Monday, December 14, 2015

This Is What Hope Looks Like

What do you think would happen, if on the next 4th of July, the U.S. president cancelled all official Independence Day celebrations and instead told everyone to pick up a trash bag and start cleaning their cities?

That's exactly what happened last week.  When we went out our gate on Independence Day, the smoke from a thousand trash fires filled the air.  (Okay, so not exactly great for the lungs, but great for the city!)

Just six weeks into his presidency, Magufuli got out on the streets and picked up trash.

photo source here
But that's not all.

Dr. John Pombe Magufuli was declared Tanzania's fifth president on October 30th.  Just a few days later, he made a surprise visit to the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam.  Finding patients lying in the hallways, he sacked the hospital chief and broke up the board of governors, on the spot.

He then proceeded to cut the $100,000 budget set aside for his inauguration day down to $7000, and sent the remainder of the money to the hospital.  Within a few days, scores of new beds had been purchased, and the broken MRI machine had been repaired.

And with that, Magufuli began his run as one of the most hard-working, honest, and forthright presidents this continent has ever seen.  

He immediately, boldly took on the business tycoons who have bribed their way out of millions of dollars of import taxes.

When traveling to the capital for parliament meetings, he refused to fly and drove instead.

No longer are parliament ministers allowed expensive foreign trips abroad.  Instead, they are encouraged to visit rural areas of Tanzania.  No longer are government meetings allowed to be held in expensive hotels.

Traffic has gotten worse, because government officials are actually showing up for work.   When he cancelled the Independence Day celebrations for a clean-up day instead, he re-routed the party money into road construction.

Hope is surging throughout his country.  Everywhere, everyone is talking about it.  For a continent that has been plagued by corruption, civil war, and horrendous tyrants in leadership, Magufuli's Tanzania is soaring.

It's a great time to live in Tanzania!  Even America's president could learn a few lessons.  Pray with us that this is only the beginning of real, lasting change.

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