EDITORIAL: TACKLE MISINFORMATION, DISINFORMATION ON COVID

Wednesday July 28 2021

Tanzania is rolling out mass vaccination against Covid-19 after it received its first consignment of the vaccines at the weekend.

The government has made it clear that it aims to inoculate at least 60 percent of the target population. It has also said that taking jabs will be voluntary.

This is commendable as it means that Tanzania now joins the global community towards fighting the killer disease that has left much of the world’s socio-economic life in tatters.

While these measures are being taken by the Tanzanian government, there is a number of people who are peddling disinformation and misinformation about the Covid-19 jabs.

This is a very unfortunate trend because the stance they are advocating is not based on any thorough scientific research.

It is on this background that even some leaders, including outspoken cleric-cum-politician Josephat Gwajima, have been strongly objecting to the use of vaccines.

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During a Sunday service, the cleric even tried to convince worshippers not to take Civid-19 jabs. The lawmaker went further by saying that the developed countries distributing the vaccinations had ulterior motives for it. We have one question to ask Mr Gwajima. How far is he sure of this?

And for him to tell doctors and professors in the country that they had put their brains in their pockets is total disrespect to them. It is encouraging that leaders of his party, CCM, have pledged to take appropriate measures against him. Also, the Medical Association of Tanzania has condemned the statements by the lawmaker. It is no doubt that Tanzania has excellent scientists capable of conducting thorough research on the vaccines to ascertain their efficacy and usefulness before they are administered to the people. The government is focused on protecting its people from this deadly disease and that it is why it is urging its people to observe Covid-19 guidelines proposed by scientists.

It should be born in mind that no one will be safe until the last person has been protected against the killer Coronavirus disease.

LET RULE OF LAW REIGN

Reports from Kilosa District show that clashes involving herders’ groups resulted in the killing of one person and injuring of four others.

This is very sad indeed in a country that touts rule of law.

For groups to organise themselves and clash with each other, causing death, injuries and loss of property, it means some people are sleeping on their jobs.

There are many unanswered questions: where were the local leaders in the area? Were there any reports filed to the police? What actions did the police and intelligence officers take to put the situation under control?

We often hear of clashes between herders and farmers in the country. If all players were to undertake their responsibilities seriously, we wouldn’t hear of killings, injuries and damage to property.

This is why, the government must strive to push the rule of law principle in its entire machinery—from the top to the bottom. The citizenry must also be empowered for people to act accordingly whenever there are signs of breach of law and peace.

The United Nations says the rule of law is a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated.

Let rule of law reign in our lives.