Tanzania gives hero's burial to president who denied virus
Military officers carry the coffin of former President John Magufuli, draped with the national flag, during a funeral service in his home town of Chato, Tanzania, Friday, March 26, 2021. Some thousands have gathered in the northwestern town of Chato for the burial of former Tanzanian President John Magufuli whose denial of COVID-19 brought the country international criticism. (AP Photo)DAR ES SALAAM – Tanzania has given a hero's burial to President John Magufuli, who died earlier this month after denying that COVID-19 was a danger to the East African country. “President Magufuli defied the world, defied science, defied common sense in his approach to COVID-19 and it finally brought him down,” Lissu told The Associated Press last week. "I pray that the next leader (President Samia Suluhu Hassan) gets the courage to fulfill the promises made by President Magufuli.”
Five die in stampede to view body of Tanzania's Magufuli
Tanzania's new President Samia Suluhu Hassan, center, arrives to pay her respects as the body of former president John Magufuli lies in state at Uhuru stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Saturday, March 20, 2021. Ten of thousands of Tanzanians came out to view Magufuli's body at Uhuru Stadium in the country's largest city, Dar es Salaam, over the weekend. Suzan Mtua, 30, died with four school-age children from the same family when there was a stampede of people wanting to view the body Sunday, Heri Mtua, a family spokesman, said. “The children had demanded they also attend the funeral of President Magufuli,” he said. President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who was Magufuli's vice president and succeeded him, was joined by nine African heads of state on Monday for Magufuli's state funeral.
Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes Tanzania's first woman president
Tanzania's new president Samia Suluhu Hassan, center-right, inspects the guard of honor after being sworn in at a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Friday, March 19, 2021. Samia Suluhu Hassan made history Friday when she was sworn in as Tanzania's first female president, following the death of her predecessor John Magufuli. (AP Photo)DAR ES SALAAM – Samia Suluhu Hassan made history Friday when she was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president after the death of her controversial predecessor, John Magufuli, who denied that COVID-19 is a problem in the East African country. “President Magufuli defied the world, defied science, defied common sense in his approach to COVID-19 and it finally brought him down,” said Lissu. AdAfter Magufuli selected her as his running mate in 2015, Hassan became Tanzania's first female vice president.
Death of Tanzania's Magufuli draws sorrow but ire from some
A man reads a copy of the Daily Nation morning newspaper reporting the death of neighboring Tanzania's President John Magufuli on a street in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)NAKURU – News of the death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli drew mixed reactions; sorrow from many but bitterness from a critic who said he suffered during the president's rule which he said shrank the country's democratic space. As tributes come in from other African heads of state, Tanzania's opposition leader has been outspoken in his criticism of Magufuli. “It's poetic justice," opposition leader Tundu Lissu said Thursday of Magufuli's death, alleging that he succumbed to COVID-19. Many Tanzanians, however, mourned Magufuli's death and praised his rule.
Tanzania's populist President John Magufuli has died at 61
President John Magufuli of Tanzania, a prominent COVID-19 skeptic whose populist rule often cast his country in a harsh international spotlight, has died aged 61 of heart failure, it was announced Wednesday, March 17, 2021 by Vice President Samia Suluhu. (AP Photo/Khalfan Said, File)NAKURU – President John Magufuli of Tanzania, a prominent COVID-19 skeptic in Africa whose populist rule often cast his East African country in a harsh international spotlight, has died. Magufuli's death was announced on Wednesday by Vice President Samia Suluhu, who said the president died of heart failure. The president has had this illness for the past 10 years.”The vice president said that Magufuli died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, the Indian Ocean port that is Tanzania's largest city. John Pombe Magufuli was born on Oct. 29, 1959, in the rural area of Chato in the country’s northwest.
Vice President urges calm as Tanzania's leader still unseen
FILE - In this July 11, 2020 file photo, Tanzania's President John Magufuli speaks at the national congress of his ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in Dodoma, Tanzania. (AP Photo, File)NAIROBI – As Tanzania's president has not been seen in public for more than two weeks, the East African country's vice president on Monday sought to reassure the nation, saying it was “normal” for human beings to suffer colds and other illnesses. Addressing a public rally in Tanzania's Tanga region, Samia Suluhu offered no update on the health or whereabouts of President John Magufuli even as she said she had been sent by him to calm the East African nation. Last week Tanzania's prime minister insisted Magufuli was well and busy with his duties. Police over the weekend began arresting people discussing Magufuli’s health on social media and other forums.
Politicians ask about health of Tanzania's populist leader
President John Magufuli was last seen in public on Feb. 27 at the swearing-in ceremony of his chief secretary, effectively his chief of staff, following the death of his previous chief secretary. The populist leader announced in June last year that Tanzania had defeated COVID-19 through three days of prayer. Exiled opposition leader Lissu speculated on Twitter that Magufuli had COVID-19 and had been flown to Kenya for treatment. Days later the president's official office, State House, announced the death of John Kijazi, the president's chief secretary. ___This story was corrected to show that Magufuli was last seen at the swearing-in ceremony of his chief secretary, not the secretary of state.
Tanzania's president admits country has COVID-19 problem
FILE - In this July 11, 2020 file photo, Tanzania's President John Magufuli speaks at the national congress of his ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in Dodoma, Tanzania. Tanzania's president John Magufuli is finally acknowledging Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021 that his country has a coronavirus problem after claiming for months that the disease had been defeated by prayer, urging citizens to take precautions and even wear face masks - but only locally made ones. (AP Photo, File)NAIROBI – Tanzania’s president is finally acknowledging that his country has a coronavirus problem after claiming for months that the disease had been defeated by prayer. Populist President John Magufuli on Sunday urged citizens of the East African country to take precautions and even wear face masks — but only locally made ones. AdTanzania has not updated its number of coronavirus infections since April as the president has insisted COVID-19 had been defeated.
Tanzania's COVID-denying leader urges prayer as cases climb
FILE - In this July 11, 2020, file photo, President John Magufuli speaks at the national congress of his ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in Dodoma, Tanzania. (AP Photo, File)NAIROBI – Tanzania’s COVID-denying president is calling on citizens for three days of prayer to defeat unnamed “respiratory diseases” amid warnings that the country is seeing a deadly resurgence in infections. “Maybe we have wronged God somewhere,” populist President John Magufuli told mourners at a funeral for his chief secretary, John Kijazi, on Friday. Speaking about the deaths of Hamad and Kijazi, Tanzania’s president asked the country to remain calm. “We managed to defeat these respiratory diseases through prayer last year.
Tanzania's leader denies COVID-19, and countrymen push back.
Tanzania's President John Magufuli openly expressed doubt about COVID-19 vaccines and accused people who were vaccinated outside the East African nation of bringing new infections into the country. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga, File)NAIROBI – Tanzania’s president says God has eliminated COVID-19 in his country. But pandemic concerns have returned to the spotlight in Tanzania as the world focuses on the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. “Vaccines are inappropriate.” He urged the health ministry not to rush into vaccinations without being satisfied about their safety. AdAfrican health officials were already worried about misinformation campaigns around COVID-19 vaccines as the first doses begin arriving on the continent of 1.3 billion people.
Tanzanian opposition: Colleagues face terror-related charges
Emmanuel Mvula, campaign manager with the ACT Wazalendo party, told The Associated Press there was "heavy deployment of security forces” in the commercial hub of Dar es Salaam, where the two main opposition parties planned to march to the national electoral commission. The chair of the CHADEMA opposition party, Freeman Mbowe, was among those arrested overnight, Mvula said. Allegations include the rejection of thousands of election observers, a massive slowdown in internet and text-messaging services and deadly violence. Magufuli also said this will be “my second and last term in office," notable because some ruling party officials have discussed changing the constitution of extending the presidency's term limits. The ACT Wazalendo party has told its members not to go to police even if they are summoned, Mvula said: “They have not dared to.”
Tanzania's Magufuli accepts official results of reelection
DODOMA – Tanzania's populist President John Magufuli has accepted the official certification of his victory in the East African country's election last week. Magufuli, 61, was declared the winner with 12.5 million votes, or 84% of votes cast, and is to be sworn into his second term in a ceremony on Thursday. “During the election there were a few challenges but generally the election was safe and peaceful,” said Magufuli in a statement Sunday. In his first five-year term, Magufuli has been criticized for reducing democratic freedoms in Tanzania, one of Africa's most populous countries with 60 million people. Allegations include the rejection of thousands of election observers, a massive slowdown in internet and text-messaging services and ballot box stuffing.
Tanzania's opposition demands new election, mass protests
DODOMA – Tanzania's two main opposition parties are calling for a re-run of Wednesday's election after alleging widespread fraud, and they are urging people into the streets for peaceful protests on Monday. The ruling party also secured nearly every seat in parliament, giving it the power to change the country's constitution. “We demand the election repeated with immediate effect and the dissolving of the national electoral commission.”The opposition has alleged widespread irregularities before and during the vote in the East African nation. They include the rejection of thousands of election observers, a massive slowdown in internet and text-messaging services and ballot box stuffing. Magufuli was declared the winner with 12.5 million votes, or 84%, while top opposition candidate Tundu Lissu received 1.9 million, or 13%.
Tanzania, once envy of the region, watches democracy slide
The ruling party CCM presidential candidate Dr. John Magufuli, stands in line to cast his vote at Chamwino in Dodoma Wednesday. As they walked toward a roundabout in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar on Thursday, police fired tear gas, then arrested them — Hamad's second arrest in a week. Magufuli banned opposition political gatherings in 2016, not long after taking office. It denied fraud allegations ranging from ballot box-stuffing to a massive internet slowdown to the rejection of thousands of election observers from polling stations. “Tanzania was the envy of the region,” Ssempebwa, a prominent lawyer, recalled in an interview.
Tanzania's populist leader declared winner of flawed vote
DODOMA – Tanzania’s populist President John Magufuli has been declared the overwhelming winner of a second term amid allegations of widespread election fraud, while the ruling party won enough seats in parliament to change the constitution. Some in the ruling party had called for the presidency’s two-term limit to be extended if enough parliament seats could be secured. Lissu has rejected the vote while alleging “widespread irregularities” and called for peaceful demonstrations. Large crowds of ruling party supporters who had gathered to watch the election results were celebrating in the streets. The vote “marked the most significant backsliding in Tanzania's democratic credentials,” Tanzania Elections Watch, a group of regional experts, said in an assessment released Friday.
Tanzania's opposition says vote 'spit in face of democracy'
Opposition challenger Lissu has urged people to go into the streets to protest if election results are announced Thursday without being counted properly. We’re not electoral observers. Final election results could be announced Friday. The CHADEMA opposition party chair, Freeman Mbowe, lost his seat, as did Kabwe of ACT Wazalendo. “He is going to get the present he has always wanted: No opposition in #Tanzania,” she said.
Tanzania votes but 'widespread irregularities' are claimed
The ruling party CCM presidential candidate Dr. John Magufuli, stands in line to cast his vote at Chamwino in Dodoma Wednesday. (AP Photo)NAIROBI – Tanzania's presidential election saw “widespread irregularities," the leading opposition candidate alleged Wednesday amid a massive internet slowdown, while some observers said the once-peaceful country likely faces five more years of repressive rule. The dead man’s son, however, was present in the polling station as an ACT Wazalendo agent,” the party alleged in a statement. The electoral commission chair, Semistocles Kaijage, in a statement after polls closed said that allegations of irregularities circulating on social media were not true. Tanzania Elections Watch, a regional initiative of prominent personalities, said the election will be flawed if held under current conditions.
At least 11 shot dead ahead of Tanzania's presidential vote
Tanzanian army personal vote in Dodoma during Tanzania election Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A major opposition party in Tanzania is accusing police of shooting dead at least nine citizens amid unrest over alleged fraud on the eve of the country's presidential election. “I think it is going to be a very terrible situation,” Pavu Juma Abdalla, ACT Wazalendo’s deputy secretary for human rights, told The Associated Press. Police didn't comment, and the ruling party wasn't responding to phone calls. Opposition parties and human rights groups have expressed concern that the vote is already compromised in favor of the ruling party.
Observers say Tanzania's presidential vote is already flawed
Opposition parties say some other candidates were unfairly disqualified from running. Efforts to unite the opposition for this election have fallen short of the teamwork ahead of the 2015 vote. Magufuli won the 2015 election with 58% of the vote while the opposition alliance candidate, Edward Lowassa, took 40%. Meanwhile, some high-profile international election observers won't be watching the vote. “This is going to be an election without observers,” opposition leader Kabwe told an online event last month.
Tanzania intensifies repression ahead of polls, says report
In recent months the media has been the hardest hit with the government indefinitely banning the Tanzania Daima newspaper, the country's second-largest newspaper, Amnesty International said in its report. International and local rights groups have previously said Tanzania's democratic space has shrunk since Magufuli come to power five years ago. “Cumulatively, these changes have significantly eroded the rule of law and undermined respect for human rights,” the report said. Magufuli has declared that Tanzania no longer has a problem with the coronavirus, as COVID-19 has been defeated by prayer. The Amnesty report was compiled through 29 phone interviews, as researchers could not travel to Tanzania due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Rwandan genocide suspect seeks transfer to The Hague
THE HAGUE – The defense lawyer of an 87-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect arrested in France has appealed to an international court not to send him to Tanzania to face trial, but instead to transfer him to the Netherlands for health reasons, according to a written request filed Monday. Félicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted fugitives in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, was arrested outside Paris in May after 25 years on the run. Citing health grounds including fears he could contract COVID-19 in Tanzania, his French lawyer says Kabuga should instead be sent to The Hague, Netherlands. The mechanism deals with cases remaining from now-closed U.N. tribunals that prosecuted atrocities committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the Rwandan genocide. Altit said Kabuga's health could be badly affected by a flight from Paris to Arusha and warned that he could also contract COVID-19 in Tanzania.
World leaders who skipped past UN meetings get their moment
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has good reason not to travel to New York for the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders. A virtual General Assembly knows no national borders, incurs no travel expenses and allows even the most cautious, prickly or paranoid leaders to have their say without leaving their at-home security bubbles. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte spoke to the General Assembly for the first time in his four years in office. The allegations are likely to be brought up repeatedly at the virtual assembly. Tanzania’s John Magufuli will speak as he seeks a second term in an election next month in which opposition leaders say they’ve faced government obstruction at every turn.
Tanzanian opposition leader urges united front ahead of vote
NAIROBI One opposition leader was shot 16 times and fled the country. With Tanzania facing an October election that contentious President John Magufuli hopes to win, opposition leader Zitto Kabwe tells The Associated Press he's trying to unite the opposition behind one candidate for the best shot at an upset. In 2016 it barred opposition groups from political gatherings, and there's no sign it will be lifted for campaigning. Kabwe says he "crossed the Rubicon and became more outspoken after opposition leader Tindu Lissu, deputy leader of the CHADEMA party, was shot 16 times in 2017. Kabwe said that in Tanzania, where whoever gets the most votes wins the election outright, a united opposition has the chance at an upset.
Tanzania's ruling party nominates president to run again
President John Magufuli speaks at the national congress of his ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in Dodoma, Tanzania Saturday, July 11, 2020. Tanzania's ruling party on Saturday nominated President John Magufuli to run for a second five-year term, while opposition parties and human rights groups demand an independent electoral body to oversee the October vote.