By Boris Esono Nwenfor
There were scarcely any hints of the tumultuous years that would follow the swearing-in of Dr. John Pombe Magufuli on November 5, 2015 as Tanzania’s fifth president. His Chama cha Mapinduzi, CCM had been in power for decades. In his third year as president of Tanzania, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli according to many has brought the much sought out change and development to the country.
Dr. Hassan Abbasi, Tanzania chief government spokesman is of the opinion that “in the years of him many things have been accomplished, a big chunk of work has been done and many still to be done. The president is moving fast to move his agenda which he made to the parliament in 2015.
The president is known to do a live call with government officials to summon them to visit villages and resolve project implementation issues, something which is greatly appreciated by the population.
He is also seen as someone who is very direct in his dealings. He likes close supervision to ensure that everyone implements what has been set forth, targets and others. At times, the president had to make tough decision by dismissing top executives who failed to move with his pace including the ministers.
“Of the 20 Ministers I started with, I have already removed nine, so I keep asking myself how many will be there for the remaining two years”.
One of the biggest achievements so far is on infrastructure. The government has succeeded in completing the first ever grand and historic flyover project in the country famously known as the Mfugale Bridge. “It is a project that has reduced traffic jam by 100% from city center to the airport.
The bridge continues to be a marvel and a much needed assistance to those plying the road. “In the past before the flyover was constructed, there was heavy traffic but now, vehicles can freely pass as there are fewer taxis”.
The renovation of Dar es Salaam airport is another major project currently being undertaking. Deusidedit Kakoko, Director General TPA said currently, wharf number one has been renovated and its cargo handling capacity expanded and it is soon ready for work.
The country is also witnessing the construction of the standard gate railway from Dar es Salaam to the Lake Zone and Kioma to facilitate transport in the central corridor.
“We thank the fifth phase government for coming up with the idea that we need to drive our own electric trains. The ongoing construction of the Refuji hydropower project will also help to feed energy to this railway project” Engineer Machibya Masanja, Project Manager SGR. To Mbaraka Khalid, Soga Resident “this project has made us get a police station at Soga and the Road looks attractive”.
In the government’s strategic plan of turning Tanzania into an industrialized country, the issue of access to reliable power will be an important tool in pushing up industrialization. Dr. Mugufuli said: “Since we have been talking about the issue of industrialization, we cannot have industries if we do not have reliable source of electricity”.
According to the Government’s Chief Spokesman “the energy source is very crucial as the president promised and implementation has already started including gas power turbines at Kinyerezi 1, and extension at Kinyereze 2”. “When the president came to lay the foundation stone for this modern gas plant, it was a challenge for to deliver in time. We have done so and we will continue to support his efforts to ensure Tanzanians are not complaining again of not accessing power” Stephen Mmanda, Engineer TANESCO said.
Didas Lyamuya on his part says Madaba “was in total darkness and there was not even a power generator, residents had given up hope. But we have managed within a short time to connect the area to the national grid. Now the residents are enjoying power supply at a very moderate cost”.
The supply of electricity to the community has been greatly appreciated by the residents especially school children. They have expressed their gratitude to the president for his developmental efforts.
So many projects are in the pipeline such as plans to build a dispensary in every village and health centers and in every district, a hospital will be constructed with modern equipment. We will also focus on regional and referral hospitals.
Great strides continue to be made in the agricultural sector. The transformation in the agricultural sector has contributed to the growth of the sector due to massive investments. Ongoing transformation has made Tanzania break Africa level targets. The Malabo declaration requires growth in the sector to reach 6.3% by 2025 but by 2018, the agricultural sector growth rate has grown from 3 and 4 per cent to 6.7 per cent.
Tanzanians have therefore been urged to be part of the developmental efforts from the president and also contribute their part to that development.
With some many developmental efforts undertaking and many still to come Dr. John Magufuli who has been in office since November 2015 will hope that come next presidential election, the population will continue giving him the support and give him another mandate as a sign of trust.