Did Magufuli pay the ultimate price for COVID-19 denial?
Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli, who was one of African most prominent COVID-19 deniers, has died, the country’s Vice President Samia Suluhu, announced on National Television yesterday. He was 61 years old.
The cause of Magufuli’s death was said to be a heart attack, but many suspect it was due to COVID-19 related complications, since some of his cabinet members and close relatives had contracted the disease.
Many will no doubt condem the deceased leader for driving his country down a dangerous path, that has cost so may lives, and many will indeed be looking for a change in this poisonous policy.
Under Magufuli’s leadership, COVID was initially a hoax, so they didn’t take any protective measures. But in the last days of his life, he admitted the existence of the disease, after several of his family members, contracted the disease.
Still, Magufuli insisted that God was his shield and he would still not wear a mask.
Only recently Tanzania’s finance Minister was seen coughing in public while addressing a press conference.
Magufuli, is the second African President to saccumb to COVID-19-related complications after his close friend, Pierce Nkurunziza of Burundi, who was also a COVID skeptical, died in June 2020 in similar circumstances.
Several of Nkurunziza’s close circles were reported to have died, but his wife survived after treatment in Nairobi.
Magufuli’s death also came only weeks, after the death of Seif Hamad, the Vice President of the Semi autonomous island of Zanzibar, died mid February due to COVID-19.