Tanzanian couple arrested for ‘calling virus a hoax’

Tanzanian couple arrested for ‘calling virus a hoax’

Police in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam is holding a couple for allegedly spreading false information about coronavirus.

Dar es Salaam’s police chief Lazaro Mambosasa said that the husband and wife ridiculed the government while they were on public transport last week.

He said that the couple were misleading the public.

“They said that coronavirus was a hoax and that the government had run out of food to feed students, and so it’s using the pandemic as a cover-up to close schools, colleges and universities,” Mr Mambosasa told journalists.

According to the police chief, after hearing those comments, fellow passengers were upset and directed the bus driver to drive towards the nearest police station where they handed over the couple to the police.

Mr Mambosasa said that an investigation into Elias Mwita, 29 and Rosemary Elias Mwita, 41, had been completed and that they would soon be brought to court.

He added that since the outbreak of coronavirus, officers had already arrested other individuals for spreading false information about the outbreak.

Last week, President John Magufuli ordered measures to be taken against those who spread fake information.

He said only health ministers, the prime minister or himself were authorised to share information about the status of coronavirus in the country.

So far Tanzania has 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus, eight of the patients are Tanzanians and the other five are foreign nationals. One of the 13 has already recovered.

Source: BBC

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