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Tanzanian MP calls for probe into ‘controversial’ Magufuli death

Honorable Luhaga Joelson Mpina, the Member of Parliament for Kisesa Constituency and Minister for Livestock and Fisheries in Tanzania called for the formation of a committee of inquiry into the death of the late president John Pombe Magufuli in March 2021.

Speaking on April 19, 2024, Honorable Mpina termed the death controversial despite reports that president Magufuli died due to cardiac arrest at the height of the covid-19 pandemic.

“A final report on the death of president Magufuli is yet to be released. After listening keenly to the explanation from the head of the military, Retired General Venance Salvatory Mabeyo, that he gave in March 16, 2024, I am convinced- and I call on my fellow Parliamentarians- to allow for the formation of an independent committee of inquiry to investigate the controversial death of the president Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli so as to ensure he gets his rightful justice posthumously,” began Mr Mpina.

He went on to say that this commission of inquiry will also look into all those who opposed the swearing in of Dr Samia Suluhu’s swearing in to succeed the late Magufuli contrary to the Constitutional mandates as well as table the final full report on investigations regarding the controversial death of the late Magufuli.

Dr Magufuli died at the age of 61 and initial claims and rumors had it that he died due to covid-19 complications.

Prior to his death, he hadn’t been seen in public for two weeks as opposition allied politicians claimed he had contracted the highly infectious virus that can be fatal to those with underlying health conditions and those with advanced ages.

Mr Magufuli had been a vocal skeptic about the virus and failed to undertake early prevention measures to safeguard his country men as other countries went into lockdowns, social distancing and other preventative measures to limit the spread of the virus.

Instead, Dr Magufuli called for people to pray and to undertake steam therapy to counter the virus instead of wearing masks, going into isolation if one contracts the virus and instilling curfews and lockdowns.

He was remembered as a patriotic Tanzanian who championed the cause of his country over external influences including those from the West in terms of financial borrowing that often came with strings attached, staying out of Europe in the period he was President and standing firm against perceived enemies including Kenya when he had imported 6,400 chicks on grounds that they had been smuggled into Tanzania.

The Tanzanian government also auctioned 1,325 heads of cattle belonging to Kenyan herders after they were found grazing on the Tanzanian side of the border with Kenya. These instances almost descended into serious diplomatic problems between the two nations.

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