When Tanzanians stop mourning their Pan-African hero, they will have to work hard to keep the peace he left them
Saddened by the death of their founding President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, in London on 14 October, Tanzanians face a difficult run-up to the elections due next year without his steadying influence on the political stage. With Nyerere's death too will come far more strident calls to redefine Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland (AC Vol 40 Nos 10 & 11), which Mwalimu had said, perhaps prophetically, would happen only over his 'dead body'. President Benjamin Mkapa already looks more vulnerable in his bid for the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi's endorsement of him as its flagbearer for another five-year term. Certainly, it was Nyerere's backing that clinched the CCM nomination for Mkapa in 1995 and then helped him fight off opposition challengers such as Augustine Mrema. Nyerere squashed the populist Mrema's campaign by following him around the country and making better speeches to the wananchi.
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