Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 February 2022:
The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, ended his three-day official visit to Tanzania with a moving tribute to the late President John Magufuli (Photo above), who died in office last March.
Adesina last Thursday travelled to the north-western town of Chato to pay homage to the late president, who he described as “a dear friend, brother and partner.”
The Bank chief was received in Chato by family members of the late president, led by his brother Goldian Joseph Magufuli.
Laying a wreath at the late president’s grave, Adesina reminisced about how they shared a common love and passion for the accelerated development of Africa.
Adesina wrote in the condolence book: “I miss our engaging discussions about Africa. I miss our discussions on your vision for Tanzania. In a very short time, you transformed Tanzania. You were bold. You were determined. I thank God for your life. I thank God for your outstanding service to Tanzania; for all you did to improve the lives of your people, who you loved very dearly.”
Following his visit to Chato, the African Development Bank chief met with the late president’s widow, Janet Magufuli. He assured her that the African Development Bank would continue supporting the late president’s projects to fulfill his desires for a prosperous Tanzania, particularly in the development of modern infrastructure.
Magufuli, who was elected as the country’s fifth president in 2015, initiated mega infrastructure projects, like the multinational Standard Gauge Railway. This project will ease the transfer of goods between the port of Dar es Salaam and the city of Kigali in Rwanda, and subsequently to the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, and Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Tanzanian government is currently developing its part of the railway, starting from the Dar es Salaam – Isaka – Mwanza section.
He also expanded major highways, linking cities in Tanzania and connecting to neighbouring countries to boost trade, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods.
Adesina had earlier joined President Samia Suhulu Hassan at a ceremony to launch the construction of a 112.3-kilometer ring road in the capital city of Dodoma. There, he recalled how the late president had expressed interest in having the road built to decongest the city. “I told him the African Development Bank would strongly support Tanzania. I told him he should consider it done,” Adesina said.
Many thanks to Dr Adesina for keeping the memory of Dr John Magafuli alive. He was uniquely a great man who loved his people and country. It is hard to refer to him in the past tense. The development of Tanzania was all he cared about. That made him unapologetic for all his actions. He was friends with government officials (ministers included) only if they performed their duties well without corruption. He would sack ministers and ambassadors on the spot for poor performance. He refused to travel too far from his country because of the expense involved, preferring instead to drive if he had to travel to neighbouring countries. When he flew to South Africa for the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa it was big news. He never liked speaking English, he preferred his native Swahili because, he said, people would come to his country to do business in a foreign language which Tanzanians didn’t understand.
Upon taking office, he cut his salary and that of ministers as well as reducing the Presidential entourage. He would go to the market place to see firsthand the sanitary conditions in which people did business and ordered improvements if need be. The man was just superb. In the African context, no superlatives can best describe the phenomenon that was His Excellency Dr John Magufuli. What a loss to Tanzania and the African Continent. That’s why Tanzanians draped the route of the funeral motorcade with their clothes to express their grief. May the Almighty grant him eternal peace.
Earnest and Maada would never have qualified to tie up the shoelaces of His Excellency Dr John Magufuli, they are too criminally inclined and couldn’t care less about their country and people. Bio even wants to sell the country to the Chinese – he should be charged with treason. May the Almighty help us to get rid of both APC and SLPP next year; all it takes is for Sierra Leoneans to become more conscious of the evil both parties have inflicted on them for more than half a century. Dr Yomkella carries the torch of hope.