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Why Magufuli has banned relief food for ‘starving’ Tanzanians

Tanzania President Dr John Pombe Magufuli has warned provincial commissioners found asking for relief food from his government that he promptly sack them.

President Magufuli, who has been on a development project inspection tour of various part of the country, spoke at the weekend while launching a new bridge at Kilombero.

Magufuli argues that he doesn’t understand why any part of the country could be suffering from hunger while heavy rains have been pounding the country for the last several weeks.

While cautioning the provincial bosses, Magufuli said there will be no “free food” from his government and that the people must work.

“Any provincial commissioner who will ask me for relief food will be will be sacked because it can’t be raining this heavily then people end up lacking food. I honestly don’t get it. Even the scriptures says, he who does not work should not eat and if he doesn’t eat he should die. There is no free food,” Magufuli said.


His hard hitting sentiment comes just a week after he dismissed as a non-issue the question of many Tanzanian students completing their O Level education without the ability to communicate effectively in English.

President Magufuli made the remarks while sharing his views on the Tanzanian education system at University of Mkwawa in Iringa.

“We shouldn’t feel inferior of our education system, just because someone is done with his Form 4 and can’t speak or write a letter in English. Who said being learned is mastering the English language? The Chinese don’t speak English but they manufacture the most deadly weapons in the world. So are the Russians, the Germans, the French,” Magufuli said.

“Those who think mastering English is proof enough of how well learned someone is are but shortsighted. I did my Masters in Stanford University (US), but I address the nation in Kiswahili, does it mean am not learned?” he posed.