A Letter to My President: Mr. John Pombe Magufuli

Combine two extremes, and you will have the true center. As of now, we are leaning on one side, will it balance?

Dear Mr. President,

The Tanzanian Presidential elections of the year 2015 have been the first ever to rattle an immense reaction from the people of Tanzania as well as the international community. A nation once known as peaceful and calm was teetering on the brink of disaster as the global village awaited in suspense to #WhatWouldMagufuliDo next. All eyes were on us. In my 24 years, it was the first time I became intrigued by national politics. How can one man keep a whole nation on its toes? How can his imminent action be condemned before even making his first move? Why is he feared? Was this the fear Machiavelli was talking about? I have a million questions and only one man can answer them, His Excellency Mr. John Pombe Magufuli, my President.

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Foremost, I am grateful. Whereas I have always been patriotic, it is particularly thrilling to be invested in the ongoing of my country. In your short time in office, drastic yet notable changes are evident. From condemnation to appraisal, Mr. Magufuli you have put your game face on. I would like to believe that your actions have touched not only me, but a vast number of youth in our nation. Mr. President, you have set out to reignite the fire of our forefather, the late Julius Kamabarage Nyerere and return Tanzania to the glory it cherished. Yet in order to fight any battle, you must face the opposition. In order to grow, one must learn to change and as of today, this is the dilemma facing our country of Tanzania.

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Back in October you promised to combat corruption by any means possible. So far, you have not disappointed. You stand at the forefront to end graft and mean business as always, ‘Hapa Kazi Tu’. You have sought to streamline the system by replacing all unqualified persons with those who are willing and ready to serve the people, with surprise visits being your favorite modus operandi. In this state of transition, you have twisted and turned the nation, people can no longer evade paying taxes, your determination to deliver essential public services for instance the Dar Rapid Transit or locally known as ‘Mwendo Kasi’ buses and the Kigamboni bridge have led to vast testimonies. All your effort only make up the tip of the iceberg. Strive on with your persistence and vigor and in no time, we shall be telling tales of once upon a time.

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In my pursuit of knowledge, my attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough. So I ponder and seek to understand your policies. As an international relations student, and a self-proclaimed liberalist, who advocates for cooperation and integration, I yearn to understand the hidden meaning behind the interaction of actors within the global context. Let’s not go too far. Tanzania has for most part been a subtle player in its regional bloc, the East African Community. Apart from beneficial trade agreements amongst the nations, all other developmental initiatives are at a stall. Why is this? Is it out of fear for domination by its neighbor Kenya or is it a protective barrier for what is ours?

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Analyzing the trends and patterns of your administration, one could presume that Tanzania is headed into a period of isolation. Your one and only trip outside national boarders has been to Rwanda. This is further visible by your delegation of power. Prominent instances are such like, the Vice-President Ms. Samia Sululu traveling to Zambia for the swearing in of the new Zambian President Mr. Edgar Lungu; Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who represented the nation at the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD) and Dr. Augustine Mahiga who chaired the Tanzanian delegation at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It seems as though, Mr. President, you have decided to place domestic readjustment as a priority on your list. Before dealing with international matters, you must first have your house in order. Nonetheless, on the global scale this may be yet another internal affair, however, what of the African counterpart who value cultural norms? How long until the African leaders perceive your delegation of power as arrogance?

Mr. President, I write this letter to show my appreciation for the work you have achieved so far. Furthermore, I wish you the best in tackling all the future issues that obstruct the growth of our nation. If you continue at this rate, I don’t see why the whole nation won’t stand behind you. Similarly, as the voices of the future, we the youth have to play an active role in ensuring that the government is accountable for its actions and takes responsibility for its people. However, in order to do so, we must first grasp the undertakings. Although I could continue this tête-à-tête, and acknowledge the fact that as a human you are not perfect, it is my hope that one day we shall meet in person and words of wisdom.

Sincerely,

A Hopeful Citizen