Tanzania: Five Years of JPM's Maneuver

ACCORDING to the Dictionary, maneuver is a series of tactical exercises usually carried out in the field by large body of troops (battalion) in simulating the condition of war and it might involve changing the position of troops, ships or equipment on the battle ground.

Maneuver is a common term in military context particularly at operation time meaning changing or turning a disadvantage into an opportunity by surprising the enemy within a short period of time. I submit that, this definition I am drawing from my own experience and little knowledge I have in the combat field.

At war time, there are normally surprises which might come from the enemy (other forces) or might be brought by natural ground arrangement (terrain).

In order to fix or contain the enemy by surprising him, normally commanders maneuver either the ground, troops or equipment to gain the tactical ground to easily defeat the enemy.

This is very similar to the way JPM has managed to surprise his enemies in and outside the system. In my opinion, JPM enemies might be people who are corrupt, lazy and unaccountable.

I compare the JPM's approach to the challenges of this country as the same as commanders do maneuver at war.

JPM has managed to change this country in many ways. His approach to leadership has been a debate in local and international political arenas.

His ways of "maneuvering" issues, topics, agenda, minds, actions has been the centre of talks both locally and globally.

Who expected that JPM would come up with a different approach to leadership when he was first sworn in 2015?

JPM has managed to maneuver issues and Tanzania has been popular since he took the highest office from Jakaya Kikwete. These are memorable JPM's maneuvers which have left footprints in Tanzanian's leadership history for years.

JPM's approach to coronavirus

On May 3, 2020, the Tanzanian Head of State surprised the world after he said fruits and inanimate objects which were secretly sent to the national lab for test we're found Covid-19 positive. The question remains, why did JPM do this?

The answer was he wanted to maneuver data and panic which was facing the nation without scientific reasons. This was his way of questioning the whole process of Covid-19 tests and results which at the time had created unspeakable panic and fear.

Through President's "maneuvering", a lot of questions emerged on whether the Tanzania national lab equipment was fake and if it was not fake then there were elements of sabotage within the national lab offices.

JPM and Barrick saga

In 2017, the Head of State suspected foul play by a Canadian mining giant in Tanzania over the exportation of mineral concentrates abroad for smelting, raising critical questions why the mineral concentrates were transported under tight security if they had no value. The President questioned!

His statement came after the deployment of a group of experts who finally came up with shocking information. After the report, JPM required the mining firm to compensate Tanzania for the foul play since the 1990s when it started operating in the East African nation.

This was another JPM maneuver and a strong shock to mining companies since they started operating in Africa. I have no record, if there is any other President who has tried to "battle" with the large mining empire like Barrick Gold in Africa and possibly the world at Large. I stand to be corrected!

Shift from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma capital city

In 2016, JPM ruled out that by 2020 he wanted to see all government activities shifted to Dodoma in full swing in line with the implementation of his Declaration of shifting to Dodoma as per plan initiated by the Founding Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in 1973.

On December 15, 2017, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan officially relocated to Dodoma, becoming the second top official to leave Dar es Salaam for Dodoma after Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who landed first at the capital city of Dodoma.

Out of no time, JPM managed to maneuver something which was not possible within all ruling times of Ally Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete.

JPM and tax collection

In 2017, President Magufuli vowed to toughen a tax evasion crackdown by big companies, including mining companies as a country strategy to boost domestic revenue and get away from foreign dependency.

This was another maneuver by JPM never seen before for a President reminding the other "branch" to help the government in tax collection strategy. Magufuli launched a crackdown on corrupt government officials at TRA, the judiciary and other government offices.

JPM and the health sector

Tanzania has registered tremendous health sector development. The number of health centres tripled only within four years plus throughout the country.

Again, President Magufuli recently announced newly created 1,000 posts for the health sector, including doctors and other related jobs.

Tanzania needed a President who can "maneuver" and be able to command the economy, politics and people's social welfare. President Magufuli is very aggressive and came in power at the right time.

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