Tanzania’s Prime Minister has moved to reassure citizens over President John Magufuli’s health, rubbishing rumours that he is incapacitated.
“Tanzanians be calm, your president is there, in good health, he is working,” Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said.
This is the first time Tanzania’s government has reacted to news of the President’s health since rumours started going round that he had contracted Covid-19.
Apart from the Prime Minister, Tanzania’s ambassador in Namibia, Modestus Kipilimba is the only other person to have issued an official reaction regarding the President’s health.
“For me actually, what I know is that he’s OK, he’s going on with his job,” Kipilimba told NBC in an interview.
Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu took to social media during the week to inform Tanzanians that the President was ill and had been admitted at the Nairobi Hospital.Later, he issued another statement on Twitter saying the President had been airlifted to India.
Speculations have been rife that the ailing president was in grave condition as more people alleged a covert plan to hand over power to the Vice President.
“He [President Magufuli] has loads of files. Now when he stays there [in his office] going through documents,” Mr Majaliwa said, “You say: ‘He is ill, let him appear.’ Following your own schedule or according to his work plan?”
Majaliwa did not expound further on the issue. Tanzania’s government has been accused of downplaying the impact of the pandemic.