Slack public service may block the reforms of Tanzania’s Magufuli



President John Magufuli may be determined to implement reforms, but a slack public service machinery may prove to be the biggest hurdle to fulfilling the expectations of the majority of Tanzanians.

With a modus operandi that is unfamiliar in government circles, observers are of the view that President Magufuli has no option but to overhaul the public service machinery if he is to succeed in implementing his grand plans.

There is growing concern the country’s public service machinery is in a shambles and accountability among public servants at an all-time low.

Access to service in some public offices, hospitals, schools and other government institutions is no longer an automatic right for the citizenry.


There is no quick fix for the situation, which some analysts say gradually started nearly 20 years ago, and building a vibrant public service machinery is a challenge President Magufuli must confront head-on.

“I cannot tell to what extent President Magufuli understands that the public service machinery is in disarray and whether it has the capacity to implement his plans,” says a retired permanent secretary, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said although the President had demonstrated great determination to change the lives of Tanzanians, any plans geared towards the realisation of his goals should go in tandem with overhauling the public service machinery.

President Magufuli outlined the priorities of his government in his speech when inaugurating the National Assembly in Dodoma last week in which he clearly sent out the message that it will not be business as usual under his leadership.

He said the time has come for Tanzanians to walk the talk and confront vices that were holding the nation back.



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