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Congrats for autobiography Mkapa; vital lessons within

REPETITIVENESS on Mwalimu Julius Nyerere as an individual and as a leader, can never sink to the level of monotony.

At home, he was on the forefront of the struggle for Tanzania’s political independence, courting grave risks in the process.

Being the leader of the Uhuru-seeking mission, he set himself on a collision course with the British colonial administration. For a liberation struggle anywhere in the world seeks to overthrow the existing political, social and economic status quo.

In the case of Tanganyika, and subsequently Tanzania, toppling the status quo would mean that the bondage to which the legitimate inhabitants had been hooked would be neutralised.

Nyerere stood his ground, however, since that was instrumental in delivering our country to independence. That wasn’t all.

He ceaselessly argued that, so long as some countries in the African continent were under colonial subjugation, Tanzania’s independence was incomplete.

Hence the country’s spirited participation in initiatives to compliment efforts by liberation movements in subjugated parts of Africa to free themselves.

He was held in high esteem for his role, whose sweet outcome was the liberation of countries under foreign domination.

Mwalimu’s role was highly complimented by his intellectual acumen, vividly manifested by the many books he wrote, which attracted tremendous interest.

Within and beyond the country, however, there was a yearning for Mwalimu’s autobiography, which many wished he would have written during his post-retirement phase.

But Alas! It was never to be, and the icy hands of death grabbed him on October 14, 1999.

Third phase President Benjamin Mkapa had sprang a surprise upon his compatriots and beyond, with an autobiography titled ‘My Life, My Purpose (A Tanzanian President Remembers).

Going by highlights given at the book’s launch in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, it is sure to generate much interest.

Given the huge demands that are placed on the presidency as any country’s foremost institution, whoever occupies the post is automatically a rich repository of lessons to be learned, pitfalls to be avoided, and advises to be grasped for a better way forward at home and beyond.

Recollections by holders of high posts should indeed be embraced as a crucial pursuit, not exclusively at presidential level, but even lower ranks in the governance system.

These provide helpful ‘dos and don’ts’ for the nation’s collective benefit. Those in that category should toe the Mkapa line.

IN August, this year the Southern African Development ...

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Mwandishi: EDITOR

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