Samia Suluhu Hassan stated Magufuli had been receiving remedy in a Tanzanian hospital when he died on Wednesday night.
However, opposition leaders insist Magufuli died of Covid-19 at the very least one week earlier.
Tundu Lissu, of the Chadema opposition social gathering, stated in an interview with a Kenyan broadcaster Thursday that Magufuli had died from Covid in early March.
“I received news of President Magufuli’s passing without any surprise,” he added.
“I had expected this all along, from the first day I tweeted on March 7… when I asked the question ‘Where is President Magufuli and what is his state of health?’ I had information from very credible sources in the government that the president was gravely ill with Covid-19 and his situation was actually very bad,” Lissu stated from his base in Belgium. NCS has contacted Lissu for additional remark.
NCS has been unable to independently confirm his claims. Tanzanian authorities additionally didn’t reply to requires touch upon Lissu’s claims.
The secrecy and thriller shrouding his demise is telling about Magufuli’s enduring legacy, says Maria Sarungi Tsehai, activist and founder of the #ChangeTanzania motion, a civil society group selling free speech.
Tsehai stated that the circumstances of his demise and the “secrecy and intimidation” that residents face for speculating or discussing it’s “very telling about the kind of presidency he ran.”
“Even now in his death, people are still terrified and talking in hushed tones,” Tsehai stated.
Magufuli was Tanzania’s fifth president and half of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) social gathering that has dominated the nation since independence in 1961.
The final reported figures of 509 circumstances and 21 deaths had been in April final yr.
Magufuli annoyed international well being leaders after he suspended nationwide monitoring of Covid circumstances — blaming the nation’s an infection toll on faulty check kits.
Magufuli’s demise has raised many questions about how the nation strikes ahead in a pandemic with an enormous info vacuum.
Magufuli made no bids for Covid vaccines as he queried its security and as a substitute promoted the use of prayers, natural remedies and steam inhalation to fight the illness.
Tsehai says the lack of info makes it troublesome for healthcare staff and residents to know what the actual state of affairs is. Her group ran a casual survey to get a “snapshot” of the Covid state of affairs in the nation final yr.
“We are seeing more obituaries, death announcements, and that more people are leaving us. There are elderly people and those in their 50s. Parents are also telling us that children are being admitted to hospital with breathing problems,” she stated.
However, adjustments are removed from imminent, added Tsehai. “Nothing will happen immediately. We have to wait and see what Samia (Hassan) can do.”
On Friday, Hassan was sworn in as the nation’s first feminine president.
Now, the new leader wants to pick out a vice presidential candidate and type a cupboard, Tsehai stated.
“We are very worried. She needs to act now. The ceremony and burial and last rites ceremony are going to be Covid super spreader events,” Tsehai added.
Fighting Covid with prayers
Magufuli was devoutly non secular and a rabid Covid-19 denier who repeatedly downplayed the severity of Covid-19 in Tanzania, whereas declaring the nation free from the virus final June after three days of mass prayers.
“Let’s pray and fast for three days I am sure we will win… today for the Muslims who have already begun, tomorrow the Seventh Day Adventists who pray on Saturdays and on Sunday for Christians,” Magufuli stated on February 19.
“God has never forsaken this nation. We won last year and graduated to middle-income status amid coronavirus,” he added.
Deus Valentine Rweyemamu, who heads the Center for Strategic Litigation, a pro-democracy motion in Tanzania, advised NCS that Magufuli failed to supply management in his dealing with of the pandemic.
“President Magufuli hid behind religious fundamentalism and managed to sway an entire nation into denialism. His only recorded public address on Covid has half of it made up of Bible verses,” Rweyemamu stated.
However, non secular leaders had been amongst his fiercest critics.
Father Charles Kitima, Secretary of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, a gaggle of Catholic bishops, advised NCS Thursday that the Magufuli regime didn’t take pressing steps in dealing with the coronavirus.
Kitima, who had been a vocal critic of Tanzania’s Covid response beneath Magufuli, stated some members of the Catholic Church in Tanzania could have died from Covid-related problems.
“Some members of the church had breathing complications and died out of that,” he advised NCS.
“As for the months from mid-December 2020 to February 2021, we lost 25 priests and 60 nuns… Some of these died because of breathing difficulties,” he stated.
He added that the quantity of infections in the nation couldn’t be ascertained because of the lack of testing.
Kitima faulted Magufuli’s Covid response, which relied largely on faith whereas neglecting scientific suggestions.
“You cannot separate prayer from science. Religion is there to support the doctors and researchers. Science and faith must work together,” Kitima advised NCS.
Rweyemamu advised NCS that many Tanzanians trusted Magufuli’s — albeit unconventional — strategies.
“If President Magufuli were to appear in public wearing a mask then even Tanzania’s sickest dog would wear one. This is because… Tanzanians believe in their president more than in their own parents,” he added.
Mussa Khamis, a undertaking officer at Good Neighbors, a non-profit humanitarian group in Tanzania, advised NCS: “While some of my friends and relatives inhaled steam to fight this pandemic… I took care of myself by observing prevention measures advised by WHO and other medical experts.”
The 26-year-old resident of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar stated the existence of Covid-19 had begun to resonate with many Tanzanians following the passing of Zanzibar’s Vice President, Seif Sharif Hamad, who died in February after contracting the virus.
Hamad was open about his sickness, which he made public three weeks earlier than his demise.
“People now wear masks and wash their hands frequently. I think this is motivated by the recent loss of our vice president,” Khamis stated.
The finish of the Magufuli period is predicted to usher in a brand new nationwide perspective on Covid-19.
However, it stays to be seen if it is going to be enterprise as normal for Tanzania’s new leader or if she’s going to change tack and make room for science to thrive as the pandemic rages.