John Magufuli the bulldozer… another African visionary leader gone

Lansana Fofanah: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 March 2021:

The death of John Pombe Magufuli, President of Tanzania, has brought shock waves not only in Africa, but across the world with some countries declaring a national mourning in honour of his benevolent leadership.

After serving as a Chemistry and Math teacher, Member of Parliament and a Cabinet Minister, John Magufuli at the age of 56, rose to become Tanzania’s fifth President after winning the 2015 presidential election under his Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.

He was serving his second term after being re-elected in the 2020 presidential election until his death on the 17th March 2021. His Vice President Ms. Hassan will now rule the country under his remaining term.

Magufuli’s infrastructure achievements include – Air Tanzania, the expansion of the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway, Mfugale Flyover, the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, were all aimed at developing the economy of Tanzania and making it a middle-income country.

No wonder he was called the “Bulldozer” for he was able to transform the country within his short stay in power.

Magufuli brought reforms that were meant to strengthen his country’s local economy. Part of his strategy to achieve that was to force multinational companies to establish refineries in the country for the processing of mineral resources.

He commanded great respect across Africa for standing against foreign powers like the People’s Republic of China. He was believed to have rejected a $10 billion loan from China, and also ordered the Acacia Mining Company to pay billions of United States Dollars in compensation to the country for undervaluing Tanzania’s gold exports.

His Financial prudence was something commendable; he was able to ban State officials from foreign trips, cutting down the number of political appointees, and throughout his tenure, he never travelled outside Africa.

From education to infrastructure, to the economy, the late African icon was able to leave an indelible legacy that will forever make the world to remember him.

You can watch an Aljhazeera commentary here:



  1. This is just another proof that Late President John Mangafuli is not only a Pan – Africanist, but a champion of anti corruption drive in Tanzanians.Today he is remembered for his no nonsense approach to graft. His approach to government was simlar to the way Saj Musa of the 1992 NPRC military junta, approached public service. That is public servants, should be at their office desk on time, before the start of their shift. But I am afraid thats where the similarities ends. And of course minius the human rights abuses of the NPRC. Here is a president that not only says what he means, but he means what he says. Indeed, as a principled man, he sticks to what he believes in. And he is not afraid to say it publicly. He lives by his own words and beliefs.

    To the point some of his political opponents have suggested he might have died of Covid19, because he was sceptical about implementating the covid19 protocols other countries around the world have done with their populations. So unfortunately, if he had died of Covid19, instead of heart problems, because he is diabetic, at least Tanzanians will say their president died for what he believes in. You can’t say that about some of our African leaders. He is a true pan Africanist. As the South African President Ramapohsa, said about him during his funeral at Dandoma. He makes no apology in insisting we try and maintain, promote and protect our African traditions by promoting the Swahili language which is widely spoken in central, and Southern African countries. He joins the likes of Julius Neyrere, Robert Mugabe, Jomo Kenyatta, Tom Mboya, Joushau Nkomo, Sam Nujuma, Mandela, Kwameh Nkrumah, Gamal Abudul Nasser, Thomas Sankarah, and our own very Sir Milton Margai.

    To the extent during his state visits he reminded Southern African leaders of the importance of the Swahili language. Hence South Africa, and Botswana are now including Swahili in their School curriculum. But his greatest achievements that he will be remembered for is, tackling rampant corruption, and implementing infrastructure projects, like roads and the railways. And cutting waste, promoting transparency, and accountability amongst government workers. If one man can do it in Tanzania, I don’t know why our president Bio can’t be robust and do the right thing for our country. One man or woman is capable of changing tbe course of history in a country. All you need is the desire and determination to stick to your words and implement policies that are good for your country. Its not rocket science.

  2. He was a true patriot…not a politician! A patriot loves his people and is always ever so devoted to their wellbeing and happiness. The latter is destructive and greedy.

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