IT is President John Magufuli’s about-turn now, althougt it might be quite late and a lot of lives lost due to negligence and adamance.
Tanzania’s President who, in the past nine months clang to his Covid-free Tanzania narrative, has not quite admitted that he was wrong.
But he has, in a speech last Sunday, made an important concession, acknowledging a dramatic increase in respiratory diseases, and that Tanzanians must start taking basic precautions.
That was a step forward, thanks to incessant calls from various sources mainly through social media and online platforms – SAUTI KUBWA included.
The president has urged citizens to wear face masks (but, bizarrely, he urged them to avoid wearing imported masks).
Several hours later, the health ministry released a statement reiterating the president’s advice, and asking people to wash their hands regularly.
Of course, the president has been under enormous pressure, both at home and abroad – including SAUTI KUBWA coverages, as the impact of the pandemic in Tanzania has become impossible to ignore.
Not only are doctors and hospitals saying that cases are surging – based on their own Coronavirus tests and clinical assessments – but the number of prominent politicians, government officials and religious leaders dying of Corona has been on a dramatic increase.
Things got so serious that even the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is often slow to criticise sovereign states, weighed in, urging Tanzania to take “robust actions” against the virus.
The government still has some learning to do, however. In a surreal press conference on Tuesday, a clearly ill Finance Minister Philip Mpango addressed reporters to dispel rumours that he had died of COVID-19. SAUTI KUBWA understands that he was ordered by his boss to do so. And he was not wearing a mask.
Unfortunately, he coughed his way through the press conference, apparently proving himself wrong. Then he shed tears on camera!
Like he did last year, Magufuli has once again urged the country to participate in three days of national prayer as a means to combat an unspecified “respiratory illness.”
It was after three days of prayer in May that Magufuli declared that God had rid Tanzania of COVID-19. And the government stopped tracking COVID-19 cases. There has been no reports since then.
But recent developments show there is light at the end of the tunnel. More lives will definitely be saved.