|Mwalimu would have gotten stroke if he was...|
|(A) man is developing himself when he grows or earns enough to
provide decent conditions for himself and his family; he is not being
developed if someone gives him these things," says Julius Kambarage
Nyerere in his book Uhuru na Maendeleo, 1973.
If Mwalimu Nyerere was to resurrect today he will be surprised to see the nation he founded 50 years and ran for about quarter a century still depends on donor aid to keep its operations going by almost 40 per cent, condemning Mwalimu's most cherished self reliance policy to national achieves.
Not only that the country's dependence to donor aids is alarming but also the gap between the haves and the haven't has widen further, with few enjoying the national cake as majority citizens are merely surviving. Take an example of Dar es Salaam where most of the haves stay on posh suburbs- Mbezi Beach, Oyster Bay, Masaki and Mikocheni- while majority remained crammed at poorly serviced settlements like Tandale, Manzese and Tandika, living on less than a dollar (1,600/-) a day.
Illiteracy and lack of formal education is on the rise in Tanzania. In the 1980's, the level of literacy in the country was around 80 per cent, with many people at the time being able to read and understand messages meant for their well being. Today, according to Tanzania Commission to Aids (TACAIDS), the literacy rate has ped to less than 60 per cent, meaning that less people can understand written messages.
The shilling that Mwalimu left exchanging at about 800/- a dollar in 1999 has depreciated fast to 1,700/- per dollar, according to the exchange rates this week. This is the lowest rate since the shilling was introduced 45 years ago. Mwalimu Nyerere firmly supported strong local currency, always opposing market determined exchange regime in favour of fixed rate.
The shilling exchange issue cost the job of then Minister for Finance Edwin Mtei who had wanted to introduce market determined exchange rates at the expense of the fixed regime during Nyerere's administration. The economy Mwalimu fought tirelessly to build for the benefit of all Tanzanians has literally lost direction amid power woes, shilling depreciation, current account deficit and high inflation rates that are inflicting the macroeconomic pillars.
Mwalimu will be surprised to see that the banks he nationalised in 1967 are fully operational but in private hands. When Nyerere died in 1999, he left hardly five banks-CRDB, NBC, Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB), Postal Bank and the first foreign bank to enter the local market after trade liberalisation, Standard Chartered Bank. But today there are 45 commercial banks and financial institutions, mostly confined in cities.
The insurance sector was at its nascent stage, with the National Insurance Corporation enjoying market monopoly but today, with over 30 insurance firms, NIC is no longer that dominant. The power rationing and slow pace of building capacity for power generation from cheap sources will add to the surprises that Mwalimu will face if he happens to emerge from the grave today.
A mere 10 per cent of all Tanzanians have connection to the national electricity grid. Mwalimu opposed mining of the country's mineral reserves, gold in particular, pending capacity building to allow Tanzanians themselves to benefit from the reserves. The old man will definitely get stroke if he happens to see all that is happening in the mining sector!
The country's wealth is on the hands of few privileged, mostly foreigners. The hotels, mines, real estates, banks, insurance firms, airlines, transport companies and manufacturing firms are foreign owned, with majority of Tanzanians squeezed on petty trading-saloons, barber shops, groceries and second hand clothes.
The peace and tranquillity that Mwalimu left are slowly fading away as manifested by the last general elections that were characterised by violence as a resulted of alleged election rigging. The country's beautiful beaches have turned into transit routes of drugs, hotels, state-of-the-art Bank of Tanzania building, hospitals and dispensaries, and schools.
Yes, a lot of schools and hospitals and dispensaries without workforce, amid deteriorating quality of education. On Malaria yes, the biggest stride has been made and the country received recently an international medal for that. After his 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.
He also blocked Jakaya Kikwete's nomination for the presidency, 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). Mr Kikwete later became president in 2005 and won a second term in 2010.
Abduel Elinaza- tanzania daily news