Mwalimu Nyerere honoured at a ceremony in Butiama
Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere was an icon and inspiration to the liberation of southern Africa, and a hero in the region, which achieved independence with his support and that of the people of the United Republic of Tanzania.
This was the said in Butiama at the weekend during a ceremony to honour Mwalimu Nyerere by the Chairman and Board of the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) in this year of the 20th anniversary of his death.
The SARDC Chairman, Hon. Professor Peter Katjavivi, said that Mwalimu inspired and supported a generation of leaders and freedom fighters, as Chairman of the Front Line States and through mobilizing material, diplomatic and moral support for the independence movement in Southern Africa.
Tanzania hosted the Liberation Committee of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, of which Mwalimu Nyerere was a founder in 1963.
Hon. Katjavivi said Mwalimu was a visionary who had a long-term view of regional integration and development, and was a founder of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its predecessor organization.
Hon. Katjavivi, who is Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia, and a senior official of the SWAPO party, said Mwalimu’s inspiration and support was a key factor in his country and others in the region achieving independence.
Hon. Katjavivi spent 27 years in exile during the liberation struggle, starting with his arrival in Dar es Salaam in December 1962, having spent 3 months on the move, hiding to avoiding security as he travelled from then South African-occupied South West Africa, now independent Namibia.
He travelled via Bechuanland (now Botswana) and through Southern and Northern Rhodesia, which were not yet independent and are now the independent countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia respectively. He later served as Deputy Representative of SWAPO in Tanzania.
The SARDC, which is a leading regional knowledge centre and SADC partner, held its Board meeting at Mwitongo Lodge in Butiama on 29-30 June, to honour Mwalimu Nyerere, who was the Founding Patron of the institution.
Members of the Board were taken on a guided tour of the complex by Mwalimu’s son Madaraka Nyerere, who is also a member of the Board of SARDC. Highlights of the tour included the family house and personal library, the museum and the mausoleum where Mwalimu Nyerere was laid to rest in October 1999.
The Chairman laid a wreath on the grave on behalf of the Board, and planted a tree at the site.
SARDC is based at Julius K. Nyerere House in Harare, Zimbabwe, and works throughout the 16 member states of SADC. Board members are drawn from various countries and disciplines in the SADC region. The Vice Chairman is Arlindo Lopes from Mozambique.
SARDC works on a range of regional research initiatives, including Infrastructure, Energy, Industrialization, Water Resources, Gender, and issues relating to Environment and Climate. SARDC has a rich historical archive which is being digitized for online access.
Issued by the Southern African Research and Documentation (SARDC) Chairman and Board meeting in Butiama, United Republic of Tanzania.