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The Idiosyncrasy of President Magufuli is a Blessing to Tanzania

Tanzania remains one the countries in Africa that have enjoyed relative peace and stability since independence. But for decades, the country lagged behind in terms of economic progress. It, never-the-less, continued to bask in the glory of relative national cohesion and political stability. It is only the 2015 general elections that proved one of the most divisive but the country was able to navigate through. Partly due to the personality of the current President who seems to enjoy popularity across the political divide. It is unlikely that those who did not vote for President Magufuli will have no reason to admire, part of what he has set out to do. This has helped to endear him to the people and win for him the political support across board that has since greatly helped in rallying the country together after a very excruciating political battle.

Some critical questions abound, for instance, the political unity between the islands of Zanzibar and the main land, formerly Tanganyika, but it appears that with political good will such challenges are surmountable. The religious divide beating Christians and Muslims have lingered in the history of Tanzania but some sort of political accommodation which has since allowed both Christians and Muslims to lead the country in almost equal measure seem to have worked well for Tanzania over the years.

Many have been wondering why the country took long to seize the opportunities created by relative political stability and peace to spur economic growth. Partly, this has been due to the strong convictions of the founding President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who seemed to put national cohesion ahead of economic prosperity. He believed in economic distribution hence the famous, and now failed, Ujamaa system, which some pundits have blamed for the economic slowdown in the country since independence. Nyerere also led Tanzania to get involved and extremely engaged in ensuring freedom of other African countries and emancipation of the people from the slavery imposed by post-colonial dictators like Iddi Amin Dada of Uganda. Tanzania was to be actively involved in the fight to topple Amin, for instance. This was inspired by a believe that instability in the neighbor affects your own stability.

The military and other costs of involvement in other country’s affairs, coupled with some sort of “sluggishness” created by Nyerere through Ujamaa ideology, and with some sort of coldness and indifference in policies around wealth creation, regional cooperation, international market etc Tanzania did not witness any significant strides in economic growth as would have been desired in a country that never suffered political turmoil like her counterparts in the region. But things have since changed. In the last 2 decades from the time of Benjamin Mkapa through to Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania has activated its international visibility and started to utilize its geopolitical advantage to stir economic growth. Tanzania is today a very vibrant nation with a very promising future.

Tanzania has in recent days specifically attracted regional and international attention and admiration following the election of the current President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli. The country has consistently, for the last half a year, attracted headlines after President Magufuli’s crackdown on corruption and inefficiency in public service. The President’s admiration, no doubt cuts across board (those who voted for him and those who did not), and far stretches beyond the borders of Tanzania. This has greatly helped to mollify post-election dissenting voices and create an environment where many Tanzanians seem to be more and more buying into the slogan of hapa kazi tu (here it is only work), which was President Magufuli’s. campaign slogan and one that he has since demonstrated that he is willing to abide by.

There is hope that with this new found confidence, domestically, regionally and internationally more investment will soon come into Tanzania and rapid progress is imminent. For instance, the World Bank has praised President Magufuli’s anti-corruption crusade. Now, the nation is looking towards the future. There are plans for a new port and a bid for a cross-country oil pipeline, among other projects. Nothing prevents Tanzania from scaling the economic heights.

The Idiosyncrasy of President Magufuli is a Blessing to Tanzania The Idiosyncrasy of President Magufuli is a Blessing to Tanzania Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on May 05, 2016 Rating: 5

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