1/Since yesterday I have been trying to figure out why some folks from #Tanzania(not only the gullible and propagandist #MATAGA ones but even some of those who are critical Magufuli's approach to #Coronavirus/ #COVID-19)find some of Geoffrey York's coverage on #Africa problematic.
2/That browsing journey has taken me to,among other texts,this article by Geoffrey York et al. on 'The notorious nine:These world leaders responded to the #coronavirus with denial, duplicity and ineptitude' https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-the-notorious-nine-these-world-leaders-responded-to-the-coronavirus/;expectedly #Tanzania's #Magufuli is one of the gang of nine.
3/What I have found out,as someone who is also critical of some of the approaches taken,is that the article(written in April 21 by Geoffrey York et al.)can give you an impression that the whole story of interventions against #Coronavirus in #Tanzania is by #Magufuli and #Makonda.
4/Take for instance,this line by Geoffrey York et al.,in that article:"Senior government officials have mocked anyone practising physical distancing or self-isolating at home";you then ask yourself has Dr.Ndugulile & Ummy Mwalimu #ever done that as they are also senior officials?
5./You also look at sequence of events in #Tanzania by Geoffrey York et al. in that article,then you wonder when this👇🏿 was happening in #March i.e. before their article came out,was Tanzania not serious at all about some scientific advice about #Covid-19? https://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/magufuli-adopts-new-greetings-style-to-fight-coronavirus
6./Then you look and only find only 1 paragraph out of 5 where Geoffrey York et al.'s article attempt to at least mention some scientific measures taken,but only as a foil to present what they see as arguably the ideal measures for combating #coronavirus in #Tanzania/ #EastAfrica.
7./Geoffrey York et al.'s article also uses a statement(problematic as it is)by a President of a secular state with a big population of Muslims to say:"Tanzania today remains the only country where the government has recommended church attendance as a way of combatting the virus"
8./The point about religion and a secular state is crucial constituonally and practically in #Tanzania;in as much as a a statement by a President can be influential,it doesn't necessarily mean it's the recommendation from the government,the PM image below doesn't even mention it.
9./So what's the point of doing what I usually don't do-threads?It's simply to highlight "the danger of a single story" even when it's from those who seem to wish to see us do better in our fight against #coronavirus and other ailments,their stories can also be counterproductive.
10./Negative single stories can be counterproductive in the sense of draining even the little positive agency and energy that the country they talk about are trying to muster in their fights;sometimes it's more useful to balance a story and not only simply zero on the notorious.
11./So,yes,let's critique #Tanzania's #Magufuli,but in as much as he is the President he is not Tanzania;and not everything he says is what is said by the government,which has a constitution(as imperfect as it is)on the mandate of the President,Prime Minister,and Health Minister.
12./Finally,to all friends of #Africa in general and #Tanzania in particular,kindly revisit the #history of images and discourses on Africa(ns) before you write generally-and even specifically-about our continent and countries;ask yourself:"From which cistern am I drinking from?"
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