TANZANIA’S PRESIDENT MAGUFULI DIES OF ‘HEART FAILURE‘ THOUGH COVID19 THE MORE LIKELY CAUSE
(Posted 18th March 2021)
After weeks of denials, that President Magufuli was ill and initial denials that he had died, has the Tanzanian government at last owned up to reality and admitted that the man known as ‘bulldozer‘ had passed away. In fact did the country’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa only last week issue strong denials over the suspected health status of Magufuli when he claimed – now exposed as misleading the country and the world – that the President was healthy and working hard when he was in fact on his deathbed already. In fact were several arrests reported over open speculations on social media about the health of the President, the sign of a regime lashing out at critics and using any means to suppress the truth.
Magufuli gained global notoriety when he ordered in April last year that no more Corona data should be transmitted to the WHO and other global organizations, eventually altogether denying the existence of the virus or the pandemic taking hold in Tanzania. Magufuli had claimed at the time that the tests were faulty and were responding to papaya fruits and even goats after he had ordered secret ‘tests’ on the tests.
This came at a time when Tanzanian truck drivers, when tested for the virus along the borders with Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, were testing positive by the dozens. Being sent home did those figures never make it into the official statistics which todate remain stagnant at 509 cases.
Only recent deaths of senior politicians, including the Vice President of Zanzibar, and top civil servants then prompted a fresh look in the country, to the point that the wearing of masks, long seen as dictate from ‘the West‘ was recommended, clearly too late for the unsuspecting victims of the pandemic who had believed their President.
The European Union had some time ago already put Tanzania on the list of hot spot countries and travel to and from Tanzania will no doubt come under the spotlight again, now that the head of state has died. It is expected that mask wearing and physical distancing will be progressively introduced in the country similar to other countries in the region. If or when the official count and reports to the WHO will resume is a matter of much speculation now.
Besides his unrealistic stand on the Corona pandemic was his rule also marked by a sustained effort to curb press and civic freedoms, which many now hope could be reversed by his successor in office.
Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has meanwhile decreed a 14 day period of national mourning. She is expected to be sworn in as new President soon and will serve out the remaining term of office.