Magufuli orders Tanzanians to join monthly clean up campaigns
The Magufuli whirlwind continues with the new President’s latest public service announcement. The East African reports that the Tanzanian government has ordered all Tanzanians to join in clean up campaigns on the first Saturday of every month. The article reports:
“Mr Luhaga Mpina, the deputy minister in the office of the vice president ((Union matters and Environment) issued the directive Wednesday saying the intention was to rid the streets of diseased like cholera and “inculcate a culture of self-responsibility in conserving the environment.”
He said the ministry has prepared a strategic plan that will help in smooth implementation of the order including thorough follow-up in every locality across the country.
Mr Mpina said cholera cases in 2015 increased to nearly 12,000 with 194 deaths compared to 3,989 that occurred in 2014.
Cholera spreads through contaminated food and drinking water and causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. It is fatal if not treated.”
Public clean ups: a recurring theme in Magufuli policy
This move comes hot on the heels Magufuli’s cancellation of the annual Uhuru (Freedom) Day celebrations in December. Instead, the President himself joined in a clean up operation, as reported by the Nation (Kenya):
“Dozens of fishermen joined in the clean-up with their president, who shovelled leaves and plastic rubbish close to a fish market near the presidential palace as a crowd of hundreds looked on.
“Let us work together to keep our country, cities, homes and workplaces clean, safe and healthy,” the smiling Magufuli said, as he picked up litter with his hands.
Street cleaning took place across the economic capital Dar es Salaam, with plumes of smoke rising into the sky as residents burned piles of litter.”
Former World Bank official appointed Finance Minister
While these measures are popular in Tanzania, we perhaps learned a bit more about Magufuli’s politics following the announcement of the new Finance minister. Reuters reports:
“Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has appointed former World Bank economist Philip Mpango as minister for finance and planning, the presidential spokesman said on Wednesday.
Mpango is currently acting chief of the Tanzania Revenue Authority, after Magufuli suspended the previous head pending investigations into alleged corruption. He has also headed the presidential Economic Advisory Unit.”
The World Bank has had a mixed history with Africa over the past few decades. In the 1980s, they pushed African countries to cut public spending and adopt ‘free market’ reforms, which many commentators argue had some disastrous results.
You could argue that Magufuli’s drive to cut public spending lines up perfectly with the ideology of the Bretton-Woods institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund), and the appointment of Mpango is perhaps an indication that this will be a key component of Government policy under Magufuli’s leadership.