What Mwalimu Nyerere said after 1970 election landslide

Friday March 20 2020

Founding President of Tanzania Mwalimu Julius

Founding President of Tanzania Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere greats government leaders in the early years of independence. Photo | file 

By William Shao @The CitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was, on November 5, 1970, declared the winner of the October 30, 1970 presidential election and was sworn-in as President of the United Republic of Tanzania for another five year term from 1970 to 1975.

Then director of the elections, Yasin Osman, announced that the number of registered voters in the election was 5,051,938.

According to the Nationalist Freedom and Unity newspaper issue no.2,035 of Thursday, November 5, 1970, those who turned up to vote were, however, 3,649,789.

Osman, at the Arnautoglu Hall in Dar es Salaam, announced to reporters that votes of NO to Mwalimu Nyerere were equivalent to three per cent of total votes.

Shortly after the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa had declared Mwalimu Nyerere the winner of the presidential election, elders of the Tanu party in Dar es Salaam Region, bestowed Mwalimu Nyerere with a traditional attire while leaders of Tanu’s Women Wing garlanded him with flowers.

In his short address of appreciation, Mwalimu Nyerere said the votes of YES that he garnered in the polls were “the votes of faith” to his government and that the election results were a landslide victory to him.


He thanked the voters for turning up to vote in large numbers, saying they fulfilled their democratic right of voting for or against government leaders of their choice.

“We hold elections as a matter of necessity because true power comes from the people,” said Mwalimu Nyerere.

Mwalimu Nyerere made a comparison between elections held in a multiparty system and those held in a single party system. He noted that during the multiparty system many Tanu candidates were elected unopposed, while since the introduction of single party system competition in elections had increase as Tanu fronted two candidates in the ballot.

“I would also like to thank all those who cast their votes of NO to me. This helps us to discover where we erred so that we can correct ourselves,” said Mwalimu Nyerere.

One of the constituencies where Mwalimu Nyerere got many votes of NO to him included that of Busega in Mwanza Region (Busega is now a constituency in Simiyu Region), where he got 4,092 votes of NO.

Hanang is another constituency, where Mwalimu Nyerere got many votes of NO as he collected 3,487 votes.

Mwalimu Nyerere was sworn-in by then Chief Justice of Tanzania Philip Telford Georges in a ceremony held at the State House grounds in Dar es Salaam.

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people including the first vice president Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume; the second vice president Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa and representatives from different countries of the world, religious leaders, diplomats and various leaders of Tanu and Afro-Shiraz parties.

His swearing-in was preceded by the announcement of the presidential election results.

The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa, was the one who announced the results at the Arnautoglu Hall in Dar es Salaam Region in the presence of President Nyeree and other leaders.

Prayers were said at the grounds, where Sheikh Nassor bin Juma Barwani started by reading some verses from the Holy Koran and he wished President Nyerere a prosperous life.

To say prayers, the First Bishop of the Anglican Church, Diocese of Dar es Salaam John Mhina Sepeku, followed.

Bishop Sepeku was followed by Cardinal Laurean Rugambwa of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the first cardinal from the south of the Sahara.

A new parliament that was chosen in October 1970 was planned to start its sittings on November 19, 1970 in Dar es Salaam.

Its first job was to obtain Speaker of Parliament and Deputy Speaker, whereby the Speaker would swear-in Members of Parliament.

One of the ten MPs nominated by the president was Dr Wilbert Kumalija Chagula, who was later appointed minister for Water Development and Electricity.

Another MP nominated by the president was Jacob Dickson Namfua, who was appointed minister for Information and Broadcasting.

A lot of congratulatory messages from other leaders of African countries poured in at State House in Dar es Salaam.

The first congratulatory message came from Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda followed by that of Ugandan president Milton Obote, that of Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and that of President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea.

Other congratulatory messages came from President Seretse Goitsebeng Khama of Botswana, President Jean-Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic, and President Richard Nixon of the US and the Chairman of the National Council of German Federal Republic, Walter Ulbricht.

The other leaders, who sent their congratulatory messages, include King Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Anwar el Sadat of the United Republic of Arab states, Leopold Senghor of Senegal, Michel Micombero of Burundi and Amilcar Cabral of Guinea Bissau.

Shortly after the president took the oath of allegiance, his flag was raised and the National Anthem was played.

Thereafter, President Nyerere stepped down from the podium, got into his car and was driven to State House while being escorted by the Chief of Defence and Security Forces, Major General Mrisho Sam Hagai Sarakikya and Inspector General of Police Hamza Aziz.

President Nyerere entered his office, wherein he announced his Cabinet that he swore-in the following day of November 6, 1970.

The ministers who were appointed include Derek Bryceson, ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; Amir Jamal, Finance ministry; Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, ministry of Economic Affairs and Development Planning and Paul Bomani, ministry of Trade and Industry.

The other ministers, who were appointed on the day include Job Lusinde, ministry of Communications and Transport; John Mhaville, ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development; Saidi Maswanya, ministry of Home Affairs; Lawi Sijaona, ministry of Health and Social Welfare; Jacob Namfua, ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Sheikh Hasnu Makame, ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.

The appointed Cabinet also included Chediel Mgonja, ministry of Education; Wilbert Chagula, ministry of Water Development and Electricity; Peter Kisumo, minister of State, Regional Administration and Rural Development; Israel Elinawinga, minister of State, Foreign Affairs and Mark Bomani, Attorney General.

In the swearing-in ceremony for the ministers, newly appointed permanent secretaries were also swore-in including Julius Sepeku (ministry of Information and Broadcasting) and Frederick Lwegarulila (ministry of Water Development and Electricity).

Also on the list of the sworn-in permanent secretaries was Godfriend Kileo (ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.

The appointments of the three secretaries general took effect on November 5, on the same day of the swearing-in of President Julius Nyerere.

One of those who were swept by the changes was Ernest Abel Mulokozi, who was moved to the ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning.

His position at the ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives was filled by Timothy Apiyo.

Eliel Paul Mwaluko took the position of Apiyo at the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development while Obed Mbogo was shifted to the ministry of Trade and Industry.

Daniel Narcis Mtonga Mloka, who had been the permanent secretary at the ministry of Information and Tourism since 1969, was shifted to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, other permanent secretaries remained at their ministries..