The Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, has banned shisha smoking in the country, asking clerics, parents and all leaders to fight against dealers and smokers.
The PM’s order came as Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Paul Makonda yesterday declared war against dealers of tobacco-laced shisha in the country’s business capital, insisting that all the joints that sell shisha should be closed by next Monday.
Shisha is molasses-based tobacco concoction smoked in a water pipe known as ‘hookah’. Mr Majaliwa said the consumption of shisha resulted into temptation to indulge in all sorts of vices and eroding morals among the youth.
“The statement by Mr Makonda came as a government directive. Therefore, all regional leaders, including mayors and district commissioners (DCs) should implement that directive with immediate effect,” he added.
The Premier issued the directive at the Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri Mosque along Indira Gandhi Street in Dar es Salaam during a special Iftar hosted by the Ithnaasheri Community, which was attended by various religious leaders.
Mr Majaliwa warned that stern action would be taken against those who will defy the order, adding that both parents and government leaders were capable of dealing with the problem.
He said the use of shisha was killing the future generation of the country by wreaking havoc on the mental health of the young people. Earlier yesterday, the RC issued a warning to Shisha marketers after swearing in four DCs at a ceremony held at the Karimjee Hall in the city.
He directed the DCs to ensure that they crack the whip to all dealers that would defy his order, adding that the move is aimed at helping the youth who, he said, were being largely affected.
The habit is gaining popularity among the youth, with many believing it is less harmful than cigarettes, but health experts say it is much worse. A research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that the volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long shisha session is equivalent to smoking between 100 and 200 cigarettes.
On average, a cigarette smoker inhales half a litre of smoke per cigarette, while a shisha smoker can take in anything from just under a sixth of a litre to a litre of smoke per inhalation.
Mr Makonda issued various directives to the newly-appointed DCs, asking them to implement the directive by President John Magufuli when inaugurating parliament in November last year.
The new DCs who took oath of office are Ally Hapi (Kinondoni), Sophia Mjema (Ilala), Hashim Shaibu Mgandilwa (Kigamboni) and Felix Jackson Lyaviva (Temeke). Ubungo DC Humphrey Polepole was absent.
According to Mr Makonda, the Ubungo DC could not be able to attend as he is mourning the death of his father. The RC asked his subordinates to observe rules, regulations and legislations guiding them when discharging their duties.
“I am your coach and I expect to have the best team. I will not hesitate to report any of you to the appointing authority should you fail to deliver,” he said. He directed them to work on the problems bedeviling the people, especially in education, infrastructure and social services.
In their speeches before the RC, the DCs pledged to discharge their duties effectively after reporting to their duty stations. Last week, Dr Magufuli appointed 139 DCs who signed the integrity pledge with the Ethics Secretariat at State House last Wednesday, promising to deliver the Fifth Phase Government promises in solving problems bedeviling Tanzanians.
The prime minister further asked religious leaders to pray for the country’s peace, love and tolerance, insisting that the government would continue supporting them so as to bring development for all.
Retired President Ali Hassan Mwinyi asked Tanzanians to support the government’s efforts to preach peace, unity and solidarity. “When the country has peace, the people will be able to work without let or hindrance,” he observed.
Tanzania Daily News.