The country celebrated 40 years of independence on 9th December. President Mkapa, addressing a large gathering at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam said: “We have been independent for 40 years; it should not take us another 40 years to complete our independence by winning the war against poverty …. With determination, initiative and cooperation Tanzania can succeed in getting rid of poverty. The debt relief which Tanzania has obtained, the correct social and macro-economic policies being pursued as well as peace, stability, solidarity and natural resources constitute a firm basis upon which to accelerate the war on poverty” he said.
He pardoned 4,000 prisoners particularly those with HIV/Aids, cancer, TB, those above 60 years of age, and women who were pregnant or breast feeding. The President also reduced sentences on other prisoners by three months except for those serving for offences connected to illicit drugs, graft, banditry, rape, sodomy and cattle rustling – Guardian.