Tanzania: Nyerere Day – How ‘Black Thursdays’ Haunt Tanzania

Arusha — As Tanzanians mark the 22nd commemoration of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s death in 1999 today, some may wonder as to why Thursday has turned out to be a ‘black day’ for the Nation.

Two of the retired presidents, including the founder of the nation, Mwalimu Nyerere, and two ex-prime ministers died on a Thursday.

Tanzania was sent into grief and deep mourning when the-then President Benjamin Mkapa announced Mwalimu’s death on a Thursday, October 14, 1999.

Although Mwalimu’s condition at St Thomas Hospital in London had been critical with daily updates to the public, the announcement sent shock waves across the country.

For millions of Tanzanians, the fallen leader had become a symbol of the nation and some could not contemplate how Tanzania would be without him.

The death, according to the official announcement, happened on a Thursday, a day that the majority of Tanzanians who have been closely following national events would not easily forget.


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