MAGUFULI is no more and Samia Suluhu Hassan ascended to the highest authority: the East African country’s first female president. Congratulations Mama for assuming the role of Joshua, leading Tanzanians to the promised land.
The passing of Magufuli has left the World bewildered, Africans shocked and East Africans puzzled. In a televised address, a then country’s Vice President Samia Suluhu (now a first citizen), confirmed the 61 African icon died of heart complications at Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam, an illness he has had for number of years.
Despite prejudice of Western actors, Magufuli has won international recognition as a legend and revolutionist. His doctrine of African Political Federation challenged the International Economic Order and imperialists felt offended.
His true commitment on Socialism with African characteristics reflects Pan-Africanism spirit figured out by previous African compatriots.
Economic nationalism and African national interests became his central focus.
An attempt to unite African states in a federal arrangement, has not changed since the era of Kwame Nkurumah and Julius Nyerere, thus Magufuli seemed a perfect player.
His advocacy on Swahili language and History-teaching campaign continental-wise, proved him a true federalist. Skeptical with balkanisation, he appealed for a large internal market and negotiating power of Africa among key actors across the world.
Regionally, Comrade Magufuli played a tremendous role upon initiatives of establishing the East African Political Federation.
Beyond, he persistently urged East African Partner states to carry out massive industrialization with home-grown solutions as key to region’s development.
He always appealed for the maximum utilisation of East African potential: adding value to its raw materials; removal of barriers, injustices, access to bigger market, fearlessness and discouraging mutual suspicion.
His passing has triggered mixed reactions. In the eyes of imperialists, he was seen a controversial figure: rejecting lockdown, discouraging imported masks and seeking further clarification on the safety of Covid-19 vaccine.
With unshakable stand, he relied on spiritual guidance and divine intervention, while insisting people to implement public health measures. Sheepishly, imperialists claim that our hero was authoritarian and allergic to criticism.
In tandem, Magufuli stopped exploitation of African resources: introducing new laws intended to increase revenue from multinational mining firms, and coined mineral trading centres to curb illegal gold exports.
Investment in large scale infrastructure projects was also witnessed: standard gauge railway; expansion of major highways and set up of bus rapid transit system.
Other tangibles are: the on-going Nyerere Hydropower project; revival of the state-run national airline; Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline; renovation of maritime and the Kigongo- Busisi Bridge project on Lake Victoria.
Besides, in 2020 Tanzania was declared a middle income status country by the World Bank. This is incredible, Magufuli was another statesman. How possible ruling for only six good years and achieve greatest things that others would probably take considerable number of years?
Despite these achievements, why critics are speechless? Purging thousands of ghost workers needed a daring spirit. Firing officials considered corrupt or under-performing was a patriotic measure.
Unsatisfied with a yawning gap between the rich and the poor, Magufuli dismembered powerful networks of embezzlers of public funds and also clamped down extravagant spending.
Once praised for his fearlessness, no-nonsense approach, zero tolerance for corruption, God – fearing faith and results-oriented actions, Africa and the World at large considered him a model.
Wake up African colleges, invisible actors are at work: looting our diamonds and gold; softly imposing LGBT Agenda in the pretext of human rights. The use of media to portray negative image of Africa and their leaders.
They also sell guns to rebels and power mongers to disturb peace in Africa. They also advocate fake democracy, planting puppets and traitors to derail Africa from central issues.
Magufuli has successfully challenged the international status quo. Nyerere; Nkurumah; Lumumba and Mandela did the same. In the bible, Moses, Joseph and David also had their own experience. Jesus Christ also challenged the status quo.
Martin Luther King; John Kennedy; Mao se Tong and Fidel Castro also shook the World with their soviet and socialist tenets as what Magufuli has been doing. We need to learn one greatest lesson from all these aforementioned philosophers including a World Hero Magufuli: “Leadership is about sacrifice”.
As we mourns the loss of Magufuli and supporting our new president, let us reflect a title of this article “Mission Unfinished: Africa and The War Economy”.
@Robert SIYANTEMI is a District Administrative Secretary in Monduli, Arusha