Tanzania's debatable President Mr. John Magufuli died aged 61. The son of a farmer, he became president in 2015 and was commended for his no-nonsense tactic. Branded as "The Bulldozer", he went on to gain worldwide disrepute for his reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of his views, in his own words.
Being with church members in a church in a town known as Dodoma in June 2020, he said i want to acknowledge Tanzanians of all beliefs. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has stricken our country and the world. But God has responded to us. I trust, and I'm certain many Tanzanians believe the corona disease has been eradicated by God. We need to be careful because some of these donations to fight coronavirus could be used to transmit the virus. I want to urge you Tanzanians not to accept donations of masks, instead tell the donors to go and use them with their wives and children.
A dedicated Catholic, he has made many remarks about the virus at church services. Last March he said Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ. It will burn instantly. Two months ahead at mass in his hometown Chato, he said We have had a number of viral diseases, including Aids and measles. Our economy must come first. It must not sleep… Life must go on. Countries [elsewhere] in Africa will be coming here to buy food in the years to come; they will be suffering because of shutting down their economy.
At the interment of a top presidential assistant in february, he urged Tanzanians not to panic. He said It is possible this is another test but with God we will win. Let's not scare each other because we will not overcome. God cannot forsake this nation. On lockdown, he said Our founding father was not someone to be directed to be told what to do. Those who devise these kinds of rules [lockdown] are used to making these directives that our founding father refused.
On coronavirus tests, he probed the usefulness of Covid tests in May, the last time the country issued data on coronavirus cases and deaths. After conveyance of various animals and fruit to be checked for the virus, he said a papaya, a quail and a goat had all tested positive. So many times, I have insisted that not everything that you are given is good. There could be people being used, that equipment could be used; but it could also be sabotage because this is warfare. On Covid vaccines, he said in January, The Ministry of Health should be careful, they should not hurry to try these vaccines without doing research, not every vaccine is important to us, we should be careful. We should not be used as guinea pigs. Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids, cancer and TB by now.
On corruption, with his drive to root out corruption and lazy workers, he said in 2015 The way to treat a boil is to squeeze it out, and I have made it my responsibility to do that. I know squeezing out a boil hurts but unfortunately there are no two ways about it. Almost two ages later, after sacking about 10,000 public servants for having false education certificates, he said these people occupied government positions but had no qualifications. They robbed us just like other common criminals.
On pregnant schoolgirls, he said in June 2017 As long as I am president, no pregnant student will be allowed to return to school. After getting pregnant, you are done. After calculating a few mathematics sums, she'd be asking the teacher in the classroom, Let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby. In June 2019 on population growth, he admonished Tanzanian womenfolk to set their ovaries free and have more children. When you have a big population you build the economy. That's why China's economy is so huge. I know that those who like to block ovaries will complain about my remarks. Set your ovaries free, let them block theirs.
On leadership in March 2018, he said I want you Tanzanians to believe that you have a real president, a real rock. I cannot be threatened and I am not threatened. On his upbringing, he said in 2015 Our home was grass-thatched, and like many boys I was assigned to herd cattle, as well as selling milk and fish to support my family. I know what it means to be poor. I will strive to help improve people's welfare.
In a video that popped up after his death, he said One day you will remember me. I know one day you will remember me, not for bad things but for the good deeds because I have sacrificed my life for the poor in Tanzania. African legends like Gadafi of Libya, Sankara of Burkina and Nkrumah of Ghana are no more. If i may ask, is there any African president as brave as the late Tanzania’s President, Mr. Magufuli?
Content created and supplied by: Politics-is-my-food (via Opera News )