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Tan­za­nia scraps Christ­mas cards to save cash

DAR ES SALAAM — 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 5 Novem­ber 2015, 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. — Reuters.

In­truder dies in chim­ney af­ter fire lit FRESNO — A sus­pected bur­glar who at­tempted to en­ter a Cal­i­for­nia home through the chim­ney died on Satur­day af­ter the home­owner lit a fire with­out re­al­iz­ing any­one was in­side, po­lice said.

The man ap­peared to have climbed into the chim­ney dur­ing the night while the owner was away and then be­came stuck, ac­cord­ing to the Fresno County Sher­iff’s Of­­ter the owner of the home in Huron lit a fire in his fire­place Satur­day af­ter­noon, he heard a man yelling in­side the chim­ney as the house filled with smoke, the sher­iff’s of­fice said in a state­ment.

The home­owner tried to ex­tin­guish the flames, but fire­fight­ers who dis­man­tled the chim­ney dur­ing a res­cue ef­fort found the sus­pect dead in­side, the sher­iff’s of­fice said.

The de­ceased man’s iden­tity and cause of death have not been de­ter­mined, Lieu­tenant Bran­don Pursell of the Fresno County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said by phone on Sun­day. — Reuters.

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