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New African or new fabrication? An open letter to the New African Magazine

Dear Editor, as a concerned East African, I have read and understood the article named “Two sides to the Magufuli coin” by one Tom Collins in the online New African Magazine.

In fact, the article has totally distorted the reality of what is taking place in Tanzania under the leadership of President John Magufuli.

Intentionally, the writer of the story has distorted facts and misled the title “the two sides to the Magufuli coin” by telling lies and one sided story.

The facts about President Magufuli and his government over the past three years are well documented and known to all EAC well-wishers.

A person does not need to struggle hard to find these facts.

They are available even online, be that you are in Nairobi, Kampala or Dakar.

Thus one would conclude that the mere intention by Mr. Collins was merely aimed at tarnishing the name of President Magufuli and his government.

A number of achievements have been made in three years of President Magufuli and his government.

President Magufuli has restored the discipline among public servants.

This was the first issue that President Magufuli tackled after assuming office and its results are open.

Every Tanzanian and East African today witnesses the productivity and service deliveries in public service that have tremendously increased.

The control of public spending including launching a purge on ghost workers and servants with fake academic certificates from the government payroll has been another achievement of President Magufuli and his government.

The purge saved taxpayers from paying Sh236 billion to ghost workers and Sh142 billion to those with fake credentials.

War on corruption has been another major achievement of President Magufuli.

The anti-graft court has been established and dishonest public officials have been sacked. More than 50 cases have been filed.

He sacked the leaders of the Tanzania Port Authority because of being corrupt.

He did also with a major shakeup of the Tanzania Revenue Authority and his punches never spared many others including the anti-corruption body itself.

The protection of natural resources mainly extractive industry has been another area of achievements.

Two new laws have been enacted to enforce the protection and already the government has made major steps in gold production gemstones.

For example, the revenue from the mining sector has rose to Sh 300 billion during the financial year 2017/2018 from Sh 194 billion previously Mr. Collins could not see all these ‘sides.’

The reduction of foreign trips to government officials and scaling down public workshops has been another achievement of President Magufuli in the past three years.

For example, in 2014/15 fiscal year the government spent Sh216 billion for foreign travel, while in the last three years only Sh25 billion has been used for the same.

In the last UN general Assembly Tanzania sent a delegation of four individuals than a delegation of 100 in foreign meetings previously.

The increase of the government revenues from an annual average of Sh9.9 trillion to Sh14.5 trillion has been another phenomenal achievement of President Magufuli and his government over the past three years.

This has been a milestone on reducing donor funds in financing development projects.

The industrial sector has been another area where President Magufuli and his government have worked hard to revive.

For example, more than 3,000 investors have been tapped and they are building factories across the country, while more than 17 old factories have been revived.

President Magufuli has revived the national airline carrier (ATCL).

Seven new planes have been bought so far.

Among these, four planes have been received and are all operating within and outside the country.

Among these are two Airbus 220- 300 jets, Boeing 787 Dreamliner and two new bombardiers.

Very modern planes that Collins, a respected analyst, does not seem to notice. President Magufuli and his government since 2016 started implementing free secondary education to all Tanzania.

This was and is the history that had never been made in this country.

The government allocates more than US$ 62 million in the budget every year to cater the purpose.

To ensure that every Tanzanian is getting both the primary and secondary education, President Magufuli and his government is working on the modality that will allow pregnant girls to return to schools.

This is also evidenced by the World Bank Vice President for Africa Hafez Ghanem who told the media recently after visiting Tanzania that that the lender had agreed with the government of Tanzania to find ways for pregnant girls who are forced to leave school to still access education.

It should be noted that Tanzania has banned pregnant girls from attending state Primary and Secondary Schools since 1961.

In terms of Infrastructures, President Magufuli has done wonders. Examples of these are the ongoing Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which is under construction.

SGR will link the country to the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Uganda, and through these two, to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The new Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is intended to replace the old, inefficient metre-gauge railway system.

In terms of roads construction, President Magufuli continues to link all the parts in the country and decreasing traffic jams in the cities.

For example, recently, the President laid the foundation stone for the construction of 19.2km eight-lane duo in Dar es Salaam (Mbezi – Kibamba to decrease the jam in the city.

There are so many examples of constructed roads and bridges in the country. The signing of the three-billion- US dollar landmark deal with an Egyptian company for the construction of the Fufiji Hydroelectric Project in a game reserve is another impossible project that President Magufuli has worked hard to implement.

It was first proposed by the Father of the Nation (The late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere) but it was not implemented until recently when the deal was inked between two governments (Tanzania and Egypt).

The project will generate 2,115 megawatts which is more than all electricity generated from all other sources in Tanzania which currently stood at 1,560 megawatts.

The government of Tanzania has worked hard to promote press freedom, human rights and freedom of expression over the past three years of President Magufuli.

The data from Tanzania Information Services and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) indicate that there more than 200 registered newspapers and 200 radio and television stations in the country respectively.

All the media are supposed to work within the legal frame work as it in other countries. No any journalist is in jail or in prison because of publishing or airing critical news which is against the government.

None.

The leadership of John Magufuli has continued to promote human rights to all Tanzanians.

For example, recently the government distanced itself from Dar es salaam Regional Commissioner’s (Paul Makonda) call of cracking down on gay people living in Dar es Salaam.

Even though the laws and traditions of the country do not allow lesbian and other homosexual behaviours, still it respects human rights from harrassment as the country respects all international agreements on human rights that have been signed and ratified.

Democratically, the government of Tanzania under President Magufuli has continued to promote the rule of law.

Political parties and members of the parliament continue to conduct their meetings and rallies in their respective areas.

What has been curtailed is rampant demonstrations that in the past ended into deaths and other violences.

Like in other countries, those people who violate the laws of the country their fate is determined by the court.

For example, Freeman Mbowe, and a Member of Parliament for Tarime Urban, Esther Matiko are remanded in Segerea prison by the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court in Dar es Salaam because the duo behaved contrary to their bail conditions.

These facts which are found everywhere about President Magufuli and his government.

These are facts that Collins decided to distort in order to mislead the world and tarnish the government of Tanzania.

Tanzanians and I say East Africans in general are supporting President Magufuli’s struggles and efforts towards bringing national development.

That is why every Tanzanian is wondering how President Magufuli has managed to attend all these activities in a short time.

Talking of reciprocity to some people ...

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Author: Phillip Otieno

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