Despite being one of the earliest in East Africa to implement temperature checks, Tanzania quickly became a COVID-19 conspiracy hotspot.
This peculiar state of affairs was brought on by the former Tanzanian president declaring the country COVID-free in June 2020, when the country stopped registering cases and deaths. At the time, there were 509 cases and 21 deaths.
Since then, Tanzania has witnessed several high-profile deaths from the virus, including the vice-president of Zanzibar Maalim Seif Sharrif Hamad, and bizarre performances by government ministers, such as Philip Mpango, who coughed on camera before breaking down in tears, only to say he was well.
Whether they are sitting in cafes in Stone Town or partying on beaches in Paje, Zanzibar, foreigners have a very similar point of view: COVID is a hoax. The feature story for VICE looks at how Zanzibar transformed into the "Land of the Free" and how that could change the island forever.