Don revisits Mwalimu’s early writings on human aquality

02Jul 2016
Aisia Rweyemamu
The Guardian
Don revisits Mwalimu’s early writings on human aquality

RECENT commemoration of Father of the Nation Julius Nyerere by Kigoda Cha Mwalimu raised a number of questions which remain unanswered, perhaps owing to the current political system in the country and the way it is governed.

Cross section of participants for the commemoration of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere held in Dar es salaam recently.

Among issues which cropped up were equal rights and opportunities for all which a few individuals, mostly government officials, have been enjoying in past decades leaving others to reel in utter poverty.

“Participants asked about the schools to which most children of politicians go and whether that is the type of socialist doctrine the Father of the Nation really sought of,” renowned scholar Prof Issa Shivji remarked.

“Nyerere strived to build for a nation in which the people would live together as comrades, according to his publications he wrote after the Arusha Declaration in which he explained its benefits,” the don added.

Shivji said the doctrine and vision meant to bring people together to share ideas on development, but it was soon to be abandoned following Mwalimu’s retirement from the presidency.

“Socialism meant living and working together for the benefit of all. Living and working together was viewed as the strategy to success,” he said.

Commenting on unpublished essays on socialism written by Mwalimu Nyerere, Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) Dr Helen Kijo Bisimba said socialist ideals had since been abandoned by many, especially the leaders, in preference to greed for wealth.

She said, “If you look at today’s houses, you will discover that most of them are fenced, implying that no one wants to share their personal properties with their neighbours.”

In one of his philosophical essays, Mwalimu explained that in today’s world if you said that all human beings were equal, a number of people would be against you because they look at the race and colour of their skin, appearance, talent and their capacities.

He said despite such claims on equality, the eyes of the majority also told very different stories.

“The question here is what makes people to believe that all human beings are equal while they appear not to be equal,” Mwalimu is quoted as saying in his essays.

He added in his scripts that, “In one sense, all the people are equal, but in another sense they are not, meaning there is hardly any equality among the people in the world”

He said one can never get two human beings with the same face, weight, length, capacity, same friends and enemies, health status, eating the same food, living and dying at the same age with the same cause of death; this is not possible because human beings are not equal.

Prof Shimvji thus argued that the essays, Mwalimu’s narrations in the late 1950s, were crucial if the country’s resources were to benefit all the people.

He revealed that Mwalimu’s purpose of writing the essays was not to have them published but rather to teach us how to understand human beings with regard to equality accrording to the socialist doctrine.

According to the father of the nation, there is never human being with the same characters to stay together in peace because humans are violent in nature which proves then unequal.

“Being equal in the eyes of God has a great meaning altogether compared to the human equality touted by human beings” he said in one of his essay.

The philosophical essay the father of the nation wrote in his lifetime are now being revisited by various academician and political commentators saying they are crucial to place the country to the right track.

They say that the things such as dignity, nature, ignorance, height, thinking and greed can only be realised wit a vision of equableness as a people through socialism doctrines.

According to Prof Shivji, Mwalimu stressed hard work, while also emphasising self-reliance in order to achieve self-development.

According to him, self-reliance could only be meaningful if Tanzanians had the opportunity to get the needed income for their families.

He said everyone needed to be given the opportunity to work be it in the formal employment or self reliance in order to attain the development, dignity, good life, civilization because it was a weapon through which one can win over various problems.

In his socialist doctrine, Mwalimu argued that slavery distorted the meaning of work for development because it meant working for the benefit of another person.

In the same vein, he pointed out that capitalism was also as good as slavery as it deprived it borrowed people to work for the advantages of rich people, saying it was as good as colonialism when a country with power ruled another country in the same way people with riches owned other human beings in the slave system.

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