Based on information of his imminent death I was receiving from my Kenyan and Tanzanian sources, that same day, I tweeted again:
“The latest update from Nairobi: “They are planning to sneak him out to India to avoid social media embarrassment from Kenyans. They feel that it will be more embarrassing if the worst happened in Kenya. The most powerful man in Tanzania is now being sneaked about like an outlaw!”
The next day, 11 March, I received information from my Kenyan sources that he had indeed been “snuck out”. I tweeted:
“Latest update from Nairobi: The man Who Declared Victory Over Corona ‘was transferred to India this afternoon.’ Kenyans don’t want the embarrassment ‘if the worst happens in Kenya.’ His Covid denialism in tatters, his prayer-over-science folly has turned into a deadly boomerang!”
By the time Vice President now President Hassan finally declared him officially dead, I already had reliable information that Magufuli had been dead since 10 March, the day he was snuck out of Nairobi.
Tanzania’s mainstream media had all through this period kept a deathly silence, on account of which I tweeted on 14 March:
“It is a telling indictment, not just of our so-called press, but of the Magufuli dictatorship, that the biggest news story of all time, the disappearance and rumoured demise of the president, is a top story in Kenya and worldwide but in Tanzania it is as if nothing has happened!”
Extracted, mostly verbatim with a few minor edits to ensure serialisation flow, from “Tundu Lissu’s Obituary on John Pombe Magufuli,” published by the Daily Maverick and shared on social media – Facebook. Tundu Antiphas Mughwai Lissu is a lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament. He contested against Magufuli in the 2020 Tanzanian Presidential Elections. We are sharing Lissu’s opinion within the wider context of the debate of Magufuli’s Legacy and his leadership style that trended #whatwouldmagufulido