Maj. Gen. Mrisho Sam Hagai Sarakikya was born in 1934, United Republic of Tanzania.
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.
From 1964 to 1974, he commanded the TPDF.
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.