulijenga taifa ni kazi inayotaka ‘akili kubwa’, Subira, Jitihada, Utengeneaji, Taasisi na Sanaa…

Kuinua taifa jipya ni jambo na kuitoa kafara mifumo yetu ya zamani ili jamii zetu ipate mwanzo mpya. Hata usoshalisti wa kiafrika ulitambua mazuri ya huko tulikotoka kimfumo kama umiliki wa njia kuu za uchumi na mgawanyo wa majukumu katika kaya, lakini haukuafiki kila kitu kulingana na desturi na tamaduni zetu. Pendekezo kwa Usoshalisti wa Kiafrika tangia awali halikuafiki kubaguana kwa namna za kimakabila, tamaduni, tawala za koo na uadui miongoni kwa jamii za Waafrika wenyewe…

Taifa jipya daima huwa ni teketeke, hili linaweza kuingiliwa na kusambaratishwa kirahisi kwa elementi za ndani ama nje yake lenyewe. Kiuono mifumo, ipo namna hata ya kuweza kuona vile ‘hatua kali kuchukuliwa’ ama ‘ustahimilivu’ katika kutetea misingi ya taifa ni jukumu ya Taasisi kuu ya nchi, ama sivyo hata hiyo itakosa ‘mizizi’ ya tawala na kusudi. Kwa hivyo, inategemea na taasisi yenyewe, wema wake katika hili hauwezi kuthibitika kwa mapana ya yasiyosahihi ya kitathmini. Kama vile uzuri wa mti, huonwa kutokana na uzuri matunda yake, je, italiwezekanaje kuhukumu mti mchanga kabla ya wakati wake wa uzao?

Hili huhitaji ujuzi, maarifa na Sanaa kwa ‘kuchimbisha’ vina vya tafsiri, kwa wanajamii, ili hawa wapate misingi ya utambulisho wa ‘umoja wao wa kitaifa’. Kwenye visomo vya sosholojia, huwa kuna habari na maarifa kuhusiana na namna za kubaini jamii kwa misingi ya >ufanusi jamii, nadharia migongano na muingiliano wa alama oanifu<. Sasa hili lirudiwe kusisitiza kuhusu uzembe wetu wa kijamii wa kufanya ‘visomo’ kwa lugha ya kigeni kwa muda mrefu pasipo kurejea katika lugha ya Kiswahili… Kuna mengi tumechelewa kuyabaini na hata kujijengea ‘uelewa bora’ na ‘umahiri’ kwa kuwa tu twajidanganya na fikra za ‘manufaa’ ya ‘kiingereza kama lugha ya dunia’—kiingereza kama lugha ya kimahadhi…

Labda tunahitaji kujifunza jambo kuhusu pambazuko la kiutamaduni la Urusi, kimatumizi ya lugha na visomo, lilivyoanza na Murusi aliyekuwa na asili ya Bara la Afrika, >Alexander Pushkin< mnamo karne ya 19…

Kwa mtu wa uono na ufikirifu mifumo, suala la lugha ‘halizuzui akili’ hata kidogo, kuna namna ya kuona hata kwa kule kukumbatia lugha ya kiingereza haimaanishi taifa ‘linaendelea’ kadiri sawa kwa kuibeza lugha ya kiingereza kudai ‘kunachelewesha maendeleo’. Umahiri wa lugha ni jambo linalowezekana katika lugha yoyote, inaweza kuwa Kiingereza na inaweza kuwa Kiswahili… Inaweza kuwa hata lugha ya kikabila kabisa—kinyakyusa, kihaya, kigogo n.k. Mambo kama misamiati na istilahi siyo kikwazo kwa mpanuko wa lugha yoyote… Hili linahitaji tu utashi wa watumiaji wa lugha ‘kujiongeza’ na kuhakikisha lugha yao inatanuka kufaa maendeleo yoyote kiwakati…

Kiswahili ni lugha yetu sisi, na kwa kujichagulia, kama watu wa taifa moja—ambapo awali tumekuwa na lugha za makabila anuai -- ambazo pia si dhamira yetu zitoweke. Lugha hii, si tu ni urithi wetu wa kiutamaduni na maendeleo kiukanda wa Afrika, lakini ina uzuri na kheri yake ambayo tukikaza dhamiri zetu, uwezekano upo wa hii kuja kuwa lugha ya upili kwa watu wengi duniani, ukiachia lugha za kwanza za mataifa mengine kote duniani—ikiwemo Kiingereza chenyewe. Kwa kuwa hii si tu inayonasibu ya kuwa lugha ya Afrika, bali pia ni moja ya viungo vikuu vya kuja kukadirisha Usoshalisti wa Kiafrika…

Kwa hivyo watu wamoja na lugha moja, kwa dhima ya Usoshalisti wa Kiafrika hii yaja kwa lugha ya Kiswahili…

Na kwa kuwa tunaweza kubaini jitihada za kuiunganisha Afrika ilipamba moto kwa mujibu wa vinara watatu wa umajumui-Afrika, Mwalimu Nyerere, Ndugu kwame Nkurumah na Haile Selassie I; ambao kwa Pamoja waliazimia kuanzishwa kwa OAU(Organization of African Unity—Chombo cha Umoja wa Kiafrika), kama mwanzo wa kuelekea azimio la AU(African Union—Yuniani ya Kiafrika)…

Tangia awali, makao makuu ya OAU, kwa ule moyo wa kujitoa wa Mtawala Haile Selassie na tena kwa kusudi kuu la Bara huru la Afrika, yalipata baraka kuwa ni Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- tangu mwaka 1963.

Ni mwaka 2002, Yuniani Afrika (AU) ilizaliwa kutokea pahala pale pale hasa pa Chombo cha Umoja wa Kiafrika; OAU ilikuwa na dhima na makusudi juu ya kutia moyo jitihada za ujumuishi wa mambo ya kisiasa na uchumi miongoni mwa nchi wajumbe ili kutokomeza ukoloni na ukoloni mamboleo barani Afrika; AU inasongambele katika azma za ‘maendeleo ya watu’ zaidi kuliko milki za ardhi na tawala za mataifa wanachama—kuendeleza na kuchochea machaguo bora ya kitaasisi…

Haile Selassie I, alikuwa ni mtawala wa Ethiopia – Ethiopia, nchi yenye historia ndefu ya tawala na milki za kuvuka hata ng’ambo ya Arabia, wakati mmoja kufika hata ‘nchi ya ubani’ --Yemeni. Mtawala Selassie, ndiye mmoja wa waasisi wa OAU ambaye dhamiri yake ilikuwa na nasibu ya matazamio ya kiroho juu ya mustakabli wa Bara hili, kwamba >Waafrika, na hata watu wote duniani, ni budi kutafuta maendeleo ya vitu (Sayansi) na maendeleo ya utu(Maarifa ya Kiroho) kwa ajili ya mustakabali wa mema ya utamaduni wa watu wake<.

Angalizo hili la Mtawala Haile Selassie limekuwa ni la kipekee sana miongoni mwa waasisi wote wa dhana za umoja wowote wa kiafrika na hata wafikirifu wengine wa sura ya utamaduni na maendeleo ya jamii za Afrika baada ya Uhuru, kutoka kwa wakoloni, kwa minajili ya elimu inayotaasishwa kwa Waafrika<. Kwa kuwa Selassie, yeye muono wake kuhusu elimu ulikuwa katika kuinasibu mielekeo ya ustawi na maendeleo ya jamii, na kule ‘kuiongozea jamii juu -- kulingana na ile neema toka juu’; ijayo kufanyika katika ‘nuru’ ama ‘chachu’ ya visomofikra, itikadi na utaasisi wa taifa, milki na maendeleo--maendeleo kwa nchi iliyopendekezwa, nchi tawala ya Afrika, ili hii ije kuwa ni yenye ‘utangamano’ na ‘uzima wa kweli’ kwa ‘mambo’ yake.


Waunga mkono wa nchi-tawala ya Kiafrika walikuwa ni wenye mitizamo na matazamio yenye kuegemea katika asili za mifumo ya uchumi, tawala na maendeleo ya vitu, katika jamii mpya ya mataifa huru ya Kiafrika. Lakini Mtawala Selassie, akwisha kuona kuna jambo la ‘pengo la kimaarifa’ linaloweza kuja kuandama maendeleo ya mtu wa Afrika ikiwa maendeleo yanatazamwa kwa visomo vya juu juu vya mambo.

Tunaweza kulibaini hili kwa mfano, huu mmojawapo wa ndugu Nkwame Nkrumah--Nkrumah alikuwa ni mtu wa mapendeleo ya ‘Uono na Ushawishi’ juu ya ‘machaguo ya Kitaasisi’ kama ule wa ndugu Marcus Garvey—Garvey(kuz. 1887, kuf. 1940); ambaye alikuwa ni mwanahakati diaspora wa KiKaribiani kule Marekani, pia Amerika na Kati (robo ya kwanza ya karne ya 20)… Marcus Garvey alikuwa akilingania kuunganika kwa taifa la watu Weusi, kutoka kokote duniani, ili kupambana dhidi ya ukandamizwaji, kubezwa na kujibeza kadri waishivyo miongoni mwa jamii za watu kujipenda kwa rangi zao za Ngozi; na nchi zao tawala. Yeye, wakati ule, kufikiri: ‘biashara, kujizatiti na umoja’ wa mtu Mweusi kuwa ndiyo mwongozo kwa kujikwamua kijamii na maendeleo; kupitia basi, marejeo ya hao Weusi barani Afrika ili kulifanya hili kuwa nchi tawala ya watu wa Ngozi nyeusi.

Hilo la kufanya Afrika ni nchi tawala ya watu Weusi, lilikuwa tofauti na ule uono wa Mwalimu Nyerere, wakati wake ulipowadia wa yeye kuwa ni mmoja wa viongozi wachache wenye kujitambua barani Afrika(mwanzoni mwa miaka ya 1960); kipindi cha vuguvugu la kudai uhuru wa taifa moja moja kutoka kwa wakoloni. Hiki pia kilikuwa ni kipindi cha mambo moto moto baada ya mafanikio ya kupata uhuru mwenyewe. Hii ni kwa kuwa Mwalimu alikuja kuwa na kule kuuona ule ‘utayari hafifu wa kiutamaduni’ -- wa jamii za makabila ya watu wa Afrika katika kuuvaa uhusika wa ‘Taifa Jipya’ la Kiafrika-- sembuse mataifa changa madogo madogo ‘huku na kule’ barani Afrika(?).

Mwalimu Nyerere alikuwa akitokea katika moja ya ‘jamii asilia’ ndani ya bara ambamo ‘rangi ya ngozi ya mtu’ ni kikwazo pale tu inapokuja katika ‘mfumo wa ukoloni’; na ile adha yake mbovu ya upendeleo wa kimakundi, ya mbari za watu—tuseme kama vile wazungu, wahindi na waarabu wachache, kwa mapenzi ya Mkoloni, kwenye kuyafaidi mema ya nchi. Muktadha wa maendeleo barani Afrika, uliokuwa ni wenye kubagua wazawa wa asili walio ni Weusi wengi.

Mwalimu pia alikuwa macho na kule kuona sura ya kwamba: hata watu Weusi wanachangamoto zao zenye asili ya ‘ukabila—lugha na tamaduni anuai’ na ‘kasumba’ miongoni mwao. Changamoto ambazo zisiposhughulikuwa basi hata ule mchakato wa kujenga ‘utaifa’, uwe mdogo ama mkubwa, unaweza ‘kuingia mdudu’. Labda kuna mambo ya uthamani yanaweza kuchukuliwa kutoka katika ‘sifa’ na ‘hadhi’ za makabila haya—ili kuyaendeleza katika ile bidii mpya za kufumia ‘mizizi ya taifa na maendeleo’; lakini hili halifuti ukweli kwamba ‘dola’ ama ‘utaifa’ ni dhana ngeni kwa jamii ya Waafrika wazawa. Na basi hili ni jambo ambalo hata Marcus Garvey, miaka takribani 30 nyuma, hakuwa na upeo nalo-- katika kulibaini hivyo kiufundi; kwa kuwa Marcus Garvey hakuwahi kukanyaga bara la Afrika katika kipindi chote cha Maisha yake duniani, hadi kufariki kwake mnamo mwaka 1940.

Mara zote yeye Garvey, wakati wa nyakati zake, alikuwa ni mwenye kulifikiria bara la Afrika kana vile ni nchi itakayoweza kuwa na mustakabali wa kujengwa kwa ile picha ya kuwatanguliza watu Weusi wachache-- kutoka tuseme labda Marekani yenyewe; ili hao ‘wayaandae mazingira’ ya wengine wengi kurejea—kwa kuwa watu Weusi kutoka Marekani ama kungine kokote ‘kulikoendelea’ ni viumbe waliozoea faraja ya miundo mbinu ya maendeleo na utamaduni—mambo kama vile uwepo wa barabara bora na za kisasa, njia za reli, huduma za hospitali, elimu na nishati ya umeme… Wakati wa uhai wake, Habari zilizokuwa zikimfikia ni sura ya Bara lenyewe la Afrika kuwa nyuma kimaendeleo; na wenyeji wasio na uwezo ama jinsi ya kujiinua—na labda kukosa viongozi shupavu?

Marcus Garvey alikuwa ni muasisi na ‘Jenerali-Rais wa kwanza’ wa ‘>UNIA-ACL<(Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League -- Jumuiya fungamano Yunivasali kwa Maboresho ya Hali za Mtu Mweusi na Hatamu za Mkusanyiko wa Jamii za Kiafrika, pia kutajwa kama ‘UNIA’, tangu 1914)’, ambavyo kupitia harakati ya chombo hichi, yeye pia alijitamka ni ‘Mfaa nafasi ya kiti cha Urais’--Urais wa Afrika; basi kiitikadi, yeye alikuwa ni ‘Mwanautaifa-Weusi’ na ‘Mmajumuyi Uafrika’ -- viwili hivi vimekuja kufahamika kama Ugarveyi....

Wakati mmoja wanajumuiya ya UNIA walikuwa na matumaini makubwa na Mtawala Haile Selassie wa Ethiopia, kumuona yeye kama mtu thabiti na jemedari wa kulikomboa bara la Afrika dhidi ya uvamizi na ukoloni wa wageni. Hii ilikuwa ni kulingana na uthabiti wa nchi yenyewe ya Ethiopia, kutoka Mashariki ya Afrika, katika kukinza ukoloni na uvamizi -- hata kijeshi dhidi ya Italia; na pia hasa kutokana na >machapisho ya Marcus Garvey mwenyewe juu ya ‘unabii’ wa ‘nyota kutoka Mashariki’—alivyopata yeye mwenyewe kuwa ni fundi wa utayarishaji na upikaji wa Habari kwa umma wake; na kutengeneza mikatano ya amsha amsha na hamasa kwa wajumbe wakindakindaki wa UNIA. Basi ‘nyota. iliyo ni ‘kuvikwa taji’ kwa Haile Selassie (1930) pia lilikuwa ni ‘tumaini’ na matarajio ya Marcus Garvey; hadi pale alipokuja kumuona Haile Selassie kakimbilia London, Uingereza, ambako na >yeye pia alikuwa akijihifadhi(1935-1940)< baada Maisha yake kuwa magumu nchni kwake Jamaika—siku za mwisho wa maisha yake duniani.

Mtawala Haile Selassie, aliporejea Ethiopia baada ya kuisha kwa uvamizi wa Italia(1941), si tu aliunga mkono fikra na dhamira ya marejeo ya Weusi barani Afrika kimawazo, yeye alikwenda hatua moja mbele na kutoa eneo katika nchi ya Ethiopia kwa kusudi kwamba wale wenye kupenda kufanya hivyo waweza kukimirika mahitaji ya kirasilimali ardhi.

Shashamane< ndipo mahala Selassie(1948) alikusudia wale wenye kurejea wanaweza kukaa pale na basi kustahiki utu, udugu na usawa—vitu ambavyo kungine wanakotoka wamekuwa wakinyimwa na mifumo ya kibaguzi ama kandamizi. ‘Dhamira kwa haki-sawa kwa wote’ ya Selassie ilikuwa si tu kwa watu Weusi pekee, ila >muongozo wa kikanuni kwa wanadamu wote<—kokote duniani; kwamba Afrika na OAU, kutokea Ethiopia, ije kuwa ndicho chombo cha mstari wa mbele katika kutekeleza fikra za ukuu wa ‘nguvu ya hoja’ badala ya ‘hoja ya nguvu’. Kwamba, katika sura, msimamo ama mwenendo wa jamii sovereini, 'hoja itawale juu' kuliko ule upuuziaji wa urazini--kule kujiuliza uliza maswali makini kwa majibu makini. Nguvu ya Hoja itawale kwa mujibu wa ubora wa mashauri yake ya kimwongozo na dhamira safi kwa mastahikio haki-sawa kwa wote; iwe dhidi ya yale yote ya matumizi ya mabavu katika kubuni, kujenga na kuendeleza ustawi na mtu na maendeleo yao. Mabavu pasipo kujali ile adha ya kuumizwa kwa wengi kwa maslahi ya wachache wenye kula raha ama shangwe.


-_-​
 

Mokaze

JF-Expert Member
Aug 3, 2018
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Nyerere and Nkrumah: Towards African Unity

From the Book written by Godfrey Mwakigile

Book title "Nyerere and Africa End of an Era"


THEY WERE some of the most influential African leaders in the twentieth century; probably the most influential. They also shared a vision of a united Africa under one continental government. But they differed on how to achieve this goal.

Kwame Nkrumah led the Gold Coast to become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to win independence as Ghana on March 6, 1957. Four years and nine months later, Julius Nyerere led Tanganyika to become the first country in East Africa to win independence on December 9, 1961. Both countries won independence from Britain.

In May 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the African heads of state and government from 32 independent countries. The other 21, out of a total of 53 African countries, were still under colonial or white minority rule. The founding of the OAU was also marked by another event: publication of Kwame Nkrumah’s book, Africa Must Unite.1 The book was released around the same time African leaders met in Addis Ababa in May 1963.

It was a timely release of a book that said Africa Must Unite at the very same time that African leaders met to form the Organization of African Unity. Nkrumah thought the book was appropriate for the occasion, to capitalize on the momentum provided by the founding of the OAU towards achieving continental unity under one government.

Most of his colleagues thought otherwise. They saw it as an attempt by Nkrumah to dominate Africa and realize his ambition to become the president of a United States of Africa. Earlier in 1960 during the Congo crisis, his proposal for an African high command to defend Africa with a continental army and liberate the remaining colonies and other countries still under white minority rule - South Africa, South West Africa, and Rhodesia - had been equally rejected by other African leaders, except a few, who believed that Nkrumah would control and dominate the Pan-African force and use it to overthrow them.

In many fundamental respects, he was ahead of his time and most of his colleagues, but was later vindicated by history when Africa remained weak and powerless as a divided continent composed of non-viable independent states because they did not heed his call to unite under one government as he urged them to, back in 1963. If he were alive today, in his 90s, he would probably be tempted to say, “I told you so!”

While Nkrumah advocated immediate continental unification, Nyerere sought a regional approach as the more realistic way to eventually achieve continental unity under one government, and became the strongest proponent of an East African federation as a step towards achieving this goal. Because of his opposition to this approach which he called “balkanization on a grand scale,” and for other political reasons as Nyerere’s rival whom he felt posed a challenge to his leadership of the continent and would make history - before he did - as the first African leader to unite independent countries even if on a regional scale, Nkrumah intervened in East Africa to thwart attempts by Nyerere to form an East African federation. As he stated in Africa Must Unite:

“The idea of regional federations in Africa is fraught with many dangers. There is the danger of the development of regional loyalties, fighting against each other. In effect, regional federations are a form of balkanization on a grand scale.”2

Nyerere dismissed Nkrumah’s opposition to regional federations as “attempts to rationalize absurdity.” As he stated on the third anniversary of Tanganyika’s independence on December 9, 1963 - the three East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika had agreed to form a federation before the end of that year but failed to do so - reiterating his call for an East African federation as an imperative need and as a step towards African unity:

“We must reject some of the pretensions that have been made from outside East Africa. We have already heard the curious argument that the continued ‘balkanisation’ of East Africa will somehow help African unity.... These are attempts to rationalize absurdity.”3

Nkrumah’s opposition to the East African federation, and his interference in East Africa in an attempt to thwart any efforts towards consummation of such a union, tarnished more than enhanced his image as a Pan-Africanist in the eyes of many people, and was seen as an attempt on his part to further his own political ambitions. It also vindicated the position of many African leaders who felt that Nkrumah wanted to undermine their governments and replace them with those subservient to him, while professing African unity to hide his real intentions. As Basil Davidson says about Nkrumah’s involvement in East Africa and his attempts to block formation of the East African federation, in his book, Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah:

“Some, like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, chastised Nkrumah for his interference. East Africa, Nyerere believed, could best contribute to continental unity by moving first towards regional unity. Although knowing little about East Africa, Nkrumah not only disagreed but actively interfered to obstruct the East African federation proposed by Nyerere.... It was one of Nkrumah’s worst mistakes.”4

Although the three East African countries failed to form a federation in 1963, Nyerere never gave up and continued to advocate African unity at the regional level, as well as on a continental scale. He told Jomo Kenyatta, the least interested of the three East African leaders, that Tanzania would renounce her sovereignty right away if Kenya was ready to unite. And he reiterated that in different forums. As he stated on June 25, 1965, in an address to the International Press Club during his visit to London for the Commonwealth Conference: “We stand for unity in Africa. In particular we still urgently desire an East African Federation. If Mzee Kenyatta today says he is ready, then we will federate tomorrow.”5

And as Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s vice president under Kenyatta but who resigned to form the opposition Kenya People’s Union (KPU), states in his book Not Yet Uhuru:
“As late as 8 July 1965, Nyerere said that Tanzania was still ready for East African Federation no matter that outside influences had interfered in the hope of blocking its formation. He said ‘If we listen to foreign influence we should be made to quarrel with Kenya and Uganda, but this we will not do.’ He had already told President Kenyatta that if his country was ready to unite, Tanzania was also ready.”6

But, in spite of their differences on the East African federation and regional federations in general, Nyerere and Nkrumah continued to work closely because of their ideological affinity and the Pan-African vision they shared. They even corresponded on numerous occasions on a number of issues, including ways to achieve African unity, as Nyerere himself said in an interview with Ikaweba Bunting in December 1998 not long before he died, published in the New Internationalist, and cited earlier in this book.

They may have taken divergent paths - immediate continental unification for Nkrumah, and a gradualist approach for Nyerere - but were united in their passionate quest for one government for the whole continent.

Nyerere was not, on principle, opposed to immediate continental unification as advocated by Nkrumah, but felt that Nkrumah underestimated the suspicion and animosity such an approach generated among other African leaders - most did not trust him - and would not get the necessary support needed to achieve a continental union immediately; a point he underscored during the 40th anniversary of Ghana’s independence in March 1997 when he was invited to Accra by President Jerry Rawlings as one of the honoured guests to participate in the celebrations on that momentous occasion, as we will learn later on.

He also told his audience in Ghana that African leaders should have set up a special committee under the auspices of the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) to work on ways to achieve continental unification in the same way the OAU Liberation Committee was created to coordinate the struggle for the liberation of the countries still under white minority rule on the continent.

It was Nyerere who first proposed and introduced a resolution at the OAU summit in Cairo in July 1964 to retain the colonial boundaries inherited at independence. The resolution was adopted by his colleagues and became one of the bedrock principles of the OAU, enshrined in the OAU Charter, maintaining territorial integrity of the new African nations and barring interference in the internal affairs of another state.

Unfortunately, other African leaders saw this as a way of maintaining their separate sovereignties and consolidating their independence without pursuing continental unity, something Nyerere never intended. He remained firm in his commitment to continental unification, a Pan-African goal and ideal he shared with Nkrumah more than any other African leader, besides Obote, Sekou Toure, Modibo Keita, and Kenneth Kaunda. As he stated in the interview with the New Internationalist:

“Kwame Nkrumah and I were committed to the idea of unity. African leaders did not take Kwame seriously. I did. I did not believe in these small little nations. Still today I do not believe in them. I tell our people to look at the European Union, at these people who ruled us who are now uniting.

Kwame and I met in 1963 and discussed African Unity. We differed on how to achieve a United States of Africa. But we both agreed on a United States of Africa as necessary. Kwame went to Lincoln University, a black college in the US. He perceived things from the perspective of US history, where 13 colonies that revolted against the British formed a union. That is what he thought the OAU should do.

I tried to get East Africa to unite before independence. When we failed in this, I was wary about Kwame’s continental approach. We corresponded profusely on this. Kwame said my idea of ‘regionalization’ was only balkanization on a larger scale. Later, African historians will have to study our correspondence on this issue of uniting Africa.”7

Nyerere and Nkrumah worked closely on other issues, especially the liberation of southern Africa. Together with Nasser, Ben Bella, Sekou Toure, and Modibo Keita, they even had their own group, known as the Group of Six, within the OAU and coordinated their efforts on a number of issues, such as the Congo crisis during which they were infuriated by Tshombe and his Western backers, and had little regard for other OAU members whom they felt were not doing enough to unite and liberate Africa. Kenya, for instance, did virtually nothing for the liberation struggle in southern Africa. And President Jomo Kenyatta hardly spoke about it - let alone contribute material and financial support to the freedom fighters - in spite of his status as the Grand Old Man of the African independence movement who inspired, though he did not lead, Mau Mau in Kenya.

He was just one of the leaders the Group of Six found to be useless in pursuit of Pan-African goals, especially the liberation of southern Africa and Congo from Western domination. As Ben Bella said about the Congo crisis, progressive forces had arrived too late in the Congo.8 He was equally blunt on the Group of Six in an interview in 1995 with Jorge Castaneda, who became Mexico’s minister of foreign affairs in the late 1990s. As Castaneda states in his book Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara: “According to Ben Bella, these leaders had a group of their own within the OAU; they regularly consulted and conspired among themselves.”9

Before he died in October 1999, at 77, Nyerere was one of only two surviving members of the Group of Six. The other one was Ben Bella who outlived Nyerere but lived in exile in Switzerland. He was overthrown in June 1965 and was imprisoned for 15 years. But he did not continue to have much influence like Nyerere who remained a revered international statesman even after stepping down from the presidency in November 1985.

The other members of the Group of Six who died before Nyerere were Nasser who died of a heart attack in Egypt in September 1970 at the age of 52; Nkrumah, of cancer, at a hospital in Romania in April 1972, when he was 62; Modibo Keita in Mali in May 1977, also at 62, when he was under house arrest since he was overthrown in November 1968 - mass demonstrations at his funeral against the government of President Moussa Traore (military-turned-civilian head of state) who overthrew him led to the invocation of emergency powers by the despotic regime; and Sekou Toure during an emergency heart operation in the United States in March 1984, also when he was 62. Nyerere remained on the scene as the most ardent supporter of African unity and the liberation movements on the continent.

And just as Nkrumah released his seminal work Africa Must Unite in 1963, Nyerere’s article on the same subject was published about two months before Nkrumah’s book was. The article was entitled, “A United States of Africa,” and was published in The Journal of Modern African Studies in March 1963, about two months before the African heads of state and government met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and formed the Organization of African Unity (OAU) towards the end of May. In that article, Nyerere advocated continental unification but, unlike Nkrumah, took a regional approach as the most practical way to achieve this goal.10

The two leaders had a heated exchange on the subject the following year at the second summit of the OAU in Cairo in July 1964 - Malcolm X also addressed the conference and asked African leaders to raise the issue of racial discrimination and injustices in the United States at the UN - and Nyerere won majority support for his approach towards continental unification. As he put it: “When you set out to build a house, you don’t begin by putting on the roof; first you start by laying the foundations.”11

Nkrumah, on the other hand, contended that a regional approach towards continental unification would only benefit the enemies of Africa as they continued to exploit the weaknesses of a divided continent. It would also make it impossible for the whole continent to unite. And time was critical. Africa must unite now. The proposed East African federation would accomplish exactly the opposite.

And he probably underestimated Nyerere and did not expect a sharp response from him and saw him as his junior, given the age difference between the two, 13 years apart; and because of his status as the trail-blazer of the African independence movement, having led Ghana to become the first black African country to win independence in 1957. And as Professor Ali Mazrui stated in his lecture at the University of Ghana in 2002:

“Nkrumah pointed out that his own country could not very easily join an East African federation. This proved how discriminatory and divisive the whole of Nyerere’s strategy was for the African continent.

Nyerere treated Nkrumah’s counter-thesis with contempt. He asserted that to argue that Africa had better remain in small bits than form bigger entities was nothing but ‘an attempt to rationalize absurdity.’ He denounced Nkrumah’s attempt to deflate the East African federation movement as petty mischief-making arising from Nkrumah’s own sense of frustration in his own Pan-African ventures.

Nyerere was indignant. He went public with his attack on Nkrumah. He referred to people who pretended that they were in favour of African continental union when all they cared about was to ensure that ‘some stupid historian in the future’ praised them for being in favour of the big continental ambition before anyone else was willing to undertake it.

Nyerere added snide remarks about ‘the Redeemer,’ Nkrumah’s self-embraced title of the Osagyefo.

On balance, history has proved Nkrumah wrong on the question of Nyerere’s commitment to liberation. Nyerere was second to none in that commitment.

At that Cairo conference of 1964 Nkrumah had asked ‘What could be the result of entrusting the training of Freedom Fighters against imperialism into the hands of an imperialist agent?’ Nyerere had indeed answered ‘the good Osagyefo’ with sarcasm and counter-argument.”12

Despite their shared Pan-African vision, and genuine Pan-African commitment, there was rivalry between the two leaders, fuelled by their strong personalities and charisma as well as militancy. And their different approaches to African unity only intensified this rivalry, as did Nyerere’s increasing prominence on the African political scene Nkrumah saw as his exclusive domain and himself as the brightest black star in the African firmament:

“In reality Nkrumah and Nyerere had already begun to be rivals as symbols of African radicalism before the coup, which overthrew Nkrumah. Nkrumah was beginning to be suspicious of Nyerere in this regard. The two most important issues over which Nyerere and Nkrumah before 1966 might have been regarded as rivals for continental pre-eminence were the issues of African liberation and African unity.... The Organization of African Unity, when it came into being in May 1963, designated Dar es Salaam as the headquarters of liberation movements. The choice was partly determined by the proximity of Dar es Salaam to southern Africa as the last bastion of colonialism and white minority rule. But the choice was also determined by the emergence of Nyerere as an important and innovative figure in African politics.

Nkrumah’s Ghana did make the bid to be the headquarters of liberation movements but Nkrumah lost the battle....

The great voice of African self-reliance, and the most active African head of government in relation to liberation in Southern Africa from 1967 (after Nkrumah was overthrown in February 1966) until the 1980s was in fact Nyerere.... He became the toughest spokesman against the British on the Rhodesian question. His country played a crucial role at the OAU Ministerial meeting at which it was decided to issue that fatal ultimatum to Britain’s Prime Minister, Harold Wilson - ‘Break Ian Smith or Africa will break with you.’”13

While Nyerere will always be remembered as the most relentless supporter of the liberation movements in Africa among all the heads of state on the continent after Nkrumah was overthrown; Nkrumah will, on his part, be always acknowledged not only as the leader who blazed the trail for the African independence movement when he led the Gold Coast (renamed Ghana) to become the first country in black Africa to win freedom; he will also be always remembered for his bold initiatives, including his call for immediate continental unification, a Pan-African quest given eloquent and forceful expression in his seminal work, Africa Must Unite. As he stated from exile in Conakry, Guinea, on April 22, 1970, almost exactly two years before he died in April 1972:

“The wave of military coups, and the stepping up of imperialist and neocolonialist aggression in Africa since 1963, when Africa Must Unite was first published, have proved conclusively the urgent need for political unification. No single part of Africa can be safe, or free to develop fully and independently, while any part remains unliberated, or while Africa’s vast economic resources continue to be exploited by imperialist and neo-colonialist interests.

Unless Africa is politically united under an all-African Union Government, there can be no solution to our political and economic problems. The thesis of Africa Must Unite remains unassailable.”14

Nkrumah’s thesis that Africa Must Unite indeed remains unassailable. But why has Africa failed to unite? Africa has failed to unite because of nationalism more than anything else. Countries on the continent jealously guard their independence and don’t want to surrender their sovereign status to a higher authority for the sake of African unity. That Africa is still not united 40 years after the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963, also vindicates Nyerere’s position that immediate continental unification was not a realistic goal - more than just a tough proposition - and would have been rejected by most African leaders, as it indeed was, back in 1963 and through the decades.

But it also vindicates Nkrumah’s position that if African countries don’t unite now, they probably never will, but will only drift farther and and farther apart. Ironically, Nyerere shared the same position, in terms of divided loyalties as each country consolidated its independence and separate identity the longer it took to unite, even regionally, thus making it virtually impossible for them to form such a union.

That is one of the strongest arguments he made when he called for the establishment of the East African federation right away at independence or soon thereafter. But after the three countries - Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika - failed to unite, he no longer saw such an approach, immediate unification, as a practical proposition. The concrete blocks of nationalism built since independence had to be whittled away, and transcended, gradually in order to achieve continental unity. Otherwise Africa will never unite.

And it is an approach that has been accepted by most African leaders, thus vindicating Nyerere, and has been validated by experience even in contemporary times; as has been clearly demonstrated by the formation of such regional blocs as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the Southern African Development Community (SADC); the East African Community (EAC); and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

It is our hope that these regional bodies will one day merge to form a continental union under one government as advocated by Nkrumah and Nyerere; two African titans who remain an embodiment of Pan-African ideals cherished by millions across our beleaguered continent whose only salvation lies in unity.

Although dismissed as a Utopian ideal, Nkrumah’s quest for immediate continental unification had emotional and rhetorical appeal on this divided continent, especially among the young. And his Pan-African militancy resonated well across the continent. It inspired many people, especially in the euphoric sixties soon after independence and during the liberation struggle in southern Africa, to pursue higher goals that transcended parochial nationalism to affirm what Nkrumah called the African personality in a world where Africans are not accorded due respect.

Nelson Mandela was one of those who greatly admired Nkrumah, as he states in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.15 So did Robert Mugabe and millions others across Africa and beyond.

Nkrumah remained a source of inspiration to Mandela, Mugabe and their compatriots during their years in prison, as much as Nyerere was, and through the liberation struggle in southern Africa. In fact, Mugabe even went to live and taught in Ghana during Nkrumah’s reign and got married to a Ghanaian, Sarah, who became Zimbabwe’s First Lady when Mugabe became president.

Nyerere also saw Nkrumah as an embodiment of Pan-African ideals he shared with him and strongly condemned those who overthrew him in February 1966. Tanzania never recognized the government that replaced Nkrumah. And Nkrumah himself paid tribute to Nyerere for his support and for his bitter condemnation of the Ghana coup, as he states in the book he wrote in exile in Conakry, Guinea, after he was overthrown, and appropriately entitled, Dark Days in Ghana.16

And both went down in history probably as the most revered statesmen Africa has ever produced, together with Nelson Mandela who was also a close friend of Nyerere. Tragically, they died before their goal of African unity was realized.

The quest for African unity is going to be the biggest challenge Africa faces in the twentieth-first century. Without unity, all talk of an African renaissance is no more than empty rhetoric. African countries are too weak to be viable entities. They just don’t make any sense. None.


A nice hidden piece of history.
 
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