The new President of Tanzania has already made a name across the continent with a drastic reduction program. During his first three weeks in office, John Magufuli banned officials to travel abroad, canceled the annual celebrations of Independence Day and even put an end to the budget spent on Christmas cards, all before naming his government. Today, social media, to Nigeria and South Africa, have picked up the story and gently make fun of this austerity, with the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo.
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIE (30 NOVEMBRE 2015) (REUTERS) – The campaign slogan of the newly elected President of Tanzania, John Magufuli was “Hapa Kazi You”, which means “work and nothing else.”
In his first weeks in office, Magufuli changed everything. He promised zero tolerance against corruption and said he would take personal charge of the new campaign against corruption.
It has implemented a series of austerity measures since he was sworn in early November, including the cancellation of the day of celebrations of independence and the restriction of travel of staff abroad.
This year, as part of the austerity measures taken by the new president, Tanzanian officials will not be allowed to print the usual Christmas cards and New Year.
Magufuli also ordered that the sum of nearly US $ 100,000, which had been set aside for the celebration marking the opening of parliament, or used to buy beds for the main hospital in Tanzania, having seen patients sleep on the floor.
The people have long complained of the officials in their abuse.
Underlining its popularity since it came to power, the Twitter hashtags associated with the President, such as #WhatWouldMagufuliDo, quickly became trending topics among social network users.
Mocking the new measures taken by the President, #WhatWouldMagufuliDo generated comic and satirical messages were heard throughout Africa.
Selengia Jacob is an avid user of social media following the developments around the #WhatWouldMagufuliDo.
“It is about reduce, restrict and basically budgeting. So people started to make a joke of everyday life, this is how it has become so widespread. It is part of all conversations day, even in offices. To answer a simple joke about tea bags become dry, someone would say that Magufuli ?, “Selengia said.
Nicknamed “the bulldozer” by his supporters, Magufuli was sworn in early November. His ruling party, CCM since the end of colonial rule in 1961, has struggled to fight against endemic corruption impoverishment.
Tanzania enjoys an economic growth of 7 percent a year, but it is largely driven by investment state and poverty remains stubbornly high.
Companies cite rampant corruption as one of the greatest obstacles to investment in Tanzania, a country with a multitude of agricultural land, mineral resources and gas reserves.
Despite the popularity of the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo, measures taken by the new president, as part of the fight against corruption have sparked mixed reactions among some residents of the commercial capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam
“I have some reservations. I’m just trying to understand, is it a political stunt? Or will he continue this while time passes? Because, as we speak, if I’m not mistaken, it is 23 days since he took office, about three weeks. So he will continue at the same pace? ” Sabuni said Jasper, a resident of Dar es salaam.
“I think this change is appropriate. We hope it will continue its momentum and that it will ensure that, while he takes all the decisions, because the President of Tanzania has plenty of power, that it will defend the rule of law and he will not forget to defend the rights of the people, for that matter, “added Ngasuma Kanyeka, another resident of Dar es salaam.
For many Tanzanians whose eyes are on the new government, a question now arises, what will Magufuli next?