Is Tanzanian President John Magufuli overdoing things? When he came into power and scrapped government budget and humbled himself as a people-person we all ululated around Africa. We said he is a good example and other African leaders should learn from him. But has his people-pleasing detracted from the real issues at hand?
His office and cleaning street garbage
It differs how we see problems and how we act upon them. Is the Tanzanian President on the right track? Well, I personally think this Tanzanian President is overdoing it. Being humble, and having a people-centered approach in leadership does not necessarily mean you should stoop low. Not at all. As the highest Executive Official in Tanzania, Magufuli must be attending to other National Strategic Issues, including policy matters, not cleaning garbage in the capital city. He is leading by example, yes, but there are limits to it, given the office his persona represents.
Joined the public clean-up operation
Tanzania’s new President has joined hundreds of residents in the main city Dar es Salaam to take part in a public clean-up operation. Mr Magufuli picked up rubbish from the street outside State House as part of the scheme, which he had ordered to replace Independence Day celebrations. The move is being seen as representational of the president’s promise to tackle corruption from grass root level. Thousands of people across Tanzania are reported to have joined the clean-up.
Last month, Magufuli cancelled traditional Independence Day celebrations, which usually include a military parade and concert, saying it would be “shameful” to spend huge sums of money while the country was facing a serious cholera outbreak.
“Let us work together to keep our country, cities, homes and workplaces clean, safe and healthy,” Magufuli told a crowd of surprised onlookers as he picked up rubbish off the street.
“Tanzania has changed – this is a new Tanzania,” one resident said, on a break from cleaning up the city’s public beach.
Honestly, a president can’t spend half a day riding a bicycle for unmentionable number of kilometres to State House. How about time factor in his otherwise, always busy schedule? Back in office serious issues need his attention, including saving Tanzania from further economic collapse.
There are other African Presidents who are doing commendably well, at least in terms of addressing bread and butter issues in their respective countries. However, we haven’t seen them galloping through the capital streets riding an old fashioned bicycle. Uhuru Kenyata has so far added US$15 billion to the economy of Kenya in less than three years. The first Metro Train in Africa was just introduced in Kenya a few months ago. He is attracting investors from all over, striking key bilateral ties with economic powerhouses and tycoons. Not a single day did we see Kenyata doing it that questionable way.
Magufuli might have been the marvel of all, and different by his populist communist ideology, but he has taken it too far that we can’t help but question and doubt his Presidential credentials when it comes to issues of real State importance.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro