Tanzanian gov’t cracks whip on WhatsApp groups over ‘inciteful’ COVID-19 messages


Tanzanian gov't cracks whip on WhatsApp groups over 'inciteful' COVID-19 messages
Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli during a past address. PHOTO | COURTESY

The government of Tanzania has now launched a crackdown on social media posts it perceives as misleading and inciteful on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The President John Magufuli-led government, in a poster seen by Citizen Digital, urged the country’s citizens to report any such posts they see in their WhatsApp groups or any other social platforms.

The citizens were directed to take photos of the messages including contacts of the senders and forward to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

“Ukipokea au ukiona ujumbe unaochocha, kuzusha au kupotosha taarifa za corona katika group lako au lolote lingine mtandanoni, piga picha ujumbe huo na namba ya aliyetuma na utume TCRA…,” read the poster.

This comes after President Magufuli recently declared Tanzania coronavirus free saying “we decided to pray to God to save us from the virus, God has answered our prayers.”

He hence ordered the resumption of school as well as international flights urging tourists that “Tanzania is safe.”

The Tanzania government has since further issued guidelines for obtaining of coronavirus clearance certificates to both citizens and foreigners who wish to travel to countries where the documents are a necessity.

The country’s health ministry said the fee for screening will be Tsh40,000 (Ksh.1,852) for citizens, Tsh60,000 (Ksh.2,787) for foreigners who are citizens and US $100 (Ksh.10,778) for visitors.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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