Diplomatist Special Report - Tanzania Tanzania 2018 - Page 26

Transforming lives in Tanzania, the John Magufuli way By DR. HASSAN ABBASI* I must admit that any invitation I get to provide an assessment of the transformation we have delivered in the two years of President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania presents a daunting task, but its worth a try. President John Pombe Magufuli was sworn in November 2015 and immediately unveiled his major agenda - governance reforms and enhancement of the economy through industrialisation policy. On the governance front, he inherited a country where despite commendable efforts of his predecessors, many challenges continued to persist, corruption and embezzlement of funds primary among these. He then waged war against corruption by establishing an anti-graft court and ushered in a new tradition of governance in the country, taking prompt action to dismiss from offi ce any dishonest public offi cial; he even took some of them to courts of law in a nation-wide drive christened as “lancing the boils”. 2 6 •TANZANIA 26 •T TA •TA • T A NZ NZA N Z A N ZA NI IA NIA I A Moreover, the President’s efforts did not spare out lavish government spending; within his first 100 days in offi ce, President Magufuli announced a cut down on government spending by reducing unnecessary foreign trips and prohibiting unnecessary seminars, workshops, and symposia. In December 2015, he cancelled what would have been his fi rst celebration of the National Independence Day, and instead directed the money meant for stadium parades and traditional dances towards rehabilitating a section of a Dar es Salaam suburb road. He spent the day cleaning environment at a market close to his offi ce in a campaign that was supported by many of his people. He did the same in April 2016 when he channeled funds set for the Union Celebrations to upgrade the Mwanza-Airport road. In Tanzania today, every public servant (and indeed even some in private sectors) are designing their own creative