Update 3/18: President Magufuli has died at age 61. Reports indicate a heart condition as cause of death.
Sometimes we share news from far away. This is an interesting story from Africa. ABC News and other outlets have reported on Tanzanian President John Magufuli having been out of the spotlight since late February. Tanzania cops arrest man for reporting that president is ill Tanzanian police have arrested a man for circulating posts suggesting that President John Magufuli is in ill health
Magufuli is one of Africa’s most prominent COVID-19 skeptics. Last year he said the disease had been eradicated from Tanzania by three days of national prayer. He cast doubt on tests to determine COVID-19 discouraged Tanzanians from wearing masks, keeping a distance from others, and the use of vaccines to combat the disease. Magufuli’s absence is unusual as he is known for frequent public speeches and appearances on state television several times a week.
Below is another POV on the missing leader:
John Magufuli, President of Tanzania, has disappeared. He’s not been seen in public for several weeks, and speculation is building as to where he might be.
To add some context, John Magufuli is one of the “Covid denier” heads of state from Africa.
He famously had his office submit five unlabelled samples for testing – goat, motor oil, papaya, quail and jackfruit – and when four came back positive and one “inconclusive”, he banned the testing kits and called for an investigation into their origin and manufacture.
In the past, he has also questioned the safety and efficacy of the supposed “covid vaccines”, and has not permitted their use in Tanzania.
In the Western press, Magufuli has been portrayed as “anti-science” and “populist”, but it is not fair to suggest that the health of the people of Tanzania is a low priority for the President. In fact it’s quite the opposite.
After winning his first election in 2015, he slashed government salaries (including his own) in order to increase funding for hospitals and buying AIDs medication. In 2015 he cancelled the Independence Day celebrations and used the money to launch an anti-Cholera campaign. Healthcare has been one of his administration’s top priorities, and Tanzanian life expectancy has increased every year while he has been in office.
The negative coverage of President Magufuli is a very recent phenomenon. Early in his Presidency he even received glowing write-ups from the Western press and Soros-backed think tanks, praising his reforms and calling him an “example” to other African nations. All that changed when he spoke out about Covid being a hoax. Read more here.