The story about John 'Pombe' Magufuli, the new president of Tanzania

Meet JOHN POMBE MAGUFULI President of Tanzania, a darling ruler that Most African Countries desire to have as their leader
Cameroon Concord, June 26th 2016  

There is disbelief in Tanzania and East Africa in general as new elected President John Pombe Magufuli breaks with the past - introducing policies which a growing base of displeased elites are angrily branding as "arrogance" and a creepy Dictator. However as the First Action leader has been branded with slogans like '' what would Magufuli do?'' he is created a lot of followers and lovers especially on social media who rather find his decisions relevant but hostile and quick. His efforts to sweep out wasteful government spending, root out corruption and discipline lazy public servants seem unfazed. During the period he has sacked dozens of senior public officials for things like refusing receiving government’s salary.

The son of a peasant farmer, John Pombe Magufuli won the election to become Tanzania's next president on his 56th birthday, so it was the perfect gift for him. With the backing of the formidable CCM machinery, Mr Magufuli won the 29 October poll with 58% of the votes to Mr Lowassa's 40% in a fiercely contested election. As works minister in the outgoing government, he was reputed to be a no-nonsense, resultsdriven politician. The 56-year-old is a former school teacher, industrial chemist and outgoing works minister, Nicknamed "The Bulldozer" A devout Catholic with a corruption-free reputation,Performed push-ups on the campaign trail to prove he was fit,Pledged to end power shortages and exploit Tanzania's natural gas discoveries. 

Magufuli was inaugurated on November 5 2015, Just a day after his swearing in, Magufuli made a surprise visit to the Finance Ministry and was shocked to notice that most workers had not reported to work.The President was only beginning to witness inefficiency on an industrial scale. At the finance ministry, Magufuli found literally thousands of requests for foreign travel. For a man who had travelled abroad only six times for the 20 years he had been minister, it was a shocker.In another change of act, Magufuli ordered a ban on foreign travel for ministers and all government officials in order to save costs. All international invitations will be handled by Tanzania's diplomatic missions.

The first Shocker in President Magufuli's trove of surprises was the suspension of the December 9th independence day celebrations and slashed the budget for a state banquet by 70% to mark the official opening of parliament. The president instead decreed that on that day everybody should pick up their tools and clean their backyards. There will always be national cleaning on Independence Day 2015 which has always been celebrated in pomp and style since 1961 when the Tanzania got freedom from the British. The president went on to order for purchase of beds and restocking Tanzania's biggest public hospital where he made surprise visit only to find patients on the floor and fired the board of the country’s biggest hospital. Many complained of not seeing doctors for days. He ordered to use the Millions of Money that was meant for the independence day celebrations to be used to buy hospital beds and Medicines and refurbish hospitals. They immediately purchased more than 300 beds for critical hospitals and refurbished around 15 hospitals in a period of 2 months.

The President reportedly demanded that his presence and that of his prime minister be limited to less than 30mins. Magufuli reportedly also told parliamentary leaders that the people of Tanzania want him to solve their problems, and not him making Empty speeches. That speeches can not provide infrastructure, or buy hospital medicine or stop corruption but ACTION can.

He also banned Brookside milk collection, a Company owned by the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyata, and directed that all milk produced must be processed locally. He Blasted Uhuru, and stopped Brookside Dairy from exploiting Tanzanians. He claimed it was not fair for Brookside Dairy Limited to collect milk from Tanzania, process it in Kenya and then sell back to them.

Another shocker came in when Magufuli cancelled this year’s Union Day celebrations, celebrated every April 26. Instead he recommended road construction with the funds that were set aside for the celebrations. The cancelation of two national holidays as cost-cutting measures is Magufuli’s rushed attempt to finally deliver on president Julius Nyerere’s vision of self-reliance, accountability and good governance for his country.

He also issued an order directing all foreigners, with or without work permits, to relinquish their jobs to the Tanzanians.The exercise which is dubbed ‘Oparesheni Timua’ was launched in January and it will see Tanzanian immigration officials carry out door to door workplace raids to hunt ‘foreigners’ doing business in Tanzania. its’ main aim was to reduce the number of visitors doing jobs that can be done by the natives. Those who have been greatly affected by this operation are Kenyan teachers working in private schools in Tanzania. Kenyans On Twitter (KOT) have since retaliated by asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to deport all Tanzanians who are working in the country. Only 680 foreigners have work permits, according to the country's immigration department and only 66 have applied for residence permits. The rest must leave the country with immediate effect.

He fired Edward Hosea, the Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) as a move towards strengthening the country’s anti-corruption body after years of disappointingly slow responses to corruption. He also chided the judiciary for failing to play its part in the anti-graft war, offering a carrot to those judges who have done their jobs diligently. Addressing a contractors’ registration board meeting in Dar es Salam, President Magufuli declared, “If you see people wondering, it is because they are used to business as usual. They thought I will be part of them. Never! Not me! I better give up the presidency and return to the village than being a President and entertain the rot that is in this country. I am saying never.” If fighting corruption makes Magufuli a mad dictator, Africa needs more mad dictators at the helm. 

The claim that fighting corruption affects economic development for whatever reason is fallacious. Economic indications show there is confidence in the administration and Tanzania’s investment climate remains favourable. Any allegations to the contrary are malicious and shallow propaganda. He went ahead and recited a litany of ills he found in government, which necessitate his style, including tax evasion, theft at the Dar es Salaam Port, ghost workers and massive swindling at the National Identification Authority (Nida).

Magufuli ordered a ban on ministries, government departments and agencies (MDAs) holding conferences and other meetings in privately-run establishments., instead, the use of ministries' boardrooms and publicly owned facilities as part of instituting financial discipline and cutting costs of running the government a decision that has already started biting, with hotel owners contemplating their next move.

Magufuli sacked the Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Kitwanga for attending parliament session drunk. Mr Kitwanga was dismissed on Friday night for allegedly being drunk in Parliament. He becomes the first cabinet minister to be sacked by President Magufuli since he formed his new government in December last year. "There are rules and regulations in the public service that prohibit workers from drinking alcohol and getting drunk during working hours. Civil servants must have a clear mind to be able to perform government duties properly," It further pointed out that there was a question, which Mr Kitwanga could not respond to properly because he was staggering and stinking. Magufuli fired him there and then.

Magufuli picks another good fight – this time to cut traffic jams in Dar es Salaam by 80% that has been costing Tanzania According to last 2015 statistics, Dar es Salaam loses nearly $188 million to traffic congestion annually. The plans, the Tanzanian president said, included heavy investments towards the construction of roads and railways in the capital of over 5 million people. Magufuli said the government had already allocated $500 million in the next financial year to upgrade the central railway line to standard gauge.

Although most Tanzanians have been yearning for a ‘tough president’ to fix the country, some leading opposition leaders in the country say the Magufuli administration has already displayed some authoritarian tendencies, pointing to the banning of a weekly tabloid, halting of live television broadcasts of full parliamentary sessions, and demolitions of illegally-built houses countrywide,” the failure to restart the constitutional reform process; and the lingering political crisis in Zanzibar, where the general election was annulled in suspicious circumstances.

Constitutional reforms would solve the controversy over the mainland’s relationship with the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago. They would also promote the drive for good governance and accountability that Magufuli is championing. He is likely to succeed with these reforms if he undertakes them now while he is still popular among Tanzanians.

President John Magufuli has been a darling of ordinary Africans and he has massive support throughout the continent and better yet, in his own Tanzania. He is seen as the saviour of the poor, the one man who has given himself to the fight against the corrupt systems of governance that the continent was now used to. That he comes from CCM, a party not particularly famous for being democratic and prudent in its dealings only makes him more remarkable. This is the party that the Economist called “thuggish and undemocratic” yet Magufuli rises against all odds to become the one man who is pruning the Tanzanian system of destructive elements. It therefore comes as a shocker that he would have to defend himself against the charge of being a mad dictator. In response to these allegations, President Magufuli said, “I have decided that this country will move ahead, and it will move ahead. The measures I’m taking are aimed at saving this country. I’m not a madman or a dictator…there are bizarre things going on in the government which I cannot tolerate…I must take action.”

“To public servants I say again, we must change. There is no short-cut. No one will survive thinking this is a temporary situation. This is permanent. It is permanent and unchangeable. We must continue with the same spirit to bring back Tanzania’s lost prestige. Of recent, many investors have been trooping to the country, which even encouraged me to double my efforts. You voted for me to so that I deliver for you. You did not vote for me so that I join the corrupt club. This is our country. We were born here. We will die here.” Magufuli quoted recently.

Revolution in Tanzania

[December 14, 2015]
Tanzania is hot today! JPM, as president Magufuli is called, is turning the country around, making an end to all kinds of corruption and power abuse. Read about the developments in this calender! 
GoTanzania will update regularly!!

Nov 7th 2015

New president Magufuli in charge


New female Vice President Samia Saluhu Hassan attracted many voters. Her key promise is to bring clean drinking water.

Nov 8th

All foreign travels cancelled from civil servants; Also all governmental hardtops will be replaced with smaller ones off Jan 2016

Nov 9th

Surprise visit to TRA from Magifuli; 10 civil servants appeared not to be at work

Nov 10th

Surprise visit at main hospital, directors were dismissed and hospital organized next day a start of a "clean up"

Nov 11th

Police officer dismissed; Facebook movie from him demanding and getting bribe in Tanga went viral and the officer was dismissed.


Nigerian Drug baron and pastor arrested living in Tanzania

Nov 13th

New rule to close pharmacists just outside hospitals and to bring more pharmacist in the hospitals and to

Nov 13th

Parents arrested from 14 year old girl for marrying paying 11 cows for dowry. Also headmaster who was bribed 0.5 million Tzs to get her of the register of the school

Nov 14th

Bank of Tanzania adapts ban on foreign travel


Kenyan president loosing support in polls over corruption

Nov 16th

Kenyan president is losing support in polls over corruption

Nov 16th

Magufuli orders reinvestigation in an 7 year old murder case were evidences were vanished.

Nov 17th

TASAF executive officers found guilty on fraud with funds for the poor

Nov 18th

Massive demolishing of illegal structures on public land started in Dar. (note: what is missing here is a kind of support for the affected people)

Nov 19th

274 contracts from firms who were privatized in 2012 are reviewed

Nov 20th

Gifts which were given to MP's were confiscated and transferred to the main hospital to cover costs for improvement

Nov 20th

The election promise is renewed to establish a special court that will squarely deal with corrupt public officials who were making life difficult for most of poor Tanzanian.

Nov 20th

Any public servant that will be implicated in corrupt deals will be sacked even before being prosecuted in the special court.

Nov 20th

There will be free education from primary to secondary school beginning January 2016.

Nov 20th

Going to officially open parliament President Magufuli didn’t go by plane, drove the whole 600 km from Dar to Dodoma and reduced the size of the presidential convoy, and the size of presidential delegation that travels with him

Nov 21th

Instead of a 50 person delegation to a common wealth meeting only 4 persons were allowed to go.

Nov 21th

No more 1st class and business class travel for all officials except President, Vice, and Prime Minister.

Nov 21th

No more workshops and seminars in expensive hotels when their so many ministry board rooms available. It appeared to be a major setback for the  hospitality industry (Dar-Bagamoyo) which is mainly owned by civil servants. (note: Also former president Kikwete established a huge conference centre in his hometown Bagamoyo and which should provide him with income after his presidency)

Nov 21th

No more sitting allowances, that also applies to MP’s.

Nov 21th

Many promises in inauguration speech Magifuli

The days of the corrupt and lazy bureaucrats are numbered.

Alarm bells must be ringing in the executive suites of national power company TANSECO, Tanzania Railways including TAZARA, the Tanzania Revenue Authority, and notably Air Tanzania The president’s assertion that he will give those four parastatals “special attention"

Nov 21th

President Magufuli chose a new Prime Minister Majaliwa we haven’t heard of before, a guy with reputation for hard work and no corruption all the big guys we expected could be PM have been let wondering what hit them.

Nov 22th

Magufuli administration is set to completely overhaul the running of Tanzania

Nov 24th

Instead of an independence party the money is spent for "clean-up" activities to prevent Cholera and other.

Nov 24th

Tanesco forms taskforce to trace an disconnect all illegal connections.

Nov 25th

In appeared that in general 48% of the income from civil servants came from their salary and 52% from sitting allowances. Many meetings were organized far from the office and abroad and seen as a paid holiday.

Nov 26th

31 containers with illegal logs for China were confiscated ar DAR airport.

Nov 26th

6 civil servants were put in custody since they were too late in a meeting

Nov 26th

After a visit to the harbour from prime minister Majaliwa 6 officials including the general commissioner of the TRA are suspended over a graft where 327 containers disappeared (went outside the customs leaving $40 mil tax unpaid) from inland stores. The civil servants were arrested waiting for investigation on their assets if they correspondent with their salary. Other sources were mentioning that also a big industrial from Azam is involved and that also a sun of Kikwete is arrested in this matter.

Nov 27th

A cross-section of analysts and academicians yesterday advised President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli to ‘overhaul’ the existing system of government, in order to improve performance in the government and to increase revenues and decrease the donor dependency syndrome.

Nov 28th

Another 3 TRA officials dismissed for container case.

Nov 29th

New concept "Rwandanisation" introduced as being the process to a durable economics and better wealth for everyone.

Nov 30th

Unknown sources are telling that Magufuli closed the "ministry for food" which was established by the former president Kikwete and which supplied food for the president and his guests.

Dec 1th

$6 million appeared to be paid as consultancy fee to civil servants who arranged a $600 million loan from the Standard bank to the government.

Dec 2th

Announced that the current system lacks accountability thus the President is trying to establish a new one that will see all public servants accountable. T’S time up for the local private sector to complain  against lack of government support to become productive and control the economy

Dec 3th

President John Magufuli asked country’s financial institutions to

focus on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so that that they 

can grow economically.

Dec 4th

After a renewed visit to the port new reports show that not just 340, but more than 2,300 containers have been cleared without tax payment since March 2014. Unknown sources say another big businessman who is involved in this container scandal by name of Patel escaped to India.

Dec 4th

On district level many "empty" projects like building roads are found which are in reports but actually not done

Dec 4th

Investigation with a TRA official involved in the container scandal learned that he had 73 houses and a bunch of buckets filled with millions of cash money

Dec 5th

7 officials from Tanesco are dismissed

Dec 7th

JPM has sacked the head of Tanzania's ports authority and the top official in the transport ministry, part of a campaign to root out corruption and inefficiency.

Dec 8th

During a visit to a cement factory in Tanga Magufuli announced to cut the cement price with 60% to encourage building activities. Also a rope factory is visited to see why they were not producing anymore.

Dec 9th

Cleaning day instead of Liberation parties. Many activities in the whole country and leaders calling around to encourage people to take part.

Dec 9th

The ruling party CCM is happy with the ethical drive of JPM and declared full support for the new head of state.

Dec 10th

According to a study of the World bank an annual $ 157 million government revenues disappeared at Dar port by corruption cartels.

Dec 11th

Tanzania: Govt Draws Up Rules for Private Operators On Railway Service (earlier this was blocked by MP's and ministers who owned truck and bus companies)

Dec 11th

1400 NGO's are closed and another 1400 have to prove within 2 weeks they are doing something that matters. (general is known that those NGO's are misused to get AID funds for private use)



This is Africa: 'No more Christmas for Tanzania – Hapa Kazi tu!'

[December 10, 2015] 
Last week #WhatWouldMagufuliDo was trending on twitter as people, inspired by the frugal and conscientious leadership of Tanzania’s new president, John Pompe Magufuli, created memes in which they forego expensive options for more economic ones.

In many ways it is another new dawn for Tanzania, reminiscent of the days of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s founding president, a man famed for his spendthrift ways and his idealism. On October 25, 2015, Magufuli was announced the 5th President of the United Republic of Tanzania. The announcement was received with excitement by many Tanzanians. There was, to be sure, grumbling. Edward Lowassa, who carried the banner for the opposition coalition, UKAWA, claimed the polls had been stolen.
Magufuli’s win was accompanied by a first: Tanzania got their first female vice president, Hon. Samiha Suluhu. One month since his election, people’s sentiments towards him have changed, even those who didn’t vote for him. Magufuli has kick-started his term by making radical changes in the way things are done by the government.

Read the whole article on 'This is Africa'

End to government corruption in Tanzania?

[November 26, 2015]
Every five years on the last Sunday of October: elections in Tanzania. President Kikwete cannot be re-elected, he already is at the end of his second term. The opposition brings the old slogan called ‘change!’ back to life. That’s not that strange, because these are the only moments when the 50 million Tanzanians bear a sparkle of hope from a new government. A government that finally does something about the lack of morals of the leaders of the country. Tanzania is on the top of the worldwide corruption list.

Reading back how things went in 2005 and 2010, you get much food for dejection, also for projection to the near future: it’s always promises, promises, promises about fighting nepotism, abuse of power, disguised censorship and the misleading of international donors. But yes, charity begins at home. “I will fire every public servant that appears to be guilty of corruption”, presidente Kikwete said after his first election in 2006. Even foreign media had more concerns about the unrealistic promises by then, than that they felt this could just be hollow frases. Hollow frases they proved to be: under Kikwete’s administration corruption really got extreme.

In 2010 an online corruption detection system was launched on the internet. Lots of bribary scandals were published online. In 2012 it was one of the most popular websites in the country. Right now the website is nowhere to be found. I find a Facebookpage about the project, but the last message is posted in 20012. Maybe some pressure is being put on the project some years ago?

The Tanzanian people are very proud of the fact they live together in peace and harmony, being together with so many different peoples. Tanzania counts 99 different tribes! Sure, they’re all very much against corruption, but deep down inside it has got more to do with something like ‘accepted human nature’: if you want to climb up in society, you also have to be flexible with the game rules. If you’re not willing to ‘play the game’, you will always be worse of than ‘the others’. Lots of times, while I was traveling in Tanzania last summer, I asked people: who are you gonna vote for? And why? Almost everybody emphasized, with a smile, they would vote for ‘the least poor’. They just don’t trust anybody. By that time it was not yet clear, who would be the running man for CCM, the leading party. Although they knew very well that this party was responsible for a government that is one of the corruption champions of the world, lots of people told me they would give their vote to CCM again. One of the main arguments: we don’t have war here, this is a peaceful country and we’re proud of that.

But something happened last month. At least: it seems something is changing. Really changing. Even the most sceptical spectator feels ‘there is something in the air in Tanzania’. Magafuli, the new president, immediately started actions against corruption. During his first month as president he paid surprise visits to a major hospital, the revenue authority and some other governmental institutions and uncovered abuses instantly. Non-present civil servants, without explanation (quite normal in Tanzania), got fired immediately. Top officials spend lots of public money flying by airplane from meeting to meeting, also getting the so called ‘sitting allowance’ (income for only being present). The new president abolishes all kinds of luxury services of governmental officials. He also promises the people primary and secondary education will be totally free, no school fees anymore.

Last week Magafuli held his inaugural speech in the Tanzanian parliament. His enthousiastic speech lasted one and a half hour. “I will fight corruption without fear or favour. I will personally lead the charge… pray for me and support me in this war because those involved are not the ordinary nwananchi (civillians).” Magafuli promised to compose a smaill and efficient cabinet, asked all members of parliament (all very familiair with power abuse and corruption) to help him fight corruption. Yes, this really looks great. Is change really gonna come?

Hope springs eternal and the least Magafuli deserves is the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he feels Tanzania doesn’t profit enough from its natural resources and its touristic highlights. Maybe he realises Tanzania’s potential: it could be a rich country. During the last decades the people did not profit whatsoever. It’s still one of the poorest countries in the world. Maybe he just knows and feels the time is right after all. But remember 10 years ago. How is the situation different from then? Kikwete by then was talking like Magafuli right now. So the first steps are promising, but only time will tell if he persists on his mission towards a fair society.

The best would be when it comes clear in a couple of years Magafuli achieved something quite extraordinary. Like some kind of an ‘under cover’-revolutionary he spent years and years in the snake pit of parliament and cabinet building up his credibility, being ‘one of the guys’. And when he found the time is right for going for the leadership he brought himself to the right position. Whe he was ready for campaigning, he threw off his jacket: “and now for genuine change!”. The establishment is scratching their head: what have we overlooked!?

Niko Winkel / GoTanzania, November 25, 2015 
(with help from Herman Erdsieck, MamboViewPoint, Mambo, Tanzania)

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Message from All About Arusha:

"Tanzania now has a president !!!!



Last weekend they were opening parliament and there was a state dinner planned for all guests that was going to cost about 300 m. President Magufuli cut the budget to 25 m and ordered that the rest be taken to buy hospital beds for Muhimbili they got 300 beds and mattresses and 600 bed sheets from that money.

On 23rd Nov 2015 he announced that there will be no official ceremonies for Independence Day on 9th December, the money is to be used for more pressing issues and the day should instead be spent cleaning up our environment.

On Saturday 21st Nov 2015 a group of 50 people were about to set off for a tour of commonwealth countries (don’t know for what) but President Magufuli cut that list down to 4 people, saving government 600 m in tickets, accommodation and per diems

No more foreign travel, embassies will take care; if it’s necessary to go, special permission must be sought from him or Chief Secretary

No more 1st class and business class travel for all officials except President, Vice, and Prime Minister.

No more workshops and seminars in expensive hotels when their so many ministry board rooms available. President Magufuli asked how come engineers are given V 8s when a pick-up is more suitable for their jobs.

No more sitting allowances, how the hell are you paid allowance for a job which you have a monthly salary; that also applies to MP’s. President Magufuli has literally pressed the reset button; returning Tanzania to default factory settings, because that was the TZ Nyerere left us with.

On the day after he was brought to power, in the morning as State House officials were showing him round he decided to take a walk to ministry of finance, told them to get their act together, asked why some employees weren’t in office (ever since then the traffic jam in mornings has become worse) and ordered TRA to scrap all tax exemptions, everyone must pay taxes especially the big guys

President Magufuli went to Muhimbili Hospital unannounced and walked thru the worst parts that they keep hiding from important visitors he fired the director, fired the hospital board and ordered that all machines that weren’t working (so that people go to private hospitals owned by some doctors) to be repaired within 2 weeks otherwise he fires even the new director; the machines were repaired in 3 days

Finally, last week when going to officially open parliament President Magufuli didn’t go by plane, drove the whole 600 km from Dar to Dodoma.

President Magufuli has reduced the size of the presidential convoy, even reduced the size of presidential delegation that travels with him President Magufuli chose a Prime Minister we haven’t heard of before, a guy with reputation for hard work and no corruption all the big guys we expected could be PM have been let wondering what hit them.

His motto is: Hapa Kazi Tu = "HERE, ALL WE DO IS WORK/ SERVE!"

After President Magufuli visited Ministry of finance and Muhimbili Hospital without announcing it is said the port (most corrupt, delaying, thieving officials) were all of a sudden the most efficient place. No loads are missing, things are done quickly and that habit of forcing for a bribe so that your container is released is no more.

Oh, they say when he was confirmed as winner people started congratulating him and wanting to bring gifts to his place he turned them back, saying he will receive all congrats over the phone, nobody should visit himb All individuals/firms that bought state companies that were privatized but haven’t done anything (20 yrs later) are to either revive the industries immediately or hand them back to the government.