President Lazarus Chakwera says the departed Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli was a towering symbol of Africa’s economic resurgence and described him an icon and a hero in the African continent.
Chakwera, speaking on Monday at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania during Magufuli’s funeral requiem mass, eurogised: “166 days ago, President John Pombe Magufuli and I had dinner together at the State Residence in Dar es Salaam, but I did not know that it would be our last supper.
“The following day, he saw me off the apron of Julius Nyerere International Airport, but I did not know that it would be our last goodbye. Today, I join you all in a state of shock and grief at the passing of one of Africa’s finest sons because none of us saw it coming.”
President Chakwera said the ability to let no one see his next move coming, which is unsettling in Magufuli’s death, is also what is inspiring about the departed Tanzanian leader’s life.
Said Chakwera: “When they said laziness and sloth in public service cannot be cured, they did not see Magufuli coming.
“When they said the cartels of corruption strangling Africa’s governments cannot be defeated, they did not see Magufuli coming.”
Further eulogised Chakwera: “When they said African States cannot become middle-income economies within a single presidential term, they did not see Magufuli.”
Chakwera stated that prescriptions of foreign financial institutions that have left Africa more impoverished and in debt than they found it, did not see Magufuli coming.
“To us who had the privilege of knowing the unpredictable Magufuli, the example of his life of service shall forever be a launching pad for our own.
“To us who have the honour of going through this world as Africans, Magufuli’s love of country shall forever be a light on that pilgrimage,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera appealed to all the African leaders to borrow a leaf from Magufuli’s leadership.
He said: “To us who have been entrusted with governing the nations of our beautiful and rich continent, Magufuli’s leadership shall forever move us out of complacency.”
“It is right for us to hold him in this regard. John Pombe Magufuli was not just an icon. He was a hero.”
He further said Magufuli’s ways of fighting corruption has changed Tanzania to what the country is now.
Chakwera sent his condolences to the people of Tanzania on behalf of the people of Malawi and emphasised that the two countries will work together.
“Let me assure you your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan that Malawi stands with you during this hard moment,” Chakwera said.
The Malawian leader is among the 10 African presidents including South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta that joined Tanzanians at Jamhuri Stadium to pay their last honour to their loved President.
The body of John Pombe Magufuli will be laid to rest on Friday, March 26, 2021 in his home town Chato.
Magufuli has left behind seven children and 10 grandchildren.
He died of chronic atrial fibrillation, a condition he battled for 10 years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :