The untimely passing of Tanzanian President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli who is said to have died of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) induced cardiac arrest has sent shockwave across Malawi.
Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced Magufuli’s death on Wednesday saying he was admitted on March 6 to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute for heart problems and discharged the next day but his condition worsened and he was rushed to Mzena Hospital where he died on March 17.
On social media, Malawians have expressed shock at the death of Magufuli. Many people have described him as a great son of Africa saying he brought development to Tanzania, which is Malawi’s neighboring country.
“Rest in peace, President Magufuli, great son of Africa. We loved you, but the Lord loved you most. You did your part. Tanzania will never be the same. Go well,” wrote Onjezani Kenani on Facebook.
Comedian Tannah said: “Those who have been to Tanzania before Magufuli became president will appreciate the Rapid infrastructure and economic development during his era. He was a visionary leader. My condolences to the People of Tanzania.”
Over the past months, Magufuli played down the Coronavirus pandemic and encouraged citizens to keep the economy moving saying God would protect Tanzanians.
Malawians have hailed him for his determination to get Tanzanians out of poverty amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Here is the leader who has taught Africa there is no excuse to economic prosperity. Today, at the heels and wheels of COVID-19 pandemic, Tanzania is a middle income country. It’s prosperous and industrious.
“Magufuli, gave no excuse to emancipate his country from shackles of poverty. He was the leader with clear vision. He refused to go shop around the globe, he was a definition of economic prudence.
“Magufuli will always be remembered. His critics will call his death suicide. They will say his own arrogance killed him. But so was Bingu before him. Not in Tanzania, but in Malawi. But these are heroes of Africa,” said social commentator Focus Maganga.