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Julius Nyerere

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Julius Nyerere

Mwalimu Nyerere
1st President of Tanzania
In office
29 October 1964 – 5 November 1985
Vice President Abeid Karume
Aboud Jumbe
Ali Hassan Mwinyi
Prime Minister Rashidi Kawawa
Edward Sokoine
Cleopa Msuya
Edward Sokoine
Salim Ahmed Salim
Preceded by Himself President of Tanganyika
Abeid Karume as President of Zanzibar and Pemba
Succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi
President of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
In office
26 April 1964 – 29 October 1964
Vice-Presidents Abeid Karume (First)
Rashidi Kawawa (Second)
President of Tanganyika
In office
9 December 1962 – 26 April 1964
Prime Minister Rashidi Kawawa
Prime Minister of Tanganyika
In office
1 May 1961 – 22 January 1962
Monarch Elizabeth II
Succeeded by Rashidi Kawawa
Chief Minister of Tanganyika
In office
2 September 1960 – 1 May 1961
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Sir Richard Turnbull
Personal details
Born Kambarage Nyerere
(1922-04-13)13 April 1922
Butiama, Tanganyika
Died 14 October 1999(1999-10-14) (aged 77)
London, United Kingdom
Resting place Butiama, Tanzania
Nationality Tanzanian
Political party CCM (1977–1999)
TANU (1954–1977)
Spouse(s) Maria (m. 1953–99)[1]
Alma mater Makerere University (DipEd)
University of Edinburgh (MA)
Profession Teacher
Religion Roman Catholicism
Awards Lenin Peace Prize
Gandhi Peace Prize
Joliot-Curie Medal
Website .info.juliusnyererewww

Julius Kambarage Nyerere (13 April 1922 – 14 October 1999) was a Tanzanian statesman who served as the leader of Tanzania, and previously Tanganyika, from 1960 until his retirement in 1985.[2]

Born in Tanganyika to Nyerere Burito (1860–1942), Chief of the Zanaki,[3] Nyerere was known by the Swahili honorific Mwalimu or 'teacher', his profession prior to politics.[4] He was also referred to as Baba wa Taifa (Father of the Nation).[5] Nyerere received his higher education at Makerere University in Kampala and the University of Edinburgh. After he returned to Tanganyika, he worked as a teacher. In 1954, he helped form the Tanganyika African National Union.

When Tanganyika was granted responsible government in 1960, Nyerere became Chief Minister. He led Tanganyika to independence a year later and became the new country's first Prime Minister. The country became a republic in 1962, with Nyerere as the country's first president. During the first years, Nyerere created a single-party system and used "preventive detention" to eliminate trade unions and opposition political forces. In 1964, Tanganyika united politically with Zanzibar and was renamed Tanzania, with Nyerere as president of the unified country.[6] He was the sole candidate for president in the unified country's first election, in 1965, and was reelected unopposed every five years until his retirement in 1985.

In 1967, influenced by the ideas of African socialism, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration, which outlined his vision of ujamaa (variously translated as "familyhood" or "socialism"; not to be confused with the Swahili word Umoja which means "unity"). Ujamaa was a concept that came to dominate Nyerere's policies. However, his policies led to economic decline, systematic corruption, and unavailability of goods. In the early 1970s, Nyerere ordered his security forces to forcibly transfer much of the population to collective farms and, because of opposition from villagers, often burned villages down. This campaign pushed the nation to the brink of starvation and made it dependent on foreign food aid.

In 1985, after more than two decades in power, he relinquished power to his hand-picked successor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Nyerere left Tanzania as one of the poorest, least developed, and most foreign aid-dependent countries in the world,[7] although much progress in services such as health and education had nevertheless been achieved.[8] As such, Julius Nyerere is still a controversial figure in Tanzania. He remained the chairman of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi for another five years until 1990. He died of leukemia in London in 1999.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Political career 2
  • Ujamaa and economic transformation 3
  • Foreign policy 4
  • Post-presidential activity 5
  • Cultural influences 6
  • Honours and awards 7
    • Honours 7.1
    • Awards 7.2
  • Legacy 8
    • Eponyms 8.1
    • Memorials 8.2
  • Publications 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

Early life and education

Kambarage Nyerere was born on 13 April 1922 in the town of Butiama in Tanganyika's Mara Region.[9] He was one of 26 children of Nyerere Burito (1860–1942), Chief of the Zanaki.[10] He began attending Government Primary School in Musoma at the age of 12 where he completed the four-year programme in three years and went on to Tabora Government School in 1937. He later described Tabora School as being "as close to Eton as you can get in Africa."[11] In 1943 he was baptised as a Catholic. He took the baptismal name of Julius, which eventually became his given name.[12][13] He received a scholarship to attend Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Here he founded the Tanganyika Welfare Association, which eventually merged with the Tanganyika African Association (TAA), which had been formed in 1929.[14] Nyerere received his teaching diploma in 1947.[9] He returned to Tanganyika and worked for 3 years at St. Mary's Secondary School in Tabora, where he taught Biology and English. In 1949 he got a government scholarship to attend the University of Edinburgh. He obtained an undergraduate Master of Arts degree in Economics and History in 1952. In Edinburgh he encountered Fabian thinking and began to develop his particular vision of connecting socialism with African communal living.[15][16]

Political career

On his return to Tanganyika, Nyerere took a position teaching History, English and Kiswahili, at St. Francis' College (currently Pugu secondary school), near

  • Nyerere's remarks on Ali Hassan Mwinyi Corrupt practices
  • PBS Interview with Nyerere on the Great Lakes crisis, December 26, 1996
  • article on Nyerere and his views on education in Tanzania
  • Jerry Atkin's Nyerere tribute, from InMotion Magazine
  • SouthCentre Nyerere Memorial Site
    • Mwalimu Neyerere Speeches
  • A translation of Merchant of Venice into KiSwahili
  • Nyerere Obituary from the ANC
  • NPR Weekend Edition reflection on Nyerere
  • Julius Nyerere Fellowship
  • Called to greatness MercatorNet, 10 November 2006
  • )Catholic World NewsBeatification inquiry for Tanzania's Nyerere (from
  • Is Nyerere's process to sainthood timely? (from IPP Media)
  • The Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival Week by Gacheke Gachihi, All Africa, 11 June 2009
  • The Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarships (University of Edinburgh)

External links

  • Yakan, Mohamad A (1999). Almanac of African Peoples & Nations. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-433-9.
  • Smith, Mark K. "Julius Nyerere, lifelong learning and informal education." The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education. 1998.
  • Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, profile at Embassy of Tanzania, Sweden
  • Former Presidents: Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Tanzania State House
  • Godfrey Mwakikagile Life under Nyerere, First Edition, New Africa Press, ISBN 978-0-9802587-2-1.
  • Bjerk, Paul (2015). Building a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960-1964. Rochester University Press. ISBN 9781580465052
  1. ^ "Obituary: Julius Nyerere".  
  2. ^ Bjerk, Paul (2012), "Nyerere, Julius (1922-1999)", Dictionary of African Biography, Oxford University Press,  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ a b c Blumberg, Arnold (1995). Great Leaders, Great Tyrants?: Contemporary Views of World Rulers who Made History.  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Bjerk, Paul (2015). Building a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the Establishment of Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960-1964. Rochester University Press. p. 390.  
  7. ^ a b Skinner, Annabel (2005). Tanzania & Zanzibar.  
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Simon, David (2006). Fifty key thinkers on development.  
  10. ^ Clagett Taylor, James (1963). The political development of Tanganyika.  
  11. ^ Lawrence, David (2009). Tanzania: The Land, Its People and Contemporary Life. Godfrey Mwakikagile. p. 58.  
  12. ^ Kantowicz, Edward R. (2000). Coming Apart, Coming Together. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 258.  
  13. ^ a b Kaufman, Michael T. (15 October 1999), "Julius Nyerere of Tanzania Dies; Preached African Socialism to the World",  
  14. ^  
  15. ^  
  16. ^ a b van Dijk, Ruud (2008). Encyclopedia of the Cold War, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. p. 880.  
  17. ^ Kangsen, Muna (13 April 2007), "Happy Birthday Mwalimu",  
  18. ^ "Julius Nyerere".  
  19. ^ Marshall, Julian (15 October 1999), "Julius Nyerere",  
  20. ^ a b c d e f Rick Stapenhurst, Sahr John Kpundeh. Curbing corruption: toward a model for building national integrity. pp. 153–156. 
  21. ^ Skinner, Annabel (2005). Tanzania & Zanzibar.  
  22. ^ a b c d e Philip Wayland Porter. Challenging nature: local knowledge, agroscience, and food security in Tanga. 
  23. ^ W.M. Adams, T. Potkanski and J.E.G. Sutton (1994). "Indigenous Farmer-Managed Irrigation in Sonjo, Tanzania". The Geographical Journal. Vol. 160. No. 1 (March 1994). pp. 17–32. Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
  24. ^ Donald P. Whitaker (1978). "The Economy", Tanzania: A Country Study. American University. Washington DC.
  25. ^ a b Blair, David (10 May 2006), "Africa in a nutshell",  
  26. ^ a b Lessons from Socialist Tanzania. Sven Rydenfelt. The Freeman. September 1986, Volume: 36, Issue: 9.
  27. ^ Meredith, Martin (2006). The fate of Africa: from the hopes of freedom to the heart of despair : a history of fifty years of independence. Public Affairs.  
  28. ^ Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe
  29. ^ Military power and politics in black Africa. Simon Baynham. p. 181
  30. ^ Leonard, Thomas M. (2006). Encyclopedia of the Developing World, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. p. 1402.  
  31. ^ Cawthra, Gavin; Du Pisani, André; Omari, Abillah H. (2007). Security and Democracy in Southern Africa. IDRC. p. 143.  
  32. ^ Chris Dunton; Mai Palmberg (1996). Human Rights and Homosexuality in Southern Africa. Nordic Africa Institute. pp. 24–.  
  33. ^ Michael Lynch (12 April 2013). Access to History for the IB Diploma: Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states. Hodder Education. pp. 395–.  
  34. ^ "Historical Note of the National University of Lesotho",  
  35. ^ Allma, Jean Marie. Fashioning Africa: power and the politics of dress. p. 108. 
  36. ^ Skinner, Annabel (2005). Tanzania & Zanzibar.  
  37. ^ a b c Lemelle, Sidney J. (2006). "'Ni wapi Tunakwenda': Hip Hop Culture and the Children of Arusha". In Dipannita, Basu; Sidney J., Lemelle. The vinyl ain't final: hip hop and the globalization of black popular culture.  
  38. ^ Keregero, Keregero (14 October 2005), "Mwalimu Julius Nyerere on Socialism", The Guardian ( 
  39. ^
  40. ^ Condecorado Julius K. Nyerere por el Gobierno Revolucionario con la Orden Nacional Jose Marti LANIC [LATIN AMERICAN NETWORK INFORMATION CENTER] (Granma) (Spanish)
  41. ^ a b c d Awards / Prices
  42. ^ Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah (20 October 2014). The Political History of Ghana (1950-2013): The Experience of a Non-Conformist. AuthorHouse. pp. 439–.  
  43. ^ "Government Gazette" ( 
  44. ^ Maura Mwingira (18 April 2005). "Nyerere awarded Zimbabwe's highest medal". ( 
  45. ^ "The Royal Order of Munhumutapa". SADC Today 8 (4,). 4 October 2005. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  46. ^ John Musinguzi (24 February 2013). "Understanding Museveni's medals".  
  47. ^ "Museveni honours Nyerere".  
  48. ^ a b Daniel R. Kasule (3 July 2009). "Museveni, Zenawi, Nyerere to receive national honours".  
  49. ^ Tanganyika: Africa’s mecca for liberation movements at the Wayback Machine (archived 16 May 2013) Archived from the original on 16 May 2013
  50. ^ "Burundi: Decree of July 2012" ( 
  51. ^ "Museveni gets prestigious Burundi award".  
  52. ^ "Members of the Order of Jamaica (Deceased)". Government of Jamaica. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  53. ^ "List of the recipients of the Jawharlal Nehru Award".  
  54. ^ "Morales Named "World Hero of Mother Earth" by UN General Assembly".  
  55. ^ "Kikwete urges local experts to embrace integrity".  


See also

  • Freedom and Unity (Uhuru na Umoja): A Selection from Writings & Speeches, 1952–1965 (Oxford University Press, 1967)
  • Freedom and Socialism (Uhuru na Ujama): A Selection from Writings & Speeches, 1965–1967 (Oxford University Press, 1968)
    • Includes "The Arusha Declaration"; "Education for self-reliance"; "The varied paths to socialism"; "The purpose is man"; and "Socialism and development."
  • Freedom and Development (Uhuru Na Maendeleo): A Selection from the Writings & Speeches, 1968–73 (Oxford University Press, 1974)
    • Includes essays on adult education; freedom and development; relevance; and ten years after independence.
  • Ujamaa – Essays on Socialism (1977)
  • Crusade for Liberation (1979)
  • Julius Kaisari (a Swahili translation of William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar)
  • Mabepari wa Venisi (a Swahili translation of William Shakespeare's play – The Merchant of Venice)
  • Utenzi wa Enjili Kadiri ya Utungo wa Mathayo (a poetic Swahili version of the Gospel of Matthew)
  • Utenzi wa Enjili Kadiri ya Utungo wa Marko (a poetic Swahili version of the Gospel of Mark)
  • Utenzi wa Enjili Kadiri ya Utungo wa Luka (a poetic Swahili version of the Gospel of Luke)
  • Utenzi wa Enjili Kadiri ya Utungo wa Yohana (a poetic Swahili version of the Gospel of John)
  • Utenzi wa Matendo ya Mitume (a poetic Swahili version of the Acts of the Apostles)



Nyerere Road in Dar es Salaam (formerly called Pugu Road).
Nyerere's statue in Dodoma





Order Country Year
Royal Order of the Seraphim  Sweden 1963
Order of José Marti[40]  Cuba 1975
Order of the Aztec Eagle (Collar)[41]  Mexico 1975
Amílcar Cabral Medal[41]  Guinea Bissau 1976
Order of Eduardo Mondlane[41]  Mozambique 1983
Order of Agostinho Neto[41]  Angola 1985
Order of the Star of Ghana[42]  Ghana 1988
Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo (Gold)[43]  South Africa 2004
Royal Order of Munhumutapa[44][45]  Zimbabwe 2005
Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa (Grand Master)[46]  Uganda 2005
Order of Katonga[47]  Uganda 2005
National Liberation Medal[48]  Rwanda 2009
Campaign Against Genocide Medal[48]  Rwanda 2009
Order of the Most Ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis[49]  Namibia 2010
Order of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere  Tanzania 2011
National Order of the Republic (Grand Cordon)[50][51]  Burundi 2012
Order of Jamaica[52]  Jamaica ?
Nyerere's coat of arms of the Royal Order of the Seraphim at the Riddarholm Church in Sweden.


Honours and awards

Nyerere remained an influence upon the people of Tanzania in the years following his presidency. His broader ideas of socialism live on in the rap and hip hop tradition of Tanzania.[37] Nyerere believed socialism was an attitude of mind that countered discrimination and entailed equality of all human beings.[38] Therefore, ujamaa can be said to have created the social environment for the development of hip hop culture. As in other countries, hip hop emerged in post-colonial Tanzania when divisions among the population were prominent, whether by class, ethnicity or gender. Rappers broadcast messages of freedom, unity, and family, topics that are all reminiscent of the spirit Nyerere put forth in ujamaa.[37] In addition, Nyerere supported the presence of foreign cultures in Tanzania saying, "a nation which refuses to learn from foreign cultures is nothing but a nation of idiots and lunatics...[but] to learn from other cultures does not mean we should abandon our own."[37] Under his leadership, the Ministry of National Culture and Youth was formed to encourage Tanzanian popular culture, in this case hip hop, to develop and flower. As a result of Nyerere's presence in Tanzania, the genre of hip hop was welcomed from overseas in Tanzania and melded with the spirit of ujamaa. In 2009 his life was portrayed in Imruh Bakari's – The Legacy of Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Mnet, Great Africans Series, 2009).[39]

In the late 1960s, Nyerere criminalised "decadent" forms of culture including soul music, unapproved films and magazines, miniskirts, and tight trousers.[35][36]

Cultural influences

He received honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh (UK), Duquesne University (USA), University of Cairo (Egypt), University of Nigeria (Nigeria), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Liberia (Liberia), University of Toronto (Canada), Howard University (USA), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), University of Havana (Cuba), National University of Lesotho,[34] University of the Philippines, Fort Hare University (South Africa), Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), and Lincoln University (PA, USA).

In January 2005 the Catholic diocese of Musoma opened a case for the beatification of Julius Nyerere. Nyerere was a devout Catholic who attended Mass daily throughout his public life and was known for fasting frequently.

Nyerere died in a London hospital of leukaemia on 14 October 1999.

In one of his famous speeches during the CCM general assembly, Nyerere said in Swahili "Ninang'atuka", meaning that he was pulling out of politics for good. He kept to his word that Tanzania would be a democratic country. He moved back to his childhood home village of Butiama in northern Tanzania.[13] During his retirement, he continued to travel the world meeting various heads of government as an advocate for poor countries and especially the South Centre institution. Nyerere travelled more widely after retiring than he did when he was president of Tanzania. One of his last high-profile actions was as the chief mediator in the Burundi conflict in 1996.

Nyerere's portrait on the Tanzanian 1000 shilling note

Nyerere retained enough influence to block Jakaya Kikwete's nomination for the presidency in the country's first multiparty elections in three decades, citing that he was too young to run a country. Nyerere was instrumental in getting Benjamin Mkapa elected (Mkapa had been Minister of Foreign Affairs for a time during Nyerere's administration). Kikwete later became president in 2005.

After the Presidency, Nyerere remained the Chairman of CCM until 1990 when Ali Hassan Mwinyi took over. Nyerere remained vocal about the extent of corruption and corrupt officials during the Mwinyi administration. However, he raised no objections when the CCM abandoned its monopoly of power in 1992. He also served as Chairman of the independent International South Commission (1987–1990), and Chairman of the South Centre in the Geneva & Dar es Salaam Offices (1990–1999).

Post-presidential activity

Outside of Africa Nyerere was an inspiration to Walter Lini, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, whose theories on Melanesian socialism owed much to the ideas he found in Tanzania, which he visited. Lecturers inspired by Nyerere also taught at the University of Papua New Guinea in the 1980s, helping educated Melanesians familiarise themselves with his ideas.

He was criticised for his vindictive actions after unsuccessfully appealing to the Pan Africanist Congress to adopt dialogue and détente with Pretoria instead of armed revolution. He supported a leadership coup that installed David Sibeko but after Sibeko's assassination he crushed PAC resistance at Chunya Camp near Mbeya on 11 March 1980, when Tanzanian troops murdered and split up the PAC army into detention camps. Nyerere then pressured the Zimbabwe government to arrest and deport PAC personnel in May 1981. The PAC never recovered and despite rivalling the ANC from 1959–1981 quickly declined. Its Tanzanian controlled remnant gained only 1.2% in the South African freedom election of 1994.

In an interview with Hubert Fichte from Frankfurter Rundschau, Nyerere commented that homosexuality was alien to Africa and therefore homosexuals cannot be defended against discrimination. His comments were omitted from the publication.[32] Despite it being illegal, persecution was rare during his tenure.[33]

Nyerere was instrumental in the Seychelles military coup in 1977, in which soldiers trained by Nyerere deposed the country's democratically elected president James Mancham and installed a repressive one-party regime.[29][30][31]

Nyerere, along with several other African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of South Africa, FRELIMO when it sought to overthrow Portuguese rule in Mozambique, MPLA when it sought to overthrow Portuguese rule in Angola, and ZANLA in its war with the Smith government of Rhodesia. From the mid 1970s on, along with President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, he was one of the leaders of the Front Line States which campaigned in support of black majority rule in southern Africa. In 1978 he led Tanzania in war with Uganda, defeating and exiling the government of Idi Amin.

Nyerere claimed Tanzania to be the first country to recognise Biafra soon after it declared independence from Nigeria, but was criticised for not consulting on this within his government first, as it could cause division in its relationship with Nigeria at the time.

West German President Richard von Weizsäcker greets Julius Nyerere, 1985

Nyerere's foreign policy emphasised nonalignment in the Cold War and under his leadership Tanzania enjoyed friendly relations with the People's Republic of China, the Soviet bloc as well as the Western world. Nyerere sided with the Chinese in the Sino-Soviet rivalry.

US President Jimmy Carter, Julius Nyerere, and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 1977

Foreign policy

Nyerere left Tanzania as one of the poorest, least developed, and most foreign aid-dependent countries in the world.[7] Nevertheless, Nyerere's government did much to foster social development in Tanzania during its time in office. At an international conference of the Arusha Declaration, Nyerere's successor Mwinyi noted the social gains of his predecessor's time in office: an increase in life expectancy to 52 years, a reduction in infant mortality to 137 per thousand, 2600 dispensaries, 150 hospitals, a literacy rate of 85%, two universities with over 4500 students, and 3.7 million children enrolled in primary school.[28]

Nyerere announced that he would retire after presidential elections in 1985, leaving the country to enter its free market era — as imposed by structural adjustment under the IMF and World Bank – under the leadership of Ali Hassan Mwinyi, his hand-picked successor. Nyerere was instrumental in putting both Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Benjamin Mkapa in power. He remained the chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (ruling party) for five years following his presidency until 1990, and is still recognised as the Father of the Nation.

The deficit in cereal grains was more than 1 million tons between 1974 and 1977. Only loans and grants from the World Bank and the IMF in 1975 prevented Tanzania from going bankrupt. By 1979, ujamaa villages contained 90% of the rural population but only produced 5% of the national agricultural output.[27]

As a result of this centralised government-controlled focus on tobacco and tea dominating arable land with only cash crops beneficial to the central government, food production plummeted, and only foreign aid prevented starvation. Tanzania, which had been the largest exporter of food in Africa and was always able to feed its people, became the largest importer of food in the continent.[25][26] Many sectors of the economy collapsed. There was a virtual breakdown in transportation. Goods such as toothpaste became virtually unobtainable.[25][26]

Farming practices towards tea and cloves had increased for subsistence farmers. By 1974 ujaama programs and the IDA (International Development Association) worked hand and hand; while villagisation organized new villages to farm, the IDA financed projects to educate farmers to grow alternate crops and granted loans to farmers with added credit to small farmers (Whitaker 206). For example, only 3 tons of tea had been produced in 1964 yet by 1975, 2,100 tons of tea was the net output of smallholder farmers mostly by Nyerere's policies have given the communal villages the opportunity to grow tea leaves despite the long history of tea being only grown in estates (208). Although these statistics come from the late 1970s, one may understand agricultural growth through reorganising traditional farms and investing into non-staple agriculture (especially through educating farmers how to grow tea and improve farming methods. One may look upon another example of Tanzanian government's extensive services in training farmers to grow tobacco and improve farming methods, which aided significantly in tobacco yields 41.9 million pounds in 1975–1976. By 1976, Tanzania became the third-largest tobacco cultivator in Africa (207). Therefore, when the Tanzanian government used extensive services in agriculture, they achieved positive results and crop yields' growth, especially in tea and tobacco smallholder farming whose prices are cheaper for Tanzanian villages to consume than purchase products within the cities.[24]

In 1975, the Tanzanian government issued the "ujamaa program" to send the Sonjo in northern Tanzania from compact sites with less water to flatter lands with more fertility and water; new villages were created to reap crops and raise livestock easier. This "villagization" (coined by W.M. Adams) encouraged the Sonjo to use modern irrigation techniques such as the 'unlined canals' and man-made springs (Adams 22–24). Given the diversion of water from the Kisangiro and Lelestutta Rivers by dams, river water can flow by canals into the irrigation systems to alleviate the hardships of smallholder farmers and livestock owners.[23]

Collectivization was accelerated in 1971. Because much of the population resisted collectivisation, Nyerere used his police and military forces to forcibly transfer much of the population into collective farms.[21][22] Houses were set on fire or demolished, sometimes with the family's pre-Ujamaa property inside.[22] The regime denied food to those who resisted.[22] A substantial amount of the country's wealth in the form of built structures and improved land (fields, fruit trees, fences) was destroyed or forcibly abandoned.[22] Livestock was lost or stolen, or fell ill or died.[22]

The private sector suffered from the multiplying cumbersome, bureaucratic procedures and excessive tax rates.[20] Enormous amounts of public funds were misappropriated and put to unproductive use.[20] Purchasing power declined at an unprecedented rate and even essential commodities became unavailable.[20] A system of state permits (vibali) required for many activities allowed officials to collect huge bribes in exchange for distributing the vibali.[20] Nyerere's policies laid a foundation for systemic corruption for years to come.[20] The ruling party's officials became known as Wabenzi ("people of the Benz"), referring to their taste for Benz cars.

10 tz shillings back
Julius Nyerere

In 1967, nationalisations transformed the government into the largest employer in the country. The state expanded rapidly into virtually every sector. It was involved in everything from retailing to import-export trade and even baking. This created an environment ripe for corruption.[20]

When in power, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration, which called for the implementation of an economic programme influenced by African socialist ideas. He also established close ties with the People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong, and introduced a policy of collectivisation in the country's agricultural system, known as ujamaa, "socialism" in the sense of "familyhood" or "extended family"—the Swahili word for socialism comes from the word Jamaa—which literally mean "familyhood" and the "extended family".

Ujamaa and economic transformation

Nyerere was instrumental in the union between the islands of Zanzibar and the mainland Tanganyika to form Tanzania, after the Zanzibar revolution on 12 January 1964 which toppled the Sultan of Zanzibar Jamshid bin Abdullah. The coup leader, a stonemason from Lira, Uganda, named John Okello, had intended Zanzibar to join Kenya. Nyerere, unnerved by a failed mutiny of the Tanganyika Army a few days later, ensured that Okello was barred from returning to Zanzibar after a visit to the mainland.

Nyerere's activities attracted the attention of the Colonial authorities and he was forced to make a choice between his political activities and his teaching. He was reported as saying that he was a "schoolmaster by choice and a politician by accident".[19] He resigned from teaching and travelled throughout the country speaking to common people and tribal chiefs, trying to garner support for movement towards independence. He also spoke on behalf of TANU to the Trusteeship Council and Fourth Committee of the United Nations in New York. His oratory skills and integrity helped Nyerere achieve TANU goal for an independent country without war or bloodshed. The cooperative British governor Sir Richard Turnbull was also a factor in the struggle for independence. Nyerere entered the Colonial Legislative council following the country's first elections in 1958–59 and was elected chief minister following fresh elections in 1960. On 9 December 1961, Tanganyika gained independence as a Commonwealth realm and Nyerere became its first Prime Minister. A year later Nyerere was elected President of Tanganyika when it became a republic. A month later, Nyerere declared that to further the interests of national unity and economic development, TANU was now the only legal political party. However, the country had effectively been a one-party state since independence. Nyerere, also, translated Shakespeare's Julius Caesar into Swahili as a gift to the nation to celebrate its first anniversary of independence.


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