Madaraka Nyerere: I see light at the end of the tunnel

Quite an exciting as well as enticing nation – building efforts witnessed and heavily publicized by the media in Tanzania, between the country’s early years of independence and towards the end of 1970s, had been hyped up to a rather ridiculous extent, just a decade later, following what Founding Father of Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere himself widely viewed as an unilateral substitution of the Arusha Declaration for the infamous Zanzibar Declaration.

Mwalimu’s own sixth child by the name of Madaraka, speaking in his capacity as a guest speaker at a TUJADILIANE Radio Discussion Programme’s third edition, which was on air at Mwanza’s Belmont hotel on 23rd October, 2017, said the unfortunate development had, in fact, led some unethical individuals to capitalize on the weak Zanzibar Declaration to break a restrictive leadership code contained in the Arusha Declaration with impunity, subsequently gaining economic, moral  and political ascendancy over all their eligible main rivals.

According to him, such a clever manipulation of the leadership code resulted in the succeeding regimes to reverse completely economic base – revitalization efforts, undertaken soon after independence by the First – Phase Government, led by his fallen father, citing the very scraping of the very Arusha Declaration’s leadership code and subsequent haphazard privatization of such heights of the economy as banks, budding industries, parastatal organizations and public services as classic examples.

Responding to probing questions put to him by Mwanza – based local journalism practitioners working with both print and electronic media, Madaraka now in his late 50s, said had he been so lucky as to succeed his father,  certainly he would resolve restoring the Arusha Declaration to its past glory, for the sake of maintaining what he called continuity and that actual implementation of the said nation’s blue print would inevitably be subjected to sort of modifications just to suit current fast – changing world.

The late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s sixth child, Madaraka, speaking at the TUJADILIANE Radio Discussion Programme in Mwanza

The TUJADILIANE Radio Discussion Programme, which serves as the journalists’ forum for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences with invited guest speakers, came at a time when Tanzanians commemorated Father of Nation’s 18th death anniversary. He passed away at London’s St. Thomas Hospital and is survived by his widow, Ms Maria Nyerere and seven children namely Andrew, Matiku, Magige, Makongoro, Madaraka, Rosemary and Pauleta while John, himself a trained pilot, died in a military jet crash 37 years ago.

Speaking rather cautiously, the shy, extremely soft spoken but charming Madaraka, who resembles his mother very much, said he doesn’t mean to speak lowly of the succeeding presidents but he would equally betray himself if he ever kept mum over current harsh economic situation, compounded by an unceremonial abandonment of the Arusha Declaration.

Pressed further for his personal opinion on whether or not President Magufuli is simply following in the late Mwalimu Nyerere’s footsteps, Madaraka said it was always wrong to compare two Presidents, who had served in diametrically two opposed situations, but he would still say ‘yes’ and ‘no’;

He elaborated that President Magufuli is not exactly keen to emulate Father of Nation in the real sense of the word as such because while Mwalimu’s transformation and nation – building attempts took place in the wake of independence struggle, then shrouded in monumental and extremely complex circumstances, our perceptions of the world around us are constantly changing.

However, he contended that looking closely at a current sequence of events, one would say that, in a way, the duo’s administration style has some similarities, citing President Magufuli’s ability to devise elaborate plans and the way he takes equally elaborate precautions at the same time as yet another classic example.

For instance, he said, while President Magufuli strives to elevate the German – built central line up to a standard gauge railway, it was Mwalimu Nyerere who actually hatched the jewel idea which was, unfortunately, never got implemented at the time, partly due to financial constraints. This, according to Madaraka, probably constitutes one of the most interesting classical similarities between the two leaders.

Another typical similarity, he emphasized, is a laudable resolution passed by the government of the day in the recent past, to move the country’s headquarters from Dar es Salaam, a harbour founded in late 19th century by the then Zanzibar Sultan Majid, to a centrally – located Dodoma, at last, a decision, Maadaraka recollected, which Mwalimu Nyerere made for the first time, in early 1970s.

Madaraka, summing it all up without even mincing words, he described President Magufuli as a good leader,  undoubtedly a man of action with few words ‘’who doesn’t stand for any nonsense particularly from unethical and non – performing  officials of his own government, distinguishing himself and other empty rhetoric of politicians in the process”.

The only one thing that the President needs to do now, Madaraka maintained, is to ensure that available enormous natural resources are being fully utilized to good use, industrialization process in the country gets more impetus and legal systems and frameworks are put in place as a basis for such decisions otherwise saying he sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Dwelling specifically on the late Mwalimu Nyerere, as an ordinary member of the community, Madaraka said he had always been intermingling easily with  people, a humane person who always wanted all human beings be accorded fair and humane treatment and he abhorred aggrandizement and a related marked disparity among Tanzanians, characteristic of a truly socialist.

On much rumours, which have long being circulating in the society, especially in Dar es Salaam since independence days, over a football club with which Mwalimu Nyerere was and still is being associated, finally Madaraka revealed that Father of Nation was, a truly Young Africans Sports Club member, with Card No. 1.

According to him, the aforesaid card was officially presented to Mwalimu, by a group of the club’s elders who had paid a courtesy visit to his Butiama home village during early years of independence, apparently with a view to giving him the aforesaid just reward (membership card No. 1).

As expected, such thrilling revelations of its kind, inevitably left many a journalist in attendance visibly dumb – founded especially one of these days, when fanatic football fans – related – politics surrounding Young Africans Sports Club or popularly known as Yanga and their traditional arch – rivals Simba Sports Club or Wekundu wa Msimbazi, all of Dar es Salaam, have gripped nearly every segment of Tanzanian population.

But it is still unknown, however, whether or not his membership was a real or perceived one; because during his life time, Mwalimu had rarely gone to at any known sports event or tournament either as guest of honour or as an ordinary spectator except once in 1970s.

It is recollected that Father of Nation, for instance, happened to go to the Karume Stadium in Dar es Salaam, accompanied by President Numeiry of Sudan (then), who was at the time on an official state visit to the country, to witness an international friendly between hosts, Taifa Stars and their visiting Sudanese national team.

Unfortunately enough, the match only succeeded in putting Mwalimu to an unexpected shame, after Taifa Stars team having been forced to play bare – chested for unclear reasons, an event which had warded Father of Nation off since then!

Even before such a shameful incident had occurred, Madaraka hinted, Father of Nation had once told his family  sarcastically, that the latter did contemplate refraining from frequenting sports fields because whenever the latter  sees players of a favourite team fiercely attack their opposing counterparts, he equally becomes so irresistibly over excited that fellow spectators seated nearby him get irritated.

Possibly, therefore, Mwalimu’s acceptance of being a Young Africans Sports Club member could be construed as his gesture of appreciating the club’s pivotal role it played during independence struggle, when many principal actors, including himself, used it as a strategic camouflage, to hide the colonial administration the truth.

Not much, however, is known about the local football club inclination of such Mwalimu’s early closer assistants as Cabinet Ministers and other senior government executives, besides unverified reports which have it that all Tanzania’s seven Prime Ministers (past and present ones) are simply Sunderland (now Simba) Sports Club zealots!

They are Rashid Kawawa, Edward Sokoine, Cleopa Msuya, Joseph Warioba, Mizengo Pinda, Edward Lowassa and Majaliwa K. Majaliwa.

Asked yet again to give a rather detailed account of what his father’s 24 – years long Presidency looked like, in relation to his family’s matters, Madaraka said that he could simply say that Mwalimu’s unique trait of character, to a great extent, influenced not only his administration’s modus operandi , but also his own family for his entire lifetime.

He noted that Mwalimu Nyerere, for example, had never ever confided political career – related challenges, hardships and heart – breaking dangers that came in his way to his family, not even once, and that the children followed such awful stories through the press  or press conferences, whenever the family members have had a chance of accessing them at all instead.

Equally, he said, interestingly enough, Father of Nation had neither chosen a career for any of his children nor did he encouraged them to get involved in politics for still an unspecified reasons better known to  himself.

Due to the way Madaraka himself had been brought up, he disclosed, he is sort of apolitical right now, attributing such a strange phenomenon to his inability to pay CCM annual membership subscriptions for nearly 40 years in a row saying being affiliated to a political party, in the present multi – party system, in his opinion, would only be gravely dangerous to antagonize one’s dearest and nearest, whom he did not mention!

In his last but not least remarks, Madaraka seized the TUJADILIANE Radio Discussion forum to call upon the youths, currently constituting 60% of Tanzania’s population (according to 2002 census) never ever to allow political intolerance to dangerously carry them away lest such an impending enmity tear the country apart.

And proposing a vote of thanks, Mr. Abubakar Karsan, an Executive Director of UTPC, sponsors of the monthly 45 – minute programme challenged the central government to go and put in place all basic infrastructural facilities in Butiama in honour as well as appreciation of Father of Nation’s untold and seemingly insurmountable efforts of founding a uniquely beautiful Tanzania.

Turning to serious potential investors keen on investing in the late Mwalimu’s Mwitongo household, Mr. Karsan proposed that they be made to pay any kind of royalty on every historic monuments and sites that would lure  both local and foreign tourists.

Funds accruing from such an investment, according to Mr. Karsan, could be useful in funding the establishment and subsequent maintenance of Butiama Cultural Tourist Enterprising, an ambitious project of which Madaraka is a Coordinator currently (ends).

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