Suluhu Praises Mwinyi’s Democratic Credentials At State Funeral In Zanzibar

Written by on March 2, 2024

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu has hailed the late President Ali Hassan Mwinyi for his pivotal role in steering Tanzania towards multi-party politics and expanding democratic freedoms in the East African nation.

President Suluhu who led the nation in paying last respects to the late Mwinyi, who died Thursday aged 98, also praised him for heralding a digital age and championing the independence of the media in the once deeply conservative country.

She hailed Mwinyi’s leadership for recalibrating the country from the socialist Ujamaa policies of his predecessor, the late President Julius Nyerere, towards a more open and democratic society.

“Mzee Mwinyi led Tanzania diligently after taking over the leadership role, safeguarding human rights while embracing differing viewpoints from the government of the day,” Suluhu said on Saturday during the State Funeral at Zanzibar’s Amaan Stadium.

“He allowed independent media, including radio and television stations, to flourish without hindrance, and empowered the citizenry to keep the government in check.”

President Suluhu further lauded Mwinyi, fondly known as Mzee Rukhsa, for his pivotal role in advocating for democratic governance, earning him the moniker “the father of democracy.”

She added that the actions of Mwinyi who served as Tanzania’s second president from 1985 to 1995, earned him an enviable reputation.

Recalibrating Tanzania

Suluhu also celebrated Mwinyi for re-opening Tanzania’s border, lifting restrictions on imports which allowed cross-border trade and encouraged foreign investors to invest in the country.

“For the first time private telephone companies were able to invest in Tanzania, including Mobitel,” she added.

Additionally, President Suluhu credited Mwinyi for his significant contribution to the re-establishment and advancement of the East African Community, underscoring his enduring legacy in regional integration efforts.

The President attributed the reforms initiated by the late Mwinyi to the progress witnessed by successive governments in propelling Tanzania towards development.

Following his death at Mzena Hospital on February 29, President Suluhu announced seven days of national mourning to commemorate Mwinyi’s life and legacy.

Tanzania will fly the national flag at half-mast during the moruning period.

Mwinyi who was born in Kivure village, Pwani region, in 1925, succeeded President Julius Nyerere who died in October 1999.

Before assuming the presidency, he held notable positions, including Interior Minister and Vice President.

He also chaired the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), from 1990 to 1996.

Mwinyi will be laid to rest at Mangapwani village in Unguja Highland on Saturday.

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