Tanzania: Magufuli Tweets Kudos to Trump

Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

President John Magufuli yesterday tweeted to congratulate the President- Elect of the United States, Mr Donald Trump, with local analysts expecting little change in American foreign policy.

In the tweet message, Dr Magufuli wrote; « Congratulations President-Elect Donald Trump and the people of America. Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation. »

Trump, who stood on Republican Party ticket, emerged victorious in the hotly-contested election, beating former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party.

The 70-year businessman will become the 45th president after scoring 276 Electoral College votes in early results beating his competitor who scored 218 votes.

In separate interviews with the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, local analysts described the win by Mr Trump as a ‘shock’ given the fact that many opinion polls in the United States had put Ms Clinton on the lead.

« It should, however, be noted that the foreign policy of the United States will not change with the coming of Mr Trump, » Professor Kitila Mkumbo, remarked in a telephone interview.

Even with controversial statements made by Mr Trump during the campaign, Prof Mkumbo explained that the constitution of the US puts limits on the president of that country.

« The powers of president in the United States are checked by other organs and hence we should not expect him to implement some of his controversial proposals, » Prof Mkumbo stated.

However, a lecturer at the Tanzania-Mozambique Centre for Foreign Relations, Dr Kitojo Wetengere, was of a view that the United States under Mr Trump would be of less assistance to Tanzania and Africa as a whole.

« Mr Trump has indicated on several occasions that he will not tolerate aid to developing countries; this should be a lesson to African countries to strive for self-reliance, » Dr Wetengere observed.

The don noted, however, that Tanzanians have a lot to learn from the elections in the US, particularly the trend by contestants to concur with election results. « There are people in Tanzania who are still bitter with election results of last year but the situation is different in US where contestants call each other after the results are announced, » Dr Wetengere stated.

Dr Bashiru Ally of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) was skeptical that should the US, under Mr Trump; experience bitter relations with other super powers, then developing countries will suffer most.

« Should, for instance, US experience sour trade relations with China, African countries will be indirectly affected, » the analyst observed. He was equally worried that Tanzania may lose millions of US dollars remitted annually by Tanzanians in the US, should the Trump Administration kick-out illegal immigrants in that country, some of whom may be Tanzanians.

Dr Ally expressed concern as well that Mr Trump has indicated he will pursue a radical foreign policy through screening of Muslims in the US, building a wall to cut off Mexico as well as ejecting undocumented immigrants.

For his part, Professor Chris Peter Maina of UDSM expressed worries that the relationship and long-term friendship between Tanzania and US are likely to shake. He explained that while the president-elect had overtly shown negative elements against Third World countries, « Trump’s atitude isn’t positive for developing countries. »

The law expert said there were little to learn from Tuesday’s election as both parties had ‘tainted’ the electoral campaign.

Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee defied pre-election polling to claim swing states, winning the key battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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