Whether at home or abroad Magufuli makes the difference

01Jun 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Whether at home or abroad Magufuli makes the difference

When President John Magufuli took over the chairmanship of East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit during the 17th EAC ordinary summit held early March, 2016 in Arusha, none expected that he would give shocking plea to EAC....

 secretariat- stop its lavish spendingand spare the community fund

His first summit after being electedin power, President Magufuli nevershowed any newness to the occasionand instead showed his true coloursby hammering what was unexpectedto any of his fellow heads of state andgovernment.

In his acceptance speech, he neverwasted time to pin point that he was ofthe opinion that the regional body wasunwisely spending community fundssomething which does not reflect theactual state of the economies of themember states.

President Magufuli urged thesecretariat to take cost- cuttingmeasures to rid the regional body fromwasting its hard sought resources fromtheir poor citizens and strongly warnedmembers of the secretariat not to messaround with community money.

He pledged to take same measuresimplementing in his country to reducegovernment spending includingcurbing lavish spending on travelsand meetings and went further toquestion as to why the secretariatfavoured convening meetings inexpensive resorts instead of usingconference halls at the regional body’sheadquarters.

The President challenged thesecretariat to become problem solverinstead of being always ‘moaners’ andrestrict them from being parasitic atthe detriment of the poor citizens ofmember states.

He was of the opinion that theregional body is capable of effectivelyand efficiently running its businesswith the meagre resources comingfrom members’ contributions if costcutting measures were put in place andif the secretariat is to make rationalfinancial decisions. There were thosewho were not convinced if that wouldbe possible and some even thoughtthat the President was off target and illinformed. But today, one year down theroad, President Magufuli has provedhis doubters wrong.

During the 18th Ordinary Summitheld in Dar es Salaam recently, wherePresident Magufuli handed overthe chairmanship to his Ugandancounterpart, President YoweriMuseveni, it was reported that for thefirst time the regional bloc has managedto save about US $ 2.5 million from itsbudget due to cost cutting measuresimposed during his chairmanship.

President Magufuli has identifiedhimself with a group of modern typeof leaders who are earnest and shrewdwith direct approach to issues. Tomany Tanzanians and to some of ourneighbours, it was not a surprise. Hewas well known since he was a cabinetminister that he was a person who wasfond of fine details of all matters underhis jurisdiction.

He was never afraid of telling thetruth or rather calling a spade a spade.The good thing of him is his strongwillpower and firmness to achievewhat he believed to be achievable.

He is a result oriented leader who isalways geared to get the best out ofeverything he believes and cherishes.He likes challenges and that is what hedistinguishes himself from others.He clearly knew that the promiseto employ cost cutting measures atEAC secretariat was not an easy taskbut he was convinced that he has firmsupport of his fellow heads of state andgovernment of the member states.

As a leader he made his homeworkand see how viable was his appeal tointroduce cost cutting at the secretariatand he realized that, it could be done ifand only if everyone plays his part.He warned to use his leadershipmoto ‘Hapa Kazi tu’ in exercising hisduties as Chairperson of the EACand also warned to use his style of‘kutumbua majipu’ to those who wouldnot heed to his plea but fortunatelythings went well probably because thesecretariat knew that Magufuli is a manof few words but means what he says.Whilst we congratulate PresidentMagufuli for showing the way,appreciation should also go tomembers of the EAC secretariat underthe chairmanship of the EAC SecretaryGeneral Libérat Mfumukeko for notletting down President Magufuli and hisfellow heads of state and government.

And as the saying goes ‘When there isa will there is a way’. He promised andhe has delivered it. This is why they say