John Pombe Magufuli (born 29 October 1959) was a Tanzanian politician and the fifth President of Tanzania, in office since 2015. He was the chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019–2020
He was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1995, he served in the Cabinet of Tanzania as Deputy Minister of Works from 1995 to 2000, Minister of Works from 2000 to 2006, Minister of Lands and Human Settlement from 2006 to 2008, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries from 2008 to 2010, and as Minister of Works for a second time from 2010 to 2015.
However, for the past two weeks, a man who had defied WHO health regulations was neither seen nor heard. Rumours started spreading from all over, with the Prime minister of Tanzania canceling his trip to Kenya, he assured his citizens that President John Pombe Magufuli was well.
Tensions were high and his main competitor in the previous concluded election while speaking in exile, kept updating about Magufuli’s health through his Social Media accounts.
Reports had it that a top country official had been admitted at Nairobi Hospital and with tight security, we didn’t know who , it was? Was it Magufuli? Reports also said that a top country official might have been airlifted to India. Was it true? Was it Magufuli?
Last week, there were wide spread rumours of the late president’s death going around with speculation of Corona being the cause of his death. What might have stirred the rumours is his two close allies who passed on due to Covid 19.
The late succumbed this Wednesday evening at at 6pm. He was admitted with heart condition at Jakaya Kikwete hospital on March 6, discharged on 7th then admitted again on 14th at the Nairobi hospital where he had been receiving treatment. Last year, he instructed security forces to blindly test coronavirus PCR test kits for quality on goats, papaya, sheep, and motor oil. All of them, he said, had been found to be positive for Covid-19.
How will the Tanzanians cope up with this news. Will Tindu Lissu come back from exile. All said and done, Rest in Peace, John Pombe Magufuli, till we meet again.
East Africa community will miss you.