Dar es Salaam. The opposi-tion ACT-Wazalendo party leader, Zitto Kabwe, yesterday asked Tanzanians to take personal initiatives to protect themselves against the coronavirus infections by observing health guidelines ahead of Idd Ul-Fitr.
Mr Kabwe, who accused the government of taking a direction different from the one agreed by regional bodies and neighbouring countries to halt the spread of the coronavirus, said Tanzanians should stick to observing social distancing, washing hands using running water and wearing face masks.
“All indications show that the government of Tanzania has adopted a ‘herd immunity’ approach on fighting the pandemic,” he said in a live-streamed broadcast.
The approach, according to him, allows as many people as possible to contract the virus so that they develop immunity. “Almost three percent of the population will die,” he warned.
President John Magufuli has said the cases of coronavirus had drastically dropped in Tanzania, prompting him to reopen universities and resume sporting activities.
The head of state has repeatedly ruled out imposition of a lockdown as suggested by opposition leaders, saying the move could severely damage the economy.
But Mr Kabwe criticised the president of prioritising the economy over human lives.
“President Magufuli’s obsession with mega economic projects over the lives of his peo-ple as well as the government’s resolve to hide the statistics from the public is incomprehensible,” said Mr Kabwe.
He said the economy was already affected by the coronavirus and that it cannot perform better while the labour force was battling the killer dis-ease.
“The government has failed to collect consumption taxes by 50 percent during March…this is an illustration of how badly the coronavirus pandemic has affected the economy.” he said