Magufuli cancels public holiday

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Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Monday announced the cancellation of Union Day celebrations in the country, saying $1 million could be saved for a road project.

The president said in a statement that the money would be used to expand a road stretch from Mwanza Airport in northern Tanzania to the city centre.

The project is aimed at easing traffic jams in Mwanza, a city on the shores of Lake Victoria.

“The money was earmarked to buy food, drinks as well as paying allowances to those who will be involved in the celebrations including parades and mass plays,” said the statement.

Tanzania will mark its Union Day on April 26 to mark the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Days after he took office last year, President Magufuli cancelled celebrations marking Independence Day on December 9, and ordered the $2 million set aside for the festivities be used to construct a 4,3 km road section in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

He also cancelled celebrations marking World AIDS Day on December 1 to cut what he termed as “unnecessary government spending”, ordering the money saved be used to purchase drugs. — Xinhua.

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