The government of Tanzania has reported that President John Pombe Magufuli known popularly as ‘The Bulldozer’ has died; local media outlets have equally confirmed the incident.
Bloomberg News quoted Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, to have said on national TV that: “We have lost our courageous leader, President John Magufuli, who has died from a heart illness.” The report further added that the Vice President declared 14days of national mourning for the President.
John Pombe Magufuli was born on the 29th of October 1959 in the northwestern town of Chato. His mainstream political career started in the year 1995 as he won the seat to represent his people as a member of parliament. He grew through the rank and was finally given the mandate to represent the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party after the term of former president President Jakaya Kikwete ended in 2015.
Through an excellent leadership, Magufuli won the hearts of many across the continent; he is well known for his detest for foreign travels by African leaders. He was greatly praised for completing his first term in office without traveling out of Africa. He won much respect for his fight against corruption and wasteful government expenditure as well.
In June 2019, Magufuli cancelled a US$10billion agreement signed by his predecessor, Jakaya Kikwete in 2015 with Chinese investors to construct a port at Mbegani creek in Bagamoyo, just north of Da es Salaam.
Magufuli perceived the contract in which the Chinese investors agreed with the erstwhile administration to build the said port on condition that, they will be granted a 30-year guarantee, 99years uninterrupted lease with an attached outrageous demand that, the Tanzanian government will have absolutely no power to raise concerns on whoever invests in the port during the stated period, as one that does not make sense.
In recent times, his approach towards the pandemic has seen some criticisms; during the earlier stages of the outbreak, Magufuli rejected test kits distributed in Africa on grounds that, the kits tested positive when lab tests were run on oil, goats, pawpaw and other non-human elements. A result he deem suspicious. Although he got some support from Africans on this innovative way of thinking, he faced massive criticisms for the overly dependence on religion in the fight against the pandemic.
Today, the continent has lost one of the greatest Presidents and we say, may his soul rest in peace.