SARDC honours Nyerere

Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and SARDC founding director Ms Phyllis Johnson unveil a plaque during a naming ceremony of SARDC premises at Julius Nyerere House in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba)

Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and SARDC founding director Ms Phyllis Johnson unveil a plaque during a naming ceremony of SARDC premises at Julius Nyerere House in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Munyaradzi Chamalimba)

Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
The Southern African Research and Documentation Centre premises in Belgravia, Harare were yesterday re-named the Julius Nyerere House at an event officiated by visiting former Tanzanian president Dr Benjamin Mkapa.

The premises were renamed in honour of the contributions made by Dr Nyerere, who was Tanzania’s founding president and chairman of the Frontline States.

Dr Mkapa said accurate information disseminated by African states was critical in quelling the propaganda propagated by the continent’s detractors.

As such, he said, documented evidence at institutions such as SARDC was vital in the spreading of information to the outside world. He said with accurate information, the continent’s former colonisers would not misrepresent facts.

“Only remaining for me is to say l hope the member States of SARDC can move forward to strengthen the capacity of this centre, but also to drive the member States to exchange more information about their development challenges, about their development strategies, about their development paradigms, so that we can truly move together in unity towards greater freedom of our people,” he said.

“l hope this challenge will be taken seriously indeed because ultimately, the unity we are able to canvass, to mobilise for freedom, for independence, we can also mobilise and canvass for development.

“We can also exchange information about the development strategies we have, we can also use that information to harmonise the development activities that will strengthen that unity going forward and that is the challenge there is now.”

Recently, SARDC, together with four other publishers produced a book titled: “Julius Nyerere: Asante Sana, Thank You Mwalimu”.

The book is a compilation of statements and speeches Dr Nyerere made over a 40-year period from 1959 to 1999.

Dr Mkapa chronicled how he and the late David Martin came up with the idea of establishing a research centre in Southern Africa.

Martin was husband to SARDCfounding director Ms Phyllis Johnson. Mrs Johnson expressed gratitude to Dr Mkapa for his immense contribution in the establishment of the research centre.

“I want to pause here to remind the youth here present, who were born later, to just reflect on the fact that Southern Africa was under colonial rule and apartheid destabilisation, and that the place you have inherited to build on was first built by others, many of whom gave their lives fighting for you and against a system of inequality,” she said.

“We continue to value the ideals and principles of Mwalimu Nyerere — of unity, integrity and knowledge. Our work is rooted in his determined and positive outlook when he often said,“It can be done, play your part.”

Mrs Johnson presented Dr Mkapa with the book on Dr Nyerere which was launched last month by President Mugabe who penned its foreword.

Dr Mkapa, who arrived in the country on Monday, has since met President Mugabe and toured the First Family’s philanthropic projects in Mazowe.

He is expected to deliver a lecture at the Zimbabwe Defence College and visit Manicaland Province before leaving on Monday.

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  • sambiri

    What legacy did he left? Failed economy policies in his country, a legacy of untold suffering that has mushroomed throughout Africa.

  • madzimba chengeta

    Note she’s Ms Johnson or Mrs Martin!!!!

  • Mart

    Why naming everything after one man?

  • Cde

    Nyerere laid the foundations of pan Africanism,
    His socialist inclined Economic polices in Tanzania may have failed (some believe because of the fall of the Soviet Union as sabotaged by the West), but he was a selfless man determined to see Africa independent and progressive.

  • Tinotya

    It is democracy of course but there is a serious lack of historical appreciation in some people. In my view, Nyerere is THE father of pan-Africanism. Way before Mandela and his celebrated life-story, was Nyerere and his dogged drive for the total liberation of Africa. those who know him, and some of us who have read his speeches and writings appreciate him as a man who had a vision for socialism, who as a human being, dabbled in the one-party thing that bombed…and who had the grace to own up to his mistake and famously told Bob et al ” do not walk down the road that I have walked (Overstaying in power), that way danger lies. Of course they refused to listen….They all refuse to listen to wise counsel until it is too late….The story of life!

  • Mqophiso W Sibanda

    Nyerere is a giant much bigger and broader that little Mandela. Mandela never worked for the ANC for many years. He understudied Oliver R Tambo in both their law firm and A.N.C youth league formation and early radical activities and got arrested only to be released with a new view contradicting that which he got arrested for. O R Tambo then struggled further with the liberation struggle and all main administrative chores of the A.N.C until victory was achieved. Mandela came out to assume leadership roles, to be handed over leadership roles by Tambo, in fact. That is when he began to take a turn that pleased those who arrested him. As for Nyerere, he was assisting Tambo and many other liberation movements with political support, financial support, material support, diplomatic support, organizational support, moral support etecetera. Nyerere had policies that did not only make him aware of what was best for the whole of Africa but he exercised those views for the betterment of even the course of Mandela’s release by applying all forms of pressure at international forums. Mandela only mentioned views that indicated he wanted the D.R.C divided as answer to the challenges the nation was facing, a view not comparable in whatever way to Nyerere’s views because Mandela’s was destructive and a sign he was not in sync broader African goals that favors independence, integrity and sovereignty of nations as basis for social, justice, economic development.

  • H.Munro

    Ndidzo news dzisina basa. Report on the current dzirikupisa. Aswera kupi mutsvangwa. Haasati asungwa here? Chimbomusungai muone kana musati maziwa inonzi pfumvu.