Tanzanian President John Magufuli has made a surprise visit to a fish market sporting a wicker basket in a move to support a new plastic bag ban.

It is unusual for a man to carry a shopping basket in Tanzania, especially someone of the president’s status.

His defiance of convention is likely to give more weight to the ban that came into effect on Saturday.

Those found with plastic bags now face fines of up to $87 (£68) or up to seven days in jail, local media reports.

For anyone caught manufacturing or importing plastic bags, the fine could be $430,000 or up to two years in prison.

Tanzania is one of more than 30 African countries to have brought in a ban on single-use plastic.

Travellers arriving in Tanzania – a tourist hotspot – are now being asked to surrender plastic bags at the airport.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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