The recent death of no nonsense President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli has taken everyone by surprise.
In recent times, Magufuli was known for his denial in the scientific proofs of Covid19, arguing that it was a demonic curse and it could only be repelled by prayers.
He also resisted pressure from his advisers and the international Community to ban public gatherings, famously calling on Churches in Tanzania to organise massive prayer sessions and to pray against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Popularly known in his early years in office as “The Bulldozer”, President Magufuli was best known for his war on corruption and job absenteeism in Tanzania. Magufuli would often undertake surprise inspections in public establishments to check those who absconded their duties, massively slashed Ministers’ salaries in his Government and even abolished his Ministers from driving in exotic cars.
He also slashed his presidential entourage on official visits, and stopped Ministers from traveling in first class.
He also ordered his Ministers to stop traveling abroad for official duties or to represent him, stating that the country’s ambassadors abroad could represent the country when needed.
Since the announcement of President Magufuli’s death, African Heads of States have been sending in their reactions and condolences to the people of Tanzania.
The Tanzanian Government meanwhile has announced 14 days of national mourning over the sudden death of the President, who died at 61 following a heart complication.
President Emerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe took to Twitter to pen a word of condolence to the family of the fallen statesman.
He wrote: “My deepest condolences to the family of His Excellency President John Magufuli and the people of Tanzania. Africa mourns with you. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
President Cyrille Ramaphosa of South Africa also reacted on Twitter by writing: “South Africa is united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania following the passing of His Excellency the President. Through the Vice-President Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, we express our deepest condolences as Tanzania goes through this difficult moment.”
The Chairman of the AU, Moussa Fako Mahamat wrote: “The African Union family is united in grief with the Govt&People of #Tanzania by the untimely passing of H.E. President John Pombe Magufuli. Africa has lost a champion of regional cooperation in the East African region and a committed Pan Africanist leader. May he Rest In Peace.”
Renowned Kenyan Professor, Patrice PLO Lumumba equally wrote on Twitter that: “Death has robbed Tanzania of a selfless and courageous Leader. God giveth and God taketh. We mourn with Tanzanians, Africa and the World. JPM is dead! Long live JPM!”
President Mogkwetsi Masisi of Botswana wrote: “As we mourn the loss of your revered Leader President John Magufuli, I wish to extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to Her Excellency President, Mrs. Samia Suluhi Hassan, the Government, and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania.”
President Edgar Chagwu Lungu of Zambia has also written: “On my own behalf and the people of Zambia, I mourn loss of my brother and friend His Excellency President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania. My prayers are with the family and people of Tanzania. Farewell to a leader who devoted himself to the country. MHSRIP.”
President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni also took to Twitter to wish a farewell to the Tanzanian president.
He wrote: “I have, with great sadness, learnt of the death of His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli. He was a pragmatic leader who believed in and worked for the economic empowerment of East Africans. We join Tanzania in mourning the passing of a great son of Africa. May his soul rest in peace”, while the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Muhammed also extended his condolences to the people of Tanzania. “My sincere condolences to the people and Government of President John Pombe Magufuli. May he Rest In Peace.”
Finally, President Hage Geingob of Namibia also took to Twitter to pay his tribute to the deceased Tanzania Statesman.
“Tanzania has lost a Patriot and Namibia lost a Dear Brother. Namibia joins the fraternal people of Tanzania in mourning the death of my Dear Brother, President John Magufuli. During this difficult period, I convey sincere condolences to the family and the people of Tanzania,” he tweeted.