Friday June 5, 2020 – Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, has mocked countries that instituted strict measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, which are now struggling with food security.

In a video that surfaced online, Magufuli asked Tanzanians to sell food at higher prices to other countries like Kenya.

“Let’s take care of our farms and if we have to sell to other countries, we should sell at a high price, extremely high prices.”

“Charge them as much as you want,” he told Tanzanian farmers. 

“They are experiencing a food shortage because they ordered lockdowns while we were busy tilling our farms,” he added. 

His message was aimed at countries that had effected lockdowns as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 while Tanzania was criticized for the casual way it handled the virus.

Magufuli has been criticized for not instituting strict measures to contain the pandemic and hiding the impact of the virus.

The United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam issued a health alert on June 2nd over lack of transparency by the Government over the way it is handling the Covid-19 crisis.

Agriculture CS, Peter Munya, confirmed that importing food from Tanzania had proved difficult.

He explained that other countries which had more demand and were willing to pay the high prices made Tanzania overlook Kenya. 

“Largely what we get from Tanzania is vegetables.”

“We also used to get grain and maize, but most of it is now going down south.”

“Therefore the gap we will experience is the supply of vegetables from Tanzania,” Munya stated.

He further urged Kenyan farmers to grow the vegetables, tomatoes and onions, in order to try and fill the deficit.

CS Munya said that Kenya was not food secure and that the situation may be compounded by the delays at the border between the two countries.


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