Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chadema, has criticized the President’s views on birth control and pledged to mobilise the public to safeguard family planning initiatives.
This comes a few days after president John Magufuli urged Tanzanians to keep reproducing because the government was increasing investment in maternal health and the health sector in general.
He said this while at Meatu in Simiyu Region during his tour of Lake Zone regions whereby he called on Tanzanians not to listen to those stressing on birth control.
“You people of Meatu keep livestock, you are good farmers and you can feed your children. Why would you opt for birth control? These are my views, but I do not see any need for birth control in Tanzania,” said President Magufuli. The President also said that laziness was the reason why people went for family planning.
“Those going for family planning are lazy, because they are afraid they will not be able to feed their children. They do not want to work hard to feed a large family. And that is why they opt for birth control and end up with one or two children only,” he said.
Following the President’s comments, Chadema secretary general, Dr Vincent Mashinji, told reporters the party was set to mobilise members of the public to disregard the President’s views.
“We expected the President to be at the forefront of supporting family planning initiatives amid challenges the country faces, especially in planning our highly populated cities and dealing with the job crisis. We want to mobilise the public to safeguard birth control initiatives to better our country and enhance maternal health,” he said.
The secretary further said that family planning was not only controlling birth-rate, but also facilitated protection for young girls seeking education.
“All children have the right to education. In facilitating this, family planning education has played a great role in protecting young girls from dropping out of school due to early pregnancies,” he said. The party also called upon all men to always accompany their wives to clinics so that they could get to learn more about family planning as an important thing in the current challenging times.