FORMER President, Ali Hassan Mwinyi's memoir which was launched yesterday in Dar es Salaam revealed how he rose from a teacher to the top leadership position in the country.
According to the book review, the second phase President qualified for the top office because he had no factions and was considered as a person who could unite all Tanzanians.
The book titled 'Mzee Rukhsa, Journey of my life', which was launched on his 96th birthday recounts Mwinyi's childhood memories, time as president and post-retirement life.
Reading the review, former University of Dar es Salaam Vice Chancellor, Prof Rwekaza Mukandala said that the former Head of State was born in Kivule Village in Mkuranga District in the Coast region, but he left the region at the age of four for Zanzibar where he joined a Quran school and later was enrolled at Mangapwani Primary School at the age of eight.
According to the book, in January 1937, Mwinyi was among two students who were selected to join standard five at Dole Central School, and between 1943 and 1944, he went for a teaching course at Dole which was the highest level of education by that time.
Prof Mukandala said that in April 1954, Mwinyi had an opportunity to go for a teaching programme in the UK until 1956.
He added that in 1972, he was appointed Minister for Health, a position he served until 1975 when Mwalimu Nyerere nominated him as Member of Parliament and Home Affairs Minister.
“Two years later, he resigned the post following the killings of people in Mwanza and Shinyanga regions,” Prof Mukandala said.
Prof Mukandala said that he became the Union President after going through screening which was led by the late Mwalimu Nyerere through the party’s Central Committee, where they identified qualifications for the presidential candidates .
On his side, Mzee Mwinyi said his soul is overwhelmed with appreciation and praise to the Almighty God for the blessings He has poured on him for 96 years of his life, saying God has been great to him.
“I thank God for creating me a human being, he would have created me a wild animal, and poachers would have been chasing me every day and maybe killed me, but God created me a human being and here I am today,” he said.
The former Head of State added that God has also allowed him to live for 96 years without health complications.
“I am very thankful to God, I am both physically and mentally fit, I am in good terms with my leaders and ordinary wananchi, this is great to me,” he said.
Mzee Mwinyi added that he is also thankful to God for guiding him throughout his leadership term for both Zanzibar and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Moreover, Mzee Mwinyi who led both Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland said his appointment and election were in a transparency way and there was no link to corruption, hypocrisy or any form of date game.
In his book, Mzee Mwinyi pointed out various challenges that he faced in his 10 years of presidency.