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Is Magufuli Dead or Alive?

Is Tanzania’s president, Pombe Magufuli dead?

Speculation regarding the health of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli continues to be rife in the region with current “unconfirmed” reports indicating that the fifth President of the East African nation is dead.

Last week Kenya’s media was awash with reports that Magufuli was flown to Nairobi for treatment but later transferred to India, reportedly due to lack of an ICU bed at the Nairobi Hospital, where ODM Leader Raila Odinga had been admitted over Covid-19.

According to the reports, which still remain unconfirmed in the absence of official communication from the relevant officials in Tanzania, Magufuli reportedly “tested positive for Covid-19 last week and suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday 3, March, and has been unresponsive on a ventilator for the past eight days”.

The sources further refute claims that Magufuli was flown to India and mentions that the president is being treated at the Intelligence Services Hospital in Dar es Salaam by doctors flown from India.

Opposition leader Tundu Antiphas Lissu, who had last week alleged that Magufuli was indeed critically ill, has today claimed that Magufuli suffered as a stroke and is on life support. He further urged the government to tell the people the truth.

VP Samia suggested today that the Dictator is sick somewhere. My own sources in TISS say he’s on life support with COVID and paralyzed on one side and from the waist down after a stroke. Tell the people the truth! Release Peter Silayo na Melchiory Shayo detained in Kilimanjaro!,” Tundu Lissu said in a tweet.

The Police in Tanzania has instead moved to silence members of the public commenting on Magufuli’s health. Two middle-aged men have today been arrested for posting on social media that Magufuli is ailing.


Unapozungumzia Kiongozi wa Nchi (Rais Magufuli) kuwa anaumwa wakati wewe sio mtoa taarifa katika ngazi hiyo hilo ni kosa lazima tuchukue hatua, tumemkamata Kiliwa kwa kumzushia Rais ugonjwa na tutamfikisha Mahakamani ili sheria ifuate mkondo, ”Kaimu RPC Iringa.  Translation (When you take up the mandate to announce that the president is ailing and you do not have an official mandate to do that, that is an offence that must be dealt with).


Last month the vice president of  Zanzibar, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad died of Covid-19.


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