Tanzania’s cost cuts go viral

Tanzania’s new president has been given a comic hashtag on Twitter:#WhatWould MagufuliDo? after introducing a radical programme of government cutbacks just days into the job. As Hayley Platt reports he’s even banned government Christmas cards to cut back on costs.

(REUTERS/KENYA PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE) – He’s been Tanzania’s President for less than a month.

But John Magufuli has already become a Twitter sensation, thanks to a radical clampdown on government spending.

Social media user Jacob Selengia.


“People started making it a joke in everyday life, and it just grew from that. It’s an everyday conversation piece, even in the office. You know, let’s say teabags have run out. Someone will go, What Would Magufuli Do? Let’s just get water and carry on with work.”

Shortly after his inauguration, Magufuli cancelled Independence day festivities, restricted officials from travelling abroad and banned the printing of government Christmas cards.

He’s also put a stop to the 100,000 dollar spending on the opening of parliament.

Instead pledging to spend the money on new hospital beds – after learning patients were sleeping on the floor.

His ruling CCM party has also pledged to tackle corruption, something many voters have been calling for.

Tanzania’s economy has been growing at 7 percent a year.

But poverty is still a big problem.

And Magufuli hasn’t won over everyone yet.


“I have some reservations. I’m just trying to figure out, is this a political stunt? Or will he continue to do this as time goes on?”

Others welcome the new president’s belt tightening ways.

And some would like to see them repeated across Africa.

But for now, Tanzanians will be watching to see ‘What Magufuli will do next?’