Tanzania’s President John Magufuli was recently elected in October and already he is setting a new tone for the direction of the country and its leadership. His brand of leadership opens a new chapter for the East African nation of Tanzania. He has been nicknamed ‘bulldozer’ for his unapologetic approach to leadership and management. It’s only been 30 days since he was sworn in and already his latest measures include:
- cancelling Independence Day celebrations and cutting almost 90% of the budget for the opulent state dinner that usually marks the opening of parliament
It is so shameful that we are spending huge amounts of money to celebrate 54 years of independence when our people are dying of cholera
- Introducing a series of austerity measures and sacking several officials as a sign of his determination to fight corruption. He suspended six tax officials including the head of the revenue authority, pending an investigation into claims of graft and tax evasion
- Declaring his government is open to business and vowing to personally sack any public official who blocks investments
My government welcomes investments because they create new jobs and are a source of state revenues
- He has given tax evaders one week to pay up what they owe or face prosecution, the latest in measures tackle corruption
- He has cancelled foreign travel for officials and banned the purchase of first-class air tickets while ordering that government meetings and workshops be held in government buildings rather than expensive hotels
- He cut the size of the delegation going to the Commonwealth conference from 50 to four delegates.
- Instead of sponsoring a World AIDS Day exhibition, he ordered the money be spent on anti-retroviral drugs for AIDS sufferers
Magufuli was born in north-western Tanzania’s Chato district along the shores of Lake Victoria. He is married to Janet and has five children. Until his election, his wife worked as a primary school teacher. Most people who worked with his wife described her as a humble and loving person. Recent headlines about Dr. Magufuli’s austerity measures have led to the creation of a social media following under the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo.
Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Dar es Salaam
Masters in Chemistry from University of Dar es Salaam
Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in Mathematics and Chemistry