Educated at Tabora Government Secondary School, where so many of Tanzania’s leaders were sent. He joined the King's African Rifles in 1958 and was chosen to go to Sandhurst, returning to be commissioned into the King’s African Rifles on December 9, 1961.
His big chance came in 1964 while still only a captain. When the Tanzanian mutiny occurred he was in Tabora and remained loyal to President Nyerere. The British army commander was dismissed following the troubles and of the two other senior Tanzanian officers also captains one was detained and one sacked. Sarakikya was then given com-mand of the army.
Since the army mutiny of 1964 the government has sought to integrate the military forces into the party structure and Edward Sokoine, a fellow Masai and Minister of Defence, spoke in June 1972 of the need for a wall of defence villages along the Tanzania border, and of the build-up of the people’s militia; the armed forces total some 10,000 men. All training is done by the Chinese, but they arc limited to tank and infantry instructors, and none are in the Army Staff Headquarters. There is no Tanzanian Air Force.
The Tanzanian armed forces were engaged in a scries of skirmishes with Uganda along the border in the autumn of 1971, but were not involved in the abortive invasion of Uganda in September 1972.
A typical silent soldier: intensely loyal, with a proven record of bravery, he is modest about his personal achieve ments. More interested in sport, athletics and mountaineering, he thinks that politics should be left to the politicians but he is committed to, and seems quite content with, the situation where the forces are trained by the Chinese. He is conscious of his role as a leader of a people’s defence force and its non-military value in building a socialist society.