Tanzanian police have arrested a farmer and a phone technician over spreading rumors indicating that President John Magufuli is ill.

Rienda Millanzi, the Iringa regional assistant police commander, said on Sunday that a 26-year-old farmer was arrested for allegedly spreading rumors through his Facebook page indicating that the president is ill.

Millanzi said the farmer from Mufindi district in Iringa region was arrested by special police dealing with cybercrime, adding that the rumors sent people panicking.

On Saturday, police said they arrested a phone technician in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam also for spreading rumors on the president’s health status through social networks. Police have announced the arrest of the two suspects shortly after Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced that President Magufuli was in good health.

On Friday, Majaliwa said he had spoke to President Magufuli who is well and in good health.Majaliwa commented on the president’s health status to allay fears following some social and foreign media reports since last week that Magufuli has fallen sick and been flown out of Tanzania for treatment.

He urged people to brush aside such rumors and continue to nurture the prevailing harmony, peace and unity in the east African nation. “The president is not someone to be seen loitering in the streets. The president has his own work schedule,” said Majaliwa.

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