On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Tanzania celebrated the 50th anniversary of the union between the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar that gave birth to the United Republic of Tanzania. After The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964, the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere became the first President of the new Republic, and the late Sheikh Abeid Karume, then the President of Zanzibar, became the First Vice President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council. The late Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa became the Second Vice President in charge of Government business in the National Assembly. The history of the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar is undoubtedly unique. These two States agreed to unite for the benefit of all Tanzanians.
H.E. Liberata Mulamula, the Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United States of America hosted various festivities the first of which was an open house at the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington DC, this event highlighted Tanzanian Culture and Tourism.
Present at the celebrations were guests of honor Hon. Mwigulu Nchemba, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Hon. Dr. Mwinyihaji Makame, the Minister of State of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.
Throughout the day Tanzanians and locals of Washington DC participated in food tasting, viewing of Tanzanian fashion exhibits from Tanzanian fashion designers. Tanzanian owned businesses also showcased their products in an indoor and outdoor exhibit, where an estimated 600 visitors got a taste of Tanzanian culture. Companies involved in travel, tourism, tires and electronics showcased their brands and products alongside NGOs involved in Tanzania. The day ended with performances by a traditional dance group and swahili comedian. These groups performed for the guests of honor and were introduced by a group of Tanzanian children who sang the Tanzanian national anthem.
Following the Embassy’s open day festivities was an evening guest reception, attended by some members of the diplomatic corps and various Washington area VIPs. Guests of honor Hon. Nchemba and Hon. Dr. Makame spoke to the audience concerning Tanzania’s Union, being from both sides of the union, they brought a unique perspective on how far Tanzania has come since the first day of our union on April 26, 1964. Hon. Nchemba pointed out the role key figures such as our first president Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere played in establishing the union and role later generations of leaders have played in its continuation.
Hon. Makame in speaking of the achievements our current President H.E. Jakaya M. Kikwete is committed to, spoke of constitutional reform which is currently underway and of government partnerships such as that with Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which will soon pass Compact II to spur economic growth further the development of various sectors.
Ambassador Mulamula hosted the final event of the evening, Muungano night, a dinner celebration in the city of Capitol Heights, Maryland. It was attended by the Tanzanian diaspora in the United States, and featured a key-note address by Hon. Nchemba in which he expressed his appreciation of the community’s love for their country. He also spoke more about the process of constitutional reform, being confident that the issues raised by the diaspora are taken seriously and are important for Tanzania’s future.
The night featured a performance by the singer Erica Lulakwa and poetry reading by the Chairman of the New York Tanzanian Community in New York Hajji Khamis. The after party that followed continued until the early hours of the morning.
The final event marking a conclusion to the celebration of our union was a soccer match the following day, the 27th of April 2014 at Greencastle Park in Fairland Maryland. The two teams representing mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, The Kilimanjaro stars and Zanzibar Heroes played a very entertaining match. The end score was 2 – 2 tie score which left the decision to penalty kicks. After these it was agreed that the match symbolized a joining together of our community, both teams in the end won the cup and it was handed over to Ambassador Mulamula where it now sits on display in the Embassy of Tanzania.