President Magufuli has banned all senior public officials from using fuel guzzling 4 x 4 cars and other luxury cars, ordering that all those cars in be seized and sold in a public auction and the money used to provide public goods & services.
The president further ordered that all ministers, chief justices, ambassadors and senior state officials must be supplied with a choice of Probox, Passo, Platz, Vitz , duet or any car that is less than 1400CC.
This move is likely to cause a lot of public anxiety in a country where Magufuli has become a national ‘sweetheart’ for his austerity measures and revolutionary ideas that seems to have eclipsed even opposition.
“This is a public service not a gravy train. Anybody who came here to make riches should quit and join the private sector. All ministers and senior statehouse officials are here to work not to seek obscene opulence. I don’t want to see them drive those big cars (4X4 guzzlers), if anyone insist please let them go buy their own cars, we (the government) shall fuel for them. To build this country like I promised during campaigns, we must make sacrifices and that includes sacrificing those unnecessary comforts for the small cars. I have ordered the police to impound any such big cars rode by state officials on the road & those officials be prosecuted. We are not here to rob the average Tanzanian but to make his life better. This is the reason I skipped the AU heads of state meeting in Addis and sent Mama Suluhu ( Dep President)” noted Magufuli shortly in down town Dar-Es-Salaam on a working trip.
A spot check by spectator news desk reveals that whereas other presidents traveled to the AU summit, Tanzania was represented by its deputy president Ms Suluhu Hassan.
It will be remembered that Magufuli has also banned use of presidential red carpets. However this latest move is likely to ignite a hubbub in neighboring Kenya where even governors huge convoys and other senior state officials use huge fuel guzzling convoys.