Julius Nyerere : The Extraordinary Man With Extraordinary Democracy - Wazalendo 25 Blog


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6 Oct 2016

Julius Nyerere : The Extraordinary Man With Extraordinary Democracy

Judith Mhina - Maelezo.

The highest democracy in the world was made and lived by the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, immediately after launching the policy of socialism and self-reliance on 5th February 1967 in Arusha region. 

This statement was made by the first organizing secretary of the campaign against racial discrimination and a founding member of the black regional action movement and general editor of Crossroad books, during presenting her paper to a World congress of Activist, Sexiest and Racism 2014 in London, Mrs Salem James.

Mrs Salem James said, Nyerere, on his book of Arusha Declaration he foresee what we need to develop is people, not the things, and that people can only develop themselves. The question to ask where they are? At the village, villagers as a starting point of development let have Ujamaa village in order to empower the people, Nyerere he said,

Ujamaa village are intended to be socialist organizations created by the people, and governed by those who live and work in them. They cannot be created from outside, or governed by outside .No one can be forced into an Ujamaa village, and no official at any level –can go and tell the members of Ujamaa village what they should do together and what they should continue to do as individual farmers.  

Mrs. James said this is a very big surprise to me, we never heard such kind of democracy in our government even and nobody wants to accept the reality. This is self government of the people and it is pure democracy which never happens elsewhere in our government or in our society but Nyerere does.

Most of people in Tanganyika were Illiterate when Nyerere comes to power, therefore Dr Nyerere emphasis on how to establish Ujamaa village by saying,
‘To make ujamaa villages to be established and to make them to succeed we need education and leadership’s are required. TANU has to provide, it is our jobs to must explain what ujamaa village is and keep explaining until people understand. But decision to start must made by individual themselves and decide to be part of Ujamaa village must be made by each individual.”
This is entirely different concept the world we know that from Dr. Nyerere. It is so desperate; it needed this document of that idea of what we should be demanding and how we should be relating to the authority.

Mrs James continues to explain that, my task especially on Nyerere ideology was very difficult, because there is so much to say and be documented I feel so in emptied in a sense there so much to say and I know little about Africa, Tanzania and Dr Nyerere.
Since we went, we knew in 1995 we already published a book call Strangers and Sister Women Race Migration. We didn’t know that Dr. Nyerere has said a lot about women, until when I came across this document of Arusha Declaration knowing an extraordinary man Dr. Nyerere, has said a lot about women and gender.

To me it is astonishing, so many people call them feminist they never notice what this extraordinary man had said about gender and this is what he wrote in his book;
 “It would be appropriate to ask our farmers, especially the men, how many hours a week and how many weeks a year they work. Many do not even work for half as many hours as the wage-earner does. The truth is that in the villages the women work very hard. At times they work for 12 or 14 hours a day. They even work on Sundays and public holidays. Women who live in the villages work harder than anybody else in Tanzania. But the men who live in villages (and some of the women in towns) are on leave for half of their life. The energies of the millions of men in the villages and thousands of women in the towns which are at present wasted in gossip, dancing and drinking, are a great treasure which could contribute more towards the development of our country than anything we could get from rich nations.
Then Dr. Nyerere made a conclusion for whole country of Tanganyika to take action he said 

“We would be doing something very beneficial to our country if we went to the villages and told our people that they hold this treasure and that it is up to them to use it for their own benefit and the benefit of our whole nation.”
‘I don’t know any head of state who talk about women works in the world, through Arusha Declaration book I understood, these are the people who most work in Tanzania. Mrs”, Selma states

Mrs James insists by said that, Mwalimu   was part of villagers, so he reel feels how difficulty the society is facing, historically Mwalimu’s father was a Chief who married eleven wife’s and he saw his mothers what they have been doing. This perception is very different from the world thinking towards Nyerere ideas of Ujamaa villages. He introduces self government of the villagers to do what they want in terms of using land for production and development.
Nyerere in 1967 put forward quite a different formula for development of Tanzania, he said 

“We recognized we don’t have enough money to bring the kind of development in each village which will benefit everyone; we also know we cannot establish an industry in each village”

And this is true, it means he recognize the income of the people. 
Most political sciences experts said that, the reason for the villagers not to develop is because they never decide for their own things to do and the reason for development was not clear to them. Instead some official government and party decide on behalf of them what they must grow. Therefore the Nyerere concept added;
“No official or government party in any level was needed to interfere what to do instead they are supposed to decide for their own under it is leadership”. 

What was done, in fact was thinking development in terms of things and not people, as a result there have been very many cases where heavy capital investment has resulted in no increase in output where the investments has been wasted. And in most of the official sponsored or supported schemes the majority of people who went to settle lost their interest, and either left the scheme altogether,  or failed to carry out the orders to the outsiders who were put in charge and who were not themselves involved in the success or failure of the project.

To support the statement made above Mrs. James explains that Mwalimu perceived the poor women at village level in Tanzania who do not have time to rest, he said”
“Although when we talk of exploitation we usually think of capitalists, we should not forget that there are many fish in the sea. They eat each other. The large ones eat the small ones, and small ones eat those who are even smaller. There are two possible ways of dividing the people in our country. We can put the capitalists and feudalists on one side, and the farmers and workers on the other. But we can also divide the people into urban dwellers on one side and those who live in the rural areas on the other. If we are not careful we might get to the position where the real exploitation in Tanzania is that of the town dwellers exploiting the peasants.” 

What a surprise the statement truly concurs with the effort of Honorable President Dr John Pombe Magufuli who said;
“It is very embarrassing we left women and elders to work in the village, while young blood are roaming in town without work, I am not allowing them  to  play pull table during working hours. Let them work for themselves and nation at large”.
Honorable President insists Tanzanians to work hard, with intelligence for their own development and Tanzania at large. HAPA KAZI TU. This is purely the policy of Self-Reliance which set; condition of development.

“Everybody wants development; but not everybody understands and accepts the basic requirements for development. The biggest requirement is hard work. Let us go to the villages and talk to our people and see whether or not it is possible for them to work harder”.
Moreover, Mrs. James states we should remember Mwalimu for being faithful for telling the truth even if a person might affect his life especially Tanzanians, but due to his/her guilty ended to support Mwalimu. She was trying to explain one of the interview Mwalimu had at United Nation after retired, when a journalist asked him how he felt after failed of his policy of Socialism and Self- Reliance on villagelization, Mwalimu replied as follow:

 “When I left the leadership in my country 1985 the education system was better than now the illiteracy was 91% but now 1995 are 63%”.Also look at the Tanzania currency with all the aids from World bank and your assistance who is the failure?  

However, to support Mwalimu Nyerere statement, recently United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has said Tanzania was an exemplary nation in making education available to all. The UN chief made the remarks on 18th September 2016 when launching the International Commission Financing Global Education Opportunity report titled The Learning Generation Investing in Education for a challenging world.
It is very important to have a political will, together with opportunities and financial resources something positive can be done in education.

Mwalimu will remain to be remembered by all Tanzanians, She said.  I meet met Nyerere family in Butiama 2002 and surprise again the nature of Tanzania society is extraordinary peaceful country, it is peaceful everywhere ,we didn’t know why was so, then we started to find out . 

May God help Tanzania to continue be extraordinary peaceful; peaceful everywhere let them admire this gifted prize, which is the unique icon maintained by the founder of this county, the late Father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume rest in peace; Amen

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