By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Intense speculation has erupted among Tanzanians after allegations that their president John Magufuli, who has since been absent from the public for a couple of weeks has been airlifted to an unknown hospital in Kenya due to COVID-19.
Among those who have since flashed light on the President’s absence from the public include the leader of the opposition Tundu Lissu, who said the matter was, “a matter of grave public concern” in a tweet.
These allegations have been stimulated by Kenya’s local newspaper which has said that an African leader had been admitted to a Nairobi hospital, without confirming their name.
Other sources have said that Magufuli is in a Dar-es-Salaam hospital, suffering from Covid-19-like symptoms.
Criticism of Magufuli’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic dates back to last year, when he ordered a plane-load of Madagascar’s unproven herbal potion, refused to talk to regional leaders about the spread of the virus, and claimed that three days of national prayer would be sufficient to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Speaking anonymously, one doctor told the media; “We are pressured by the authorities not to attend to people who have coronavirus symptoms rather than treating them for pneumonia and lung infections. As doctors, we are in danger because we are not even getting personal protective equipment. The government has to change its perception and take this pandemic seriously.”
But the mindset has been changing at the top of the regime, as the virus has taken its toll on top-ranking Tanzanian officials.
Those who have died 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, whose party ACT Wazalendo confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19 just before his death.