BY AHMED KATEREGGA MUSAAZI
Since independence, East Africa has been with national mottos and slogans, some have survuived regimes other have not. Uganda’s motto, of For God and my country has survived regimes.
However, Obote’s Common Man’s Charter which his critiques called,
“Common Man Shut Up,” did not. Amin came with the declaration of the Economic War, by which he expelled the Asians who had dominated the commercial and industrial
sectors and allocated their business to indigenous Ugandans.
President JOMO Kenyatta had :harambee” which is “pulling together,”
and President Daniel arap Moi had “Nyayo,” which was “following in the
Yet Mwalimu Juliua Nyerere had :Ujama which h meant family hood or African socialism. Of all the mottos and slogans, President Joseph Pombe John Magufuri chose Amin’s Economic war.
Although, he did not chase out non Tanzanians or non Africans from Tanzania, he ensured that those that exploitative were chased and their companies that were not paying taxes were chased out or forced to pay.
Tanzania became really for Tanzanians and the crackdown did not spare those coming from the West or West or the East including China.
He improved on service delivery as he used the imperial presidency to sack real and imaginary corrupt and poor service delivers and there was no job security for civil servants and other public officers that have not been performing.
Magufuli has been a man of action, just like Amin declared his government at a Government of Action compared to Obote’s which claimed to be a government of ideas. In this, even the Opposition was not spared as it could only be tolerated during the electoral season and after polling day, no political activism is allowed unless one wants to be arrested and prosecuted , shot at or exiled.
Even in the ruling party, one lady, Karume, a former President of Tanzania Law Society, and from the Karume family that spear headed revolution in Zanzibar in 1964, complained , on Al Jazeera TV, that, Magufuli using imperial presidency to micro manage government and
party without using government policies and CCM manifesto.
So, Magufuli, who has ensured that private schools and education institutions don’t over charge parents, who have ensured that there are drugs in hospitals, was hailed by the ordinary urban and rural poor but not the elites some of whom, have been cheating. That is why some of the fainted upon hearing his death because they are not sure that his reforms will survive.
Therefore, while, many regional leaders including President Yoweri Museveni, have been saying that Magufuli has been an active follower of Mwalimu Nyerere’s policies including patriotism and pan Africanism that may have been on paper, but in action President Magufuli has
been a staunch follower of Idi Amin.
However, not everything Amin did was bad, there were many good ones including indigenizing the national economy although at the expense of suffering from scarcity of essential goods and services and lack of infrastructure development and foreign exchange, among others.
Present leaders in Tanzania and Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, have a lot to learn from the late Magufuli and his predecessors in Tanzania and in the region.
Haji Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi is a veteran journalist and a Communication Assistant with Government Citizen Interaction Center
*GCIC( Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.