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World to honour Nyerere at Butiama

The founding father of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. (File photo)The founding father of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. (File photo)

TANZANIA plans to bring the rest of the world to Butiama, where the father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was laid to rest.

In a move aimed at highlighting the first country President’s role to the rest of the world, the government has branded 9th October this year as a day of ‘the world on the Father of the Nation’s grave’ which would be commemorated with a blend of activities by people from Tanzania and the rest of the world.

Briefing media in Dar es salaam, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe said the day will be called ‘dunia kwenye kaburi la baba wa Taifa’, loosely translated as the world on the Father of the Nation’s grave’

“We cant just go to Butiama alone without involving the rest of the world for which Mwalimu Nyerere did a lot.

This will illustrate how the rest of the world values the contribution of Mwalimu Nyerere,” he said. Mwalimu Nyerere is largely viewed as an iconic figure on the global stage, having played various phenomenal roles in influencing international policies both during and after his presidency.

He is also viewed as having played significant roles in peace initiatives in central, east and southern Africa.

ON Monday, Mr Membe said that on the day, aside from personalities from the rest of the world gracing the commemoration in Butiama, all Ambassadors and heads of Foreign Missions would be travelling to Butiama to commemorate the day as representatives of their countries. He said the Ministry has proposed that the day is commemorated every year.

Meanwhile, Mr Membe said Tanzania condemns killings in Palestine and asked the UN to intervene in this to stop killings. Various media report that by Monday morning, the death toll from nearly a week of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza had reached 172 -- all of them Palestinians -- with more than 1,250 wounded, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Over the weekend, Israel dropped leaflets instructing residents to leave northern areas of Gaza, where it planned to carry out strikes. But Hamas, which controls Gaza, told people to stay put. In Gaza City, where some streets are strewn with rubble, people are taking refuge in UN buildings.

More than 1,000 gathered in one school alone. Israel has so far shrugged off international calls for a cease-fire, saying it will continue the offensive as long as the militant group Hamas keeps firing rockets into its territory. And Hamas shows no sign of letting up after launching almost 1,000 rockets at Israel.

Caught in the middle are the residents of Gaza. While the Israeli attacks have killed some militants, around 70% of the fatalities were civilians, according to the United Nations.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNWRA says there are now 17,000 refugees taking shelter in 20 schools in Gaza, UNWRA said, and the airstrikes have damaged 47 of its buildings, including clinics, schools and warehouses. UNWRA called on Israel to exercise maximum restraint and precaution to avoid more casualties.