It’s uncommon for African leaders to talk the reality about each other.
It is because they worry that the yardstick which they apply to guage their fellow politicians could possibly be used to embarrass them!
However when a politician who courted controversy dies, the reality is sure to come back out, as former colleagues and enemies are provoked to say what they knew, with a view to dispel the “incorrect”opinions being circulated.
The late President of Tanzania, John MAGUFULI, has been extensively criticised for ignoring the scientific data he acquired at College, in his method to the Covid-19 pandemic. However that considerably short-changed his popularity.
As hundreds of thousands of his countrymen and ladies flocked into the cities of Tanzania the place his physique was despatched for tributes to be paid to him, I noticed from the TV footage that: Tanzanian roads are constructed with the wananchi (those that stroll on foot) in thoughts!
In a single city, I noticed a pavement that allowed at the least six folks, operating abreast of one another, to maintain up with the motorcade accompanying the lifeless chief’s hearse! There was no open gutter in sight. And but, this was in rural Tanzania, not in Dar-es-Salaam or Dodoma.
The reply to this shocking function of life in Tanzania was given to me by Mr Raila Odinga, an Opposition chief in neighbouring Kenya, who was as soon as Kenya’s Prime Minister. In a tribute, Mr Raila Odinga wrote:
“When rumours began going round concerning the well being and whereabouts of my good friend, President John Pombe Magufuli, I positioned a number of calls to him. When his demise was confirmed (as I personally was self- isolating after testing constructive for Covid-19) I felt the total weight of double tragedy. It was the worst time to lose a good friend and a comrade. It was a bond solid over [our joint] conflict on corruption and high quality infrastructure.
“I first met Dr Magufuli at a global convention on infrastructure in Durban, South Africa in 2003. I had simply assumed workplace as Minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing within the Nationwide Rainbow Coalition (Narc) authorities of President Mwai Kibaki. By that point, Dr Magufuli had held an identical portfolio for a while in Tanzania.
“On the ministry, I found that I had inherited an even bigger downside than I had imagined. The ministry was mired in large corruption. Contractors have been demanding pay — and getting paid — for works that they had not executed, or these executed method beneath specs. Almost the whole ministry finances was getting used to clear pending payments that stored rising. The ministry was neither establishing any new roads nor sustaining the prevailing ones.
“It was in that context that I attended the Durban convention. I needed to share my experiences, be taught from fellow ministers and different consultants and, hopefully, additionally entice some funding for the huge infrastructure Kenya wanted.
“Dr Magufuli took immense curiosity in my presentation. He was significantly intrigued by my admission that corruption had discovered a house within the ministry and it was denying the nation the nice infrastructure wanted for financial development.
“The 2 of us had prolonged discussions on the side-lines of the convention. Throughout our discussions, he disclosed that the issues I had talked about have been the identical ones he encountered when he took over at Roads and Public Works in Tanzania.
“He supplied to share his experiences in coping with the vices of corruption and cowboy contractors and driving them out of city. For a begin, he suggested that I look into two areas: procurement and designing and tendering processes.
“From his experiences in Dar es Salaam, he had ring-fenced these areas because the hideouts for corruption and conduits for the lack of authorities funds. His recommendation was that I wanted to shorten the procurement course of, which is often lengthy and winding, simply to facilitate corruption. Then he suggested that we undertake a system of designing and constructing roads on the identical time, versus designing the whole street first, then tendering after which establishing. That, too, was a conduit for corruption. His recommendation was that the sections of the street that had been designed could possibly be tendered and development commenced, as design of different sections went on. That method, we’d get high quality roads sooner and at cheaper costs.
“From there, our friendship kicked off. We grew to become advisers to every and companions within the conflict on corruption and cowboy contractors within the roads sector. Earlier than the convention ended, Dr Magufuli requested me to get my engineers on the ministry [to come] for a gathering together with his engineers in Dar-es-Salaam in order that they may trade concepts on the way to ship high quality infrastructure at value-for-money prices.
“Subsequent, Dr Magufuli invited me to accompany him on a tour of Mwanza the place he was to oversee and launch the development of hospitals and roads. It was throughout this journey that he named a street after me; Raila Odinga Street in Mwanza. Throughout this journey, we visited his house in Chato. I additionally invited him to go to us in Kisumu and Bondo
“As we acquired all the way down to work in Kenya, we recognized the Meru-Maua Freeway as one of many key roads that wanted quick and large renovation. I invited Dr Magufuli to launch the reconstruction of this street, which he did. I additionally instructed the ministry to call the street after him.
“As Prime Minister within the Grand Coalition Authorities, I visited him with a delegation. When Dr Magufuli declared his curiosity within the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ticket for the presidency in 2015, I took a eager curiosity as a result of his contest was my contest, simply as mine had been his. We acquired deeply concerned and we have been excited when he received.
“He invited me to Dar virtually instantly after his inauguration. Throughout that go to, the newly elected president was frank. He mentioned he had identified the way to run ministries; now he wanted recommendation on the way to run a authorities. He significantly needed to know the way we managed to boost revenues to ship companies, and cease corruption.
“I suggested my good friend that, for a begin, he ought to look no farther than the income and procurement officers in any respect ranges of presidency. I informed him that typically, these officers have been those driving the newest automotive fashions, constructing basic flats in cities and placing up castles in rural areas, regardless of their decrease salaries. He wanted to topic them to a way of life audit, retire and even jail the incorrigibly corrupt and switch others, then income assortment would shoot up.
“He listened. In some circumstances, he personally walked into places of work to see how work was being executed. Quickly, Tanzania’s income doubled, then trebled. The brand new president instantly had cash to construct roads, ports, hospitals and railways, with out counting on donors.
The President developed very eager curiosity on what occurred to Kenya’s normal gauge railway when it comes to its price. He was decided to keep away from the pitfalls, and he did. That’s how he constructed Tanzania’s SGR 4 years later, at a a lot decrease price than ours.”
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