President John Pombe Magufuli’s administration has written to East African Community (EAC) notifying its intention to withdraw from an upcoming meeting which will be attended by all Heads of State through video conferencing.
The EAC President will meet to further chart way forward into neutralizing Coronavirus pandemic which is threatening the East African nations’ economies following numerous lockdowns implemented by the leaders as a measure to curtail the movement of the virus.
But Tanzania led by by Magufuli has since rejected to attend the Heads of State’s meeting and has further expressed no intention of attending the upcoming meeting.
“This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter referenced C&T/1/2//1 dated 16 May 2020 inviting us to the above mentioned meeting.
The objective of the Joint Meeting of Ministers responsible for Health, Transport and EAC Affairs is to consider and deliberate on the implementation of the Heads of State directives,” part of the letter written by Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Amb. Wilbert Ibuge reads.
Mr Ibuge wrote to EAC secretary general Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko.
“While cognizant of the importance of the agenda of the meeting we would like to put on record that, the United Republic of Tanzania was not part of the meeting of Heads of State which made such directives; as such to our knowledge no records exist on the same as an EAC document to allow for the collective consideration by the Partner of States,” the letter adds.
Tanzania questions why the rules and procedure of EAC of making decisions are being broken.
“In this regard, the United Republic of Tanzania is requests for clarification as to why the rules and procedures of the East African Community of making decisions and directives by consensus are being broken. To that end, the United Republic of Tanzania is not able to participate in the meeting pending this requested clarification,” the letter says.
From the start, Tanzania’s Magufuli distanced himself from the efforts crafted by the EAC to defeat COVID-19.
In turn, reports indicated that Tanzania had been overwhelmed by number of COVID-19 patients resulting into deaths.
Magufuli banned media from reporting on COVID-19 and also went ahead to defy measures which his counterparts had instituted to mitigate the spread of the virus.
In the recent past the U.S Embassy in Tanzania asked Americans to leave the country as soon as possible because of the growing number of Coronavirus cases. Magufuli has on several occasions been warned that his country could into an epicenter of the virus in Africa.