All Time Lessons From Magufuli | The Nation Online

Most countries in Africa are known to be underdeveloped. In isolated cases, some have moved to developed and middle-developed respectively.

These moves are not automatic. They required a lot of hard work and following the laws of the country. The respective countries had to show willingness to develop.

Take it or leave it, rampant corruption is what has delayed economic growth in most African countries, Malawi included. Unfortunately, corruption emanates from the leadership, who more often than not, join politics as a way of enriching themselves. Such leadership has nothing to do with serving the people. 

It is pathetic when leaders blame donors for their economic failures as if it is the duty of every foreign donor to help them. They even do not know that most donor money comes from their people’s taxes.  Therefore, it does not make sense that people from foreign governments can work hard to help people of Africa where most of the donor money just get stolen dubiously.

As it were, most leaders soon after getting into power hurry and make their first trip abroad, to go and negotiate for loans from the World Bank and the InternationaI Monetary Fund (IMF). This was unlike John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania, who likely thought that money for development was in the country.  

Magufuli first of all checked corruption by scrutinising contracts already signed by previous government, if he found any signs of corruption, he used to terminate the contract there and then. Magufuli wanted all contractors to work on his terms.

In a number of countries, it is believed that loans from China are much better with no string attached to them as opposed to loans from the West, which have lots of conditions.

Clever leaders, such as the late Magufuli, believe that some donor conditions from China seem to be the worst. It was believed the Chinese had a contract to expand the port of Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania on condition that they run it for 100 years or so. It is their style, they would bring workers from China. This was like colonising Tanzania, of which Magufuli could have known of it. Very doubtful if such an agreement was signed. 

In fact, most African countries are waking up not to sign Chinese deals.  Since President Lazarus Chakwera really admired Magufuli, one can hope that he will copy his styles of development. Imagine, within five years Magufuli improved the transport system that most people now admire. 

The road network and railways have been improved beyond imagination, let alone, the airports and aeroplanes. Tanzania at some time only had one aeroplane. Magufuli has left behind six big ones. The main airport has tubes. It is pathetic that in this region, Malawi might be the only country where people who cannot get into the plane are carried on the shoulders.

The speech praising Magufuli by President Chakwera at the funeral should not go in vain.  In fact, it was the best, which is now used in most media discussions on the continent. Let Malawi, under Chakwera, just be as successful as Tanzania under Magufuli. Fortunately, Chakwera and his deputy have already started to deal with the most corrupt in the previous government.

As Chakwera said at Magufuli’s funeral, that some soothsayers have been saying that corruption cannot be gotten out in Africa, they did not see Magufuli coming. Next time, let it be said “they did not see Dr Lazarus Chakwera coming”.

In all spheres of development, Magufuli will remain the example.