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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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    Angels Of Death Strike, Take Two Of Uganda’s VIPs In 2023 Opener

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    Two of Uganda’s Very Important Persons have Monday died.

    National Unity Platform’s parliamentary flag bearer in the last year’s Omoro County by-elections, Simon Toolit Aketcha is dead.

    Toolit, died on Monday morning.

    The news of his death was confirmed by Omoro county MP Andrew Ojok Oulanyah.

    “It is a dark day in Omoro! We have lost one of our gallant sons and former MP, Hon. Simon Toolit Akecha! Hon. Toolit was the MP for Omoro County between 2006 & 2011 and was a candidate in recent by-elections. May his soul rest in eternal peace!” OJok tweeted.

    Toolit put up stiff political resistance against the late Jacob Oulanyah before also competing against his son Andrew Ojok Oulanyah.

    Toolit will be remembered as a candidate to have competed against the Oulanyah’s while holding the flag for two different parties for under ten years.

    In 2016, Toolit, then a candidate of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) contested against NRM’s Jacob Oulanyah and polled 6,823 votes against the latter’s 8,218 votes.

    In the same manner, Uganda’s high commissioner to Kenya and Seychelles, Dr Hassan Galiwango, has died.

    Galiwango died Monday morning at Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted.

    The late was the husband to Mbale City Woman Member of Parliament, Connie Nakayeze Galiwango.

    President Museveni appointed Galiwango as the high commissioner to Kenya in October 2020.

    Galiwango was also the former long serving director of finance and administration at the NRM secretariat at the time of his ambassadorial appointment. Ms Medina Naham, the NRM party chairperson of Koboko District, replaced him at the secretariat.

    The cause of his death is yet to be communicated by the government.

    Last year, Bank of Uganda governor prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and Gen. Elly Tumwine among other VIPs died.

     

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    Five Dead As Bomb Goes Off In Church Near DRC, Uganda Border 

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    A bomb killed at least five people on Sunday after detonating in a church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said.

    Details of the attack remain hazy, but military spokesman Antony Mualushayi said the “terrorist act” happened in a Pentecostal church in North Kivu province’s Kasindi, a town on the border with Uganda.

    Mualushayi later told reporters that at least five bodies had been taken to the morgue following the blast, in what he called a provisional death toll.

    Joel Kitausa, a local civil society figure, put the death toll at eight and said 27 other people had been wounded.

    AFP was unable to independently confirm the toll.

    It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. Mualushayi said that one suspect — a Kenyan — had been arrested.

    The DRC’s communications ministry said on social media that the attack was apparently carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group.

    The ADF — which the Islamic State group claims as its affiliate in Central Africa — is active in the Kasindi area.

    It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.

    The ADF has planted bombs in towns in North Kivu in the past.

    Since 2021 a joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation has been targeting the ADF in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province.

    Over 120 armed groups roam mineral-rich eastern DRC, many of which are the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the 21st century.

    Source: AFP

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    Nepal Crash: Dozens Killed As Plane Crashes Near Pokhara Airport

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    Dozens of people have been killed after a plane with 72 people on board crashed near an airport in central Nepal.

    The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara crashed on landing before catching fire.

    Videos posted on social media show an aircraft flying low over a populated area before banking sharply.

    At least 68 people are confirmed to have died, officials said. Several critically injured survivors were taken to hospital, unconfirmed reports said.

    Local resident Deeveta Kal told the BBC how she rushed to the crash site after seeing the aircraft plunge from the sky shortly after 11:00am local time (05:15 GMT).

    “By the time I was there the crash site was already crowded. There was huge smoke coming from the flames of the plane. And then helicopters came over in no time,” she said.

    “The pilot tried his best to not hit civilisation or any home,” Deevta Kal added. “There was a small space right beside the Seti River and the flight hit the ground in that small space.”

    The flight set out with 68 passengers on board, including at least 15 foreign nationals, and four crew members.

    According to flight tracking website Flightradar24, the 15-year-old twin-engine ATR 72 stopped transmitting position data at 05:05 GMT and the last signal from the aircraft was received at 05:12.

    Hundreds of Nepalese soldiers were involved in the operation at the crash site in the gorge of the Seti, just one and a half kilometres from the airport.

    The search operation has been suspended for the day, officials say.

    Video taken where the plane came down showed thick billowing black smoke and burning debris.

    “We expect to recover more bodies,” an army spokesman told Reuters, saying the plane “has broken into pieces”.

    Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal called an emergency meeting of his cabinet and urged state agencies to work on rescue operations. A panel to investigate the cause of the crash has been set up.

    Of the passengers, 53 are said to be Nepalese. There were five Indian, four Russians and two Koreans on the plane. There was also one passenger each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France among others.

    Aviation accidents are not uncommon in Nepal, often due to its remote runways and sudden weather changes that can make for hazardous conditions.

    A Tara Air plane crashed in May 2022 in the northern Nepalese district of Mustang, killing 22 people.

    In early 2018, 51 people were killed when a US-Bangla flight travelling from Dhaka in Bangladesh caught fire as it landed in Kathmandu.

    The European Union has banned Nepalese airlines from its airspace over concerns about training and maintenance standards in the country’s aviation industry.

    Source: BBC

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