Julius Mwahimu Nyerere of Tanzania was exemplary leader from Africa, worthy of emulation by all and sundry. He was one of the few detribalized, sincere, and godly leaders, African continent has ever produced.
He had a humble beginning. He was born in 1922, and went through missionary school. Later in life, he became a school teacher. Nyerere had a Christian upbringing: of the Catholic denomination. His Christian life as a political leader was unique. Julius achieved a lot for the well being of his countrymen in particular; and mankind in general.
This son of Africa was first made President of Tanganyika. Years later, after the amalgamation of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, to be Tanzania, he became President of Tanzania. He gave equal opportunities to Moslems and Christians in the country, in matters of employment; participation in national or political affairs.
As well, he preached religious tolerance in his country. This accounts for peace and tranquility in Tanzania, unlike in many African countries: where religious and tribal conflicts, civil wars, were order of the day. He wasn’t a tribal leader.
During his lifetime, he strongly admonished religious leaders to live exemplary lives; preach true repentance to their members. For everyone will give account of his life and stewardship to God. He adjoined rich nations in the United Nations to be sincere in helping poor countries to fight hunger and starvation. They should help the down trodden masses. He also campaigned for cancellation of foreign debts, of poor countries. His consistent appeal yielded some results.
He voluntarily relinquished power in 1985. Even in retirement, he was appointed peacemaker to some troubled countries: like : Burundi and Congo DR. He observed the main causes of civil conflicts were: corruption, greed for power, and tribalism.
Nyerere was well versed in his knowledge of the bible; a good witness of the faith, and a missionary. He translated some scriptures of the bible into Zanaki, his native language. He wrote poetry and spiritual songs inspired by the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts of the Apostle.
Mwahimu refused to accept titles. He wanted to be addressed simply as a teacher. He lived a simple lifestyle. Of course, he endeared himself to his people as down-to-earth man; very accessible and caring. Catholic Diocese of Musoma opened a cause for Nyerere’s beatification. Tanzania Catholic eagerly awaited the Vatican’s final decision on the canonization of Julius Nyerere.
He predicted his death, and promised to pray for the people of Tanzania. He said, “I know that I shall not recover from this sickness. I am not happy to leave my Tanzanians. I know that they will mourn very much. But I shall pray for them before God. Eventually, he died in 1999, and was buried in “God’s Graveyard.” His death was a sad moment for his successor, Benjamin Mkapa and his cabinet. Of course, the entire world felt his demise. He left behind legacy of: political unity, economic stability, and religious tolerance.
And the people mourned his departure from the world, like the mourning of the death of King Josiah of Judah– the righteous man. He served God and humanity. Nobody ever accused him of siphoning the country’s money abroad, unlike many dictators and looters in power. He had no foreign account.
He was never arrested or tried for corruption or misconduct.