19 August 2016
Few weeks ago, the President of Tanzania John Magufuli announced that his government is prepared to move the Country’s Capital city from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma within the next five years.
The plan to migrate to Dodoma is to achieve a 43-year-old dream started by former president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who was regarded as the Father of the Nation.
Dodoma was founded in 1907 by German colonists during the construction of the Tanzanian central railway.
In 1973, the Tanzanian government announced that the capital would be moved from Dar es Salaam to a more central location to better serve the needs of the people.
The mandatory plan for all ministries, agencies and parastatals to move to Dodoma in the next five years was greeted with different reactions.
While some have applauded the decision, critics cited different reasons why the dream might not be achieved.
While the private sector hailed the announcement and the subsequent move, some believed that there were more pressing issues that needed attention than building a new capital city.
Feelers from other sectors indicate that there’s an overwhelming support for the move to Dodoma.
The major fear is that the government may end up building another gigantic urban nightmare characterised by mushrooming of unplanned settlements, poor water supply and sewage systems, traffic jams, air pollution, inadequate infrastructure and social services and unemployment – problems which have for decades characterised Dar es Salam.
President John Magufuli was elected in 2015 after serving as Tanzania’s Minister of Works from 2010 to 2015.
Within days of being sworn in, Magufuli was making far-reaching changes. To save costs he banned overseas travel for civil servants. He cancelled lavish Independence Day celebrations and slashed the budget for a state banquet to mark the official opening of the parliament.
He made surprise visits to ministries and hospitals, firing the board of the country’s biggest hospital after finding patients sleeping on the floor.
Magufuli‘s headline-grabbing anti-corruption and anti-waste measures captured the imagination of a continent.
To many, Magufuli demonstrated a humility lacking in too many African leaders. #WhatWouldMagufuliDo trended for weeks.
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.