From Goatherd to Governor. The Autobiography of Edwin Mtei
From Goatherd to Governor is Edwin Mtei's autobiography. It is a story of the journey a few Africans of his generation made, from humble beginnings to heights of success and power. Mr. Mtei was the first Governor of the Bank of Tanzania and the architect of Central Banking in Tanzania, Secretary General of the East African Community and Minister of Finance in Nyerere's Government.
Born in 1932 in Marangu, Moshi, he was brought up in a grass-thatched conical hut by his mother, a single parent; he attended 'bush' school at Ngaruma Lutheran Parish Church, and herded goats after lessons finished; he attended Old Moshi Middle and Tabora Secondary schools and went on to Makerere University College in 1953. He graduated from there with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, History and Geography in 1957. In his own words he states: "I have felt it worthwhile starting right at the beginning of my life.
In this way, I aim to give some idea as to what it was like growing up in my birthplace, Marangu, in the tribal and colonial environment of Tanganyika in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. I touch on some of the traditions and beliefs of those days and on some colonial laws that impacted on our lives and surroundings." But as he himself states: "The most interesting part of my story is that relating to the events when I held senior positions in Nyerere's Government, and in the public service generally." That includes his falling out with Mwalimu Nyerere over IMF and its policies, and his resignation from his post as Minister of Finance. For the first time he tells his side of that story.
In 1992 Mr. Mtei threw himself deep into the waters of multiparty politics. He founded Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) - the Party for Democracy and Development - and worked tirelessly to see it grow and emerge as an important party in the opposition, despite his own failure to win the parliamentary seat for Arusha Urban in the 1995 election. Even at 77 Mr. Mtei does not mince his words.
He says what he believes and says it with courage and conviction. This is history, spanning well over half a century, written by someone who was involved in and who observed closely the key events of his time. He is retired and works on his farm, Ogaden Estate, but still manages to ruffle feathers whenever he is asked to comment on the economy and politics of Tanzania and East Africa.