DODOMA, 11 February 2021 – A Tanzanian lawmaker on Thursday expressed concern at the rising number of deaths, likely linked to COVID-19, blaming pneumonia instead.
An MP for the ruling CCM, Zacharia Isaay (Mbulu Urban) asked the government bench to explain the deaths in his constituency from respiratory challenges.
The lawmaker was invited to contribute to a debate on Tanzania’s next development plan, but he instead used his time to speak about growing deaths and burials in his constituency.
Doctors in Tanzania, where the government says COVID-19 has been cured by God, are giving the cause of death as “pneumonia”.
“Let the government avoid stammering about this while people are vanishing in my constituency,” Hon. Isaay told Parliament.
Hon. Isaay added: “I’m tired of funerals and even today, they are burying a child of a ward councilor. Sometimes I go there without notifying you, Mr. Speaker”.
“A lot of people are sick,” the legislator added, informing the House that he visited a hospital in the capital, Dodoma, the day before and was told all ventilators were in use.
“I decided to speak about this openly. If there are people who will take offense, it’s up to them but I have spoken about this,” the lawmaker said.
Tanzanian President John Mugufuli and his health minister have spoken publicly repeatedly in support of the use of traditional medicines to tackle COVID-19, recently announcing that the government had no intention of importing COVID-19 vaccines.