Police in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam are holding a couple for allegedly spreading false information that coronavirus is a hoax from government.
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 is a hoax and that the government has 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.
There are 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in TanzaniaImage caption: There are 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tanzania
Mr Mambosasa said that an investigation against Elias Mwita, 29 and Rosemary Elias Mwita, 41, is complete and that they will soon be brought to court.
He added that since the outbreak of oronavirus, they have 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 are 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.