Many east Africans are hoping for the “Magufulification” of their countries as they watch the 56-year-old cut perks to officials, channel funding to public services and tackle corruption. Some measures are less popular as he has expelled slum dwellers and cracked down on migrants who are in the country illegally.
One of Magufuli’s first acts was to cancel the Independence Day celebrations on December 9, saying it was “shameful that we’re spending money on independence when our people are dying of cholera”.
He diverted the budget of $1.9m to expanding a congested road and street cleaning, replacing the independence celebrations with a National Day of Cleanliness during which he collected rubbish himself.
Magufuli scaled down the inauguration of the new parliament, channelling 200 million shillings to the Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam to buy beds for patients.
He uses a car instead of a jet to travel around the country, and has banned all but the most essential foreign travel for officials, instead ordering them to visit rural areas to find out about problems there.
In the October elections, Magufuli was a compromise candidate for the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, which has dominated politics since the country’s independence in 1961.
Few Tanzanians expected him to launch the radical reforms that are now sparking comparisons with the country’s first president and founding father, Julius Nyerere.
source news 24