The Tanzanian president John Magufuli advised women in his country to cease taking pills for birth control, citing that their country needs a lot more people. The president went on to say that people opting for family planning are lazy, and afraid that they’ll not be able to feed their children, as per reports.
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli (C) reviews an honour guard of troops as he attends a ceremony marking the country's 56th independence anniversary in Dodoma on December 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / STR
At a public rally in Meatu on September 9, he said: “They do not want to work hard to feed a large family and that is why they opt for birth controls and end up with one or two children only". Magufuli is already a father of two, and he advised that it was ‘important to reproduce’, cautioning his citizens against what he believes is bad advice from elsewhere.
The Ugandan government plans to construct an oil pipeline of over 1,400 kilometres from western Uganda, where 6.5 billion barrels of oil have been discovered, to the Indian Ocean coast of Tanzania by 2020. / AFP PHOTO / Tina SMOLE
"I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short on manpower," he was quoted as saying by The Citizen.
Of course, Magufuli’s comments didn’t go unmolested. According to Al Jazeera, Cecil Mwambe, an MP, said that Tanzania’s health insurance scheme could only accommodate a maximum of four children from one family; if Magufuli wants to have his way, then the health insurance scheme should cover 10 children, he opined.