Tanzania President Helps Clean Streets

Tanzania President Helps Clean Streets

Tanzania's new President, John Magufuli, has joined hundreds of residents in the main city of Dar es Salaam to take part in a public clean-up exercise.

The cleanup exercise forms part of scheme, Mr. Magufuli had ordered to replace Independence Day celebrations. Mr Magufuli picked up rubbish from the street outside State House as part of the scheme.

The BBC reports that the move is being seen as symbolic of the president's promise to tackle corruption. Thousands of people across Tanzania are reported to have joined the clean-up.

Last month, Mr Magufuli cancelled traditional independence day celebrations, which usually include a military parade and concert, saying it would be "shameful" to spend huge sums of money while the country was facing a serious cholera outbreak.

"Tanzania has changed - this is a new Tanzania," one resident told AFP, on a break from cleaning up the city's public beach.

Since coming to power in October, Mr Magufuli, nicknamed "The Bulldozer" for his no-nonsense approach, has announced a range of cost-cutting measures, including a ban on unnecessary foreign travel by government officials.

The hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo, coined after the initial cancellation of festivities last month, has been trending on social media in Tanzania and across East Africa, as people come up with their own money-saving initiatives:

Last month, Mr Magufuli ordered the cost of a party to inaugurate the new parliament to be slashed from $100,000 (£66,000) to $7,000.

He also sacked the head of the main state hospital after finding patients sleeping on the floor during a surprise visit to the facility.

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