Tanzania Embraces Democracy, Sets a New Course for Global Recognition

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After six years of isolation and experience of good authoritarian government under the Late President John Magufuli’s regime, Tanzania has radically shifted to an interdependent state that respects international obligations, respect of private property and supports a market economy. The move to development via “Hapa Kazi Tu” was domestically supported by people of the lower class who had limited or lacked sufficient pieces of information that could help them forecast the implications.

During the Magufuli administration, there were several challenges faced by Tanzania, including limited media freedom, human rights concerns, unemployment, and hunger. The media was often restricted from reporting on these issues, leading to a lack of public awareness. Educational and health facilities were insufficient, and nepotism was reported.

Opposition leaders and activists experienced significant hardships, including exile, imprisonment, job loss, and, in some cases, extreme violence. Prominent individuals, like Fatma Karume, faced professional setbacks, although her family status may have provided some protection from the harsher consequences.

Magufulization was justified by the institutionalisation of strict rules and regulations such as The Media Services Act, 2016 and numerous Presidential decrees that undeniably expose the overshadow of executive organs over other arms of the government.

Read Related: John Pombe Magufuli: An Inquisition of His Legacy Over More Than 10 Years in Power

Three years now and many have changed including the status of the country from the red zone country to the most attractive place to visit, reconciliation and reform and re-establishment of democratic practices come as a surprise. The isolated island has rejoined the co-existence world, its renowned status in international diplomacy, foreign direct investment deeply instituted and strongly encouraged, international markets are restructured to fit the competitive nature of the Liberal economy and youth empowerment programmes at learning institutions and family-level motivated.

Despite recent changes, the media industry remains uncertain and cautious about its reporting due to the lingering effects of the Media Service Act, of 2016. The industry’s uncertainty is driven by the unpredictable responses from authorities. Consequently, journalists are often constrained, holding on to past practices as they navigate the evolving political and economic landscape under President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s administration.

Furthermore, not the media industry alone that is drowned with the legacy of “Hapa Kazi Tu”, the political parties, civil society and youth in Tanzania have also been psychologically surprised, by the freedom and openness that reestablished the lack of full support of these groups, opposition parties shocked the with radical reconciliation and reconstruction of democratic infrastructure that has been stumbled just by one say under strict support of military and police forces.

Democracy has been slowly but surely restored, with no bloodshed, no jail, no Exile, no division, and no unknown militant group operation. The island that has an internal segment has been reconstructed to join the parts to form a stronghold for all and not the segment of certain tribes.

Witness demonstration by CHADEMA was a victory for those who lost their job, friends, family, and some who lost their lives. President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made it easier than it has been expected, it is just a miracle to wake up the next morning and puuuh…!!!Freedom of information, expression, participation, human rights and respect of property rights” No wonder oppositional parties have lost direction of agenda and blackmail strategy against the authority.

The “Why do civilians appear to have lost confidence in authority?,” is an interesting question, since the majority of Africa and Tanzania specifically, lacked a credible source of information they only relied on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp groups among others.

Also Read: Tanzania’s Foreign Policy Acts on Navigating Geo-Political Dynamics

Big Media such as BBC, VOA and DW have been downgraded since President Magufuli’s time and the legacy is in effect, however, some other media have been inappropriate to report misinformation that motivates hatred toward authority.

Attention! Tanzania will be built by its citizens and through the government of Tanzania. I suppose the radical interdependence strategy employed by President Samia is productive, it opens up Tanzania to the world and the world to Tanzania, the only way for us to sell our culture is through co-existence and not the otherwise.

Interdependence co-existence is challenging though, since it requires the ability to negotiate what is best for a long time and long periods ” longevity principle”, needs people who are not just experts or experienced but natural talent for persuasion and convincing power, the moment as the country will be able to recognise people of such qualities and use them is the moment we will be in progress ever after.


Pius is a Political scientist and pan African, Champion of Cambridge Development Initiative 2017.

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