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Tanzania: The legacy of Magufuli and the beginning for Suluhu

Morris Kiruga
By Morris Kiruga
East Africa Editor of The Africa Report

Posted on Thursday, 18 March 2021 17:25

A portrait of Tanzania's former President John Magufuli is placed next to a book of condolences inside Tanzania's High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP Photo)

The death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli came at time when the country was feeling the pinch of its autocratic regime. But at the start of his first term, his hands-on management style, honed in his years as the country’s works minister, endeared him to a population that had long given up on the idea of visionary leadership like under Julius Nyerere in the decades after independence.

On many things, Magufuli was right. Projects could be done cheaper, and there was rampant waste and corruption within the government. He wrestled political power from a lethargic civil service and was unafraid to shame his own administrators on the ground for issues raised by citizens. He was, in fact, unafraid to shame anyone.