20 April 2019

Malawi: As Malawi Hopes to Elect Its 'Magufuli', Tanzania President Sets for Two-Day Official Tour

Tanzanian President John Magufuli will pay a two-day State visit to Malawi from April 24 to 25 ahead of the watershed Tripartite Elections in the southern African nation where the East African leader is revered for his anti-corruption measures and the slashing of unnecessary public expenses.

Magufuli nicknamed 'the Bulldozer' for his no nonsense altitude is visiting Malawi where many say they 'a Magufuli type of leader'

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in Lilongwe in a statement that tough talking Tanzanian leader - popular in Makawi - is set to hold crucial talks with President Peter Mutharika and is set to open the w019 tobacco market season at LilongweAuction Floors.

This will be Magafuli's first visit to Malawi since he was elected president and it is expected that the Lake Malawi boundary wrangle with its north-eastern neighbour, Tanzania will form part of the talks with his host.

It is a well-known fact that Tanzania wants half of the eastern part of the lake because of the oil exploration activities underway in the lake.

In the lake border dispute, Malawi asserts full ownership of the lake, except the south-eastern stretch in Mozambique whereas Tanzania is claiming the north-eastern half as its own.

Malawi bases its argument on a July 1 1890 treaty between Germany and Britain that maps the boundary between the two countries along the Tanzania shores.

On the other hand, Tanzania is invoking the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea that stipulates that in cases where nations are separated by water bodies, the boundary lies in the middle of the water source.

But besides the lake dispute, Magufuli has good popular rating in Malawi and that most people prefer the country which is going to polls on May 21 2019, elect its own Magufuli among the seven presidential contenders.

Commentators say "Malawi needs a John Magufuli" to carry out a relentless campaign against corruption both within and without government.

"A Magufuli-like leader is what Malawi needs to turnaround its misfortunes and get on the path to economic growth and prosperity. Business as usual approaches by our leaders won't bring the change Malawi needs to transform itself into a self-reliant country with a motivated and optimistic citizenship," columnist Thom Khanje is in recird to have wrote in Daily Times newspaper.

When he was elected as Tanzania's fifth president, Magufuli did not bring continuity, but dramatic change. He launchef audit of the public payroll led to a purge of "ghost workers" and has genuinely waging war on corruption in the Tanzanian state.

However, some critics say Magufuli is not just waging war on corruption - he is also declaring war on democracy, the part that liberal Malawians would not admire him for.

His government has undermined judicial and parliamentary independence, implemented a partial ban on public rallies, harassed MPs, closure of online political space, and prosecuted critics under new defamation and sedition laws.

Together, these constitute major infringements on the freedom of expression and the opposition's ability to communicate with voters.

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