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11:15 am on January 26, 1967 Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the TANU
president, opened the party National Executive Committee meeting. The meeting was
a culmination to the Arusha Declaration. The declaration that brought the country
back to its basics through building a socialist nation, which observes and respects
equality of its people, a nation without exploitation of people for the benefit of a few.
In his opening speech, Mwalimu Nyerere said:
“… The National Executive Committee meeting was scheduled to be held in Tabora...
as a chairman, I must say sorry to leaders and members from Tabora because the
meeting had to be moved from there...” Minutes from the meeting continue to quote
Mwalimu Nyerere saying “In January 1958, our party held a big meeting in Tabora.
In fact, if this meeting was held in Tabora again, it would have been a very
remarkable history. It was in January 1958, four years after forming our party, we
saw it important to come up with a statement which would have given the country a
Today we are in Tabora to restore the glory that this town was denied many years ago.
We are launching Tabora Declaration as it was intended in the beginning. We are
reviving Arusha Declaration by following footsteps of sensible decisions made in
Tabora way back in 1958. Today we are issuing a statement that will shake the nation.
We are returning to socialism.
Residents of Tabora, my fellow countrymen,
Our country is faced with four major challenges:
An economy that does not produce adequate jobs neither does it address
Poor social services including education, health and water.
Fractures within the society resulting from religious and tribal sentiments that
are gradually taking roots in the country but no one wants to admit or address.
Prior to 1967 our country faced almost similar challenges except corruption, which
had also started to peep out its ugly face. The Arusha Declaration was founded as a
pillar for building a just nation. It was a national ideology geared towards nation
building on the foundations of equality to its people.
The Arusha Statement and Arusha Declaration (all of which we refer to as
Declaration) underscored Leaders’ Ethics in order to fight corruption. This explains
the absence of corruption in the period when the Arusha Declaration was being
implemented in the country. The legal parameters and norms instituted through the
Declaration countered and minimized chances of corruption. Amassing wealth from
corrupt activities was not possible because the Ethical codes and practices prevented
leaders from such.
During the 25 years of implementing Arusha Declaration, the country built a socialist
nation with equality as a basic principle. There was no any kind of segregation. It was
a nation that did not entertain tribal or religious differences to create classes amongst
In order to place the main economic pillars on the hands of the people, the
government nationalized banks, mining firms, insurance companies and other big
businesses. At the same time, the government concentrated in building industries and
factories notably for agro-processing. Those added value to the agricultural products.
They included cotton ginneries as well as textile mills. A total of 12 textile industries
were built. They created thousands of jobs for Tanzanians.
The government also established factories for processing of hides, cashewnuts
processing, sugar production as well as coffee and sisal processing among others.
The government also put up two big spare-parts making factories. As of 1978, before
the Kagera war, our country was in “take-off stage” economically.
Our founding fathers wanted to do away with the economy that produced raw
We did all this together as a nation using our own resources and money raised from
taxes or loans and grants. However, after Kagera War, the economy was hit and the
country was forced to follow conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank.
In 1750 a German economist, Johann Heinrich Gottob von Justi wrote: “all countries
which are forced to produce raw materials only will understand that they were
pushed to permanent poverty.”
The Arusha Declaration was aimed at saving the country from what Gottob von Justi
predicted. In 1992 Tanzania abandoned the Arusha Declaration principles. This was a
25 years back step. That was a mark of a process that started in 1986 after Mwalimu
Nyerere resigned from the presidency. The Arusha Declaration was sidelined and that
explains why there was no major review of the Declaration in 1987 similar to that
which was carried out in 1977. It is our responsibility to make sure that in 2017 we
celebrate 50 years of Arusha Declaration by conducting a review of 25 years of
As a party, ACT Wazalendo starts the process now by proclaiming the Tabora
Declaration, which revives the Arusha Declaration. Since 1996 leaders started to
privatize factories that were built by citizens to foreigners. Only a few individuals
benefited. We witnessed banks, which we owned together as a nation sold at throwaway prices.
In short, privatization was not only a way of placing the economy on the hands of the
foreigners, but also a ‘deindustrialization’ process. Today we do not have a single
cashew processing plant that is working despite the argument that they were
privatized in order to be developed. Tanzanians still pay for them as they were built
through loans. This also happened to textile industries as well as ginneries.
Instead of doing what other nations did to attain development, we did what we were
told to do. We forgot the famous saying “Don’t do as the English tell you to do, do as
the English did.” Only a few people know that Norway banned importation of
garments made outside that country in late 1950s. Today, Norway is exemplary
country due to their resilience in managing their natural resources. Indeed, we ought
to do what they did, and not do what we are told to do.
We implemented the Arusha Declaration for 25 years and managed to build a nation
with a lot of industries despite challenges to manage and run them. We have tried
liberal policies for almost the same period and we have ended up with a fractured
nation characterized with classes of the haves and have-nots.
It is time we return to the basics and correct the mistakes committed during the 25
years under socialism and take achievements of the 23 years under liberalization and
democracy and build a Social Democracy Nation. Tabora is the nerve center of our
country history and that is why we decided to revive Arusha Declaration in Tabora.
We must make sensible decisions. In 1958 our elders had met in a room, which we
met today and came up with hard decisions that have shaped our destiny. They were
then fighting for political independence. They made sensible decisions. The sensible
decision by TANU in Tabora in 1958 expedited the Tanganyika independence. The
leaders also agreed on three votes elections.
Sensible Tabora decision in 2015 seeks to address challenges of regaining our
nationhood by reviving the Arusha Declaration through pushing for policy changes.
The aim is to put the economy on the hands of majority of people themselves.
Earlier, we enumerated challenges facing our country.
First, we have no option but to revive Arusha Declaration so as to restore one national
ideology and plug out the any sentiments of tribalism and religious differences which
have started to take root. We have started to see religious leaders taking a center stage
in politics because there is no national ideology. There is vacuum and nature abhors
vacuum. ACT Wazalendo believes that we must return to the basics so as to save the
nation from disintegration. Religious and tribal differences will go away if the nation
sticks to one ideology. Like religion, tribalism is also an ideology.
Second, we have an economy that builds classes. Currently the economy is being
managed by only few businesspeople who are also controlling politics by directly
engaging in politics or sponsoring politicians who end up doing their job.
Tabora Declaration revives Arusha Declaration by reverting to modern socialist
economy, which focuses on increasing production and equity in distribution of
national wealth so as to reduce classes.
Third, we have poor social services as another challenge. Health and education
services are so poor. The varied provisions of these have created classes. People who
have money have opportunity to send their children to some kind of schools or
hospitals while those without enough money have to live up with poor services at
Fourth, corruption has turned out to be a national cancer where people use their
leadership posts to amass wealth. Corruption is a problem caused by public leaders.
We are reviving the Declaration for the intention of restoring public leaders’ ethics.
This will be the basis for war against corruption.
Today, we are doing what our founding fathers wanted us to do to make sure that we
restore the foundations of our nation.
Today, we are starting that work which might take long time to attain its goals. It is
possible that it is our sons and daughters or grand children who will manage to reach
these goals but we must start this work today.
That is why we have come to begin this journey in Tabora, a place where our elders
decided to speed up demand for our independence. A good decision made in Tabora is
the pillar of the Tabora Declaration that revives the Arusha Declaration. We are
starting here to return our country to the basics and bring the economy to the people.
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