Happy Nyerere Day to all Tanzanians and to everyone who espouses the ideals of a great man. Nyerere is the embodiment of our nation. Though he had his weaknesses as a person, Nyerere stood for equality, progress and self-reliance. He believed in a unique form of African socialism which he termed as ‘Ujamaa’. I grew up idolizing the man. His picture still hangs in my bedroom wall. I read his books, listened to his speeches and promised myself to be as selfless like him. Mwalimu Nyerere was a man of vision. He envisioned a Tanzania that is self-reliant and free from external aid. He succeeded in uniting Tanzanians. We are one people with one language thanks to Mwalimu Nyerere.
Today, Tanzania risks being divided by partisan politics. The current constitutional conundrum risks dividing Tanzanians. Nyerere would have loved to see a consensual approach to the constitution process. The process has been hijacked by politicians who only look for their personal interests. The process has lacked nationwide consensus which any constitution process should have. The process has been about which side is stronger instead on building consensus (maridhiano). The process has been hurried by the powers that be. The powers that be want to gain political mileage instead of nationwide consensus. People’s views have been ignored by the powers that be. Cynicism and antipathy is now rife among many Tanzanians. As we mark this day, it is important that we take time to reflect. Let us do a self-reexamination and see where we went wrong. We should mark this day by reflecting on the ideals Mwalimu championed. HAPPY NYERERE DAY!