To the President of the Britain-Tanzania Society.
I want to thank you very much for your letter of 11th November, enclosing the booklet in which so many friends pay so much tribute to my service as President of my country. I do not know how to thank you and my friends of the Britain-Tanzania Society. The Wazanaki have a saying: ‘Courage is among men’; meaning that no single individual can achieve without the support of others. I have been almost uniquely fortunate in the support I have received from many loyal friends both in Tanzania and outside Tanzania. I wish I had done more to deserve so much support and loyalty. May God bless you all.
Moving house is a very difficult business, I discover! But I am gradually settling down although some of my stuff is still coming. I did not realise I had accumulated so much property, especially books! The problems of this country remain acute; but the President has a very good team and they are doing all they can to cope with them. Please convey my gratitude to all my friends in the Society.
Julius K. Nyerere,
UJAMAA SOCIALISM AID VILLAGISATION
The following comments on “The Nyerere Years” in Bulletin No. 22 based on my experience as British High Commissioner in Tanzania from 1975 to 1978, may be of interest.
In his article on Nyerere’s political thought. Professor Cranford Pratt refers to “the major national effort from 1968 to about 1975 to introduce ujamaa socialism in rural Tanzania”; and to “the ‘forced march’ to ujamaa socialism which was attempted in the mid-1970s.” The latter phrase seems to reflect the widespread but mistaken belief that in the mid-1970s rural farmers were compelled by force to adopt ujamaa socialism and establish ujamaa villages. This misconception arises from confusion between two separate concepts; the ujamaa village and the process of villagisation.
After the Arusha declaration, the Tanzanian Government pursued two major policies in the area of rural development;
a) for ideological and developmental reasons, to persuade farmers already grouped in villages to engage in communal or collective farming on something like the Chinese model; those villages which did so were known as ujamaa villages;
b) for developmental reasons, mainly social but also economic, to persuade isolated homesteaders to group together in villages in order to benefit from amenities such as schools, clinics, shops, electricity, clean water and agricultural extension services; this was the process of villagisation
Until the mid-1970s the Government relied on peaceful persuasion; there was no compulsion, though no doubt in some cases considerable moral and other pressures were applied by keen and ambitious Party leaders. But progress on both counts was slow; in particular the individual homesteaders were reluctant to leave their traditional plots to set up in a new village some distance away. The Government accordingly decided that in order to achieve satisfactory progress on education, health. etc., villagisation would have to be made compulsory. The aim was laudable enough but the implementation, with inadequate planning and preparation and. often brutality, was disastrous. The consequent disruption of agriculture and alienation of the farmers who had been forcibly removed from their homes was an important factor in the decline of agricultural production in the m.1d-1970s.
However, at no stage was force used to compel either the new villages or the existing villages to engage in collective farming and become ujamaa villages.
In 1977 – two years after the ‘forced march’, President Nyerere told me that only a small percentage (I think of the order of 10%) of villages were ujamaa. Moreover, even in an ujamaa village individual families were allowed to keep a small plot for their own use; and no family was compelled to engage in collective farming – in Nyerere’s own village of Butiama which was considered an ujaaaa village, out of over 500 families only some 100 took part in farming the communal land. In other words the application of the ujamaa concept in farming remained, and as far as I am aware still remains voluntary.
Sir Mervyn Brown, London.
ONE MAJOR CRITICISM
To the Secretary, Britain- Tanzania Society.
You asked us to comment about Bulletin No. 23. We like the size as foreshadowed in No.22. More handy and comprehensible than the old type but we have one major criticism and realise that this may not be easy to achieve with the smaller size document. The letter press is far too small and difficult to read. Can we have size as No.22 and printing also as No.22 ?
Myrtle and Philip Radley, Cambridge.
We have had a number of comments on the small print size in No. 23. On the other hand, most readers have much appreciated the almost 50% increase in content which the small size permitted us to publish. A number of changes have been made in this issue with a view to improving readability. We await further comments from readers – Editor
THE FAREWELL SPEECH
To the Secretary, Britain-Tanzania Society
I for one prefer the reduced size of the Bulletin. Furthermore, being smaller it is less heavy and should on average cost less to post so I favour the reduced scale version.
One more comment. The extracted quotes from Mwalimu’s farewell speech in this recent Bulletin are good reading. I can’t recall having seen a full version of the speech. Maybe I’ve just missed it. But if it has not been published it would be worth reproducing it in full.
Dr. John Robertson, Leeds.
The speech fills a 38 page booklet and would require the exclusion of almost all else if it were to be published in the Bulletin. I am sending you my last copy of the speech – Editor.
A SWEDISH VERSION
To the Editor,
Many thanks for the marvellous Bulletin about Julius Nyerere. It wouldn’t be so bad if other political leaders everywhere could have kept his approach to life and friends. But it is perhaps to hope for too much. What is being said confirms much of what I have heard about Nyerere. The publication would merit a Swedish version.
Mats Hultin, Stockholm.