Tanzania's 'Bulldozer' President Risks Flattening His Country's Reputation and Revenue

Mar 1, 2019 | 10:30 GMT

Tanzanian President John Magufuli reviews an honor guard on Dec. 9, 2017, as he attends a ceremony marking the 56th anniversary of his country’s independence.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, nicknamed “the Bulldozer,” walks alongside troops during a ceremony in the country’s capital of Dodoma.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s full steam ahead for Tanzanian President John Magufuli, nicknamed “the Bulldozer." As Tanzania's president since 2015, Magufuli has overseen the East African country's recent shifts toward greater resource nationalism and fewer political freedoms. Despite warnings from opposition groups and other countries of the threats posed to Tanzania's democracy, Magufuli and his ruling party have continued to pursue hard-line policies that suppress dissent and foreign influence. This has led to the souring of relations between Tanzania and the European Union, the country's biggest development partner, in recent months, along with the freezing of millions of dollars of aid from Brussels. But Tanzania's ruling government remains focused on securing its power in next year's general elections, and will thus be reticent to change its ways before then -- leaving the country to fend without its major revenue stream....