When many countries are putting more measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, in the neighboring country, Tanzania business as usual.
Yesterday, Thousands of mourners yesterday who gathered at the Dar es Salaam’s Uhuru Stadium to bid farewell to the late President John Magufuli had no masks being led by the newly sworn-in President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who didn’t wear a mask, either.
Others noted were the late Magufuli’s widow Janet and the family, Kasim Majaliwa (Tanzania Prime Minister), popular Musician Diamond Platinumz and his big team, as well as the military.
The Uhuru Stadium which holds a capacity of 23,000, only a few, led by church leaders, had masks, an impact of how the late president’s canons on Covid-19 were deeply entrenched in the citizens.
Magufuli had declared Tanzania to be a ”Covid-free” country and would later speak his mind on safety of masks and vaccines.
He was a Covid-19 skeptic who incited his citizens to ignore mask-wearing and refuse vaccines as a Western conspiracy to frustrate WHO’s efforts in containing the disease.
He boldly advocated for traditional medicine and faith healing but in the month of February, he urged citizens to ”wear locally-manufactured masks” and observe health safety precautions amid fears of Covid-19 spread and a surge in confirmed cases.
The ‘No masks’ acts was also featuring during the swearing-in of Ms Suluhu as Tanzania’s new president on Friday. The ceremony that took place at State House in Dar es Salaam and during the event, very few people being led by the former President Jakaya Kikwete and some former ministers had put on the face masks.
As Suluhu was taking the oath of office, the dignitaries, Chief Justice Juma, Speaker of Parliament Ndugai, the Prime Minister and other government officials of a high rank, did not put on masks.
It was the same script during the 21-gun salute ceremony when the New President Suluhu inspected a guard of honour.
However, viewing of the late Magufuli’s body will continue for five days before being buried on 25th of March.
The body of the late left Jeshi Lugalo Hospital in Dar es Salaam to St Peter’s Parish, Oyster Bay yesterday and was later taken to Uhuru Stadium to be given final respect by the leaders.
President Suluhu was the first person to view Magufuli’s body followed by the Prime Minister then President of Zanzibar, who later was followed by the state’s top leadership.
Magufuli’s family took to the podium then then paved way for the military and the public to pay their last respects.
Today, Dar es Salaam residents will have a chance of viewing the body before taken to Dodoma for the residents to pay their last respect later on to Mwanza then later on to his own home in Chato where the burial will take place.
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