Church and State in Tanzania: Aspects of Changing Relationships, 1961-1994

By Frieder Ludwig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

THE FAILURE OF THE TANZANIAN MODEL

In 1969, Julius Nyerere had expressed the fear that the admiration which Tanzania enjoyed in foreign countries and which had resulted in a romanticisation of the Ujamaa politics, could later lead to just as bitter criticism. This development occurred in the middle of the 1970s, although the first criticism was mild and the good intentions were not questioned.1 From the beginning of the 1980s, however, reports on Tanzania frequently contained an “absolutely deadly criticism of almost all aspects of Tanzanian politics.” When the conservative-liberal coalition came to power in 1982 in the Federal Republic of Germany, a fundamental change in third world politics was demanded by some politicians of the new government.2

Thus, in a meeting with the Tanzanian Foreign Minister Salim on 16 October 1983, the Permanent Parliamentary Secretary, Dr. Volkmar Kohler, presented an analysis which stressed that both parties diverged so greatly in their views on all matters concerning cooperation mat no positive result could be expected. Later Kohler made his judgement of Tanzania's politics clearer. In an article he pointed out that, although few countries in the world had received as much development aid, Tanzania still counted as one of the poorest states on earth. Kohler considered the policy of African socialism to be one of the main causes for the decline of the country:

The states economic mismanagement has allowed Tanzania to become a
barrel without a bottom. Influential circles in Europe with their blind
admiration of Nyerere have made themselves morally culpable. For a
long while no one had dared to call Nyerere's idea of “Ujamaa —vil-
lages” by its real name, that is the forcible resetdement of farmers in
socialist communal villages. Determined by historical political and eccle-
siastical connections between Germany and Tanzania there was an ex

1 Cf. Chapter 12 “Tanzanian Churches and the West” for a “mild criticism” cf.
also E. Wold, “Tanzania heute: das Ende einer Utopie? the Idee vom tanzanischen
Sozialismus”, Internationales Afrika Forum (1974/6 pp. 367–373). Wold compares
Nyereres “idealism” and his “scruples in the exercise of power” to Allende of Chile.

2 R. Hofmeier, “Zur Lage in Tansania. Anhaltende Wirtschaftskrise und
Folgerungen für die entwicklungspolitische Zusammenarbeit”, der überblick (1/1984,
pp. 56–61), p. 61.

-193-

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