South Africa

Tanzania: Samia Praises Mwinyi

PRESIDENT Samia Suhulu Hassan has described former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi as an architect of reforms for the country's progress that has been recorded so far.

Mzee Mwinyi was president of the second phase administration between 1985 and 1995, and prior to that, he was the president of Zanzibar between 1984 and 1985.

Speaking yesterday at the book launch event to launch the autobiography of the retired president Mwinyi titled "Mzee Rukhsa: Journey of My Life", the head of state said during his tenure in the office, the former president made crucial reforms for the interest of the country.

Going into details, President Samia said it was during Mzee Mwinyi's administration where reforms on finance and insurance, involvement of the private sector and privatisation of public owned enterprises were established.

"These were some of the initiatives taken to revamp the economy that was shrinking," she said, adding that the retired President also played a major role in the establishment of the country's multiparty system.

She said by the time Mzee Mwinyi was assuming office, the country was facing a lot of challenges, including the great depression, fall of the then East African Community (EAC), drought, hike of price of edible oil and scarcity of basic needs, including food, medicine and spare parts.

"He therefore took important measures to rescue the situation and bring life to normal, indeed, he is the architect of all the major economic reforms," said President Samia.

The head of state mentioned five lessons that Tanzanians have to learn from the leadership of retired President Mwinyi, saying the former leader has set his own record.

According to Ms Samia, from the legacy of Mzee Mwinyi, Tanzanians should learn that leadership comes from the almighty God, and not something that people should plan for "This is due to the fact that the former president didn't plan for it, and the positions he held came as a surprise to him, he is also telling us that leaders should be accountable for whatever is done under their portfolio," she added.

Adding; "We are also learning that being a leader you should be patient, tolerant and strong enough to face challenges". Moreover, she said Tanzanians should learn to love one another like what Mzee Mwinyi did during his tenure in office, after appointing to the cabinet one of the ministers who had kicked him out of his government office immediately after he resigned from heading the Home Affairs ministry in 1977.

"We should also learn not to hold grudges, respect one another and put forward national interest in whatever position we are serving," noted the President.

In another development, President Samia commended the second phase president for writing a book in Swahili language, saying the move will help in spreading the national language abroad.

"The book is well written and so helpful, I have read it twice and clearly understood all that has been said in it," she explained.

The book that was published by Mkuki and Nyota contains the life stories of President Mwinyi from his birth in Mkuranga district, Coast Region until when he was elected as the President of Tanzania.

In attendance to the book launch event, was also the President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, retired President Jakaya Kikwete, retired presidents of Zanzibar, Amani Abeid Karume, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and senior leaders from public and private sectors, regional and international organisations.

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