DODOMA (literally “It has sunk” in Gogo), officially Dodoma City, is the national capital of Tanzania with a population of 410,956 according to the United Republic of Tanzania Population and Housing Census of 2012 was on Monday a beehive of activities hosting 9 African presidents paying last respects and bidding farewell to the late President John Magufuli.
The Presidents, Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Felix Tshisekedi (DRC), Felipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe (Botswana), Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Azali Assoumani (Comoro), as well as other top representatives from across the continent is real testimony of how Dr Magufuli was a darling of many leaders, whose demise is not only for Tanzanians, but wide spread beyond.
In their eulogies, they individually narrated how Dr Magufuli, African son, fought for the rights of his people and the continent to desist from thinking that foreign aid was the solution to their problems.
For instance wielding the East Africa Community chairmanship President Uhuru Kenyatta said: “Magufuli taught us that Africa can do without foreign aid. In a very short span of time, President Magufuli has shown that we as Africans are able to disentangle ourselves from the dependence of foreigners and that we have the ability to manage our own economy and ensure that our people get what is rightful to them.”
No doubt, the late President Magufuli was not ready to stomach any nonsense from any quarter that compromised with the rights of Tanzanians and Africa in general, that is why when he was the SADC ( Southern African Development Community) comprising 16 Member States of Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) Chairman in 20-19 he urge the international community to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
This was a leader who felt pain on seeing a fellow Tanzanian and African being subjected to any form of abuse simply because of status in life. For instance, the way a common man wailed and mourned him in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, you name it, will automatically tell you that he was a man of the people, for the people and by the people. Rest in peace son of Africa!
However, what raises hope was the way his successor, President Samia Suluhu Hassan assured Tanzanians and the continent (read world) during Heads of State last respects paying in Dodoma was: “the country is in safe hands. We will start where Magufuli ended.”