Tanzanian President's Cause Is Under Way

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ROME, MAY 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The cause of beatification for Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, considered one of Africa's "fathers of the nation," is under way.



Nyerere was president of the Tanganyika African National Union and, after independence, the first president of Tanzania.

The Catholic Information Service for Africa has confirmed that the diocesan phase of the process of Nyerere's beatification has been completed.

Nyerere (1922-1999) became president in 1961, and through the Arusha Declaration of 1967 introduced a national policy of self-reliance based on a socialist model of cooperative village farms.

Critics blame his Ujamaa system for the country's past economic woes. He voluntarily relinquished power in 1985.

Bishop Justin Samba of Nyerere's home Diocese of Musoma is directing the cause of beatification, while Father Wojciech Koscielniak is the postulator and Maryknoll Father Ed Hayes the vice postulator.

Father John Civille of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, who has written a book on Nyerere, and Fathers Laurenti Magesa and Philbert Rwehumbiza are the theological censors involved in the process.

More information is available from Father Andrzej Madry, of the Musoma Diocese communications office, at madry@juasun.net.