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See reason Tanzanian president cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations

Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania's President, before a meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, not pictured, in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, April 15, 2022. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • The President of Tanzania cancelled celebrations for the country’s 61st independence day. 
  • The funds for the celebrations were instead channelled towards a more urgent project. 
  • This is an idea that has been implemented more than once in the country’s recent past.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan has called off the Tanzanian 2022 Independence Day celebrations.

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She made this decision based on the extravagance of the celebrations but instead decided to use the allocated budget to handle a more urgent project. Also, instead of a grand festival, Tanzania’s 61st birthday would be used to host debates and conferences to discuss various issues of social development held in all the districts in the country.

The celebration was budgeted at Sh960 million, which the president decided would be better used to construct dormitories for children with special needs.

The funds will be channeled to the schools through the President's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG).

Tanzania’s Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Coordination, and Parliamentary Affairs), Mr. George Simbachawene, revealed that the funds would be used to construct dormitories for a total of 8 schools.

The schools include Buhangija (Shinyanga), Goeko (Tabora), Darajani (Singida), Mtanga (Lindi), Songambele (Manyara), Msanzi (Rukwa), Idofi (Njombe), and Longido (Arusha).

In a statement by the Minister, he iterated that productive discussions to address the state of the country, and social activities would be a better way to commemorate the country’s 61st birthday.

"The debates and conferences will be preceded by various schedules for regional and district leaders to carry out social activities in different areas including cleaning hospitals, schools, elderly homes, and groups with special needs," the minister said.

“Therefore, this year’s celebrations will not have parades and other National activities,” he added.

The idea of using the independence day celebration funds to take on urgent projects is no new idea. The former president of the country, John Magufuli, had a habit of doing the same.

In 2015, he used the independence day funds to build (Mwenge-Morocco) Road in Dar es Salaam. In 2020, he directed the funds toward stocking up on medical supplies.

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