The government of Tanzania through its Vijana Tugutuke campaign under the Ministry of Youth and Preventing Coup Affairs, introduced the opening of the Gladiators for Poverty competition.
“As a way of keeping poor unemployed youth busy, they will be required to fight to the death.”said President Magafuli, during the much anticipated launch. “The winners will get the gift of life and the losers will get a reprieve from poverty.”
“This is also one of the ways in which my government will reduce crime and corruption because when you’re dead you can’t steal or embezzle funds.”
Quoting a Mount Kirinyaga University study on the impact of death on productivity, the president also touted that the program would within a year or two increase the income per capita rate and GDP through its countrywide implementation
The President also assured the residents of marginalised areas particularly the Maasai, Hazda and Barabaig communities, that his government was intentional about inclusivity and had set up a 30% quota for youth from the regions for the competition. He also assured them of additional automatic spots for women and the disabled.
The Minister for Health ,Serif Rashidi, who had earlier on presided over an anti-abortion conference, lauded the move as innovative and encouraged voluntary registration. He also promised that the block-chain lottery system which would select participants at random. He said that apart from the feeding program that would be introduced as an incentive for early entry, the youth would also be given the opportunity to compete for the coveted Presidential Handie Award. It would be awarded to the young person who would do the best work for the president using their hands
The opening of the Ngorongoro Colosseum which was graced by Emperor Kenyatta and Museveni, leaders of the Imperial British East African states of Kenya and Uganda will see the inaugural tournament held.
A poll held by Ipsos Innovate, showed that 78% of youth prefer keeping the traditional Gladiator’s Oath “I will endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword”over the newer suggestion “My life belongs to the state.”
Analysts are still speculating over how this move would affect Tanzania’s rating on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.