TANZANIA marks 22 years today, since the father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere departed, but his vision, ideas and dreams continue to materialize.
After his tenure which ended in 1985 as first-phase president, the succeeding governments have continued putting his wishes and ideas alive by implementing several programmes, projects and policies, according to some analysts and veteran politicians.
The analysts singled out some of the ongoing initiatives and projects that depict Nyerere’s legacy ranging from social, politics to economic development.
Recently, President Samia Suluhu Hassan paid tribute to the late Mwalimu Nyerere for making Tanzania the country it is today—peaceful and united.
Former Prime Minister Judge Joseph Warioba argued that Tanzanians have every reason to be proud of their country due to foundations laid by Mwalimu Nyerere.
One of the most important things that Nyerere had always campaigned for and engineered was the issue of peace and unity which, Tanzanians are maintaining.
From the second phase government to the current sixth-phase government, peace and unity has always been one of top agendas.
The leaders emphasize on peace and tranquility as something which propels the country’s development.
“Building peace and unity during Nyerere’s era was not an easy task, so Tanzanians have to continue embracing the existing peace and unity,” Justice Warioba stated.
CCM’s Vice-Chairman for mainland, Philip Mangula, said Tanzania has managed to maintain peace and unity while some other countries have failed because they lacked solid foundation.
“Most countries are not united. The unity was built by the Mwalimu Nyerere by urging Tanzanians not to be ruled by colonialists, while shouting for seven years until he succeeded,” said Magula.
On Monday this week, President Samia slammed ethnicity as one of factors that would disrupt peace and security.
The Head of State stated that the former first President Nyerere raised Tanzanians without considering religious disparity, something which the country still keeps as positive for development.
“We thank President Nyerere, who raised us under a system of secularism. I don’t treat people regarding their tribes. So, I just wanted to clarify this,” the President said.
University of Dar es Salaam Lecturer Dr Richard Mbunda commented that the country still emulates Nyerere’s ideas for enabling each Tanzanian child access formal education by introducing the free education policy.
The Free Basic Education is implemented by the government through direct support of schools using capitation grants. The current capitation rates are 10,000/- per primary school pupil per year and 25,000/- per each ordinary level secondary school student per year.
Dr Mbunda further pointed out that on energy sector, the country also managed to implement Nyerere’s vision of constructing the major power project on Rufiji Basin, which is now called after his name, Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHP).
Its construction started in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2022, and is expected to produce 2 2,115 megawatts.
When he visited the project on Tuesday this week, the Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango credited the father of the nation for having such a dream of constructing the mega power project, which will, upon completion, assure Tanzanians of reliable power supply and the country will sell the surplus to neighbouring countries.
Executive Director of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, Joseph Butiku, said Nyerere was a man of dignity and he lived with that philosophy.
He said Nyerere instilled in Tanzanians two philosophies of equality and self-reliance.
Mzee Butiku recalled that Nyerere had been motivating Tanzanians to work hard, so that the country could be self-reliant and get rid of donor dependency.
The current government has been propagating such policies of driving the country to become self-reliant, including improving tax policies. The slogan ‘Kazi iendelee’ which is loosely translated as ‘let work continues’ under the current six-phase government also reflects the same spirit.
Mr Moses Allan Adam, Chief Executive Officer of the Friends of East Africa, said Mwalimu was a true African and has left an indelible mark on the continent.
Mr Adam described Nyerere as someone who he had utmost respect for humanity and a true Pan Africanist.
“Mwalimu whole-heartedly spend a great deal of his life to see the country progress. We are happy that his dream of shifting to Dodoma has finally been realised. His thoughts and visions live on!!”
Nyerere’s idea of shifting government base to Dodoma existed since 1973 and the fifth-phase government under the late John Magufuli started putting the idea into action.
So far, all government ministries have shifted to the capital city Dodoma as other key government infrastructures are continuously being built including the project to build the new State House at Chamwino.
To put more weight on the move, President Samia recently revealed that the government has initiated projects for the construction of wider roads in the capital city.
She said the government was constructing the outer ring road in the country’s capital, noting that the Dodoma-Singida road, Dodoma-Iringa and Dodoma-Dar es Salaam roads would be expanded to four lanes from current two.
David Clement Mnkeni, Lecturer at Habari Maalum College in Arusha, remarked that Tanzanians will remember Mwalimu Nyerere as a visionary leader.
“He was always full of wisdom and held Tanzanians dear to his heart. Mwalimu was also a powerful orator and full of humour,” Mr Mnkeni said.
He said Nyerere will forever be remembered for uniting the nation and strengthening freedom and solidarity among Tanzanians.
After the country gained its independence from the colonial rule, Nyerere declared war against three enemies; poverty, disease and ignorance.
“Poverty, ignorance and disease are not mock enemies. They are the true enemies of our people. And anybody who refuses to take part in this war, or who hinders the efforts of his neighbours, is guilty of helping a far more deadly foe than is he who helps an armed invader…,” one of Nyerere’s quotes when spoke about those three enemies.