TRIBUTEAND OBITUARY

'It is with great sadness that Iannounce to you that our beloved
father of the nation, Comrade Julius Kambarage Nyerere, isdead....'

An ddress to Tanzanians by President Benjamin Mkapa on October 14, 1999

Special to USAfricaonline.com


Dear citizens, it is with great sadness that I announce to you that our beloved father of the nation, Comrade Julius Kambarage Nyerere, is dead. Mwalimu died this morning at 10.30 Tanzanian time at St Thomas's Hospital, London, where he had been undergoing treatment for leukaemia since 24th September.

As our earlier statements have indicated, the condition of the father of the nation changed suddenly on Wednesday night, 30th September, and all his organs began to deteriorate. This caused the doctors to transfer him to the intensive care unit, where he passed away today. I know that the death of the father of the nation will shock you and sadden all Tanzanians. Many will feel anxiety. Mwalimu created the foundations of unity for our nation and struggled for it with all his strength.

Mwalimu and the late Mzee Abeid Amani Karume created the United Republic of Tanzania, by uniting the Republic of Tanganyika and the People's Republic of Zanzibar. Mwalimu gave this country fame and respect by leading national and international struggles to liberate the countries of southern Africa and making efforts to resolve political and military conflicts in independent neighbouring states. Given this remarkable leadership record there will be some citizens who will fear that the unity of the country will be jeopardised, that our union will disintegrate and our relations with neighbouring countries will be affected.

I beg you, citizens, to believe that Mwalimu succeeded in building a firm and strong foundation in all these areas. We, who inherited that unity and union, took an oath to make it everlasting and continuous. I beg you, citizens, to cooperate in paying deserved respect to the father of the nation by remaining committed to the legacy of his work, his service and his love.

Comrade citizens, as we await the body of the father of the nation, I beg you to remain calm and to maintain our solidarity, brotherhood and love at this heavy and unique moment of grief facing our country.

The father of the nation will be accorded a full state funeral. The government will issue further statements later about the reception of the body of our beloved, and about the funeral arrangements. We pray to God to rest the soul of our beloved elder in heaven.

God bless our country. God bless Africa.

Log on to THE BLACK BUSINESS JOURNAL