MWALIMU'S SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY
<<I believe this was because Nyerere was an economic neophyte who absorbed the penchant of the period of focusing on social justice... Nevertheless, I am a bit surprised to learn that the situation in Tanzania had worsened.>>
I mean the situation has worsened for the masses whose purchasing power keeps dwindling in today's inflationary trend. Also the public utilities and social welfare promised to them under Mwalimu's 'ujama' policy hardly took shape.
When Mwalimu nationalized the houses his intentions were not bad. He'd envisaged cheaper house and lower rent so that it would be within the means of poor people. Contrarily today only the filthy rich can own property and its exorbitant rent makes it inaccessible to the commoner.
Mwalimu shared good vibes with the Agakhan who had invested considerably in various projects but the nationalization phase put a stop to the inflow of investments. The likes of Habib Punja who had put their entire savings into structures to develop Daressalaam city and its suburban sector made their exit from the scene. Thus began the exodus of Asians. The exchange control that was introduced destabilized the T shilling. It kept plunging.
Mwalimu also nationalized foreign banks and in their stead bloomed National Bank of Commerce(NBC). He fully complimented the Asian staff for rescuing and raising it to the level of compatibility (you probably know IK Patel and Ignatius Pereira who took charge of NBC). Ironically the same staffs were given a 'phase-out' order in a few months time. The ujama concept implied funding non viable projects in rural areas. Besides, Parastatal organizations zoomed up their spending. STC, National Milling and Tanzania Fertilizer went haywire and owed NBC in billions. Its financial base just withered away.
Worse, corruption took its toll on Mwalimu. He was ruthless in his severity during the 1983 'crack down' but eventually succumbed meekly when he realized that the culprits were among those whom he trusted the most. It was a sad end to the career of a great man who held some high ideals.
|Last updated November 2007
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