POLICY SHIFT

Tanzanian President Suluhu to form Covid-19 taskforce

“We cannot isolate ourselves like an island from the rest of the world.”

In Summary

• President Suluhu said that her country cannot be the only one without Covid updates.

• The president asked the government officials to go out and work for the benefit of all the Tanzanians without any bias.

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Image: FILE

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu has said the country will announce its position on the coronavirus pandemic soon, but it will depend on what experts say.

The President said that the country cannot isolate itself from what is happening across the world, and neither can it consume foreign information without analysing it.

‘We will form a committee of experts to tell us how the situation is and what the world is advising us to do. We cannot isolate ourselves like an island and we cannot receive what is being brought to us without analysing it and doing our research,” Suluhu said.

She spoke on Tuesday during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed government officials at the State House in the capital Dar es Salaam.

The move is seen as a policy shift by the country under Suluhu's administration from the hard stand on the virus by her predecessor the late John Magufuli.

The last time Tanzania issued an update of the virus was in May 2020, when it had 500 cases and 20 deaths.

President Suluhu said that her country cannot be the only one without Covid updates, hence the need to pronounce itself.

At the same time, the president asked the communication authority to lift the ban on all the media houses that had been closed for breaking the laws.

Suluhu said that the media should be allowed to exercise its freedom but should also do so as per the regulations governing them.

The president asked the government officials to go out and work for the benefit of all the Tanzanians without any bias.