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    He Was Paralysed On One Side From The Waist Down: What Killed Magufuli “The Bulldozer” Just 4 Months After He Was Sworn In? VP Suluhu to Become First E. African Woman President…

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    Former Tanzania President, H.E John Pombe Magufuli

    Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli was pronounced dead yesterday by the vice President, Samia Suluhu.

    Appearing live on TV, she said that Mr Magufuli died on Wednesday at 6pm from heart complication, at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.

    Born in 1959, Magufuli was 61 years old.

    Preceding Jakaya Kikwete, John Pombe Magufuli will be succeeded by Suluhu Hassan.

    According to the Tanzanian constitution, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan will be sworn in as Tanzania President and will lead for the remainder of Magufuli’s term until 2025. Magufuli had just been re-elected in November last year.

    If followed as by constitution, Suluhu will become the first female President of Tanzania and the entire East African bloc.

    Controversy surrounding Magufuli’s death:

    • Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday: President Magufuli is “strong and working as usual”.
    • Tanzania’s Vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday: Our country is now full of rumours from outside but that should be ignored… It’s quite normal for a person to contract flu, fever or any other disease.
    • Vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday: It is with deep regret that I inform you that today on the 17th of March, 2021 at 6:00 pm we lost our brave leader, the President of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli.”

    Taking you 17 days back before Magufuli was pronounced dead;

    “Where is Tanzania’s President John Magufuli?” People have been asking for the past 17 days since the 61-year-old had last been seen in public, and despite a clamour of rumours of ill-health, the Tanzanian authorities had yet to provide clear answers as to his whereabouts, until yesterday.

    The mere question was now leading to arrests, as the government sought to contain the rumours.

    Critical analysts however emphasised that the silence was speaking volumes. They insisted that the efforts to silence queries about Magufuli’s health was telling alot and so worrying.

    “I think whatever happens is clearly true the regime is trying to buy time,” said a one Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham.

    “And it only really makes sense that the regime is trying to buy time if the president is very ill, incapacitated, or dead,” he added.

    Magufuli last appeared in public on February 27, and the fervent Catholic had notably missed three Sunday services, where he would often address the congregation.

    Just days before, Finance Minister Philip Mpango appeared coughing and gasping at a press conference outside a hospital, to dispel rumours he had died of Covid-19.

    Fended Off By Prayer

    Magufuli’s absence came amid a string of high-profile deaths and illnesses attributed to “respiratory problems” or “pneumonia”.

    Magufuli had for months insisted the virus no longer existed in Tanzania, and had been fended off by prayer. He refused to wear a face-mask or take lockdown measures.

    The country stopped releasing case data in April 2020.

    But a week before he was last seen, Magufuli conceded the virus was still circulating, after the vice-president of semi-autonomous Zanzibar was revealed to have died of Covid-19.

    Last Tuesday, main opposition leader Tundu Lissu, exiled in Belgium, and others began questioning Magufuli’s absence, citing sources that he was gravely ill from Covid-19, exacerbated by underlying health conditions.

    Gov’t Tasked To Tell The Truth!

    On Monday, Lissu said on Twitter that his intelligence sources “said he’s on life support with COVID and paralysed on one side and from the waist down after a stroke. Tell the people the truth!”

    Among the theories in circulation was that Magufuli has been severely ill in a hospital in Kenya or India, while another suggested he never left Tanzania at all.

    Kenyan media had reported the presence of “an African leader” in a Nairobi hospital in clear reference to Magufuli, although government officials denied he was present.

    India’s foreign ministry did not respond to requests for a comment.

    Cheeseman said it was “remarkable” that the government had kept Magufuli’s whereabouts under wraps “in the modern world of the internet and citizen reporting and social media”.

    “But Tanzania isn’t living in that modern world. The level of media censorship means Tanzania is not in that context.”

    The Tanzanian government had said very little, other than to threaten those spreading rumours with jail time.

    Gov’t Emphasises Unity

    On Friday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said Magufuli was “strong and working as usual”.

    On Monday, vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan dropped a possible hint the president is ill, without naming him.

    “Our country is now full of rumours from outside but that should be ignored… It’s quite normal for a person to contract flu, fever or any other disease,” she said.

    “If there’s need for us to remain united, the time is now.”

    Zitto Kabwe, the leader of opposition party ACT-Wazalendo, said the government was merely giving room for panic.

    “We know for sure that the president is ill but we are surprised by the deepening silence about the matter,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

    “We need to know who is currently heading the government through which constitutional powers,” he demanded.

    Citizens Decry Unnecessary Secrecy

    Meanwhile Tanzanians demanded they wanted to see their leader in person.

    “I believe something is happening but the authorities are hiding,” said Abubakar, a resident of the financial capital Dar es Salaam.

    “I will be comfortable if I see the president himself,” he said, noting that there was “unnecessary secrecy”.

    “If our beloved president is really ill, they should tell us the truth so that we put him in our prayers,” he added.

    Magufuli came to power in 2015 as a no-nonsense, corruption-busting president nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, and was re-elected in a disputed poll last year.

    However he has been accused by rights groups and of stifling democracy, and cracking down on the media.

    As a result, the country’s journalists have been too afraid to dig into the story, though they had a hint about the truth.

    “It’s all about survival and telling the truth. You need to play it safe to continue operating or rush to this delicate story and risk your licence and most importantly your life,” an editor of a privately-owned Swahili newspaper said on condition of anonymity.

    The government had also started cracking down on people whom it accuses of spreading the “rumours” that Magufuli was ill through social media, threatening to charge them with cybercrime offences.

    So far police had announced the arrest of one person in Dar es Salaam and two in the northern Kilimanjaro region for spreading rumours.

    “Rather than give credible evidence that he’s alive and well, they’re arresting innocent people who want to know the truth,” Lissu emphasised.

    John Pombe Magufuli’s Profile:

    John Pombe Joseph Magufuli was a Tanzanian politician who served as the fifth President of Tanzania from 2015 until his death in 2021.

    He served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications from 2000 to 2005 and 2010 to 2015 and was chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019 to 2020.

    Magufuli was born on October 29, 1959 in Chato, Tanzania. (He died at 61)

    Magufuli had two children, Jessica and Joseph with his wife Janet.

    He subscribed to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Political party.

    Education

    Chato Primary School, 1967 to 1974

    Katoke Seminary – Biharamulo, 1975 to 1977

    Lake Secondary School, 1977 to 1978.

    Mkwawa High School, 1979 to 1981.

    Mkwawa College of Education (a constituent college of the University of Far es Salaam) for a Diploma in Education Science, majoring in Chemistry, Mathematics and Education.

    Magufuli earned his bachelor of science in education degree majoring in chemistry and mathematics as teaching subjects from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1988. He also earned his masters and doctorate degrees in chemistry from the University of Dar es Salaam, in 1994 and 2009, respectively.

    In late 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Dodoma for improving the economy of the country

    By Baron Kironde

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    CRIME

    Inside Deputy Speaker Among, Ministers Otafiire, Muhwezi Meeting Over MPs Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Bail Conditions…

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    Lawyer to embattled Kawempe North and Makindye West legislators have spoken out on the meeting between the Deputy Speaker of parliament Anita Among, Security Minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi and senior Internal Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire concerning their continued stay in prison despite being granted bail by court.

    Credible sources in parliament intimated to theGrapevine that last week, there was a secret meeting summoned by Among to negotiate a deal to have the two embattled legislators released on bail.

    Sources that attended the meeting added that the opposition leadership ran to Among for help after parliament Speaker Jacob Oulanyah dismissed their prayer for parliament to intervene and save the legislators.

    Last week, Oulanyah told Members of Parliament that parliament was not ready to intervene into Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana troubles.

    The speaker only promised to go and visit these MPs in Kigo prison.

    The speaker also asked parliament to leave the security agencies to investigate the alleged offences slapped on these legislators for the interest of justice and fairness.

    However, sources in parliament held that opposition leaders in parliament were not happy with Oulanyah’s decision and decided to run his deputy who is a very good friend to both legislators, especially Ssegirinya.

    The source said that before meeting both ministers, Among first talked to president Museveni about the issue. The president referred him to Muhwezi and Otafiire since they were the ones closely handling the issue of greater Masaka murders.

    The source further told theGrapevine that Among tried to convince the ministers on the positives in releasing the legislators on bail including creating a good relationship with the opposition especially the radical National Unity Platform (NUP).

    She further told the ministers that releasing legislators on bail does not mean that they will dodge prosecution since they will be coming from their homes.

    However, the source disclosed that both Otafiire and Muhwezi disagreed with Among’s explanation.

    They told her that the Masaka murders put government in bad light given that they caused a lot of insecurity yet Ugandans want peace.

    Gen. Muhwezi told Among that security agencies especially UPDF is very serious in fighting the ongoing criminality in the country especially after these criminals targeted Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, their very own and killed his daughter Brendah Nantongo Katumba and driver Sgt. Haruna Kayondo.

    He further told her that if these legislators are released, it will weaken the morale of the security operatives investigating these murders.

    The source added that Gen. Otafiire even wondered why the speaker did not plead to have all the suspects in this matter granted bail and instead concentrated on only the two legislators.

    The matter was not resolved and a decision was taken to refer it to the president for a final decision.

    On Wednesday, president Museveni blasted judges for granting bail to murder suspects and promised to meet with NRM Members of Parliament to resolve the matter even if it will need a referendum.

    When contacted, Abubaker Ssekanjako, one of the lawyers representing Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya neither confirmed nor denied knowledge of any meeting between opposition leadership in parliament seeking assistance from the deputy speaker of parliament.

    “I don’t know whether any of our members went to the speaker for assistance. What I know, a number of plans were made to save our brothers but we decided to concentrate on legal matters and that’s why we applied for bail which was successfully granted,” Ssekanjako said.

    He added that they have fulfilled all the requirements put in place by Masaka High Court Judge Victoria Nakintu Nkwanga to make sure that their people are granted bail, including paying a cash bail of Shs. 20m and depositing the passports of the accused at the High Court Crimes Division Kampala.

    On Monday both legislators were granted bail but up to Friday evening they were not released from prison as directed by the Judge.

    They are battling with murder, attempted murder, terrorism and abetting terrorism charges.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NEWS

    NUP Speaks Out On Bobi Wine’s ‘Fraudulent’ Academic Papers…

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    Bobi Wine (L) with lawyer Male Mabirizi (R)

    National Unity Platform Party (NUP) has spoken out on the fraudulent academic papers of their president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.

    Earlier this week, Law Development Centre grade one magistrate Augustine Alule issued summons directing Kyagulanyi to appear in Court on 7th of October 2021 and answer charges against him.

    Controversial city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi opened up a private criminal prosecution against Kyagulanyi over his academic papers.

    In his case, Mabirizi accuses Bobi Wine of fraudulently being admitted to Makerere university on government mature entry in October 2000 when he was not qualified.

    The maverick lawyer insisted that by the time Kyagulanyi  was admitted to study a Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama at Makerere University, he was 20 years old yet the requirement for somebody to qualify for mature entry is 25 years and above.

    Mabirizi based on the evidence of Alfred Namaoh Masikye the academic registrar Makerere University who gave him certified copies which he tendered in to Court as evidence.

    The admission form which Mabirizi filed in Court indicates that Bobi Wine was born on 12th of February 1980 and studied from Kololo Senior Secondary School, Kitante Hill School and was admitted to the University when he was 20 years old.

    This is not the first time Mabirizi is challenging Kyagulanyi’s academic papers, in 2020, he filed private criminal prosecution charges against him at Buganda Road Court, Wakiso Chief Magistrate Court and all the files were taken by the Directorate of Public Prosecution but up to now the case has not yet kicked off.

    However, when contacted, Geofrey Turyamusiima one of Bobi Wine’s lawyers said that his client has not yet been served with Court summons.

    He also boasted that Mabirizi was wasting his time because Bobi Wine was travelling to America.

    But on Wednesday evening, Bobi Wine was blocked from entering US and was deported back to Uganda.

    Bobi Wine explained that his deportation was related to the new COVID-19 restriction in the US.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Who Are You Trying To Please? M7 Blasts Judges For Granting Bail To Murders, Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Still Detained Even After Being Granted Bail….

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    Ssegirinya Muhammad and Allan Sewanyana in Masaka court recently over Masaka region murders

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has tasked the judiciary to explain to the nation the person they are trying to please by granting bail to murder suspects.

    The president said this while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of the six new judges and Justices of the Court of Appeal, Justice Christopher Gashirabaki and Judges of the High Court include Justice Tom Chemutai, Justice Lawrence Tweyanze, Justice Vincent Wagona, Justice Alice Komuhangi and Justice Florence Nakachwa wife to Chief Justice Owiny Dollo.

    At the same ceremony, the newly appointed Inspector General of Government (IGG) Betty Kamya and her Deputies Dr. Patricia Okiria Achan and Ann Twinomugisha Muhairwe also took their oath.

    Museveni protested the continued granting of bail to murderers in the presence of the deputy chief justice Richard Butera.

    ” For somebody to kill a person and you give them bail is provocation. It is abominable. This bail, what is the hurry? Who are you trying to please? Who said bail is a right? It is not in the Constitution. We are going to work on this,” a furious Museveni said.

    He added that in the few weeks to come, he is going to summon his NRM party Members of Parliament to a meeting to discuss the bail matter.

    Museveni insisted that even if it needs a referendum, he is ready for it because he is tired of the judiciary granting bails to murderers.

    Museveni made the statements after two National Unity Platform (NUP) Members of Parliament Ssegirinya Muhammad and Allan Sewanyana were still detained at Kigo prison even though they were granted bail by Masaka High Court Judge Victoria Nakintu Nkwanga on Monday.

    Both legislators were charged with offences of murder, attempted murder, terrorism and abetting to terrorism.

    State alleges that the legislators together with others still at large have a hand in the recent deadly murders in Masaka.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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