Only 34 short days remain to December 9 this year, when the country (facetiously known as ‘Mainland Tanzania’/‘Tanzania Mainland’) secured what’s touted as ‘Independence’ from alien rule on December 9, 1961.
Mainland Tanzania was part of Deutsch-Ostafrika under German rule – together with Ruanda (Rwanda today), Urundi (Burundi) and Kionga-Dreieck (Triângulo de Quionga/Kionga Triangle), part of the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique today.
After Germany lost the 1914-18 World War, the country was renamed ‘Tanganyika’ – and was mandated for administration to Britain by the Geneva-based League of Nations.
Several names had been proposed for it – and rejected!
These included ‘Smutsland’ (in honour of South African General Jan Smuts); ‘Eburnea,’ (Latin for Ivory); ‘New Maryland,’ ‘Windsorland’ (in honour of the new British Royal Family name Windsor); ‘Victoria’ (after Britain’s Queen Victoria: 1837-1901); ‘Tabora,’ and ‘Kilimanjaro.’ [Iliffe, John (1979). A Modern History of Tanganyika. Cambridge University Press. p. 247. ISBN 9780521296113].
After the 1939-45 World War, the territory’s administration was entrusted by the newly-established UN to Britain, from 1946 to December 9, 1961 when Britain granted it ‘Independence’ of sorts!
This was basically the result of agitation by the movement for independence spearheaded by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (April 13, 1922-Oct. 14, 1999).
Mwalimu Nyerere had cobbled together the Tanganyika African National Union on July 7 (‘Saba-Saba’) 1954, a party that secured (political) Independence from alien rule without spilling (human) blood in the processes.
It so happened that the British Governor of Tanganyika then, Sir Richard Turnbull, was more than ordinarily cooperative in the country’s struggle for freedom and independence from British rule, under an equally understanding Queen Elizabeth-II. That was how Tanganyika – after 45 years under British rule, secured POLITICAL Independence on December 9, 1961 – with Mwalimu its first Prime Minister…
On December 9, 1962, the country became a Republic, with Mwalimu Nyerere its first President.
This was until April 26, 1964, when Tanganyika and Zanznibar formed Tanzania – with Mwalimu its first President, a position he held until he relinquished it on his own volition on November 5, 1985.
Indeed, Nyerere did play sterling roles in other areas, including securing freedom-cum-independence for Southern African countries, including Mozambique, the Rhodesias and apartheid S. Africa.
But, those are tales fit to be told another day…
As I suggested herein above: what Tanganyika/Mainland Tanzania secured from alien rule on December 9, 1961 was POLITICAL independence – missing out on the ECONOMIC side of Independence…
In My Book of Things, ‘political independence’ refers to sovereign governments that have the right to freely exercise the full range of their powers under international law. Unlike colonies, dependencies and conquered territories, politically-independent countries can legally make their own decisions about their affairs, period!
On the other hand, ‘economic independence’ gives a nation effective control over its natural, God-given resources and other wealth – and without being a beggar-bowl nation that depends on external aid/grants, donations, bribes, etc. for budgetary support.
In other words, a country without economic independence cannot be 100 percent independent – and is, therefore, only politically independent: a status which renders it dependent on external support to survive and stagger along within the comity of nations. Tears...!