PRESIDENT John Magufuli’s leadership style is touted as a benchmark of modern day African leaders, making him one of the most popular leaders in the world.
His boldness and devotion to his country’s cause has won him a lot of admirers, particularly among Pan Africanists, with his no-nonsense regime winning him many accolades globally.
If anyone ever thought of him slowing down in his fight against malpractices that derailed the country’s march towards much-sought economic liberation, he got it deadly wrong. He might have not been aware of Magufuli’s inner strength.
He has maintained his pace, winding up the first of his most likely two terms regime at the same speed as he pistoled it off. It has been a short period of great socio-economic strides.
His unshakable pursuit of successes and meticulous attention to facts and details could be cited as the cornerstone of his government’s laudable feats.
He has always not hesitated to make bold decisions, introduce and oversee changes, and even change the status quo just to make sure he moves the country forward.
President Magufuli demonstrated his leadership intelligence once again at the weekend as he drew his battle plan against the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was yet another anti-Coronavirus masterpiece by the Head of State, which not only justified his measures but served as a wakeup call to African leaders.
In a shocking revelation, President Magufuli informed the nation that samples of a pawpaw, goat and quail tested positive for coronavirus at the National Health Laboratory.
Cognisant of the secrecy and conspiracies surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic at the global level, Dr Magufuli knew his government and local health experts needed to scrutinise and verify each and every piece of information and support offered to the country.
With the National Health Laboratory producing a high rate of positive Covid-19 results, the alarm bells rang. It cast doubt on the credibility of laboratory equipment and technicians.
Upon noticing something unusual about the Covid-19 test results, the President informed the nation that the government sought to know the truth.
In collaboration with other State agencies, top officials of the Ministry of Health randomly collected several non-human samples, from a pawpaw, a goat, quail, car oil, and a sheep, to mention but a few.
The samples, which were assigned human names and ages, were then submitted to the National Health Laboratory to test for the coronavirus.
The lab technicians had no clue of their origins. Surprisingly, samples from the pawpaw, quail and goat tested positive for Covid-19, revealed Dr Magufuli.
President Magufuli, who is a scientist by profession, showed great concern on the accuracy of the testing kits, saying there was no way that a sample expertly drawn from a pawpaw, goat and quail could return positive results.
“We have noticed a lot of controversies there; with this move, we have all reasons to doubt the kits that they might be tampered and here, there is a need to launch an investigation on whether there is a criminality and, more so, if there is any among our people who was involved in any conspiracy should be held accountable, the law should take its course,” he charged.
“There must be a problem somewhere and on this, I know what I am talking about because I am a scientist,” he added, wondering if local authorities took initiative to test the kits in order to establish if they were reliable and safe.
“The equipment or people may be compromised and sometimes it can be sabotage,” warned Dr Magufuli.
He suggested it was therefore very likely that some people were being tested positive when, in fact, they were not infected by the coronavirus.
Since the testing machines were imported, Dr Magufuli reiterated the call to his fellow Tanzanians not to accept that every aid is meant to be good for the country.
He instructed the newly sworn-in Constitutional and Legal Affairs Minister, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, to launch an investigation in what he suspected is a “dirty game” in the laboratory.
President Magufuli’s revelation hit the headlines across the globe and received deserved attention from international media, with CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS, Sky News, Daily Mail, the Times of India, and Reuters running the eye-opening story.
The unearthing of the faulty and questionable Coronavirus tests was yet another glimpse of Dr Magufuli’s leadership acumen characterised by his obsessive attention to details, be it small or big. Effective leaders need acumen.
Throughout his political career as deputy minister, minister and now Head of State, Dr Magufuli has regularly demonstrated clear insight and keen sense of discernment and always made good decisions for the benefit of the country.
The Covid-19 pandemic has tested world leaders.
But President Magufuli has stepped up and demonstrated enormous courage, repeatedly encouraging his people to avoid fear around the Coronavirus, warning that the fear could prove deadlier than the Covid-19.
He believes one of the ways that can help Tanzanians overcome the Covid-19 threat is to remain calm, strong and united.
“We should stop panicking and worrying too much, life should go on, and the government is working hard to curb the situation,” said Dr Magufuli, noting that the situation isn’t worse as portrayed by a section of illintentioned politicians, activists and foreign media.
As a lesson to other African leaders, President Magufuli resisted panic and banked on local solutions in fighting the pandemic, thus reshaping global perceptions that African countries should always follow the developed world’s path and embrace imported solutions.
President Magufuli has demonstrated a great understanding that if African countries formulate their own local solutions to their problems, they have a big chance and reason to excel.
While lockdowns aimed at stemming the virus’ spread have brought life and economic activity to a virtual standstill, President Magufuli has taken a different route in his fight against the contagion just to ensure life remains normal and her country’s economy doesn’t suffer.
He has reiterated his stance not to lockdown any part of the country in order to check the spread of Covid-19, arguing that external or imported solutions are not necessarily viable in Africa.
Evidence from many countries that imposed lockdowns supports Dr Magufuli’s argument. Lockdowns have shown to produce more negative impacts than positive impacts.