Tanzania scraps government Christmas cards to save cash


Tanzanian officials will not be allowed to send out the usual government printed Christmas and New Year cards this year as part of belt-tightening measures by the new president.


John Magufuli has implemented a series of austerity steps since being sworn in on Nov. 5, including cancelling independence day festivities and restricting foreign travel by officials.


The president’s chief secretary “has prohibited the printing of Christmas and New Year cards at the government’s expense,” the presidency said in a statement. “Anyone who wants to print those cards should do so at his or her own personal cost.”

“The funds set aside for the cards should be used to pay off debts that government ministries, departments and institutions owe citizens and other creditors for goods and services rendered or should be directed towards other priority areas,” it said.

Last week, Magufuli ordered the sum of about $100,000 that had been set aside for a party to mark the opening of parliament should be used instead to buy hospital beds at Tanzania’s main hospital, after he found patients sleeping on the floor.

The president has issued a raft of instructions to curb government spending, winning praise from citizens of the nation of 47 million or so. The public have long complained about officials who they say abuse office in the poor nation.

Underscoring his popularity since winning, Twitter hashtags associated with the president, such as #WhatWouldMagufuliDo, have quickly become top trending topics among social network users in East Africa.


  1. The way to go John. Keep the fire burning. When shall your fellow comrades in Africa rise to the occasion as opposed to their lavish lifestyles at the expense of the begging majority? They are our continent’s letdown. Shame!

  2. my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…


  3. After-all Jesus was born on 25 December. And never celebrated his own birthday And never encouraged anyone to celebrate it.

  4. After-all Jesus was born NOT on 25 December. And never celebrated his own birthday And never encouraged anyone to celebrate it.

  5. You will reach far Mr President. Every person no matter in any government position must work for every shilling in your case in Tanzania, a culture that had been eroded by other African leaders. Please advise fellow leaders to do the same, especially one African leader who without fail makes people celebrate his useless birthday each passing year when communities are sufferingrs

  6. Good to see that there is now a rare breed of African leaders who put people first and not their own luxury and comfort.

    Bring on the Zanu PF conference with its $3 million price tag when many school kids have no textbooks, hospitals have no basic medicines which the $3 million would go a long way to meeting.

  7. and elsewhere we read a big hospital in Mahusekwa was built for 6 million yet 3 million is wasted on a conference

  8. it
    s so good that Tanzanian leader spends money wisely – no expensive trips – no corruption – no ku kiya kiya to raise/accumulate money through questionable trips which don’t benefit the nation – allowances – what for?

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