Tanzania. According to countryaah, the current population of Tanzania is 59,734,229. The country’s new president John Magufuli went on the offensive against widespread corruption. In January, he dismissed several executives in a national ID card project and opened the way for a corruption investigation around the equivalent of SEK 3 billion. Magufuli also threatened to dismiss ministers who did not declare their assets and refused to sign a declaration of privacy.
In March, presidential elections were again held in Zanzibar, when the election was annulled by the Election Commission the year before with reference to electoral fraud. But the opposition party CUF (the United Citizens’ Front), whose candidate declared himself victorious in 2015, boycotted the new election. The ruling party CCM (Revolutionary Party) sitting President Ali Mohamed Shein therefore won by over 90% of the vote.
Several Western countries objected to how the election was conducted, and the US marked by withholding aid of close to half a billion dollars. The protest also involved a new law against cyber crime that was considered to threaten freedom of speech in Tanzania.
According to thereligionfaqs, President Magufuli carried out extensive reforms in the state bureaucracy. Excessively high salaries were cut and the lowest were raised. Furthermore, hunting for false employment was started, which is estimated to cost the state equivalent to half a billion SEK each year. Business has complained of ineffective and corrupt public bureaucracy. In May, it was announced that over 10,000 names were removed from payrolls, but the hunt continued with the threat of bringing the fraudsters to justice.
The Mayor was fired in May after he got drunk for taking part in a parliamentary question. The decision was made by President Magufuli and attracted attention when the dismissed minister was considered to be close to the president. Magufuli made it clear that he intended to establish discipline in government and public institutions.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of TZA stands for the nation of Tanzania in geography.
In July, the government launched a program to take control of untouched land to be given to poor farmers and herdsmen. A lot of land has been bought by foreign investors, and if it was done for speculative purposes without investment and development after three years, legal deeds can be withdrawn. Four-fifths of Tanzanians live on agriculture and many have lost their livelihoods when investors bought land.
Magufuli’s government met with protests and was accused of undemocratic methods when the broadcasters were banned from directly broadcasting parliamentary debates. All broadcasts would be handled by Parliament. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, but the opposition called for national protests since seven of its members were expelled from Parliament.
Police banned demonstrations on the grounds that the opposition was planning a campaign of civil disobedience. The opposition denied and accused the government of silencing its critics and using force against protesters.
The opposition party Chadema called for a protest rally in September against what they described as Magufuli’s dictatorial regime. Magufuli then threatened to strike without mercy against what he called troublemakers. Christian and Muslim leaders warned of bloody violence and appealed to Chadema to postpone the protests and seek dialogue. The president, in turn, was urged to give the opposition more democratic space. As a result, the protest was canceled and the tension eased.
In September, a university teacher was indicted for insulting President Magufuli on social media. The teacher refused. It was the tenth indictment with the help of a new law on cyber crimes aimed at students and opposition politicians, among other things, that can give up to three years in prison or high fines or both.
During the year, a British gamekeeper and helicopter pilot was shot down and killed when he was pursuing heavily armed poachers. Magufuli commissioned security forces to arrest the financiers behind organized poaching, which threatens the game and damages Tanzania’s safari tourism. The number of elephants in the country has decreased from about 110,000 to 43,000 in five years, mainly due to poaching on an industrial scale. Among those arrested in recent years is the so-called Ivory Queen, a Chinese woman suspected of leading a network that smuggled over 700 elephant moths worth the equivalent of SEK 23 million. She denied but was prosecuted during the year and faces up to 30 years in prison.