12/09/2004

MAHOJIANO YA MWALIMU NYERERE

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: You mentioned the one-party rule in your country where you were president for four terms during which time you promoted the principle of "Ujamaa," socialism, and you have acknowledged that it was a miserable failure. What lessons, in retrospect, do you draw from that and the kind of economies that African countries might more profitably pursue?
JULIUS NYERERE: Where did you get the idea that I thought "Ujamaa" was a miserable failure?
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Well, I read that you said socialism was failure; the country economically was in shambles at the end of the experiment.
JULIUS NYERERE: A bunch of countries were in economic shambles at the end of the 70s. They are not socialists. Now, today it needs so much courage to talk about socialism, therefore, perhaps we should change the phraseology, but you have to take in the values of socialism which we were trying to build in Tanzania in any society.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: And those values are what?
JULIUS NYERERE: And those values are values of justice, a respect for human beings, a development which is people-centered, development where you care about people you can say leave the development of a country to something called the market which has no heart at all since capitalism is completely ruthless, who is going to help the poor, and the majority of the people in our countries are poor. Who is going to stand for them? Not the market. So I’m not regretting that I tried to build a country based on those principles. You will have to--whether you call them socialism or not--do you realize that what made--what gave capitalism a human face was the kind of values I was trying to sell in my country.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: So what’s the answer? Because, with all due respect, the economy of Tanzania did not thrive under the socialism that you practiced. So what is the--what do you see as the answer for African countries which are still predominantly poor?
JULIUS NYERERE: The problem is not a question of socialism. You have to deal with the problem of poverty. You have to deal with the problem of poverty in your country, and your country is not socialist, or we’re in trouble. People in rich countries don’t realize the responsibility of handling poverty in countries like mine. But those countries will develop. Countries in Africa are poor, both capitalists and socialists, and today we don’t have a single one with these socialists.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Finally, you’ve been critical of some western countries and their roles in Africa. At the same time you’ve called on western nations to help--I think your phrase was clean up the mess in Rwanda and Burundi. Can you explain what at least sounds like a contradiction?
JULIUS NYERERE: Well, I’m saying some of the problems we are now handling in Africa, some of the mess we’re trying to clean up in the continent we have inherited, the mess of the borders we have inherited.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: The colonial powers drew the borders.
JULIUS NYERERE: Yes. The colonial powers and some not colonial powers in Africa have supported regimes which are very corrupt on that continent. I think now they should stop backing up these corrupt regimes and let Africans in their own way try and establish regimes which can care about people. Some of the governments of the West, and including the United States, has really been very bad on our continent. They have used the Cold War and all sorts of things to back up a bunch of corrupted leaders on our continent. I think they should stop now and let the people of Africa sort out their own, their own future.
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Kama unataka kusoma au kusikiliza mahojiano kamili, nenda hapa.

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