Tanzania, Africa are in mourning over the sudden death of President John Magufuli on Wednesday March 17th, 2021.
As condolences pour in from home and abroad, Magufuli who died at 61, is being remembered for his relentless fight against corruption, promotion of education –and persistent denial of COVID -19 existence.
Here are some key quotes from the late East African leader.
“I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted our country and the world. But God has answered us. I believe, and I’m certain that many Tanzanians believe, that the corona disease has been eliminated by God,” he told worshippers in a church in the capital, Dodoma in June 2020.
“Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ… It will burn instantly.”
“We have had a number of viral diseases, including Aids and measles. Our economy must come first. It must not sleep… Life must go on… Countries [elsewhere] in Africa will be coming here to buy food in the years to come… they will be suffering because of shutting down their economy.”
“We need to be careful because some of these donations to fight coronavirus could be used to transmit the virus. I want to urge you Tanzanians not to accept donations of masks, instead tell the donors to go and use them with their wives and children.”
“Our founding father was not someone to be directed to be told what to do… Those who devise these kinds of rules [lockdown] are used to making these directives that our founding father refused,” Magufuli said, referring to Tanzania’s first leader, Julius Nyerere’s, habit of rejecting advice from Western nations.
“There are so many unbelievable things being done in this country. Either the imperialists have bought off the laboratory technicians, or they are not competent, which is not true,” he said.
“So many times, I have insisted that not everything that you are given is good. There could be people being used, that equipment could be used… but it could also be sabotage because this is warfare,” he said, about testing kits.
At the funeral of a presidential top aide on February 19th, he said: “It is possible this is another test but with God we will win. Let’s not scare each other because we will not overcome. It’s possible we have offended God, or we’re being tested and I’m urging that we stand by God… Religious leaders continue encouraging prayers, we will win. God cannot forsake this nation.”
In March 2018, Magufuli said: “I want you Tanzanians to believe that you have a real president, a real rock. I cannot be threatened, and I am not threatened.”
And one day, he reminded his friends and foes that: “One day you will remember me… I know one day you will remember me, not for bad things but for the good deeds… because I have sacrificed my life for the poor in Tanzania.”
Excerpts Compiled By BBC