Reality in Tanzania

To say that Tanzania which has long enjoyed a reputation for stability, is now taking an authoritarian turn under President John Magufuli is far from the truth (OpEd page, The Magufuli ‘bulldozer’ effect, October 3). Mr. Magufuli was elected democratically in 2015 in which there was the participation of more than 10 political parties, and several Opposition candidates won parliamentary seats including the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. A Pew Research survey in 2017 conducted among 41,953 respondents in 38 countries found 88% of Tanzanians to be satisfied with the way democracy is working in the country under Mr. Magufuli’s leadership.

The African Leadership magazine also nominated the President for the award of ‘Political Leadership for the year 2018’. This was the second award after the Africa54 online magazine named him as the second best Africa President for 2018 (after the former President of Botswana, Ian Khama). Mr. Magufuli has personally built national unity by appointing Opposition leaders in different positions in his government.

Since 1992, Tanzania still remains one of the few countries in Africa to enjoy multi-party democracy with respect to two limits in office. Tanzania continues to cement democratic principles, observe adherence to the rule of law and to accelerate its anti-corruption agenda.

About actions against dissenting opinion, the fact is that no journalist has been jailed or killed in Tanzania for publishing dissenting opinion, and the 2019 Reporters Without Borders report bears testimony to this. More than 90% of the extensive media holdings are privately owned.

Tanzania is an independent country that has ratified various international treaties and this includes health. Tanzania, like many other countries, is looking to see how it can overcome the loss of money and missed opportunities for local industrialisation due to the export of unprocessed minerals. Tanzania offers one of the best examples in managing mineral resources with a view to ensuring a win-win situation.

Darius Mukiza,

University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 4:44:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/reality-in-tanzania/article29650761.ece

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