By Mnyore Joseph
The Nyerere of Arusha
The philosophy of a strong follower of Mwalimu
He who develops a nation develops his mind. Whoever thinks more than his stomach is worth being mentioned in public. This is the reason why Mwalimu Nyerere, J.K deserves all the praises in the world. He made the nation enjoy what he fought for, freedom. So many people believe that we can’t have Nyerere now. Nyerere died, but some of his philosophies are still alive. Whoever follows his ideologies deserves being the Nyerere of today. Nyerere’s philosophy was built on socialism, Ujamaa. He was the best educator until his name; “Mwalimu” remained as a mark. Here is someone who borrowed a leaf from our founding father and is using it as far as he can. Here is someone who has taken Arusha far, here is a simple man who deserves some recognitions; here is His Worship, the former mayor of Arusha, LAWRENCE HEDDI. I am interested in looking at the philosophical life and achievements of Mr. Heddi.
A man who uses his mind and not his stomach to think always fits well in a society. According to Nyerere, “It is now time that we looked again at the justification for a poor society like ours spending almost 20 per cent of its Government revenues on providing education for its children and young people, and began to consider what that education should be doing. For in our circumstances it is impossible to devote Shs. 147,330,000/- every year to education for some of our children (while others go without) unless its result has a proportionate relevance, to the society we are trying to create.” It’s as if these words entered the mind of Mr. Heddi. During his time, this believer in God constructed several schools in Arusha including The Suye Secondary school, and Kimaseki Secondary school. His philosophy was, and still is based on education. He said, “Educate your child as far as h/she wants, and God will always consider you worthy.”
The Arusha times of March 8 - 14, 2008 announced that, “The Arusha municipal council this year (2008) completed 92 percent of classrooms construction work in new and old secondary schools within its administrative area.” This was one of the very few years that such a thing happened. It was through the hard work of His worship, Mr. Heddi. The classes that were constructed during this year included Sorenyi secondary school and City secondary school based in Block G. Each had eight classrooms completed and 10 other classrooms were built at Sombetini secondary school. Old schools that got new classrooms were: Njiro secondary school - eight classrooms; Ngarenaro - six; Kinana - two; and Themi - five. Others were; Arusha Day - two classrooms; Olorien - two; Baraa - four and Daraja Mbili - seven classrooms. All the work was achieved at the cost of Tsh.937,184,275 of which Tsh.154,062,000 was capital grants.
Nyerere believed that corruption if not addressed would disintegrate the Tanzanian nation. In 2008, Heddi warned the residents of Arusha against some corrupt individuals who were out to misuse the government for financial gain. This was when Arusha was bracing for city status to expand its planned residential boundaries southwards to cover two wards of Terrat and Mkonoo. He realized that there was a syndicate of alleged corrupt municipal officials and con artists who were going around collecting money from residents and businessmen promising them plots in Terrat and Mkonoo.
Even though he is a former mayor, Heddi is still convinced of building Arusha. He is convinced of working hard to ensure that the people of Arusha don’t suffer in rapport to poverty and education. He is convinced that the Ujamaa philosophy of Nyerere is still one of the best philosophies that a nation should maintain with just some few amendments. “If guided well, and with good people, the nation will be the best place to live.”
The political proverb, which is almost like the educational one, applies to Heddi’s political life; once a politician, always a politician. He has not left politics yet, but he is making wider consultations which will allow him to look for a bigger thing for the good of the people.