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Madagascar's Education Minister Has Been Fired for Planning to Buy $2.2 Million In Candy for Students

The 'bittersweet' move drew anger in a country reeling from the economic burdens brought on by COVID-19.

Madagascar's Education Minister, Minister Rijasoa Andriamanana, has been fired after revealing plans to set aside $2.2 million for candy.

According to Andriamanana the purpose of the indulgent investment was to provide each student with candy to help mask the "bitter taste" of the infamous Covid-Organics tonic, which is being touted as a cure to coronavirus by President Andry Rajoelin.


Andriamanana told reporters that "a purchase of sweets and lollipops" had been made, and that each student in the country would receive three pieces of candy to take after drinking the President-approved herbal tea. Despite Rajoelin's claims that the elixir is "green gold," there is no scientific data proving its effectiveness and it not considered a real cure to the virus.

The exorbitant candy spending drew criticism from the press in a nation where 75 percent of the country lives below the global poverty line, according to statistics from the World Bank, and citizens are trying to cope with the economic burdens brought on by the lockdown. The ill-advised move led to Andriamanana being sacked, and the purchase (likely to the dismay of many young students) being cancelled.

Several Malagasy people have taken to the streets in response to COVID-19 lockdown measures. Clashes occurred Clashes occurred with police during demonstrations when it was reported that they had beaten a street vendor accused of breaking the ban on commercial activities.

So far Madagascar has had 975 confirmed cases of the virus, with 201 recoveries and seven deaths all in the port city of Toamasina.

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