By Samuel Ouma
On Friday, two Tanzania officials dispel rumors being speculated that President John Magufuli is suffering from Covid-19 and his life is in tatters.
Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and Tanzania’s Ambassador to Namibia Modestus Kipilimba said the coronavirus sceptic is in good health and carrying out his regular duties.
“He’s OK, he’s going on with his job,” Kipilimba told Namibia’s state broadcaster NBC.
The opposition leader Tundu Lissu had revealed that President Magufuli was flown to neighboring Kenya before being taken to India on a ventilator, citing security and medical sources.
The duo has denied that, saying the President is in Tanzania despite failing to make a public appearance since February 27.
Mr. Kassim Majaliwa said the narrative is triggered by hate from his compatriots living outside the country.
“I want to assure Tanzanians that your President is strong and working hard as usual. You should not worry. I even talked with him this morning about my trip in Njombe and he told me to greet you on his behalf. I talked with him on phone from Dar es Salaam and I was in Dodoma,” Majaliwa told a mosque in the southern region of Njombe in a video posted online.
Chadema, main Tanzania’s opposition party, demanded an explanation on the President’sPresident’s whereabouts once again on Friday.
“We are forced to ask this since the PresidentPresident appeared in public some two weeks ago and no official statement has been issued after media reports that he was hospitalised. We have the right to know this,” said Chadema secretary-general John Mnyika.
Magufuli is the only African prominent leader who has mocked Covid-19 containment protocols such as lockdown and wearing face masks, saying prayers, and steam inhalation are enough to protect Tanzanians.
In January, he rejected the Covid-19 vaccine noting that it is part of a Western conspiracy to grab wealth belonging to Africans.
Magufuli’s administration last year went ahead and banned reporting of the virus cases.