6. Who was to Stay Where? – Ronald Neath

Ronald Neath first met Nyerere in 1955 when serving as District Commissioner in Masasi. From 1959 to 1962 he served on the staff of the Prime Minister in Dar es Salaam occupying an office adjoining that of his chief. One of his tasks was to help in arranging the Prime Minister’s programme of engagements.

One episode just before independence I shall always remember. In accepting their invitations to attend the celebrations one or two Heads of State or Government had made it plain that they would like to be accommodated during their stay in Mwalimu’s official residence and I was asked to raise the problem with him. ‘That’s an easy one,’ he replied in a flash, ‘tell them no one is going to stay in my place except the Wilsons.’ Mrs Wilson had welcomed Mwalimu to her home in Edinburgh when he was studying there. The Prime Minister was able to go to Dar es Salaam airport to receive personally only a small number of the Heads of State, prime ministers and dignitaries who arrived for the celebrations, but typical of Mwalimu the man he was there himself to welcome Mrs Wilson and her son.

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