December 12, 2008

Learning from each other: the wisdom of Mwalimu

Filed under: interview,Mwalimu (Vol 1.3/4. - Third & Fourth Quarter 2008) — newritings @ 9:00 pm

… and the people have to liberate themselves

The honesty of the man shows through in this interview March 1977. In this newsletter we reproduce a snippet from Time Magazine.

Q. Tanzanian troops are training guerrillas. Do you foresee using your troops in combat against Rhodesian forces?

A. We have had experience with guerrilla fighting—and a philosophy of liberation. We helped the Mozambicans to fight by setting up training camps and passing on arms to them. We accepted risks, but they did the fighting. Our philosophy is that people must free themselves. You don’t free them. It is no good our going into Rhodesia. No, this is a war of liberation, and the people have to liberate themselves. But if the war [is] internationalized and South Africa goes in on the other side, then I don’t see how Tanzania could stay out.

Q. If the war is “internationalized,” do you see non-Africans getting involved, such as the Cubans?

A. Cuba, Cuba, Cuba! The question is always Cuba, not the military might of the West behind South Africa. No African country or combination of African countries could be a military threat to South Africa. Yet France and others continue to arm South Africa. Why is the U.S. so worried about tiny Cuba? Or is Cuba being used as a cover-up to arm South Africa? I tell you, brother, if South Africa uses its army to prevent Rhodesia from becoming free, then we have the right to ask for support from anywhereelse—and from much bigger powers than Cuba.

Q. Closer to home, the East African Community—Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda—has apparently collapsed. What can you do to save it?

A. It is a tragic thing that independent African states cannot maintain the kind of unity that the British were able to build in East Africa. We can save something only if our partners, mainly Kenya, also agree to help. We are all poor Third World countries. We should work together to build strength through unity.

Q. Ten years ago, you set Tanzania firmly on the road to socialism. What have been the successes and shortcomings ?

A. We have chosen the socialist path, but we are still miles away from success. My people are poor and ignorant. They still have to drink dirty water. Every day we are telling our people what they deserve, but we do not have the managerial or financial ability to provide it. We could do much better.

Go back to Contents of Mwalimu (Vol 1.3/4)

1 Comment »

  1. […] Learning from each other: – The wisdom of Mwalimu – David versus the Goliaths – TI france: Get back our stolen assets – SA chapter news…(  new one […]

    Pingback by Contents « newritings — December 28, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

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