Officials in Tanzania are scratching their heads to explain how they spent 27 million Euros they collected from the European Union as part of EU Solidarity Fund meant to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in that country.
The money was supposed to be used to buy personal protective equipment (PPE), development of vaccines or medicines, pay for Covid tests, and other measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus. But authorities in Tanzania have not released official figures on the extent of the outbreak there.
Back in May 2020, President Magufuli declared the pandemic in Tanzania officially over and said people should resume normal lives without even having to wear facemasks.
He said God had solved the issue with a divine intervention after national prayers. “Corona cannot survive in the body of Christ; it will burn,” the president had said.
During an EU meeting earlier this month, EU member of parliament from Germany, David McAllister complained bitterly saying “the European Union granted 27 million Euros of European tax payer’s money to Tanzania to combat the effect of Covid, now we have a regime saying there is no Covid in the country with rather bizarre explanations.”
Tanzania has a population of 60 million people and has only recorded 509 cases with 21 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
In November, the country signalled that it is not intending to use any Covid-19 vaccine but instead will settle on local herbs for protection against the disease.
Speaking to reporters, a spokesman at the Ministry of Health said, “There are no plans in place yet of importing vaccine for Covid-19, our health experts and scientists are still researching and undergoing clinical trials for the local herbs for covid-19.”
Tanzania, like most African countries, has been spared the full devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. There is no evidence of significantly higher deaths from the virus compared to other African nations.