US News Tanzania: John Magufuli, the "bulldozer" president

11:15  27 october  2020
11:15  27 october  2020 Source:   pressfrom.com

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John Pombe Magufuli (born 29 October 1959) is a Tanzanian politician and the fifth President of Tanzania , in office since 2015. He was the chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019-2020.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli came to power as a no-nonsense man of the people nicknamed The Bulldozer , but along with popular efforts to clean up graft, he has been accused of crushing dissent and stifling democracy. The 60-year-old was elected on a fiery anti-corruption stance which

Le président tanzanien John Magufuli, au micro et en affiche géante, lors du lancement de sa campagne électorale à Dodoma le 29 août 2020 © ERICKY BONIPHACE The Tanzanian president John Magufuli, at the microphone and in a giant poster, during the launch of his electoral campaign in Dodoma on August 29, 2020

Apparatchik posing as a man of the pragmatic people, Tanzanian President John Magufuli, elected in 2015, enjoys a reputation on the tails of a tireless defender of corruption, and on the other hand that of an authoritarian character crushing all dissent and stifling democracy.

Le président John Magufuli lors d'une campagne de nettoyage publique à Dar es Salaam le 9 décembre 2015 © DANIEL HAYDUK President John Magufuli during a public clean-up campaign in Dar es Salaam on December 9, 2015

Born 60 years ago in northwestern Tanzania, on the shores of Lake Victoria, there grew up in a modest thatched dwelling, tending livestock and selling milk and fish to support his family.

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Tanzania 's President John Magufuli has been criticised over his repeated attacks on "imperialists" and his recent declaration that prayers had ended coronavirus in the East African state. But this is unlikely to bother him as, throughout his presidency of more than five years, he has styled himself as

President John Magufuli of Tanzania in Mwanza in December. The problem is that, outside of Tanzania , people are skeptical. And inside Tanzania , few dare stand up to the president , John Magufuli , who has become increasingly autocratic since he was elected five years ago.

Une Tanzanienne passe devant un mur d'affiches électorales à Dar es Salaam le 20 octobre 2015 © Daniel Hayduk A Tanzanian walks past a wall of election posters in Dar es Salaam on October 20, 2015

"I know what it's like to be poor", this practicing Catholic, married man and father of five children who sport glasses with thin metal frames and grizzled goatee.

The career of this doctor of chemistry, who attended university in Great Britain and Dar es Salaam, is essentially political.

Member of the CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi), the former sole party, in power since the country's independence in 1961, he was minister without interruption for 20 years until his election to the presidency, portfolios where he won his nickname "Bulldozer" ("Tingatinga" in Kiswahili).

In 2015, his presidential program of relentless fight against corruption won him the votes of a population tired of the embezzlement that marked the mandate of his predecessor.

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When Tanzanian President John Magufuli criss-crossed the country on the campaign trail ahead of Wednesday's elections, he touted the billions of dollars his government has spent on a new hydropower dam, a railway and a revived national airline. "Effective leadership must plan and prepare well," he

Tanzania 's President John Magufuli . “Effective leadership must plan and prepare well,” he told a rally in northern Tanzania last week, reeling off The 60-year-old president ’s nickname – “ The Bulldozer ” – is testimony both to his fondness for massive public works and his reputation for pushing through

Elected, he quickly took very popular decisions: ban on official first-class travel, drastic reduction in the comfortable per diems of government delegations traveling abroad.

It is also spending the money allocated for the expensive Independence Day celebrations on a cleanup campaign. To the point of provoking on Twitter the hashtag "What would Magufuli do?", A compilation of messages competing with humor to find innovative ways to save money.

He unceremoniously unloads officials suspected of corruption or inefficiency and officials whose absence or delay he had observed at work during surprise visits to their administration.

Le président Magufuli salue ses supporteurs lors du meeting de lancement de sa campagne électorale à Dodoma le 29 août 2020 © ERICKY BONIPHACE President Magufuli greets his supporters during the launch meeting of his electoral campaign in Dodoma on August 29, 2020

- Child citizens -

But his direct style, often abrupt, his tendency to ignore procedures and act on impulses quickly raised concerns of a possible authoritarian drift in one of the most stable countries in East Africa.

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Tanzania ’s president John Magufuli is presiding over an escalating campaign of repression that has targeted journalists, human rights defenders Magufuli – nicknamed “ the Bulldozer ” – is accused in two independent reports, by the human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights

Tanzania president John Magufuli is under mounting pressure from concerns around coronavirus. Tanzania ’s president is blaming the sharp rise of coronavirus cases on faulty testing kits.

Ban on political gatherings outside the election period, repressive laws against the press, arrests of journalists and opponents marked the start of his mandate.

Like a bulldozer, "it crushes everything in its path: laws, human rights, everything", explains Aikande Kwayu, a Tanzanian political analyst.

On the mores, President Magafuli called for the dismissal of teenage mothers from school and human rights defenders denounced an unprecedented crackdown on the LGBT community under his presidency.

For Mr. Magufuli, "the end justifies the means", estimates Ringisai Chikohomero, researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria. "For Magufuli, the state and the president have the last word and he treats citizens like children."

Its management of the Covid-19 crisis clearly reflects its governance style, note several observers.

Advocating prayer, rather than wearing a mask, President Magufuli affirms that it saved the country from the epidemic: "this is why we do not all wear masks here (...) because there is no Covid-19 "he will say in July.

Tanzania: the outgoing Magufuli about to crush the opposition in the ballot box

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Tanzania 's governing party candidate John Magufuli has won Sunday's fiercely competitive Tanzania 's governing CCM party candidate John Magufuli has won the presidential election with 58% of He became known as " The Bulldozer " for driving a programme to build roads across the country.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has sacked two public officials after scolding one of them on live TV. President Magufuli 's critics say he is becoming increasingly authoritarian. But many have praised the president for his no-nonsense style. His nickname is " the Bulldozer ".

Difficult to verify: in April, he stopped publishing statistics. The country then recorded 509 cases and 16 deaths.

And in July, already strict online publishing laws were toughened to ban all content "about fatal or contagious diseases" without permission.

- The one "we needed" -

Magufuli's supporters highlight his resolute fight against corruption or the renegotiation of contracts with foreign companies to improve the share going to the country.

"This is the kind of leader we needed when corruption was rampant," says Agnes Thomas, 32-year-old restaurateur, "he instilled discipline in civil servants."

Mr. Magufuli prides himself on having extended free education, improved rural electrification and started construction of a key railway line and a major hydroelectric dam.

But an aggressive fiscal policy encouraged by the President has undermined the private sector and degraded the business climate.

And in 2018, a year of strong tensions in the country, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church had separately denounced the "fear" that has settled among the population, fearing for "peace and unity " from the country.

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