IN marking two years of the death of former President Dr John Magufuli the retired Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam has visited the grave of the fifth phase president in Chato District.
President Magufuli died on March 17, 2021 from heart complications and was buried in his ancestral home of Chato, on March 26, 2021.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday at the office of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Geita, Cardinal Pengo said he visited the grave of the late Dr Magufuli because he didn’t get an opportunity to attend Dr Magufuli’s funeral.
“I decided to come and visit his grave in Chato, Magufuli used to call me his father although I preferred calling him my friend,” Cardinal Pengo said.
He said he failed to attend the funeral of Dr Magufuli because he was not in good health and when he wanted to try to attend, doctors ended up warning him that he could bring more problems.
“To avoid that, I decided to stay in Dar es Salaam, and all the time I have been wishing to meet Janeth Magufuli in Chato,” he said.
He added “I met her immediately after the death of John (Magufuli), but I promised her that one day I will come to pay my respects to the grave of the late Dr John Magufuli.”
Cardinal Polycarp Pengo said that his visit to Chato is the fulfillment of his promise and blessings because it is accompanied by the consecration of the Cathedral of Geita Catholic Diocese whose tabernacle and sacrament were destroyed.
Police in Tanzania are investigating an incident in which an alleged man broke into the Cathedral of Geita Catholic Diocese, destroyed the tabernacle, and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament.
The incident occurred on February 26, 2023 when an unknown person broke into the church and destroyed the tabernacle, and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament.
Cardinal Polycarp Pengo is expected to lead a special service to sanctify the church which will be held on Saturday March 18, 2023 so that it can be used again for worship.