BY AHMED KATEREGGA MUSAAZI
Since independence, East Africa has had national mottos and slogans, some have survived regimes other have not.
Uganda’s motto “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 an 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 means “pulling together,” and President Daniel arap Moi had “Nyayo,” which was “following in the
Yet Mwalimu Juliua Nyerere had Ujama which meant family hood or
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 exploitative were chased and their companies that were not paying forced to pay.
Tanzania became really for Tanzanians and the crackdown did not spare those coming from the West or the East including China.
Magufuli improved service delivery as he used the imperial presidency to sack real and imaginary corrupt and poor public servants and there was no job security for civil servants regarded as non-performers.
He has been a man of action, just like Amin declared his government as 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 was ready to be arrested and prosecuted shot dead and even 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 was 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, hospitals have drugs, 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.
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