On 9th December this year, 2021; our country will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of Tanganyika’s independence, (its diamond jubilee). One of the most outstanding political achievements during this post-independence period, was the rebranding of our country, formerly known as Tanganyika, but is now proudly known as the United Republic of Tanzania; resulting from the political Union of former Tanganyika, with Zanzibar, in April 1964. I have therefore considered it important for me to also put on record the other major socio-political and economic advances which have been made during this additional decade, (2011 - 2021). And that will be the subject matter of a two-part article: today’s article, and that of next week.
A resume of the major events of the preceding five decades 1961 – 2011).
It has been said that “the good or bad fortunes of a nation, will basically depend on the solid foundations, if any, that were laid during its early formative years”. In our case, it is, presumably, common knowledge, that during its formative years i.e. the immediate post-independence period, our country’s affairs were being managed by the legendary iconic leader, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, together with the then ruling party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU).
Thus, in my book on 50 years of independence referred to above, I focused largely on the ruling party (TANU)’s performance and achievements during that period. This was because, in the country’s political dispensation of that period, TANU, as the ruling party, was the sole authority that provided policy guidance and decision-making in all the political, economic and social sectors of the country’s development. The ruling party was at the center stage in the business of policy- making and all other public decision-making processes, buttressed in that position by the constitutional provision which required “all public activities to be conducted by, or under the auspices of the party”; popularly known as “party supremacy”.
Therefore, it was under the auspices of TANU as the ruling party, but also due to its dynamic Organization and management capability, plus the requisite leadership skills of Mwalimu Nyerere and his comrades; that the major political achievements of that period were recorded.
*Special emphasis placed on rural development. The rural sector was made the cornerstone for the Ujamaa policies; and the rural development agenda was pursued in earnest, in pursuance of Mwalimu Nyerere’s dictum: “while other nations aim at reaching the moon, our aim is to reach the villages”.
The subsequent failure of these economic policies.
In the said book, I did also acknowledge that the implementation of that vision subsequently failed, for the reason only that their implementation encountered some unexpected, turbulent, fast deteriorating economic and social conditions in the late 1970s and early 1980s; whose principal causes were:
President Mwinyi’s economic liberalization.
It therefore fell upon Nyerere’s immediate successor in office, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, to introduce some fundamental changes in the policy framework, and in the general management of the country’s economy. The economic policies which were pursued under the leadership of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who became CCM national Chairman in 1990, fell under the blanket term “liberalization of the economy”; which earned him the affectionate name of “Mzee Rukhsa”, due to his easing of many of the various controls that had seriously constrained the operations of the economy. Some elements of these reforms (which were sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and fully endorsed by CCM); actually deviated from the basic tenets of the Arusha Declaration; which had, in any case, began to weaken in the early 1980s when the development process became guided by shorter term development programmes, such as the “National Survival Programme (NESP) 1981 - 82); and the “Structural Adjustment Programme” (SAP) (1982- 85).
The transition from the Ujamaa, to the market economy.
In December, 1992, the CCM National Congress approved a new policy document titled: “Mwelekeo was Sera za CCM katika Miaka ya Tisini” (Government Printer, Dar es Salaam, 1992), This was accompanied by the popularizing of a new party slogan of “ implementing Ujamaa under the present conditions”; obviously reflecting the Chinese slogan of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
These reforms, which basically entailed the inclusion of the private sector participation in the running of the country’s economy, effectively transformed Tanzania’s exclusively state-managed economy which had been decreed by the Arusha Declaration, to an open market economy. Whereas he Arusha Declaration had envisaged the creation of a wholly ‘state controlled and managed economy’; the new economic vision of the 1990s envisaged “enabling the people themselves to own and operate the country’s economy, either individually, or through their independent cooperative societies; or though public companies or joint ventures, wherein thousands of wananchi will be able to buy shares. In this way, the greater part of the economy will be controlled by the people themselves, thus enabling them to raise their individual living standards”.
From the ‘one-party’, to the ‘multi-party’ political dispensation.
The disbanding of the ‘one-party’ system and its replacement by the multi-party political dispensation, was achieved in 1992 under the leadership of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
This fundamental political change was largely motivated by the political events which took place in the Eastern European countries during that period; which had resulted in the downfall of nearly all of the communist parties (which were also the ruling parties) in that part of the world); as a direct result of increasing demands being made for the introduction of greater democracy, which is based on multi-party politics.
It is such considerations which eventually led to the appointment by President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, of the Nyalali Presidential Commission in 1991; which was placed under the Chairmanship of Chief Justice Francis Nyalali. Among other terms of reference, this Commission was specifically tasked:-
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