Magufuli ‘the bulldozer’

Fallen Tanzania president John Magufuli was not the type to mince his words.

Put simply, the man told off his opponents, enemies, and those that crossed his path without fear.

1. Burning of Kenyan chics – He once burned chicks that had been transported from Kenya into Tanzania because due process had not been followed. He later ordered the banning of Kenyan planes from the Tanzanian airspace in retaliation after Kenya had ordered all Tanzanians getting into the country to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.

2. Publicly sacked a senior police officer – During a tour of the countryside, Magufuli, as was the norm, stopped to listen to the plight of the citizens. He then called out the senior police officer to help him effect some of the decisions he was about to make. The poor chap was missing in action. “Basi nimemefuta kazi. Kuanzia leo, yeye si Kamanda wa Takukuru” (I have sacked him. From today, he is no longer the Police commander in Takukuru. I will be calling the Police Commissioner to post someone else here)

3. Chinese ‘madness’ – Magufuli once publicly described as ‘madness’ conditions by Chinese investors who wanted to build a port at Bagamoyo. “They are asking me not to develop any other port in Tanzania for the period they will be building this one (at Bagamoyo). They are also asking for a 99-year lease agreement for the land that the port will be built on. They even want to collect all the revenue at the Port and give us only a portion. Only a madman can accept these conditions,” he said in Public.

4. Toilet disaster – On an impromptu stopover, residents told the Magufuli the market around that area did not have a toilet. Irked, the president asked the area leaders to explain themselves. “We are trying to build one,” they said. The former president was also disappointed to learn the area officials collect Tsh1.8 billion (about Sh90 million) in taxes each year but could not use part of these proceeds to build toilets. “From today, I am ordering all residents of this area to visit these two leaders’ homes whenever they need to go to the toilet. And I am very serious about this. You are tasked to provide them with water. If you are clever enough, please build them toilet blocks in seven days.”

5. Beaten woman – At a public rally, a woman appeared with her right hand wrapped in a plaster. She told the President she’d been beaten by a man named ‘Daudi’ who remained at large. An angry Magufuli ordered all senior police and public officers president to give the woman money. “Give her money. She has a broken hand, she has not worked for two weeks and yet no justice is forthcoming.” About Tsh600,000 (Sh30,000) was realized, including the President’s personal donation.

6. Faulty MRI Scan – On an impromptu visit to a public hospital in Dar-es-Salaam, Magufuli found a patient who had been admitted for a full month without treatment because the MRI Scan was faulty. The patient had injured his spine and could not move. “The MRI scan in all public officials are not working. But those in private hospitals are working is this sabotage?” he posed. The former president immediately paid the man’s MRI scan bill and ordered him be taken to a private hospital for better treatment.

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