Tanzania's Magufuli to launch nationalism campaign

Thursday December 7 2017

Tanzania's President John Magufuli.

Tanzania's President John Magufuli. PHOTO | AFP 

By The EastAfrican
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Tanzania's President John Magufuli will Friday launch a nationalism campaign at the University of Dodoma.

The drive, organised by the Ministry of Information, Culture, Sports and Arts, is aimed at inculcating patriotism among Tanzanians.

Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, the minister, briefing reporters in Dodoma on Thursday, said in recent days unity and solidarity had been diminishing among the people, including leaders, due to lack of nationalism.

He added that the 'Nchi Yangu Kwanza' (My Country First) campaign, which is part of the Independence commemorations, will help revive the spirit of nationalism as espoused by the founding leader Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

“It’s a shame to see some people showering praise on leaders who have been ejected out of the leadership system due to malpractices, especially fraud,” he said.

He said the country cannot industrialise its economy unless all people embrace nationalism.

“Development calls for unity and solidarity, in absence of these, nothing good can be achieved,” he insisted.

Tanzania will mark its 56th Independence Day celebrations on December 9.

When he took over the country's leadership in October 2015, President Magufuli, reputed as a no-nonsense man, scrapped the Independence day fete and ordered a clean-up campaign instead. It was the first time the country cancelled the celebration.

Two years on, the President has maintained his tempo and is seen as a disciplinarian out to inject work ethic in the Tanzanian civil service and eliminate corruption.

But, the man nicknamed "the bulldozer" has also been increasingly criticised over his authoritarian leadership style that clamps down on the opposition, journalists and artists.