Short Comings / Failures of The Ujamaa Policy

  1. Ujamaa policy failed to observe complete or total democracy in Tanzania especially in the process of its implementation. This was because the policy forced Tanzanian people to belong to one political party the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), they were forcefully moved from their ancestral lands inti the Ujamaa villages to create room for the villages, they were also forced to work on the communal farms for a given number of hours daily which was a violation of democratic principles.
  2. The policy failed to uplift the standards of living of the population in the Ujamaa villages. This was because the Ujamaa villages were overcrowded and lacked the basic necessities of life like adequate clean water, shelter, food, sanitation facilities and this led to rapid spread of communicable diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery among others that claimed the lives of Tanzanians and uplifted their standards of living.
  3. The policy failed to eliminate income inequality among the Tanzanians. Much as the policy tried to reduce inequality through progressive taxation, it failed to eradicate it because workers in state enterprises and other government officials misused state funds and accumulated personal wealth that they used to set up private enterprises and became richer than ordinary people thus widening the income inequality gap among the population.
  4. The Ujamaa policy also failed to eliminate neo-colonialism from Tanzania in the long run. Much as the policy encouraged Tanzania’s development using her own resources, they failed to achieve because from 1982 onwards Nyerere’s government started negotiating for loans and foreign aid from the world bank and USA to finance his government projects particularly increasing food supply to the population and this exposed Tanzania to neo-colonial control and domination.
  5. The policy further failed to wipe out corruption from the Tanzanian society and state enterprises. Despite the strict leadership code emphasized by the policy, some employees in the state the enterprises favoured their own relatives, tribemates and close friends during delivery of services like distribution of food and other scarce commodities to the population within the Ujamaa villages.
  6. The policy failed to achieve complete self- reliance for Tanzania in the long run even in terms of food supply. Much as Tanzania was initially self-reliant in terms of food production, by 1982 Tanzania started importing food particularly maize from neighbouring countries like Uganda to meet domestic demands because of a decline in food production resulting from over cropping in the communal farms that led to loss of soil fertility.
  7. The socialist policy in Tanzania also failed to put in place an independent political ideology for Tanzania by 1985 when it was abandoned.  This was because although the policy aimed at promoting socialism, capitalism continued existing in Tanzania through the co-existence of private enterprise alongside the public ones and hence by 1985 Tanzania had no clear ideology because it was almost following or practicing a mixed economic system.
  8. The policy also registered some failures in the field of Education whereby it concentrated on primary and adult education and ignored higher or University education. This led to the shortage or scarcity of highly skilled graduates and professionals to manage or run the key sectors of the economy and this retarded the economic growth of Tanzania.
  9. The policy also concentrated on the development of the agricultural sector and ignored large scale industrialisation and this worsened the unemployment problem in Tanzania. The policy had concentrated on agriculture that required limited capital investment compared to industrialisation but the sector could not offer adequate employment opportunities to the masses.
  10. The policy failed to give Tanzanians security of tenure or ownership of land because according to this policy all the land in Tanzania belonged to the government that had the powers and rights to displace people from any land to give way for a government project and this denied the population security of ownership of land that made them to oppose the policy.
  11. The policy also failed to control/stop the destruction of lots of property by the government during the implementation of the policy. For example, people were forcefully evicted from their homes to the Ujamaa villages and their property like buildings, plantations or crops, livestock and household items were destroyed to create room for communal farms and Ujamaa villages.
  12. The policy also promoted environmental devastation and deforestation in Tanzania. This is because during the implementation of the policy large tracts of forests and bushes were cleared or cut down in order to create land for agriculture and settlement and this led to environmental degradation and disruption of the ecosystem witnessed by reduction in the amount of rainfall in the country.

Guiding Questions:

  1. To what extent was the Ujamaa policy in Tanzania successful?
  2. Assess the impact of the 1967 Arusha Declaration on the people of Tanzania                             
  3. Account for the adoption of African socialism in Tanzania after 1967
  4. Assess the achievements of the Ujamaa policy in Tanzania between 1967 – 1985.