Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu has for the first time spoken about President John Pombe Magufuli’s health since he went missing from the public eye.
Speaking about the issue in a public event in Tanga, Ms Suluhu said that “it is normal for humans to undergo (health) checks”, calling on Tanzanians to unite “during this time”.
“Tanzania tuko salama.Tanzania tuko salama. Ni kawaida ya binadamu kukaguliwakagulia. Mara mafua, mara homa… chochote kile. Lakini nataka niwaambie kwamba, katika wakati muhimu wa Watanzania kushikamana, ni wakati huu. (We are safe Tanzanians. It is normal for human beings to undergo (health) tests on flu and fever… or anything. I would like to tell you that, if there was an important time for Tanzanians to stay together, it is now),” she said.
Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu admits Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli is sick. Listen carefully pic.twitter.com/0ya1Lxuo0a
— Francis Muli (@FmuliKE) March 15, 2021
This contradicts a statement issued last week by Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who assured citizens that Magufuli was in good health, rubbishing rumors that he is incapacitated.
“Tanzanians be calm, your president is there, in good health, he is working,” Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said.
According to Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu, Magufuli is still in hospital and on life support. He is also paralyzed, Lissu who is in exile in Belgium tweeted.
“VP Samia suggested today that the Dictator is sick somewhere. My own sources in TISS say he’s on life support with COVID and paralyzed on one side and from the waist down after a stroke,” said Lissu.
VP Samia suggested today that the Dictator is sick somewhere. My own sources in TISS say he’s on life support with COVID and paralyzed on one side and from the waist down after a stroke. Tell the people the truth! Release Peter Silayo na Melchiory Shayo detained in Kilimanjaro!
— Tundu Antiphas Lissu (@TunduALissu) March 15, 2021
On Monday, Tanzanian police arrested two people for reporting on social media that President John Pombe Magufuli is battling Covid-19.
The two are Peter Pius Silayo, 30, a resident of Tegeta Dar es Salaam and 36-year-old Melchiory Prosper Shayo who hails from Rombo District.
Acting Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander (RPC) Ronald Makona told members of the press on Monday, March 15, that the two, who are still in police custody, were arrested on different dates for spreading rumours that the President had been taken ill.
The police boss said the suspects will be arraigned once investigations are complete.
He threatened legal action against anyone found “misinforming” the public about the Head of State’s health.
“Hatua kali za kisheria zitachukuliwa kwa mtu yeyote atakaebainika ametoa au amesambaza taarifa za kupotosha umma na kusababisha taharuki kwa jamii, ” the police boss said.