By Caleb Otieno
We condole with neighbouring Tanzania following the demise of President John Pombe Magufuli.
During his short stint as the country’s Supremo, President Magufuli was admired by followers for his hostility to corruption and waste but regarded by foes as an irascible authoritarian intolerant of dissent and muzzling the media.
Nicknamed, ‘The Bulldozer’ for his fondness for massive public works and a reputation for pushing through policies despite opposition, he had a hard-charging leadership style that won support from many Tanzanians. But he also attracted criticism at home and abroad for what opponents saw as his eccentric handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The counties of Kajiado and Narok are, however, not likely to miss him much for the following reasons:
- President Magufuli established and maintained a frosty relation with Kenya.
- He ordered the burning of two (2) million chicks imported from Kenya claiming they harboured diseases.
- He sold to his countrymen at a throw away prices over 2,000 heads of cattle allegedly having strayed from Kenya to his country. Uganda was not spared too, 6,600 Ankole cattle were also auctioned after crossing border to Tanzania.
- Several Kenyans of Maasai extraction were arrested in the border towns for flimsy reasons and had to be bonded out the cells by Kajiado County Governor.
- His unsavoury comments against Kenya in dealing with the Coronavirus caused tension between the two sister countries and badly affected trade.
But, we too accept that he was a very industrious leader and a true patriot.
May the soul of this man popularly known as ‘Pombe’ Rest In Peace! Buriani Magufuli!