AS we mourn the death of our beloved fallen President John Magufuli, we as a nation, have already built a Tanzanian identity.
Under founder President Julius Nyerere, all ethnic nationalities had surrendered their individual identities to a Tanzanian identity. Nearly 60 years of freedom from colonial rule, we have deliberately managed our diversity. This is where the leadership of some other countries is remiss.
In Tanzania, we boast of a calculated policy to harmonise ethnic divergences and sensitivities; understand this chasm and forge a strong bridge across all lines.
Indeed, in Tanzania we have men and women who have risen to the responsibility of leadership and steer it ashore statesmen and nationalists men and women who have conquered the lure of ethnic and religious cravings. Right from the day we got independence from our colonial masters, Tanzania has no people in high places, who live off the country’s ethnic contours.
We have starved them of this meal. We, the Wakaguru, the Wanyakyusa, the Wachagga, the Wahehe, the Wagogo, the Wadigo, the Wazigua and all other ethnic nationalities have surrendered our ethnic identities to the Tanzanian identity.
This does not imply abandoning our roots, but embracing an expansive identity for the survival of our country. This is the type of country that our past presidents from Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa, Jakaya Kikwete and the departed John Magufuli fought to create, a nation full of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
It is the Tanzanian identity that new President Samia Suluhu Hassan will continue to preserve as the basis of a harmonious community.
Nearly 158 years ago, Abraham Lincoln, the United States 16th president, said that a nation divided against itself cannot stand. To us, a unified nation like Tanzania will never tear its identity asunder.