Survival of the fittest as Magufuli keeps his ministers running

Sunday June 9 2019

President John Magufuli

President John Magufuli 

By Gadiosa Lamtey @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam. So, who is next? Not a far-fetched question for President John Magufuli’s cabinet after the sacking of Trade and Industries minister on Friday -- barely six months after he was picked for what is now arguably one of the hottest dockets of the Fifth Phase Administration.

Mr Joseph Kakunda replaced Charles Mwijage at the then-Industry, Trade and Investment last November, but his tenure came to grinding, shock halt after a no-holds-barred meeting between the President and business representatives at State House in Dar es Salaam.

The minister was one of the high-profile casualties of the emotive day-long meeting during which traders vented their frustration at the prodding of the Head of State, accusing ministers and key government institutions of being stumbling blocks to business.

As it turns out, the Trade ministry under President Magufuli is no paradise. The docket has seen ministerial changes twice in a short space of time. It has fallen into the same group of hot seats as the Home Affairs ministry, which has also twice been hit by the firing squad.

Heads have also rolled at the ministries of Natural Resources and Tourism, Water and Irrigation, Regional Administration and Local Government.

And this may not be end of it all. President Magufuli insists that he will not hesitate to fire any minister who’s found wanting in delivering results.


Agriculture minister Charles Tizeba and his then-Industry, Trade and Investment counterpart Mwijage suffered their fate over their mishandling of the cashewnuts saga last year.

At the Home Affairs, Mr Kitwanga was shown the door after he allegedly appeared in Parliament drunk. He had served for five months. In sacking Kitwanga’s successor, Mwigulu Nchemba, the President said he was not impressed by the ministry’s performance.

Up to now, the ministries that have been spared the rod are that of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development (William Lukuvi), Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (Ummy Mwalimu), State in the Vice President’s Office (Union and Environment) (January Makamba), Education, Education, Science and Technology (Prof Joyce Ndalichako) and Finance and Planning (Dr Philip Mpango).