Following the cancellation of a public holiday, thousands of Tanzanians are said to be fleeing the country to neighbouring countries where national anniversaries are still being celebrated.
Many of the fleeing Tanzanians confessed to being especially interested in Kenya. This is because here there are impromptu public holidays and for reasons ranging from a visit by a foreign personality, to the election of a president and even holding of a mass action rally.
The cancellation of a public holiday in Tanzania has been attributed to the cost-cutting efforts by the government. At this rate some are worried that even Christmas might be called off. It has got children worried and many are now crying themselves to sleep, saddened by the prospects of not receiving toys and other gifts this festive season.
“It’s not been announced yet but who knows... maybe they will cancel the festivities and ask us to remit the money we would have spent to the government instead!” said one Tanzanian who has lately taken to going home only after the children have slept to avoid seeing their sad faces.
For fear of government crackdown on any sort of celebrations unconfirmed reports say that Tanzanians have taken to holding social events and celebrations such as weddings in secret. But one Tanzanian was quick to chide journalists for sensationalism.
“Ndugu, that’s not true. Most weddings have always been done in secret at least where I come from... a man lures a girl into his house one night and she never resurfaces until the parents have searched in mortuaries and hospitals... here, like everywhere else, the weddings are just mere formalities that happen after the (sic) ‘real wedding cake’ has already been ‘eaten’,” the senior citizen opined. “So the secret weddings you claim to have seen have nothing to do with our ‘public holiday crunch’, it’s a normal thing!”
While releasing Tanzania’s most searched for phrases and terms Google revealed that ‘country with most public holidays’ was the most popular followed by quickest route to the particular country.
PUBLIC HOLIDAY REFUGEE
So desperate are holiday-deprived Tanzanians that many are now lining up at the doors of the embassies of Somalia, South Sudan and even Central African Republic.
“Peace doesn’t matter to me. Any place where they still celebrate public holidays will do for me,” confessed one Tanzanian who now considers herself a refugee seeking asylum from ‘public holiday prosecution’.
So bad is the situation that even the thousands of refugees who had begun streaming in from Burundi following the political instability in their country are now said to be heading back to their homeland because at least there they still have public holidays.
“The situation is still dangerous but at least we get days off in our country!” said one Jean Claude Buyoya on his way back to Bujumbura.
But as the war against public holidays continues some Tanzanians are refusing to take it lying down; many have termed it a persecution of holiday believers and after borrowing heavily from their Kenyan counterparts are organising prayer rallies across the country.
“We have been fixed... this is a plot against us... we will hold prayer rallies until Bensouda... sorry, Magufuli, brings back public holidays...” one Tanzanian MP is reported to have said.
Interestingly as the public holiday shortage continues to bite in Tanzania, Kenyans are also feeling the pinch, albeit in a different way. Witchdoctors are being roped in to do everything in their powers to bring back the public days and a shortage of witchdoctors has been reported in Kenya.
“Expatriate witchdoctors from Tanga and Pemba are now no longer coming to Kenya because their hands are full in their own country... we are really suffering... I wanted to bewitch my neighbour but I don’t know what I will do now... I think I will have to go to church and pray for their quick return to business,” one frustrated prospective Kenyan client said.