Tanzania opposition demands whereabouts of President Magufuli

Tanzania opposition demands whereabouts of President Magufuli

Tanzania’s main opposition leader has demanded information on the health of President John Magufuli, a prominent COVID-19 sceptic whose absence from public view has brought speculation he is receiving medical treatment abroad.

Rumours have swirled on social media about possible coronavirus contamination, especially in neighbouring Kenya under the hashtag #pray4magufuli.

Magufuli, 61, has been playing down the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, claiming Tanzania had freed itself from the Covid ” through prayer”. But he later admitted what he called a “respiratory disease” was still circulating.

Many Tanzanian officials have died in recent weeks, often without the cause of their death being specified.

The Nation newspaper in neighbouring Kenya reported that an African leader not seen in public for nearly two weeks was being treated for COVID-19 on a ventilator at Nairobi Hospital, a private hospital in the Kenyan capital.

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The Tanzanian government has not commented, but Information Minister Innocent Bashungwa warned on Wednesday the media and the public against “using rumors as a source of information.”

Tanzania has not published data on Covid-19 since April 2020.

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