from GOATHERD to GOVERNOR:The Autobiography of EDWIN MTEI. Brief Book Review

From GOATHERD to GOVERNOR.Photo.Cover

from GOATHERD to GOVERNOR: The Autobiography of EDWIN MTEI. By Edwin Mtei.

Publisher: Mkuki na Nyota,  October 2009.

A brief book review.

This is a new book officially launched on 27th October 2009 at British Council by Reginald Mengi. It is a story well and timely written by Mtei himself, aptly titled from GOATHERD to GOVERNOR: The Autobiography of EDWIN MTEI, revealing his life from a boy who looking after his families’ goats at Marangu Moshi (sharing with his mother and sister a bed covered with dry banana stalks as a mattress) to a senior person serving as the first Governor of Bank of Tanzania, Minister of Finance and later Executive Director of IMF (based at Washington DC and probably sleeping in 5 start hotels around the world).

Mzee Mtei has done a commendable work for documenting his life and times give information about facts and situation which were not well know or clear to some if not majority. He is also making records straight. In Chapter 17: Events Leading to My Resignation, he recounts his role in negotiation between Tanzania and IMF and WB. The proposal included programme of adjustment measures and the provision of credit facility to support on balance-of-payment. Keys areas which I think were reason for differing with President Nyerere was on devaluation of Tanzania Shilling and change in ownership and or operation of publicly-owned corporation which by then were bankrupt or making loss. Mzee Mtei narrates about a courtesy visit he and negotiation team paid to Nyereres’ residential place. During the talk, Nyerere was unhappy and agitated, he thanked the IMF delegate and abruptly stood and left them standing at meeting places and walked to the beach. Mtei followed him to beach, where Nyerere told him “I will devalue the Shilling over my dead body”. After this meeting, it when Mtei realised he could not cross over Mwalimu who rejected Tanzania being ‘run’ from Washington. He decided to tender his hand-written resignation letter as it was on public holiday and no secretary to type it.

After getting the book I just read the introduction, Chapter One: My Life in Summary and due to curiosity of his resignation went to read Chapter 17 and some few chapters. He started writing the book in 2004, but due to many reasons, he had some breaks and postponing but finally it has launched and he is working on its translation to Kiswahili (which is very usefully, as many will have chance to read it).

The book is not about Mtei alone, but his times, people and social, political and economics of various historical events and trends. His commitment to write the book will contribute to their understanding and make us reflect and think more about them. Most of chapters are short and it contains allot of interesting pictures.

Though, I have just read some few chapters, but I recommend the book to everyone who wants to understand Edwin Mtei, his times and get information of his role in establishing Bank of Tanzania and CHADEMA.

In his launching speech Mr. Mengi characterized, Mzee Mtei as: honest (who calls a spade spade), person of integrity, courageous and intellectual stubborn.

This is my brief review; full book review is yet to come after finishing it, hoping it will be soon rather than later.

The book is now available at Google Books.

The book is sold by Mkuki na Nyota and at Amazon.

©Adam Jackson Foya

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Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. great mzee mtei


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