PROFILE – John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of Tanzania, Elected October 2015


AFRICAN PERSONALITY PROFILE: John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of Tanzania, elected to office in October 2015.

Magufuli ventured into elective politics after a short hiatus as a teacher at Sengerema Secondary School between 1982 and 1983. He taught chemistry and mathematics. Later on, he quit his teaching job and was employed by the giant Nyanza Cooperative Union Ltd as an industrial chemist. He remained there from 1989 to 1995, when was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Chato. He was appointed as Deputy Minister for Works in his first term as MP. He retained his seat in the 2000 election and was promoted to a full ministerial position under the same docket. After President Jakaya Kikwete took office, he moved Magufuli to the post of Minister of Lands and Human Settlement on 4 January 2006. Subsequently he served again as Minister of Works from 2010 to 2015.

First elected as a Member of Parliament in 1995, he served in the Cabinet of Tanzania as Deputy Minister of Works from 1995 to 2000, Minister of Works from 2000 to 2006, Minister of Lands and Human Settlement from 2006 to 2008, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries from 2008 to 2010, and as Minister of Works for a second time from 2010 to 2015. Standing as the candidate of the ruling CCM, he won the October 2015 presidential election and was sworn in on 5 November 2015.

President John Magufuli

Although he faced a strong challenge from opposition candidate and CCM defector Edward Lowassa in the election, held on 25 October 2015, Magufuli was declared the winner by the National Electoral Commission on 29 October; he received 58% of the vote. His running mate, Samia Suluhu, was also declared Vice President-elect. He was sworn in on 5 November 2015.

As he began his term as President, Magufuli displayed unusual zeal for austerity and impatience with corruption and waste. He cancelled Independence Day celebrations, traditionally a time for the government to spend big on a public display of nationalism. Instead the time is to be spent on street-cleaning to improve sanitation and arrest the spread of a cholera outbreak. Magufuli also downsized by more than 90 percent the budget for the opulent state dinner that usually marks the opening of parliament and ordered the money saved to be spent on hospital beds and roadworks. He also cancelled foreign travel for officials and banned the purchase of first-class air tickets, although the president, his deputy and the prime minister were exempt. Furthermore, he ordered that government meetings and workshops be held in government buildings rather than expensive hotels and cut a bloated delegation of 50 people set to tour Commonwealth countries to just four. He also publicly issued a serious warning to the people he will select as ministers that he would not tolerate corrupt and bureaucratic government officials and that the ministers would have to work tirelessly to serve Tanzanians along with him.

On 10 December 2015, more than a month after taking office, President Magufuli finally announced his cabinet, composed of 19 ministries. It had 11 fewer ministries than the previous government; some ministries were merged to save money. - Culled from Wikipedia

President John Magufuli engaged in clean up exercise

President John Magufuli "cancelled Independence Day celebrations and ordered a national day of clean-up instead. The clean-up exercise is aimed at beautifying the country and preventing diseases like cholera than can break out where trash piles up.

Tanzanians have generally welcomed the new president's efforts. Analysts say Magufuli appears to be serious about reducing corruption in the East African country, though some note it will take sustained, organized effort to root it out entirely. " - Culled From VOAnews.

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