Memoirs of Mwinyi: the transition to capitalism the greatest achievement
Tanzania’s founding president Julius Kambarage Nyerere peacefully handing over the presidency to his hand-picked successor Ali Hassan Mwinyi was a rarity in Africa at the time, it also marked the start of private sector involvement in the program. development of the country.
He saw former President Mwinyi earn the nickname Mzee wa Rukhsa, which in Kiswahili means the elder who allowed almost everything.
Mzee Mwinyi virtually overthrew all of Nyerere’s Ujamaa na Kujitegemea, the socialist-inspired policies that dominated Tanzania’s politics, society, and economy during Nyerere’s 24-year tenure. His government has grown from one of the most influential and passionate advocates of socialism and autonomy to a free market economy called neoliberal capitalism.
In Mzee Mwinyi’s book Mzee Rukhsa: Ya Maisha Yangu Safari (loosely translating to “Mr. Permission: The trip of my life), he says his administration will always be remembered for his great economic reforms,” a task that … was not at all easy, but change was essential. . “
When Mzee Mwinyi took over the presidency, Tanzania was on the brink of economic collapse. Ujamaa was somewhat of a social success, but economically ruinous. Nyerere had succeeded in creating a sense of unity and effectively eradicating ethnic politics in a country of more than 120 tribes. But its policies on socialism and self-reliance were short of economic development. Sectors like food production have collapsed.
Kagera’s war between Tanzania and Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1978-79 and continued attempts to resist help from the Bretton Woods institutions resulted in dramatic cuts to social services.
Mzee Mwinyi opened the country to investment and trade, which then paved the way for the introduction of the multi-party democracy and freedoms that Tanzania has enjoyed for decades. Negotiating with the World Bank and the IMF, he says, has been one of the most difficult tasks he has undertaken. This was done between 1975 and 1985, with the first program implemented in 1986.
Mzee Mwinyi explains in his memoirs that the administration of the second phase found Tanzania with an external debt of more than 50% of the GDP. He began to revive the economy by slowly moving away from the socialist ideology of Mzee Nyerere.
He abolished the Arusha Declaration on Socialism and Self-reliance and established the Zanzibar Declaration which allowed party members to participate in private enterprises.
“Shortly after I came to power, we finalized negotiations with international financial institutions and started implementing the so-called economic reform program,” he writes.
His government authorized investment in mobile phones for the first time and on March 28, 1995, Mzee Mwinyi officially launched the first mobile phone service provided by Mobitel. At that time, 70% of the fixed telephone services available served only 20% of the population.
“We have also made it possible for citizens to own computers and televisions,” he writes. Her book was launched last week in Dar es Salaam.