‘Vaccination rollout must be mandatory’

20Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘Vaccination rollout must be mandatory’

THE main opposition Chadema has urged the government to make the Covid-19 vaccination programme mandatory for all citizens and the country to remain safe.

The party’s national chairman Freeman Mbowe made the call yesterday when addressing a news conference in Mwanza.

“Covid-19 vaccination should be compulsory and not voluntary as it has been announced by the government.

“The government should review decisions and put on a good system to ensure that all Tanzanians are vaccinated. We also need to strengthen public awareness programmes on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections,” he said.

 “This is a dangerous disease, so we should not play on the matter,” the party leader emphasised, noting that it is not that Tanzanians do not take preventive measures about the disease, but are confused on the policy being followed.

He said people know everything “but they do not know what to take and what to leave as they receive a number of mixed statements from the country’s top leadership.”

He also urged the government to come up with a new strategy to facilitate free Covid-19 treatment to the public as the majority of people cannot afford the expenses.

“Treatment expenses for Covid-19 patients should be supervised by the government. It is the one which should be responsible to finance treatments upon Covid-19 patients,” he said.

He vowed that Chadema will continue conducting meetings and peaceful demonstrations to fight any kind of oppression in the country.

“We do not intend to make President Samia’s leadership to be hard but our aim is to ensure that democracy is promoted and people’s rights are protected. We want a leadership which recognizes people’s rights and national unity,” he declared.

He said that there are still a number of challenges which thwart democracy and people’s rights in the country.

“The national constitution dialogue should be free and there should be no leader to prohibit the process. We want the new constitution to address several challenges facing the country. We want no one to be above the law,” he further stated.

Last week President Samia said that the government is finalizing procedures for the importation of Covid-19 vaccines for rollout for the general public, insisting that it will be voluntary.

Speaking at a legacy symposium held in Dar es Salaam for third phase president the late Benjamin Mkapa, Samia said final decisions are being made on a number of issues as per advice of experts before pressing the order.

“We are finalising procedures to import Covid-19 vaccines to keep our people safe,” she said.

The Head of State further reminded Tanzanians to continue adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures as advised by health experts for them to remain safe.

Tanzania is part of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and directed by GAVI (the Global Vaccine Alliance), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization.

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