President Joyce Banda on arrival Saturday afternoon from a-one-day visit in Tanzania where she attended the 50 years anniversary of the union of Tanzania said she has learnt that unity is power as the two countries of Zanzibar and Tanganyika are working together as one country of Tanzania peacefully.
Speaking on arrival at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe Banda said: “Zanzibar which was a small country and Tanganyika which was large agreed way back to be one country, and now they are working peacefully for their nation.”
President Banda expressed hope that Malawi will draw lessons from Tanzania and do well in its economy.
“We should be careful and learn from the countries that have economically gained and build our country together with unity. As you are aware this country has grown with 6 percent which really show that this country’s economy will still grow,” said President Banda.
President Banda was welcomed by Vice President Khumbo Kachali, Minister of Trade and Industry Sosten Gwengwe and Minister of Finance Dr Maxwell Mkwezalamba among others.
Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, said he was very grateful that Malawi President and about five other African leaders had attended 50th anniversary of a union government of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
The Tanzanian leader said the presence of President Banda as Malawi president and SADC Chair and other African leaders at the event showed the importance the leaders attached to the decision that was made by the founding presidents of the union government, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika and Abed Aman Karume of Zanzibar to have the two countries united.
He described the union as a “bold decision” and that its existence 50 years after it was signed was evidence to African leaders and beyond that it was possible to have union governments in Africa.
“The union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika is evidence that it is possible to have the East African Federation, and it is also evidence that it is possible to have the United States of Africa,” said Kikwete.
He said under the union government, Tanzania had registered, and continued to register, political, economic and social growth.
Kikwete said Union day is so important to his country that it only compares with Independence and Republic days.
“Tanzanians celebrate Union day to mark the bold decision of the founding fathers of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and achievements realized after the merger forming a united republic,” President Kikwete said.
The Tanzanian leader challenged leaders in African continent to work together to realize a political federation that has ‘eluded us’ for many years.
“If Tanganyika and Zanzibar succeeded in merging to form a united republic, African unity is possible”.
Among other leaders who attended the Anniversary celebrations were Pierre Mkuluziza of Burundi, Yoweli Museven of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and King Mtswati of Swaziland.
Also in attendance were Zambian Vice President, Guy Scott, and former presidents of Zambia, Rupia Banda; Namibia, Sam N’njoma; Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa; and Kenya, Mwai Kibaki.
The event was marked with a number of activities among them dances and various performances by school children, military displays, and a joint performance of the theme song by Tanzanian 50 renowned musicians.
The event attracted hundreds of thousands of Tanzanians who began trekking to Uhuru Stadium from as early as 5 O’clock (local time) in the morning and it received wide international media coverage.
According to the Articles of the Union between The People’s Republic of Zanzibar and The Republic o Tanganyika, the presidents of the two countries signed the Agreement on April 22, 1964 in Zanzibar, but it came into force on April 26, in the same year, hence the Anniversary.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :