Morogoro — TANZANIANS have been urged to be good students of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere's ideals to forge unity as was emphasized by the father of the nation under his leadership.
This was said by the former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro during the Mzumbe University Mwalimu Nyerere Day held at the weekend in Morogoro.
"As we celebrate the life and works of Mwalimu Nyerere the question we should ask ourselves is, are we good students of his ideals?" She asked during a workshop whose theme was:
"Mwalimu Nyerere's Perspectives on Unity: Focusing on East African Region." She noted that as people remember Mwalimu Nyerere today, they should ask themselves how his ideals have shaped our lives, sense of duty and commitment.
She said that globally, Mwalimu Nyerere will always be remembered as an advocate for freedom, human dignity, social justice and equality and as a person who was always called for fair terms of international trade and debt cancellation.
Explaining about Mwalimu Nyerere, she said he was a person who disapproved of personal glorification and was openly disdainful of personality cult around a name. "The popular use of the word 'ndugu' in place of 'mtukufu' as a way of addressing him exemplified this," she said.
She added that Nyerere's ascetic lifestyle contrasted markedly with the opulent indulgences of some of his peers. "He set a high moral standard whereby the mark of presidential leadership and honour was measured not in the amount of accumulated wealth but in selfless and distinguished public service to the people," Dr Migiro said.
Presenting a paper on Nyerere's ideas on African unity and its implications on the establishment of an East African federation, Prof Gaudens Mpangala from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam said Africa needs unity now than ever before.
"Let us honour Nyerere by strengthening unity, he stood for it in his life," he said. Another presenter, from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dodoma, Prof Peter Kopoka said that it is important that Tanzanians now should focus on making national unity strong.
The Chairman of Mzumbe University Council, Prof Daniel Mkude said the ideals of national unity should be taught among Tanzanians from primary up to higher learning institutions. "Instilling the sense of unity right from the lower level of education is what others have been employing and has led them to development, we should emulate them on this," Prof Mkude said.
On his part, Mzumbe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Finance), Prof Faustine Kamuzora said his university chose this year's theme in recognition of and to honour Nyerere's contribution to the unification of Tanzanians and his zeal to see a free and united Africa.
He said the university will document all presentations and recommendations made during the workshop as efforts to share Nyerere's ideals and practically strive to make Tanzania and Africa a better place to live.
Mwalimu Nyerere Day, which is commemorated every year at the university's main campus, was attended by intellectuals from within and outside the academic institution, students and other invited guests.