Posted on November 19, 2016
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…. Tanzania President’s war against corruption
Tanzania’s ‘bulldozer’ President Magufuli has taken new steps in the fight against corruption and government waste in Tanzania.
In May, we wrote a blog post about how Magufuli has taken significant measures to cut back on unnecessary expenses, including slashing the budget for the Independence Day celebrations and using the money instead to improve the facilities at a public hospital. Six months later, the President’s zero tolerance approach towards corruption has caught our attention again.
On 10th September, an earthquake reaching 5.7 on the Richter scale happened in the Kagera region, an area where ACT working. Nineteen people sadly lost their lives and over two hundred people were wounded. Thankfully, none of ACT’s people were affected. In the aftermath, many charities and well-wishers sent money to help the victims of the earthquake rebuild their lives.
Disgracefully, two government officials attempted to use money from this fund for their own personal use. They set up a fake bank account in order to steal money intended for the earthquake victims. It is shocking that anyone would want to steal from disaster funds, but sadly, corrupt behaviour of this kind is not uncommon in many parts of Africa. Under President Magufuli such behaviour is increasingly been discovered and dealt with immediately. The two officials were caught and sacked from their government.
Leading by example
Recently, Magufuli’s wife was admitted to a state hospital in Dar es Salaam.
The images of his visit have been trending on news and social media all over Africa. It has been hailed as another example of the President’s humility, unlike many African leaders who resort to fly abroad to private foreign hospitals for medical treatment, even for minor ailments. It shows Magufuli’s commitment not to spend government’s money unnecessarily and also demonstrates his complete trust in Tanzania’s health service and of its medical staff.
Magafuli’s Presidency is bringing positive change in Tanzania. The two cases here show that he is not a man of empty promises, but is true to his word. We can only hope that other African leaders will be influenced by Magufuli‘s actions, and take similar steps against corruption.
There is strong correlation between corruption and poverty. Research from Transparency International has shown that countries with lower levels of corruption also have better access to sanitation and higher literacy levels. We hope to see great progress towards the eradication of poverty in Tanzania during Magafuli’s Presidency.
Find out more about ACT’s work in Tanzania.