Thursday, December 10, 2015
Cleaning the environment as part of Independence celebrations is hailed
President John Magufuli, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Wednesday this week led Tanzanians in a nationwide cleanliness exercise that marked Independence Day. This is a new style of celebrating the occasion ever since the independence time in 1961. Motivated by President Magufuli’s leadership thus far, particularly his zero-tolerance on corruption and huge cuts in public spending, Tanzanians responded in kind heeding the Head of State’s call to turn celebrations of Tanzania’s 54th independence anniversary to a national cleanliness day. Streets and public places were thronged as early as 6 am, with unprecedented vigor, public servants, community groups, businesses and corporate teams, individual men, women and children from all walks of life took to the streets cleaning their environs. Gloves on and clad in a casual shirt, fedora hat and a pair of training shoes, the President and first lady Janet
Magufuli, got down to do the ‘dirty job’ by 7 am starting with their own backyard—the area behind State House in Dar es Salaam. The President then went down to the Magogoni beachfront that is in the vicinity and there, the otherwise shunned dirty job turned into a fun affair as crowds of small-scale fishermen and fish mongers joined the Commander-in-Chief in collecting litter all along the beach and effectively giving his security detailed extra work. With plastic bags and other litter in hand, President Magufuli took time to hear and respond to grievances aired by the crowds that joined him. Amid songs and chants in praise of the President, “Magufuli Oyee, Magufuli Oyeee…” they loaded the litter onto a waiting garbage track. Speaking to his fellow cleaners-turned-audience after about one hour of clean up, the 5th phase President Magufuli pledged to resolve the challenges facing fishermen in the country. “I understand that you don’t have modern equipment and access to loans, I will make sure that you get soft loans so that you can transform your businesses to more profitable ventures,” he pledged much to the cheer of the crowd who he fondly referred to as ‘my neighbours.’.