John Magufuli, the just ex president of Tanzania was completely restructuring his home country and we’re loving it! In a continent where politicians say the opposite of what they mean to do, Magufuli is an outlier!
Here are the eight reasons why we admire this man.
1. He came from humble beginnings.
Magufuli was a former school teacher, industrial chemist and ex-minister of works. He was the son of a peasant farmer.
2. He’s shown integrity.
As the Minister of Works, he was reputed to be a no-nonsense, results-driven politician. It was while in office that he got nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for steering the program to build good roads in Tanzania. He had opportunities to make riches while he held this position, but chose not to.
3. He campaigned for the presidency on a platform of hard work.
Hard work from his previous position as a Minister. He also did pushups to show that he was fit and ready for office.
4. He kept his promises.
Since being sworn in as Tanzania’s president on November 5, John Magufuli was always cracking down on corruption and wasteful spending. This led to him losing a lot of friends. But he didn’t let that stop him from doing the good work.
5. He led by example.
Rather than doing the disappearing act, or practicing “do as I say not as I do”, he acted what he preached. Let’s give you some examples: For Tanzania’s Independence Day in 2015, rather than spend money on celebrations that would promptly have been forgotten the next day, he ordered a clean-up exercise. And he didn’t just order it, he joined in. This caused thousands of Tanzanians to come out and join as well, because if their president could do it, who are they not to?
When going to officially open parliament Magufuli didn’t go by plane, he drove all the way. He reduced the size of the presidential convoy, as well as the size of presidential delegation that travelled with him. What a guy!!!
6. He channeled Tanzania’s monetary sources to more important ventures.
Not long after assuming office, he took drastic measures to boost government coffers, which includes:
A. He put a stop to the public procurement of goods and services at inflated costs.
He declared that anyone found procuring public goods or services on inflated prices will face the music.
B. Immediate ban on foreign travels by public servants. He did this ON HIS THIRD DAY IN OFFICE!
He stated that all tasks that necessitated government officials to travel abroad should be done by the country’s high commissioners and ambassadors abroad.
C. He called on all public institutions to cut expenditure on refreshments during meetings.
Magufuli decried “unnecessary heavy refreshments” being offered at meetings and directed that lunch be served “in very rare and exceptional circumstances”, where a meeting that starts in the morning is expected to continue into the evening.
D. He issued a directive for unnecessary physical meetings to be stopped and for public servants to conduct conference calls instead.
This was to cut unnecessary costs that the government incurred from meetings and conferences held at various venues.
7. He made education free for children whose parents couldn’t afford it. A promise he made during his election campaign.
He also directed relevant authorities to sort and resolve the problems stopping the release of education loans.
8. He kept federal workers on their toes, so they don’t mess up.
He went to the federal hospital unannounced and made sure to visit all the wards, including those kept from high profile visitors like himself. After discovering the sorry state, he fired the director, the hospital board and ordered that the equipment that weren’t working to be repaired within two weeks, otherwise he would fire even the newly appointed director. The repair happened in three days!