The nomination by the National Conference of Tanzania’s ruling party of Mr Ali Hassan Mwinyi as the sole candidate for the Tanzanian Presidential elections caused some surprise abroad as Prime Minister Salim Ahmed Salim and Party Secretary General Rashidi Kawawa were both considered as more likely to succeed President Nyerere. At what is believed to have been a lengthy meeting, Mr Mwinyi was elected by 1731 votes to 14 in a secret ballot.

Mr Mwinyi was born on the mainland in Kisarawe District in 1925, but his family moved to Zanzibar when he was a child. He trained as a teacher and spent periods of study in Newcastle and Hull in the mid-fifties.

From 1963 to 1964, just before the Zanzibar revolution, he was a Permanent Secretary in the Zanzibar Government. Later he filled many other posts in Zanzibar including Minister of Health, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of state in the Vice-President’s Office. He also spent three years from 1970 in Dar es Salaam as Minister of state in President Nyerere’s Office.

Early last year President Aboud Jumbe of Zanzibar was forced to resign after (according to the Daily Telegraph) a political crisis in which some Zanzibaris were pressing for a better deal for Zanzibar under the Tanzanian Constitution. Mr Mwinyi was elected to the vacant post.


“An honest and capable administrator and diplomat who tempers staunch socialism with deeply held religious beliefs … strongly upholds Nyerere’s brand of Chinese inspired socialism but is no dogmatist.” – Daily Telegraph

“A man of mild manners, enormous personal charm and strong moral convictions, Mwinyi belongs to that almost extinct breed of state managers who squirm at the seamy side of politics and firmly believe that there is another way to run human affairs short of manipulation and spreading fear,” – Africa Events

“Don’t expect many changes in Tanzania’s lacklustre economy when Mr Ali Hassan takes over as President … Mr Mwinyi is Mr Nyerere’s man,” – The Economist

” … it appears that his (Mr Mwinyi’s) peaceful melding of the people of Zanzibar into Mr Nyerere’s system earned him the presidential selection.” – International Herald Tribune


The Tanzanian News Agency, Shihata, has published a wide ranging interview with Prime Minister Salim Ahmed Salim.

The following is extracted from the Shihata report.

“The President is not decisive on all issues, but draws his strength from the Party which in turn is in constant consultation with the masses.

The only snag, however, is the general expectancy that the President-elect live up to the charismatic character of President Nyerere, or Mwalimu as he is affectionately known.

Dictatorship is out of question says the Premier, explaining: “That is of no consequence because in this country we are building a tradition of collective responsibility and leadership … It can’t be ruled by one man.”

Rating the electoral procedures so far as having made a good start under “impossible” circumstances, he said this augured well for the CCM’s intention to ensure that leadership does not degenerate into a profession whose change can be enforced only through unorthodox methods “which have become quite rampant in some Third World countries,” or in the event of that leader’s demise.

The interview also had the Premier explaining and reiterating Tanzania’s commitment to socialism because to think otherwise would be tantamount to “indulging in self-hallucinations.” He, however, points out that the country has not really started on its chosen path so to talk about the failure of “Ujamaa” is to talk nonsense.

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