PRESIDENT John Magufuli's no-nonsense attitude and style of leadership was necessary to deal with corruption, inefficiency and indiscipline in public service, Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation Executive Director, Joseph Butiku has said.
He told the ‘Daily News’ in an exclusive interview that President Magufuli's strict and no-nonsense approach was what Tanzania needed most to root out corruption which was widespread in public offices, curb wasteful spending of government funds and fight laissez-faire attitude among civil servants.
"President Magufuli is certainly a polite, but also a very strict disciplinarian. He believes in equality, human integrity and moral values which are crucial to get the country back on track,” he said when sharing his views about President Magufuli.
“The problem of corruption was, and still can continue to be, a widespread evil across most public institutions. It needed tough action by the Head of State.”
“The problem of laissez-faire attitude and lack of ethics among public servants had also grown to alarming levels," he said.
President Magufuli, former works minister known for his extensive experience and keen attention to detail, took office in 2015 promising to crack down on corruption, clamp on tax evasion and boost the economy.
He introduced radical reforms in the way government institutions operated and brought austerity measures to curb wasteful spending of public funds.
Dr Magufuli has stayed true to his campaign slogan of ‘hapa kazi tu’ which can loosely be translated to `just work’ to improve work culture among public servants.
He will be seeking re-election for a second five-year term in the general election slated for October this year after being chosen earlier this month as the candidate of the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
"President Magufuli comes from the school of people in Tanzania who believe in human equality, integrity and moral values. He is a disciplinarian person," he said.
"His coming to power in 2015 marked a new dawn for Tanzania, breaking the continuity with the past, changing the laissez-faire attitude among the public servants, and even among some ordinary citizens.”
Mzee Butiku said Dr Magufuli was striving to instill ethical life and moral values among the civil servants whose life and actions are vital for a clean, efficient, and trustworthy administration.
“He is re-building among the civil servants the working culture that incorporates honesty, trust, discipline, responsibility, and transparency,” he said.
He said Magufuli’s actions were in line with his promise to Tanzanians to restore confidence in public institutions by focusing on civil servants' work ethic, accountability, and good citizenship.
Magufuli has succeeded to put an end to business as usual in the public sector, he said.
With the `hapa kazi tu’ slogan, he has managed to change the mentality of civil servants and improve work culture to boost productivity.
“The 'Hapa Kazi Tu’ slogan is a reminiscent of the Uhuru na Kazi and Uhuru ni Kazi slogans used by post-independence government under Mwalimu Nyerere,” he said.
Mzee Butiku is the executive director and president of the Institute of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (also known as Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation).
He has served the government and the party in various capacities during and after Mwalimu Nyerere administration.