Tanzania’s president John Pombe Magufuli is reportedly admitted in a Nairobi hospital in the neighboring Kenya, battling the deadly Covid19.
Magufuli is said to be in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and his breathing is reportedly aided by a ventilator.
While other neighboring countries had shut down to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Magufuli has severally advised his country men and women to run to God in prayer, use herbal potions and inhale steam, saying these were enough to kill the virus.
But when Covid19 started killing prominent Tanzanians, health workers started piling pressure on Magufuli to take Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) seriously.
Those that have succumbed to Covid19 include: chief secretary to State House John Kijazi, former deputy finance minister Gregory Teu, former governor of Bank of Tanzania Benno Ndulu and first vice-president of Zanzibar Maalim Seif Sharrif Hamad.
Now, Magufuli is said to have been missing in public for two weeks, and speculation is rife that he is suffering from Covid19.
While some reports claimed he was admitted in a Dar es Salaam hospital, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported that an East African leader who has been missing in public for a fortnight was in Nairobi for Covid19 treatment.
While there are records of other East African presidents being seen in public at least in the past one week, Magufuli’s absence has raised questions on his whereabouts.
Opposition leader Tundu Lissu said the president’s condition should be a wakeup call to all.
“It’s a sad comment on his stewardship of our country that it’s come to this: that he himself had get COVID-19 and be flown out to Kenya in order to prove that prayers, steam inhalations and other unproven herbal concoctions he’s championed are no protection against coronavirus!” tweeted Lissu.
He insisted Tanzanians deserved to know their president’s health condition.
“The President’s well-being is a matter of grave public concern. We’re informed when Kikwete had prostate surgery. We’re told when Mkapa went for hip replacement. We’re not kept in the dark when Mwalimu fought leukemia. What’s it with Magufuli that we don’t deserve to know?”