President Jakaya Kikwete
As Tanzania celebrates 50th anniversary of Tanganyika’s independence messages of congratulation to its over 40 million people have been pouring in from leaders worldwide.
They include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England who said: ”On the occasion of the United Republic of Tanzania celebrating 50 years of sovereignty, peace and stability, it gives me great pleasure in sending Your Excellency and the People of Tanzania my warmest congratulations on this very special occasion.”
She said the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall told her how much they enjoyed the Tanzanian hospitality during their recent visit to the country as part of the celebrations for the special event.
“I wish Your Excellency, and the People of Tanzania, my best wishes for growing prosperity in the coming years,” she wrote to President Jakaya Kikwete.
Namibian President Hifikipunye Pohamba, who is leading a 12-man delegation to attend the celebrations in Dar es Salaam today, has expressed appreciation for the support to his country in the liberation struggle.
In his message to President Jakaya Kikwete, he recounts the path beaten by liberation fighters from the then South West Africa to Tanganyika:
“Exactly 50 years ago – to be precise, on the 9th December 1961, Tanganyika attained independence and already, political activists from neighbouring countries and Southern Africa were flocking to Dar-es-Salaam to seek moral, political and material support for the liberation of their respective countries.”
The message recalled that Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma, left Namibia in 1960, a year before Tanganyika gained full independence from Britain and was heartily welcomed by the nation’s leader Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who became the first president of Tanzania in 1962, when the country became a republic.
“Karibuni” (Kiswahili word for welcome) echoed throughout Tanganyika and particularly the capital Dar-es-Salaam (Arabic word for haven of peace), as men and women and some children arrived via various border posts to find a home away from home,” the message said.
The Tanzanian government identified an area in Kongwa near Dodoma in the central part of that country where liberation movements had their respective countries’ forces determined and trained for battle against the colonial forces, the message said.
“Tanzania’s political, diplomatic and military support never dwindled throughout the years, leading to independence of various Southern African countries including Namibia. Therefore, Namibia is happy to have an all-season friend who made it possible to liberate ourselves from the yoke of colonialism and apartheid,” concluded said.
Other world leaders who arrived yesterday for the anniversary is President of South Korea parliament Kim Jong Nam who is leading a 17-man delegation including the country’s foreign minister.
President of Malawi, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, is leading a delegation of 15 people and the Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.
Exhibitions are already taking place at Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Trade Fair grounds in Dar es Salaam, as part of the Uhuru elebrations, whose theme is: 'We have dared, we’ve succeeded, and we are forging ahead.'
The celebrations started some months back with ministries, departments, regional, district and village authorities, and public and private institutions countrywide.
At the official launch of the 50th anniversary of Tanganyika’s Independence on December 3, Zanzibar president Dr Ali Mohamed Shein said the country is blessed with abundant resources, adding that what are needed is proper management and an environment to attract foreign investment.
Tanganyika has made great strides in development compared to the when it got independence, he said.
“We have achieved progress in many sectors though there are still challenges,” Dr Shein said.