AT the midnight of December 9, 1961 about 75,000 people gathered at the national stadium, representing the rest of Tanganyikans to observe the birth of a new nation.
Where the new green, black and gold flag was raised to fly over the land and the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in Tanganyika , to mark the end of Colonial domination. This event was really a big deal. It meant a lot to millions of Tanganyika across the country.
This was the day which people of Tanganyika were taken back on 22, October 1959, where their visionary young leader made a commitment on their behalf. On that day, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, addressing the Tanganyika Legislative Assembly, before independence in a speech that came to be known as “A Candle on Kilimanjaro,” he said.
“We, the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a candle and put it on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where there was before only humiliation.”
This was a commitment made to prepare people of Tanganyika . To set them to build a nation where there would be hope for everybody, where love would be the order of the day, dignity and respect to all people regardless of their social or academic status.
Mwalimu details the reason why we fought for Independence in his independence message to TANU; “We are celebrating victory. Yet it is essential that we remember even on that day that what we have won is the right to work for ourselves, the right to design and build our own future.
It is like obtaining a land on which to build a house. To obtain that land against opposition is a great thing and it deserves celebrating, but the house does not appear during the celebrations; the house calls for more work, and even harder work, for the exercise of skill, sweat and patience.”
In the move to ensure that Tanzania is “designing and building own future”, immediately after entering the office, he declared that his aim is to industrialize Tanzania. He ordered authorities to repossess formally state-owned industries sold to private investors who had failed to develop them.
The order was categorically directed to the Ministry for Industries, Trade and Investments in June 2017 where the then Minister Charles Mwijage, was asked to repossess the dormant industries and re-allocate them to serious investors.
“The government sold about 197 industries to private investors with a view to developing them but most of them are dormant or changed their use,” said Magufuli at the end of his three-day official tour of the Coast region.
“Make sure these dormant industries are repossessed by the government and sold to other serious investors. They cannot remain idle while the government is pushing for the industrialisation drive,” the president told the minister.
In November 2015, the government summoned investors who bought public farms and factories in a new bold move to review the largely failed privatisation of state-owned entities.
The government said in a statement that some of the investors had not developed the privatised firms as agreed, lacked investment plans, changed the use without permission or vandalized machinery while some owners had not paid for the said properties.
Magufuli pledged during his presidential campaign in 2015 to revisit the privatisation plan as part of his plan to revive the country’s ailing industrial sector and boost employment. Magufuli said quick industrial development was a key element in the 2015-2020 ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) manifesto.
Five days after the order, the then Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage, announced to repossess 10 privatised industries after they had been dormant for 20 years.
The Minister mentioned the repossessed industries as Lindi Cashewnut Processing Plant, Pugu Kaolin Mines, Mkata Saw Mills Ltd, Manawa Ginnery Co. Ltd, Dabada Tea Factory, Tembo Chipboards Ltd, Kilimanjaro Textile Mills, Mangula Mechanical and Machine Tools Co. Ltd and Polysacks Company Limited.
“The fifth phase government is very determined to revive performance of local industries for two good reasons. First is to create new employment and second is to increase production of goods for both local consumption and export market,”said Mwijage.
He warned owners of five other industries and gave them a grace period to August 22 to correct weaknesses or return the factories to the government. They were Sabuni Industry Ltd in Tanga, Tanzania Moshi Pesticides Limited, Tanzania Bulk Corporation, Ilemela Fish Processing Limited and Mzizima Maize Milling.
Mwijage said the government has started a process to invite serious investors, partners and markets. “The government sold these industries to private investors with a view to developing them. But most of the industries have been abandoned,” said Mwijage.
“We are going to repossess the dormant industries and hand them to serious investors. They can’t remain idle while the government is pushing for the industrialisation drive,” added Mwijage.
According to the data made available by the ministry, out of 156 industries which were privatized between 1992 and 2004, a total of 54 industries remained dormant after they were privatized.
Some of the privatized factories which are not only defunct but have also changed use of their premises and buildings are Tanzania Meat Industry Ltd which is now NHC Real Estate at Kawe, Nyanza Glass which has been turned into Warehouses in Mwanza, Land Rover assembly plant at Mbagala in Dar es Salaam which has been turned into warehouses, Bora Shoe company which has been turned into warehouses of imported shoes, Panasonic Radio and Battery factory which has been turned into warehouses.
The list is endless. Happy Uhuru day day comrades