Tanzania began celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the ruling TANU Party with a rally and military parade in the National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam on Friday (5 July).
Tanzania began celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the ruling TANU Party with a rally and military parade in the National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam on Friday (5 July). Thousands of members of the Tanzanian armed forces and the People's Militia took part in the parade, as well as 13 jet fighters, four helicopters and 10 other military aircraft of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces.
The parade was reviewed by Tanzania's President, Julius Nyerere, and seated beside him was the chief guest of honour at the anniversary celebrations, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.
TANU (the Tanganyika African National Union) is one of the oldest and most successful political parties in Africa. It was founded on 7 July, 1954, and within four years it had established offices or committee in almost every village in the vast territory it covered.
One of the party's founder members was Julius Nyerere, and it was under his leadership that Tanzania gained independence on 9 December, 1961. The President now prefers to be known as Chairman Nyerere, and he sees his major role as still that of the teacher, rather than a leader or director.
Though the style of the country's revolution is definitely Tanzanian, Nyerere's Government has not been above receiving help and advice both from the West, from the People's Republic of China and from the Eastern European bloc.
In the afternoon, after the parade in the National Stadium, President Nyerere and President Kaunda inspected the progress being made on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway development. Known as the "Freedom Railway", it is being built with Chinese help and an interest-free loan from Peking.
At the Kurasini marshalling yard near Dar Es Salaam harbour, the two Presidents boarded a train, which took them to the new railway station being built at Pugu Road. Along the way, the train stopped occasionally to give the two Presidents the chance of talking to local people and Chinese workers.
The Presidents also toured the workshops at Kurasini, and saw Tanzanians and Chinese working together to manufacture engines, trucks and spare parts.
During the day TANU and President Nyerere received congratulations from the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Norma Kirk, and the Acting Administrative Secretary-General of the Organisation for African Unity, Mr. Peter Onu.