INTRODUCTION: Just twenty years ago, Julius Nyerere -- already the outstanding political figure in his country -- saw the first of his ambitions realised: what was then called Tanganyika became the first British-ruled territory in East Africa to achieve independence.
DAR-ES-SALAAM (.TANGANYIKA) TANZANIA 8/9 DEC. 1961 (REUTERS)
CU Flag-raising ceremony with illuminations and fireworks. (5 SHOTS) 0.25
Background: INTRODUCTION: Just twenty years ago, Julius Nyerere -- already the outstanding political figure in his country -- saw the first of his ambitions realised: what was then called Tanganyika became the first British-ruled territory in East Africa to achieve independence. Its development into the United Republic of Tanzania of today has been largely his creation.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Nyerere was acclaimed as the Prime Minister of the newly-independent country after sweeping the polls with his Tanganyika African National Union. At midnight on December 8th, 1961, the new state was born. In honour of "Uhuru", meaning Freedom, and the leader, the lights blazed out over the capital, Dar-es-Salaam.
Tanzania was formed in 1964 from the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. President Karume of Zanzibar became first Vice-President of the united republic. Eight years later he was assassinated.
Independence achieved, President Nyerere started to build socialism in Tanzania. The Arusha Declaration of 1967 -- commemorated by this monument in the town of Arusha -- set out his programme. Dr. Nyerere has been described as one of Africa's most creative political thinkers.
President Nyerere's view was that development should start with agriculture which employs most of Tanzania's people. Hard work, self-help and education were what Tanzania had to rely on. The focal point of this rural socialism is the "ujamaa" or co-operative village. These communities have spread fast throughout the country.
Big projects, like the Tan-Zam railway, needed foreign capital. The Chinese government built the railway, enabling Zambia to export her copper without sending it through the former British Zimbabwe. The massive undertaking -- inaugurated in 1970 - fulfilled two purposes close to President Nyerere's heart: contributing both to the development of Tanzania and to international pressure on Rhodesia. By 1973, the railway was through to Zambia's border.
Following the invasion of Tanzania in 1978 by the army of Uganda's former President Amin, Julius Nyerere sent troops and armour into Uganda. The following year, Amin's regime died with the fall of Kampala, the national capital, in April, 1979. Tanzania's army was supported by exiled Ugandans.
Later that year, Britain's Queen Elizabeth, with her husband and her son, Prince Andrew, visited Tanzania. It was part of a controversial tour of black African nations as many of them opposed the breakaway British colony of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. Tanzania was one of these, but the Queen's visit was essentially non-political - both sides kept it that way.
Another colourful event, this time last year (1980) in Zanzibar. Tanzania's Vice-President Ndugu Aboud Jumbe, attended a ceremony opening the island's new House of Representatives. After being ruled by decree from Tanzania for nearly 16 years, Zanzibar had its first elected parliament.
A direct vote by the Zanzibar electorate brought the re-election of Mr. Jumbe as chairman of the ruling Revolutionary Council. Zanzibar's leaders saw the new House as a move towards democracy on the Spice Isles.
And there was jubilation in Dar-es-Salaam that year at another swearing-in ceremony. Julius Nyerere took the President oath to remain Tanzania's leader for another five-year term. But he said it would be his last.
In spite of Tanzania's economic problems, and a serious shortage of food. Dr. Nyerere had been returned by a 93 per cent "yes" vote in the presidential election.
Last July, in Kenya, three presidents: Milton Obote of Uganda, daniel Arap Moi of Kenya and Julius Nyerere discussed their East African Economic Community -- which broke up in 1977, and the disagreements which followed. At home, after Tanzania's 20 years of "Uhuru", President Nyerere wants to resolve his nation's problems with a new five-year development plan.