Tanzania's controversial President John Magufuli has died aged 61 of Covid-19, he was a son of a subsistence farmer. He rose to become president in 2015 and was praised for his no-nonsense approach, Known as "The Bulldozer", he went on to gain international notoriety for his reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
A devote Catholic, he had made many hardline comments about the virus at church services, such as "I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted our country and the world. But God has answered us. I believe, and I'm certain many Tanzanians believe the corona disease has been eliminated by God," he told worshippers in a church in the capital, Dodoma, in June 2020.
"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," he added.
Last March he said: "Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ... It will burn instantly."
His hardline Christian comments may well have been founded on falsity and this is the sad state of many believers on the continent, as many have half baked understanding about how our spiritual understanding should interplay with our daily living. Sadly, it isn't that, it is not in the Bible, but rather, our choice to accept a part and ignore the other. Is it a wonder now that, the Christian believing President is dead and his vice, a Muslim is now the president? Certainly not!
President Magufuli was last seen in public on February 27, and the media reported that he was seriously ill due to Covid-19-related complications that could have aggravated an existing heart condition. However, government officials insisted that he was well and threatened to arrest journalists who published news of his health and earlier this month, police indeed arrested at least four people for “distributing fabricated information” about the president’s health, which has turned out to be true.
On March 17, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, a known Muslim said in a public address that Magufuli had died of a heart attack at a hospital in Dar es Salaam. The vice president is expected to assume leadership as president until 2025, when Magufuli’s term was to end.
Earlier, John Magufuli had claimed that, his country had eradicated coronavirus "by the grace of God," his comments came in a speech at a church in the capital city of Dodoma, where he had attributed the positive Covid-19 outcome to citizen's prayers, local health officials and the efforts of front line health care workers and celebrated churchgoers during the service for not wearing masks, claiming that was a sign the country had overcome coronavirus and people were no longer afraid.
Before his death, the President said hospitals in the major city of Dar es Salaam, had only four Covid-19 patients remaining and Tanzania had not released any data on coronavirus cases since April 29. At the last count, there were 509 reported cases and 21 deaths in Tanzania, according to the World Health Organization.
In Ghana, the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of the Action Chapel International (ACI) ministry, Nicholas Duncan-Williams has shown the way to go, when he advised people, especially believers to take the Covid-19 vaccine, announcing that, his personal decision to take the vaccine as a man of God is an act of wisdom and common sense and not a lack of faith.
He said persons who have chosen not to take the Covid-19 vaccine are victims of conspiracy theories and lies being spread about the vaccine in the media, especially social media. The Archbishop who was preaching admonished people to not discourage others from taking the vaccine just because they have decided not to get vaccinated. “It takes faith to take the vaccine. It takes faith. And I said the reason why you’re not taking the vaccine is because you’re afraid of what will happen to you if you take the vaccine. You’re afraid because you’re a victim of conspiracy theories on social media,” he stated.
What is the lesson, we all must be guided by wisdom and faith that is personal. Same happened to a major teacher of faith, who ignored all the Covid-19 restrictions and has also since died. Such clear disregard and eventual deaths, can in no way advance the gospel, but bring mockery and if we are committed to sending waves of the power and wisdom of God around the nations of the world, maybe, we can start by been quit over issues, we really do not have direct answers to like Covid-19 and if we insist we may well do, lets show by not suffering the same sad fate of many.
Are you advocating for a hard stand in relation to your faith and believes? Are they backed by your personal experiences or knowledge of an in-depth nature you have come across by virtue of diligence and toil? Or you are holding on to a word you heard per chance on TV/Radio or from your pastor? Spiritual truths are far deeper and requires more diligence than that, for it to be effective! And it must be personalized.
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