THE other day, as I whiled away my time looking at my cell phone’s “whatsapp” communication network with my contacts, I noted that a friend had forwarded a rather lengthy note to me.
It intrigued me. The heading was: ‘PRESIDENT JOHN MAGUFULI OF TANZANIA: RAY OF HOPE FOR AFRICA’. Goes the note: “It is a wonder that every time the name of Magufuli props up on international headlines, it is always coated with hope and pride that Africa still has people who believe in offering credible public service to their citizens and who demand honesty and integrity in leadership.
“One can wonder whether in this era and time in Africa when everyone is rushing for quick riches through politics and being closer to ruling political elites, Africa could produce a president like President Magufuli.
“From the time he was elected President of Tanzania, he has exhibited exceptional leadership qualities and has excited many in his efforts to restore order, dignity, integrity and honesty in public service. “This is a President who has fought corruption or at least seen to be fighting corruption and ensuring prudent use of public resources both in the public and private sectors.
” In the words of one Tanzanian: “Our hope which was gone with Mwalimu Julius Nyerere is slowly being re-birthed in President Magufuli”.
“Today, President Magufuli is again in the news - not for bad things - but for doing a good thing – that of fighting dishonesty in academics, sacking over 10,000 civil servants over fake certificates - which mostly likely they were using them to get jobs. “This is incredibly good and unheard of in Africa where dishonesty and lack of integrity seems to be part of our skins as Africans. Whoever tries to provide checks and balances to such excesses is labelled all sort of names and rejected.
That is the reality in Africa…” It is at this juncture of this note posted on my whatsapp that I found out its place of origin. Please read on to find out: “The Tanzania scenario may not be far from what happened in Zambia in the run up to the August 2016 General Elections when the Examination Council of Zambia caught and exposed several people with fake Grade 12 School Certificates.
The Zambian Exams Council only ended up at offering lip-threats while the political leadership simply ignored the discoveries. The police also seem not to have been interested to pursue the matter. “Why are our leaders in Zambia shying away to push for honesty, integrity and ethics in public service? It is time we took a leaf from Tanzanian President Magufuli.”
Delving further into this note forwarded to me on my phone whatsapp, I realised that the note was sourced from a Zambian online agency: www.zambianeye. com In today’s level of communication, which has expanded dramatically to include online communication, I am sure this note forwarded to me has been seen by other people reading this column.
Surely, it sounds great if one comes across reports such as this one quoted extensively in this column, especially when such report is in high regard of one’s President by people outside one’s country.
Actually going by the remarks quoting a Tanzanian above who is quoted as saying that President Magufuli has taken over the global good fame of the founder President of this country, Mwalimu Nyerere cannot be described as far-fetched. Indeed, President Magufuli is right on the steps of Mwalimu, in terms of insisting for leadership integrity.
Like human beings everywhere, Mwalimu and President Magufuli cannot be equated because each one of them had performed or is performing in accordance to their respective capabilities. But both of them are today globally renowned with the current President being praised beyond our borders as we have seen, just in his first term of office.
During the lifetime of Mwalimu, those who travelled abroad were pleasantly surprised that the name of Mwalimu Nyerere immediately came to the mind of those meeting Tanzanians abroad. “Are you from Africa? Nyerere?” would be the greetings to a Tanzanian visiting abroad those days in Mwalimu Nyerere’s lifetime.
And Mwalimu was highly regarded abroad and across the continent for his intellectual depth, courage and principled political line especially on the question to do with the total liberation of Africa. Until his death, he was unwavering on the question of Palestinians to be restored their indelible right to a sovereign state and the question of Western Sahara to be freed of Morocco occupation.
At the earliest Mwalimu was ready to lose economic support from Britain over the question of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe – insisting that there must be no independence before majority rule (NIBMAR).
When West Germany then fumed over Tanzania’s recognition of East Germany, he was ready to sacrifice diplomatic relations with Bonn and the aid to this country notwithstanding. Mwalimu stood for the genuine independence of Third World countries, seriously supporting the Non- Aligned Movement during the bi-polar world of those days when the world was divided between two super powers.
He worked seriously for the genuine of independence of Third World countries and towards this end, he made sure orders to run this country came from no where but Dar es Salaam and not Washington or Moscow.
That was Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. Now, the fifth President of this United Republic, Dr John Joseph Pombe Magufuli seems to have reasserted this country’s global fame as is reflected in his combative thrust against thievery of public resources and allround leadership integrity.
As Tanzanians, we should wish him well and support him in his good job being praised beyond our borders.