Tanzania will be turning 55 tomorrow, April 26, but President John Pombe Magufuli will not be celebrating the Union Day as it happens every year. He has cancelled it and has recommended the fund to be used for road construction.
Last year, in December, the president had also quit the independence day celebrations and took clean-up campaigns.
The cost-cutting policy of Magufuli reminds the visions of first President Julius Nyerere of self-reliance, accountability and good governance.
Nyerere governed Tanzania from independence in 1961 to 1985 when he retired.
However, the road for Magufuli is not easy following the footsteps of Nyerere. To achieve the goals he must find consensus for constitutional reforms and this is important as elections are becoming competitive gradually. This may result in future with increasingly polarised contests.
It is not to forget here the rival of Magufuli, Edward Lowassa, has not yet recognized the election results of October 2015.
The reforms now mean an overhaul of the country’s old constitution. Several governments earlier had promised to bring the reform but all have fallen short of their promises.
However, tomorrow’s Union Day celebrations would remind to undo the past failures. Magufuli need to overcome its economic challenges too. The country is a key factor in regional affairs and it has to formulate a grounded foreign policy framework.
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