Opinion: Is Chato the next Yamoussoukro or Gitega?

There been plenty of Presidents moving capitals to their home-towns, even if they are backwards in the middle of nowhere and has little connection the general history of the nations. These is big-man moves to build the image and the boost the ego of the Head of State.

The late President Pierre Nkurunziza moved the capital from Bujumbura to Gitega in the 2019. The Burundian President’s move isn’t new and neither is the idea of doing so. While Nkurunziza did it with haste. Making Gitega the political capital and Bujumbura the economic capital. Something, Houphouët-Boigny already did in the 1980s.

In the Ivory Coast, the first President since independence from France. Félix Houphouët-Boigny started to build and make greatness of his Yamoussoukro. A project he started in the 1960s and proclaimed the town as the capital of the Ivory Coast by March 1983. While designating Abidjan as the economic capital. The capital is now the 5th biggest city/town in the Ivory Coast, but proves how one man’s vision has changed the history and the importance of town, which only had 500 people in the 1950s.

Now, during the first term of President Joseph Magufuli is boosting his home-town Chato in Chato District in Geita Region. A district, which has about 360,000 citizens. That isn’t big in the scheme things. As the United Republic of Tanzania has over 56 million citizens. Dodoma the capital has about 2 million citizens and Dar Es-Salaam have 4,3 million citizens. So, Chato has little or nothing to show.

However, the state is really boosting it. By building a massive international airport and planning a big referral hospital too. The President has had state visits there to visit him. That being President Kenyatta in 2019 and President Museveni in 2020. So, the President keeps promoting it and being in focus of the place.

Magufuli building a magnificent new airport, hospital, remaking five game reserves into a National Parks, tarmacking the road from Busisi to Chato and so on. That is all benefiting Chato, which just happens to be his birthplace and hometown. Yes, he has not moved the capital or said anything about doing so. However, his boosting his town and area with big developments, which isn’t fitting the area itself. Even if the “Yes-Men” in the CCM claims so…

You know the town isn’t that big of deal, when the Chato District Commissioner and District Executive Director in November 2019 was grateful for financial contribution for a 3,000 spectator sized stadium in Chato. Therefore, the hospital, airport and such is only happening because the President has his heart here.

It seems like this is the dream of the President to make Chato great. Make his hometown into a paradise and have everything in order. Also, building Standard Gauge Railway to the town as well. We can see that the President is trying to make the most of out of his term. Bring all sort of infrastructure developments for a place, which isn’t all that significant, except in the heart of the President and his ancestors.

Magufuli is allowed like everyone to be proud of his homestead and represent that in office. There is nothing wrong with. Also brining some good fortunes to it too. That is part of the role of being in government. However, building projects fitting the big cities of the Republic, but is instead prioritized his hometown.

We know he has the heart in Chato and with time there will be more importance on it too. Magufuli wants to get this place to the upper echelon. That is evident by all the defence of the projects and the sizes of it. If it was made to its size. It would have been in the realm of the stadium of 3000 spectators and not a giant international airport and railway passing through.

Magufuli we see, we see you. If you know, now you know. This looks like his plan to make his Yamoussoukro or Gitega in the United Republic. I wouldn’t be shocked, because he has already started. Peace.

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