TODAY, President John Magufuli leads the nation to mark the 58th Independence Anniversary as Tanzanians reflect a long-journey with highs and lows towards building a prosperous, self dependent nation.
On this day, 58 years ago the flag of Tanganyika was also raised in the now Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam after the lowering of the British flag.
The independence was also raised on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, by one Alex Nyirenda, a national hero who also pegged the Freedom (Uhuru) Torch into the volcanic mountain.
“We the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a torch and put it on top of Mt Kilimanjaro, which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where there was before only humiliation,” remarked the country’s founding father, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
In his independence speech, the late Julius Nyerere said: “This is the Day for which we have looked for so long, the day when every Tanganyikan can say she or he is a citizen of a sovereign, independent state.”
Mwalimu further stated: “In a country as poor as Tanganyika, the struggle to raise the standards of our people and to lift up our economy will be severe; but however severe it may be it will be waged with all the confidence and resolve that inspire this new nation.” Many feats have been recorded ever since.
Countless tangible socio-economic transformations witnessed today are a living proof on how that Independence Day was a cornerstone for the country’s development.
Several efforts have been made over the past six decades, with government in all its phases showing the real meaning of independence.
This year, the national activities to mark the day are taking place in Mwanza City, a special occasion for the nation to reflect on her achievements since the end of British rule in 1961.
In separate interviews with the ‘Daily News’, some politicians and academicians giving their perspectives with regard to the country’s successes in the past 58 years of independence.
Though they welcomed the 58th Independence Day with mixed views, everyone took the positives, in the best way possible describing significant developments the country has attained obtaining her freedom.
In his remarks, former National Assembly Speaker Pius Msekwa argued: “Independence is like a hoe to a farmer.
As a farmer uses a hoe to cultivate to get crops the country also uses independence as a tool to get development.”
The veteran politician Msekwa was of the view that Tanzania has made good use of national freedom to orchestrate and bring about the much-sought development. “Luckily, we have recorded a lot of socio-economic developments under all five phases of our government,” he said.
University of Dar es Salaam Professor Tolly Mbwete cited the fifthphase’s decision to move government’s base from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma as one of the notable successes as the country celebrates Independence Day.
“This is something which would help to speed up development in other regions since geographically Dodoma is near to many regions,” Prof Mbwete asserted.
He also mentioned a state of revamping road infrastructures, particularly under the regime, as another milestone in taking the country forward.
Ruaha Catholic University (Rucu) Professor Gaudens Mpangala explained that the country has made huge strides in many areas ranging from improvement of social services to economic growth.
Many Tanzanians have been able to receive formal education after independence, which was not the case during the colonial era, when only few Tanzanians were lucky to get education, and many of them could not get past the standard four education level.
“Before independence, we had only one University, but as we speak there are at least 50 higher learning institutions,” he stated, adding that there are also many health facilities currently established at district level.
Dr Dalaly Kafumu, a seasoned politician, explained that several achievements were attained post independence, among others; Tanzania has adopted a political pluralism in a free market economic system.
Dr Kafumu explained that there were notable socio-economic feats including massive road - infrastructure developments, expansion of secondary education in all wards across the country and improvement of tertiary education, including the founding of University of Dodoma (UDOM), a mammoth project that could keep the pace of generating enough secondary teachers.