March 18, 2021


John Magufuli, the Tanzanian president, died at the age of 61. His death was not surprising for people throughout the nation because he disappeared from the public spotlight for the two weeks leading up to his death. There was speculation that he had contracted a disease, but this is not confirmed. Magufuli became newsworthy during the pandemic after becoming one of Africa’s most prominent COVID-19 deniers.

The Announcement of Magufuli’s Death

John Magufuli’s death was announced on Wednesday by the country’s vice president and Magufuli’s close friend, Samia Suluhu. Suluhu claimed that the president died of heart failure.

Tanzanian president earned a second term after winning the country’s election in October; but the entire voting period was marked by violence. As President, he was accused of election fraud as well; so there was an asterisk next to his victory in the minds of many Tanzanians.

He had not been seen in public since February 27th. There were beliefs that something was wrong because the nation’s leader had just disappeared without any reasonable excuse. He has a history of heart problems and had a pacemaker installed earlier in his life; so it made sense that this was the cause of his death when Suluhu announced it on Wednesday.

The Tanzanian Government

There were rumors in Tanzania and around the world about what was occurring with John Magufuli. Magufuli’s team told citizens that everything was okay and to ignore any rumors they saw in the global media.

The Tanzanian police arrested four people who were accused of spreading false stories about John Magufuli. The country’s opposition leader, Tundu Lissu, was included in the group of Tanzanian people spreading false rumors; but he was not indicted.

Lissu said that the president was in a hospital in India after contracting COVID-19. The Kenyan media also ran a story on an unnamed African leader on a ventilator in India after becoming sick with COVID-19.

It’s also reported that Magufuli’s aides contracted COVID-19; and he had direct contact with these people before he disappeared from the spotlight.

The Allegations Against Magufuli

Magufuli became a common theme of the global media after denying that COVID-19 was an issue in his country. Many people have accused him in the country of not believing in the virus; which has led to the death of many Tanzanians.

Magufuli denied that there was COVID-19 in Tanzania; he told health workers in the nation not to mention the virus, and he claimed that the virus was not dangerous. He said people should pray and inhale herb-infused steam instead of risking their lives by receiving the vaccine.

Under Magufuli, Tanzania has not published any statistics since May about COVID-19 infections in the country. The World Health Organization has been requesting numbers since May, but the Tanzanian government has not complied.

In May, Tanzania reported that 509 people had been infected in the nation. There are no known COVID-19 testing or vaccination protocols established in the nation. It’s believed that Tanzania was devastated by the virus. This information may be pushed forward after the passing of Magufuli.

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