‘Form task force to research Covid-19 economic impact’

07Apr 2020
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
‘Form task force to research Covid-19 economic impact’
  • Isles minister refused quarantine after trip abroad, says Konde MP

​​​​​​​PARLIAMENTARY official opposition leader Freeman Mbowe has urged the formation of a task force to conduct a countrywide assessment on how the outbreak of Covid-19 has affected various economic sectors.

Freeman Mbowe

Mbowe, the national chairman of Chadema, sought that the government come up with supplementary estimates to complement on-going efforts to halt the spread of the global pandemic.

In his contribution on the Prime Minister’s Office budget estimates for the 2020/2021 fiscal year at the National Assembly yesterday, Mbowe emphasized that it was high time for the government to come up with concrete measures to rescue the country’s economy.

He however highlighted the need for stakeholders support the fight against the novel coronavirus.

“This is a national war, it should be taken seriously. The fight needs collective efforts from both the private sector and the government; we should not only leave this to the government,” he stated.

 “We are all aware that the Covid-19 outbreak has affected and will continue affecting the country’s workforce, production and the wider economy. The most affected areas include tourism, aviation, export of commodities and hospitality. We need a national assessment on how we can tackle the disease, as well as recuing the economy,” he told the House.

Mbowe insisted on the need to learn from other countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa on how to tackle the disease.

The Hai MP also appealed for the formation of an independent electoral body that would supervise the coming general elections in a credible manner.

“What we need is just a minimum of reforms with some articles of the country’s constitution and Elections Act because there are sections of the Act which criminalise routine activities in the election process,” he explained.

Prof Jumanne Kishimba (Kahama, CCM) urged the government to allow the use of traditional medicines to support ongoing efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Khatib Said Haji (Konde, CUF) claimed that a minister in Zanzibar refused to be quarantined after arriving from abroad, underlining that the situation poses risks to the health of islanders.

“This minister’s refusal has affected two family members who are now suffering Covid-19. I recommend that stern measures be taken against the minister as we do not know how many people he has come into contact with,” the MP intoned.

Treasury minister Dr Philip Mpango said the government has already formed a special task force and technical committees to respond to the novel coronavirus disease.

“We are also working to come up with a grand plan to ensure that essential equipment and services are available in all areas,” he added.