Founding President of United Republic of Tanzania, committed Pan Africanist, Visionary Leader, Distinguished Freedom Fighter, Eminent Educator, Grand Orator and Illustrious Son of Africa.
Your life was one of selfless dedication to the emancipation of the African people, their traditional values and way of life.
Born in Butiama in Musoma District of Tanzania, Mwalimu-as you were fondly known in Tanzania and on the continent of
Africa-will always be remembered as a depository of deep wisdom. You believed that no African should look upon their brother or sister with indifference.
As the first elected president of your people, you gave unreserved moral and material support to Africa freedom fighters that struggled for independence.
You were one of the leaders of the frontline states that firmly supported freedom and rights in Southern Africa. At the time of Tanganyika’s independence, you said: “We will light a candle on top of Mount Kilimanjaro which will shine beyond our borders, giving hope where there is despair, love where there is hate, and dignity where before there was only humiliation.”
Mwalimu, you were a great leader who taught us that personal humility is consistent with high office, recognizing and admitting one’s mistakes is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Your political thinking and unwavering courage in the defence of freedom and the rights of the oppressed will for ever remain in the annals of world history.
In your memory, Mwalimu Nyerere, we salute Tanzania’s unreserved hospitality to countless Rwandans, in line with your belief that no African should be a refugee in another country.
Innumerable Rwandans enjoyed this Tanzanian hospitality. Alongside Tanzania’s children, our own were given access to education, health, jobs, and they were integrated into society.
Equally important, during our own struggle for liberation, Tanzania opened its doors again, and you devoted significant time and effort to achieve a peaceful conclusion to the negotiations that your country hosted. Rwanda thanks Tanzania for this unwavering support.
When the genocide of the Tutsi raged in Rwanda in 1994, many watched impassively, but you denounced the killers publicly, recognizing and calling the massacres by their true name.
You continued to provide your wise counsel in many visits with our new Government of National Unity that revived Rwanda out of total devastation.
For these and many other accomplishments, we mark our admiration and appreciation for your exemplary qualities, leadership as well as the support of the people of Tanzania.