Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli does not mind getting his hand dirty doing un-President-like jobs like sweeping the streets clean. Tanzania celebrated its Independence Day on Wednesday, December 8 but unlike previous celebrations or festivals held in other countries. President Magufuli canceled the flamboyant State Bodies celebrations and instead ordered a national clean-up day.
Instead of using a lot of government money on Independence Day Celebration, Magufuli redirected that money to be used up in hospitals and fight against cholera. A move seeking to address rising concern among Tanzania’s poor neighborhoods where there are no proper toilets or sewage systems in place.
When Independence Day arrived, Magufuli proved that he just don’t talk the talk, but also walks the talk. He came out of his lavish State House and started collecting rubbish off the streets.
People in the streets including fishermen joined their President in an unprecedented occasion where social ranks were forgotten. President and commoners alike were sweeping the streets, clearing the drainage, shoveling leaves and plastic bags off the streets.
The smiling Magufuli said, “Let us work together to keep our country, cities, homes and workplaces clean, safe and healthy.”
Tumeshiriki kwa wingi wetu siku hii muhimu kwa kufanya kazi ktk maeneo mbalimbali. Uhuru na Kazi, Hapa Kazi Tu. Mungu Ibariki Tanzania.2/2.
— Dr John Magufuli (@MagufuliJP) December 9, 2015
The streets of Dar es Salaam got a new look with plumes of smoke rising above the buildings as the residents burned the piles of litter. Former Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete, who also took part in the clean up told a national TV station, “I am happy with his exercise. Let us give our President full support in his campaign to fight cholera and other communicable diseases. I am very happy with measures he is taking to curb inefficiency, tax evasion, and other malpractices in public offices; I am very proud of him.”
When Magufuli was sworn in on November 5, 2015, he started his job as Tanzania fifth President with a pretty impressive tempo. In a little over a month in office, Magufuli has already jailed some government officials for reporting to work late, suspended the head of Tanzania tax authority and banned the use of public funds in buying Christmas and New Year’s greeting cards.