Tanzania’s former president John Magufuli is the only African Civilian President, that never travelled outside of Africa while he was still in office.
As a Pan-Africanist, he considered state trips to other African countries to be more important than trips outside of Africa.
Born John Pombe Joseph Magufuli to a peasant farmer, he was the fifth president of Tanzania, serving from 2015 until his death in 2021.
He also served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications from 2000 to 2005 and 2010 to 2015 and was chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019 to 2020.
Magufuli was widely known during the 2020 pandemic not to believe in the novel Corona Virus which authorities however denied led to his death.
Whilst still president, John Magufuli, on January 31 2016 banned all senior public officials from using fuel guzzlers.
He then ordered that all 4 x 4s and other luxury cars be seized and sold in a public auction and the proceeds used to provide public goods and services.
The president further ordered that all Ministers, the Chief Justice, Ambassadors and Senior State officials choose between a Probox, Passo, Platz, Vitz, duet or any car that is less than 1400CC.
The move caused public anxiety in a country where Magufuli had been lauded for his austerity measures and revolutionary ideas that seemed to have eclipsed even the opposition.
“This is a public service not a gravy train. Anybody who came here to make riches should quit and join the private sector. All ministers and senior state house officials are here to work not to seek obscene opulence.”
“I don’t want to see them drive those big cars (4X4s), if anyone insists, please let them go buy their own cars, we (the government) shall fuel for them,” he said.
Magufuli added: “To build this country like I promised during campaigns, we must make sacrifices and that includes sacrificing those unnecessary comforts for the small cars.”
“I have ordered the police to impound any such big cars driven by state officials on the road and those officials be prosecuted.”
“We are not here to rob the average Tanzanian but to make his life better. This is the reason I skipped the AU heads of state meeting in Addis and sent Mama Suluhu (Deputy President).”
The President had also earlier banned use of presidential red carpets.