‘Foreigners’ sabotage our efforts: Magufuli

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli said his quest to transform the country’s economy has been encountering obstacles, including sabotage from some ‘foreign’ agents and organizations who do so through locals.

In his live televised address to members of the ruling CCM’s Central Committee, President Magufuli accused some civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of being used by ‘foreigners’ to push the latter’s agenda.

The Head of State explained that his administration has been implementing reforms in order to make Tanzania financially independent - something which does not seem to bode well for some foreign countries and organisations.

In that regard, President Magufuli said some ‘foreigners’ have been using CSOs and NGOs to sabotage his efforts.

The President said that the government has embarked upon implementation of strategic development projects such as the revival of Air Tanzania Corporation Ltd (ATCL), construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) and the Nyerere Hydro-electric project on the Rufiji River at a place that was popular as ‘Stiegler’s Gorge.’

However, Dr Magufuli said some locals and foreigners have been using nefarious tactics to frustrate his efforts.

“They use NGOs and CSOs to push their agendas, pretending that they are teaching us democracy and human rights while, in actual fact, they are the ones who are breaking them by creating oppressive systems,” said the President, who also doubles as the CCM chairman.

He added that, “through their operations, they interfere with other countries’ sovereignty, creating chaos as well as unnecessary alarms... For example, they claimed that there was an Ebola outbreak to portray that the country wasn’t safe.”

The President called for Tanzanians to remain united because every journey to transform any country’s fortunes must encounter challenges. He said that, to win ‘the economic war’ (transforming the economy) Tanzanians should be patriotic.

The Head of State also took a dig at some Tanzanians who weren’t ready to accept the on-going changes.

“There are some people who don’t understand that we are in a new era where the main priority is to build the economy; to make Tanzania financially independent; to create integrity and discipline in resource management,” Dr Magufuli lamented.

The Head of State’s remarks come just a few days after reports emerged that the Tanzanian government has written to withdraw the right of individuals and NGOs to directly file cases against it at the Arusha-based African Court of Human and People’s Rights (AfCHPR).

Tanzania has the highest number of cases filed by individuals and NGOs as well as judgments issued against it by the African Court. Out of the 70 decisions issued by the court by September 2019, a total of 28 decisions, or 40 percent, were on Tanzania.

Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister Augustine Mahiga said earlier this month that reports that Tanzania had withdrawn its AfCHPR membership were untrue, noting that the country was only asking for a review of a protocol it believes was contentious.

“The decision to withdraw our membership will only come after they fail to change the protocol that is contentious in the court’s operations,” Dr Mahiga said.

However, he didn’t site the protocol, which he thinks it is contentious.