Bridget Tapera & Tariro Mandombo
The ambiguity concerning the demise of former Tanzanian president Dr. John Pombe Magufuli is a stark mirage to unravel the impending consequences confronting the Republic of Tanzania. The cause of his death is still unjustified although numerous scenarios have been propelled from different angles.
The Post On Sunday interrogate issues as outlined by various institutions and analysts on the journey the man walked through and where he left as a States man.
The lustrous leader earned the nickname “Bulldozer” emanating from his bold stance in abhorring criticism and his ardent skill to ‘get things done.’
Tanzania experienced a rapid growth and infrastructural development during his reign, as well as immense support for local industries perpetuated by his strict domestic policies and disregard for ties with the international community, if they refuse to wallow under his authority.
In a sharply delineated contrast, Magufuli was viewed as a penchant populist. His ignominious death has left the nation in a period of political uncertainty. Although his political will has been revered by majority of ordinary people, Tanzania’s leader transmuted into an authoritarian ruler who subscribed to the deprivation of freedom of speech and disregarded opposition leaders in his country.
He expressed detest of interference by any parties outside of his vicinity, including his neighboring counterparts.
The disparity of temperament disclosed by Magufuli’s government has led to the vagueness relating to the conviction of his grave.
The unrelenting quest to discern the cause of his death has unveiled a lot of skepticism by multiple individuals.
Magufuli’s legacy includes his controversial handling of the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to some pearl of wisdom revealing that his death is aligned to the corona virus. Prior to his demise were weeks of speculation that suggested the leader’s sickness was related to Covid-19.
This is not astonishing considering how he downplayed the severity of the pandemic from the onset. He diverged from the control measures that were being implemented in the neighboring countries retorting that it was a false alarm and insisted that Tanzanians carry on as usual. It is this kind of disarray and scientific ignorance that has cost him his life.
The then Vice-President of Tanzania, SamiaSuluhu announced that the president had died of heart failure at the hospital Mzena in Dar es Salaam. In contrary, the country’s opposition leader TunduLissu claimed that the president had been extracted to India for Covid-19 treatment.Attached to that is the assertion propounded by Kenya suggesting that the leader was regaining consciousness in the country’s vicinity.
On the other hand, it is rather a rendition of the cost of Magufuli’s ignorance to the horrendous pandemic. It is appalling to think that a leader will assume such levels of ignorance that are unjustified considering the havoc experienced by the rest of the continent and the world.
Another intriguing storyline is camouflaged by a diabolical act orchestrated by the Chinese and Western countries.
This act is claimed to be on account for the former President’s refusal to allow Asian and Western powers access to the vast mineral resources lying in the country. His refusal cannot be dismissed as lacking in pragmatism considering the history of African colonial rule whose impact is still engraved in our society decades after independence.
Needless to say that it is still not clear whether most African countries have attained independence in its full capacity or they pose as puppets to the great powers – neocolonialism.
Magufuli’s decision to not fall prey to the neo-imperial designs is justified on the premise that developed states continue to loot resources from under-developed states, of which, Africa is a big target.
The much debated outcome of post-colonial Africa is a juxtaposition of anti-imperialism structures versus anti-decolonization systems, of which, both were at the heart of Magufuli’s reign. Therefore, it is not surprising to conclude that the demise of the vibrant and healthy leader was a reaction of diabolical gusto to the Chinese and Western powers.
Samia Suluhu’s reaction to the sudden death of the president may not be dismissed as predictable to a candidate most fit to uphold the presidential office.
Premised on her announcement that was dubbed false and lacking substantial evidence, it is suggestive of a plot of destruction against Magufuli.
This was an arranged speech to deter the public from previous speculations. On the other, the opposition leader who made claims that the president’s death was owing to covid-19 related sickness, did not show much remorse as the defeat of his rivalry could earn him a seat at the table.
The political arena that was birthed by the demise of Magufuli is still vague in its construction. The interim government is promising in establishing more liberal reforms that will detangle the injustices prevalent in the former regime.
However, this could be an incessant entry of a puppet government bereft of sovereign power.
Students of International Relations at Africa University