Opinion | By Raila Odinga: ‘The John Pombe Magufuli I knew’

Opinion | By Raila Odinga

Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli, welcomed Fmr. Prime Minister of Kenya, Hon. Raila Odinga to his home in Chato, where the President was on vacation | Via Facebook

Opinion —When rumors started going around about the health and whereabouts of my friend President John Pombe Magufuli, I placed several calls to him. Later, I sent him a text message. Both went unanswered. I then resigned to expect the worst while hoping I was wrong. When his death was confirmed as I was self- isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, I felt the full weight of double tragedy and emotions dealt by the cruel hand of fate. It was the worst time to lose a friend and a comrade.

It was a bond forged over war on corruption and quality infrastructure. I first met Dr. Magufuli at an international conference on infrastructure in Durban, South Africa some time in 2003. I had just assumed office as Minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing in the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) government of President Mwai Kibaki. By that time, Dr Magufuli had held a similar portfolio for some time in Tanzania. At the ministry, I discovered that I had inherited a bigger problem than I had imagined. The ministry was mired in massive corruption.

Contractors were demanding pay — and getting paid — for works they had not done, or those done way below specifications. Nearly the entire ministry budget was being used to clear pending bills that kept rising. The ministry was neither constructing any new roads nor maintaining the existing ones.It is in that context that I attended the Durban conference.

I wanted to share my experiences, learn from fellow ministers and other experts and, hopefully, also attract some funding for the massive infrastructure Kenya needed when Narc took over. Corruption Dr. Magufuli took immense interest in my presentation.

He was particularly intrigued by my admission that corruption had found a home in the ministry and it was denying the country the good infrastructure needed for economic growth. The two of us had lengthy discussions on the side-lines of the conference. During our discussions, he disclosed that the problems I had mentioned were the same ones he encountered when he took over at Roads and Public Works in Tanzania.

He offered to share his experiences in dealing with the vices of corruption and cowboy contractors and driving them out of town. For a start, he advised that I look into two areas: procurement and designing and tendering processes. From his experiences in Dar es Salaam, he had ring-fenced these areas as the hideouts for corruption and conduits for loss of government funds. Shorten procurement process
His advice was that I needed to shorten the procurement process, which is usually long and winding just to facilitate corruption.

Then he advised that we adopt a system of designing and building roads at the same time as opposed to designing the entire road first, then tendering and then constructing. That, too, was a conduit for corruption. His advice was that the sections of the road that had been designed could be tendered and construction commenced as design of other sections went on. That way, we would get quality roads faster and at cheaper prices. It had worked for him and he wanted us to try it. From there, our friendship kicked off.

We became advisers to each and partners in the war on corruption and cowboy contractors in the roads sector.Before the conference ended, Dr Magufuli asked me to get my engineers at the ministry for a meeting with his engineers in Dar-es-Salaam so that they could exchange ideas on how to deliver quality infrastructure at value-for-money costs. I immediately instructed my Permanent Secretary Erastus Mwongera to assemble our team. In Dar es Salaam, we had extremely exiting discussions on simple, fast and efficient ways to deliver infrastructure. Raila Odinga Road, Dr. Magufuli invited me to accompany him on a tour of Mwanza where he was to supervise and launch construction of hospitals and roads. It was during this trip that he named a road after me; Raila Odinga Road in Mwanza.

During this trip, we visited his home in Chato. I also invited him to visit us in Kisumu and Bondo. As we got down to work here in Kenya, we identified the Meru-Maua Highway as one of the key roads that needed immediate and massive renovation. I invited Dr. Magufuli to launch the reconstruction of this road, which he did. I also instructed the ministry to name the road after him. AS Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government, I visited him with a delegation that comprised Senator James Orengo and Governors Sospeter Ojaamong and Josephat Nanok, among others. On this trip, I launched the construction of the University of Mwanza.As we prepared for 2012 elections, Dr Magufuli defied protocols and stood with us, physically attending our party’s National Delegates Conference where I was handed the party’s ticket to run for president.

Consultants for each other this time, we had become consultants for each other. We were available for each other whenever either of us needed assistance or advice. When Dr Magufuli declared his interest in the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ticket for the presidency in 2015, I took keen interest because his contest was my contest, just as mine had been his. We got deeply involved and we were excited when he won.He invited me to Dar almost immediately after his inauguration. During that visit, the newly elected president was frank. He said he had known how to run ministries; now he needed advice on how to run a government. He particularly wanted to know how we managed under Narc and the Grand Coalition Government to raise revenues to deliver services and stop corruption. I advised my friend that, for a start, he should look no farther than the revenue and procurement officers at all levels of government. I told him that in most cases, those officers were the ones driving latest car models, building classic apartments in cities and putting up castles in rural areas despite lower salaries. He needed to subject them to lifestyle audit, retire or even jail the incorrigibly corrupt and transfer others, then revenue collection would shoot up.He listened.

In some cases, he personally walked into offices to see how work was being done. Soon, Tanzania’s revenue doubled, then trebled. The new president suddenly had money to build roads, ports, hospitals and railways without relying on donors. SGRThe President developed very keen interest on what happened to Kenya’s standard gauge railway in terms of its cost. He was determined to avoid the pitfalls, and he did. That is how he constructed Tanzania’s SGR four years later at a much lower cost than ours.

President Magufuli was a very independent-minded person. During his tenure, people developed this belief that he would always listen to me. While we did exchange views and agreed on many things, it is not true that he agreed with every suggestion I made. When Dr Magufuli disagreed, he did so firmly, no matter who he was disagreeing with. When he ordered the confiscation of Maasai cattle that had crossed into Tanzania, I pleaded with him several times to release the cattle but he just wouldn’t budge. ASaeryp a politician, President Magufuli was a populist.

Ideologically, he leaned towards social democracy. He allowed the private sector to grow, but under very watchful eyes of the State because he felt that the private sector, if not watched, could be overbearing especially to the lowly in society. Enemy of corruption. Magufuli was an avowed enemy of corruption. That, in my view, is his most outstanding trait. He could not stand the idea of public officials using public resources for their own benefit. If you hated corruption, you were on the first row as Dr. Magufuli’s friend and confidant. He was determined to put Tanzania ahead in the region and Africa through industrialization.

In that endeavor, he saw Kenya as the stumbling block, hence his sometimes-hostile stand against Kenya. We had a discussion on this, too, my position being that industrialized countries in Europe and Asia, for instance, co-exist and we could do the same here. He was not convinced. His primary business was Tanzania. Outside Tanzania, his other business was Africa. He had little interest in other continents. Even in Africa, he was selective with his visits. I remember he visited Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. Otherwise, he was a Tanzanian preoccupied with Tanzania.

CCM ideologueDr Magufuli was a CCM ideologue who grew through the ranks of the party and embraced some of the founding President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s ideals on patriotism, nationalism and self-reliance for his country. In about six-years, he went farther than Mwalimu Nyerere in trying to economically empower his people. While Mwalimu Nyerere embraced internationalism and had a broader view of the world and Tanzania’s place in it, Dr. Magufuli was a super nationalist with little regard for the rest of the world. Where Mwalimu Nyerere was a constant voice on the global stage, especially for Africa and the Third World, Dr Magulfuli reserved his voice and energy for Tanzania.

Transformed TanzaniaDr Magufuli was, however, overly successful in transforming Tanzania in just about six years. He transformed Tanzania’s highways, ports, created Rapid Bus Transit to decongest Dar es Salaam and delivered SGR at a competitive rate, all because of a crackdown on corruption. Despite all these, Dr. Mgufuli’s legacy that may live for years, especially if his successor builds on it, is that of unity, hard work and discipline.

Hapa Kazi Tu, Chapa Kazi and its legacy will endure. He pushed hard the idea that success comes from hard work. In Tanzania today, people report to offices very early and they do not just sit there, they work. I hope the new President builds on this tradition that is good for Tanzania and Africa.May Dr Magufuli fare well in the next world.

The writer is the ODM party leader and former Prime Minister of Kenya.

‘He Loved Morning Sex’ – Tanzania’s 1st Lady Eulogises Late Husband Magufuli

The wife of the late John Magufuli said she would miss the morning sex she always had with her late husband | file

Tanzania—Tanzania’s first lady, Janet Magufuli, has eulogized her late husband following his death which occurred on Wednesday evening. In an emotional speech delivered to the state, the former First Lady could not relent to let out her feeling. The former primary 5 teacher recalled the precious moments she shared together with the late Tanzanian President while he was alive.

Beside being a jovial man full of humor and laughter, the First Lady recalled how her late husband was also romantic when it comes to love. The First Lady said that she will truly miss the good moments they shared together.

“He loved morning sex, I will dearly miss him so much.”, said Janet Magufuli. She also added that President Magufuli was a dedicated man who had passion for Tanzanian and was committed in ensuring their economy prosper to another level.

Originally published by: https://dailyexpress.co.ug

Who is President H.E Samia Hassan Suluhu?

The new President of Tanzania, Samia Hassan Suluhu | Courtesy

Samia Hassan Suluhu (born 27 January 1960) is a Tanzanian CCM politician and incumbent President of Tanzania. She became Tanzania’s first female Vice-President after she was announced Vice-President of Tanzania in the 2015 General Elections, alongside John Magufuli the President.

Following Magufuli’s death in office she ascended to the Presidency, and became Tanzania’s first female President as well. Before being a vice-president she served as the Member of Parliament for Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015 and has been Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office for Union Affairs since 2010.

Prior to this, she served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar in the administration of President Amani Karume. In 2014, she was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

Suluhu was born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar. After completing her secondary education in 1977, she was employed by the Ministry of Planning and Development as a clerk. She pursued a number of short-courses on a part-time basis. In 1986, she graduated from the Institute of Development Management (present-day Mzumbe University) with an advanced diploma in public administration.

Upon graduation, she was employed on a project funded by the World Food Programme. Between 1992 and 1994, she attended the University of Manchester and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in economics.

In 2015, she obtained her MSc in Community Economic Development via a joint-programme between the Open University of Tanzania and the Southern New Hampshire University.

In 2000, she decided to join politics. She was elected as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed a minister by President Amani Karume. She was the only high-ranking woman minister in the cabinet and was “looked down on” by her male colleagues because of her gender. She was re-elected in 2005 and was re-appointed as a minister in another portfolio.

In 2010, she sought election to the National Assembly, standing in the parliamentary constituency of Makunduchi and winning by more than 80%. President Jakaya Kikwete appointed her as the Minister of State for Union Affairs. In 2014, she was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

In July 2015, CCM’s presidential nominee John Magufuli chose her as his running mate for the 2015 election,[7] making her the first female running mate in the party’s history. She subsequently became the first female vice-president in the history of the country upon Magufuli’s victory in the election.

After Magulfi’s death on 17 March 2021, Hassan became the 6th President of Tanzania, and the country’s first female president.

Kiir declares 3 days of mourning in honor of “bulldozer” Magufuli

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit declares 3-days of mourning in honor of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli | Photo: PPU

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has joined the rest of the world in mourning the death of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli and declared three days of mourning across the country.

“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit has issued a statement on the passing on of H.E. John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,” the Office of the President said on Thursday.

“The people of Republic of South Sudan are deeply saddened and grieving with their brothers and sisters in the United Republic of Tanzania.”

The President ordered all diplomatic missions to fly their flags half-mast for a period of three days in honor of the Tanzanian bulldozer President, Magufuli, who succumbed to the cardiovascular disease while receiving treatment at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam.

“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit declared three days of mourning across South Sudan and instructed all the Government institutions and our diplomatic missions abroad to fly their flags half-mast during this period beginning from today in his honour to the Late H.E. President John Pombe Magufuli.”

Kiir urged the people of Tanzania to be strong at this tragic moment and come to terms with the death of their leader that has sent shock waves across the region.

“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit said that at this moment, the people of the Republic of South Sudan stand in solidarity with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In addition, H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit prays to the Almighty God to give all the strength and comfort to the people of Tanzania and the family of the late to withstand this immense loss.”

10 people hospitalized following the death of Tanzanian President Magufuli

The late Tanzanian President John Magufuli | File

Tanzania—At least 10 people are reported to have been hospitalized in public hospitals upon hearing the death of their favorite leader, John Pombe Magufuli, who died on Wednesday while receiving treatment at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam.

The sudden death of the Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, announced in a televised address on Wednesday, sent shock waves across the world and left millions in disbelief.

“Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart illness at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,” said the incumbent vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan on state broadcaster TBC.

Since last week, Magufuli had disappeared from the office, sparking rumors that also led to arrest of some bloggers accused by the government of spreading fake news against the president on social media.

Since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 virus a global pandemic in 2020, Magufuli had been skeptical about the existence of the disease, and fired some officials for exaggerating Covid-19 figures.

Several African countries, including Kenya, have ordered flags flown at half-mast to honor the late Magufuli.

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli dead at 61, vice president announces

By Reuters Staff

Breaking—Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, one of Africa’s most prominent coronavirus sceptics, has died aged 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Wednesday after a more than two-week absence from public life that led to speculation about his health.

Magufuli, had not been seen in public since Feb. 27, sparking rumours that he had contracted COVID-19. Officials denied on March 12 that he had fallen ill. He was Tanzania’s first president to die while in office.

“Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart illness at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,” the vice president said on state broadcaster TBC.

She said burial arrangements were under way and announced 14 days of mourning and the flying of flags at half staff.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Friday that he had spoken to Magufuli, and blamed the narrative of the president’s ailment on some “hateful” Tanzanians living abroad.

Mary Boyoi fakes sickness as way to get more YouTube subscribers

Singer Mary Boyoi lies in an ICU bed pretending to be critically sick | Photo: Courtesy

A South Sudanese singer, Mary Boyoi, admits that she wasn’t really sick as posted on social media on Tuesday, but instead, she was looking for more followers and subscribers on YouTube.

On Tuesday, Mary took to social media calling on well-wishers and South Sudanese across the globe to wish her a speedy recovery while pretending to be in the Intensive Care Unit in Tanzania.

“Your prayers in my hospital bed are urgently needed by clicking on this [YouTube channel],” said Mary Boyoi in a Facebook post shared widely on social media.

After faking being critically sick in ICU, the South Sudanese singer claimed to have received 139,000 viewers on her YouTube channel.

“I wasn’t sick but team Mary Boyoi [was] promoting All I need video,” she confessed.

She receives negative reactions from the public for pretending to be sick when she is not

“Mary Boyoi. That was a terrible thing you did to your viewers and followers. How could you pretended to be sick just to trick people to visit and like your YouTube channel? You are very unethical my sister,” said Peter Nhiany in comments section.

“Worst promotion ever. And God listens to your heart too. Hoping you don’t fall sick for real soon,” said Remmy Diri.

“I thought we were going to keep it a secret,” said Sam Dee Elly, a member of the promotion team who blamed Mary for spoiling the fun.

“Joke with everything but never Joke with something related to sickness my dear,” advised Chiok Guek.

“That is a primitive way of getting fame! Murle should go to schools,” said Witty Maluak Deng.

According to YouTube Terms of Use, the more followers, subscribers and viewers you have, the more money you can earn through Google AdSene when your channel is monetized.

Mary Boyoi accuses fans of copyright infringement, threatens lawsuit

South Sudanese musician Mary Boyoi, known for singing off-pitch, is threatening to file a lawsuit against copyright violators who uploaded her new video on YouTube without permission.

“My management here in Tanzania is working on how to sue SSD GUNA Studio and bring there YouTube down for downloading and uploading Mary Boyoi Music on their page,” said Mary in a Facebook post.

“For now Konde Gang will not release the video until the copyright is done and let the above mentioned face the law.”

She also warned anyone who practices copyright infringement to refrain from doing so, or else they will face the full force of the law.

“I also assure you that this problem will be resolved within this week that so that it stops anyone from uploading our music [on] their YouTube channel,” she threatened.

Mary Boyoi, who’s currently in Tanzania, is working on a new video with a Tanzanian musician, Rajabu Abdul Kahali, popularly known by his stage name as Harmonize.

In recent years, Mary’s songs have become unpopular in the music industry.

President Kiir prefers a foreigner to take charge of NRA

Dr. Patrick Mugoya [left] shakes hands with Garang Majak, first undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Juba on Monday, October 5, 2020 | Credit | Woja Emmanuel/Eye Radio
Dr. Patrick Mugoya [left] shakes hands with Garang Majak, first undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Juba on Monday, October 5, 2020 | Credit | Woja Emmanuel/Eye Radio

Oct 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–The South Sudanese government has appointed an expatriate to lead the National Revenue Authority with the hope of formulating and implementing tax reforms in the country.

Dr. Patrick Mugoya, is a Tanzanian national and will be taking charge of the National Revenue Authority as Commissioner-General.

Speaking to journalists in the capital, Juba on Tuesday Dr. Patrick Mugoya explained that he’s going to develop an effective strategic plan that would be transparent in the interest of the citizens.

“As you just witnessed, we have just concluded the signing of my contract as the new Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority. I am supposed to hit the ground running. Three things: First, we will fully operationalize the National Revenue Authority. We will immediately take measures to make sure that the NRA is fully operational,” he said.

Dr. Patrick Mugoya

The newly appointed Commissioner-General of the National Revenue Authority said he will ensure that the tax body engages and involves stakeholders when it comes to decision-making.

“That is the first thing. Secondly, we will ensure the NRA formulates or develops in a participatory manner with all key stakeholders a strategic plan for the Authority that will see to it that non-oil revenue mobilization is enhanced in a transparent, efficient effective, and accountable manner.”

“We will put into place all these measures while at the same time sealing loopholes and revenue leakages in terms of tax evasions, unscrupulous exemptions, tax avoidance, smuggling and the like, as immediate measures.”

“That means the employees, the staff, the management of the Revenue Authority, the board, the government at national and state levels, development partners, the private sector, civil society organizations and others in coming up with a plan that will take National Revenue Authority forward and therefore bring meaningful change as envisaged in the non-oil revenue and mobilization and accountability program,” Dr. Mugoya said.

For his part, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance, Garang Majak is optimistic the new head of the National Revenue Authority would succeed in generating funds.

“We know very well that we are facing a lot of economic challenges but with the new team, the new CG [Commissioner General] and the Deputy Commissioner of the NRA, Honorable Africano Mande, they will make sure that sufficient and effective mechanisms are designed to collect sufficient revenues to make sure we prioritize our financial obligations, our financial services to the government and the people of South Sudan.”

“So with the new team, and the new minister of finance, we will be able to finance our government obligations,” Garang Majak said. “At this juncture, the ministry of finance will ensure that all salaries are paid on time and operations for the spending agencies are also paid on time.”

Magufuli questions Chinese test kits after goat, fruits tested positive

May 4, 2020 (Thessherald)–Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli casts doubt on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 test kits manufactured by China and other developed countries after samples extracted from jackfruit and goats tested positive for the Coronavirus pandemic.

Proving medical experts and researchers wrong, Magufuli secretly sent samples for testing to the National Influenza Laboratory (NIL) in Dar es Salaam. However, the sent samples included those from birds, goats, pawpaw, jackfruit were all positive.

The Tanzanian leader believes that the spikes in the number of cases might have been exaggerated to attract funding from donor countries.

Tanzania officially has 480 confirmed coronavirus infections – the most in East Africa.

And dubiously, Magufuli said, the fruit and bird samples too tested positive for COVID-19. Magufuli said with such a discovery, he now highly doubts the 480 confirmed cases in Tanzania. Magufuli said either the test kits sent to Africa are ‘faulty’ or the officials have deliberately recorded even negative cases as positive.

Faulty COVID-19 testing kits are not a new issue in the coronavirus pandemic after Spain twice sent back defective testing kits back to China after they were found to have very low sensibility.

There are videos circulating on social media showing Tanzanian officials allegedly burying coronavirus victims in the dead of the night in an apparent government coverup. Tanzanian nationals on social media have too questioned the official figures, saying they are way lower than the actual cases and deaths.

The Tanzanian government has been criticised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its lax approach to the coronavirus pandemic still allows markets and public transport to operate normally.

Recent confirmed cases in Rwanda and Uganda have been reported mostly from Tanzanian truck drivers plying the East African trade routes. Truck drivers mostly from Tanzania account for 29 of Uganda’s 88 confirmed cases.

Among Uganda’s latest three COVID-19 cases recorded on Saturday, one is of a Tanzanian truck driver while the other was of a Ugandan returnee who sneaked into the country from Tanzania via Bukoba porous border point.

Uganda like Kenya, Rwanda are currently under lockdown and allow no travelling in and out of their countries except for United Nations, emergency and cargo crew.

Magufuli said he’s even considering reopening the national football league that was suspended some weeks back because he has realised that people who engage in sports may not easily be affected by the coronavirus. Magufuli said in any case, he has realised that COVID-19 may have to live with humanity for a long time just like HIV/Aids.

He also announced that he will soon send a plane to Madagascar to fetch the herbal medicine there that is being touted as a ‘cure’ for coronavirus.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina asked researchers to come up with a locally made cure for coronavirus. Rajoelina launched the ’cure’ after being tested on about 20 people for three weeks claiming that two people had been completely cured by the COVID-Organics (CVO) treatment.