Concern as over 10 prominent Tanzanians die in less than 72 hours

Magufuli's strategy is not working

Concern as over 10 prominent Tanzanians die in less than 72 hours

Tanzania has over the last three days lost more than ten prominent personalities, causing concern among civil activists who have linked the deaths to the coronavirus.

The deaths, which have happened separately, have officially been attributed to various causes ranging from breathing complications to diabetes.

Critics of the country's President, John Magufuli, have now linked the deaths to the coronavirus but say authorities are reluctant to announce the exact cause of death to avoid a blow back against the President.

On Wednesday, Tanzania lost one its former Chief Justices, 75-year old Augustino Ramadhani, who passed on while being treated at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

Kenyans will remember Justice Ramadhani as the chair of the tribunal that investigated former Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza after the infamous gun shooting incident.

Ramadhani's death on Tuesday came only a day after the country had lost Zaznzibar's retired Chief Justice Ali Haji Pandu who died on Monday at the age of 82.

On Sunday night, Tanzania's District Commissioner in charge of Mtwara, Evod Mmanda, died while being treated for breathing complications. On the same day, former Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Hussein Kamote, died while being treated in Dar es Salaam.

On Tuesday, Tanzania's retired judge Mussa Kwikima died while receiving treatment in the country's capital.

On Wednesday morning, a senior immigration officer in Kagera, Pendo Butenghe, died after what was described as a short illness and diabetes complications.

On the same morning (Wednesday), the country lost one of its prominent lawyers - Gaudiosus Ishengoma.

Others who have died since Sunday include Ben Lowassa, a younger brother to former Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa; former MP Abdulkarim Shah; Morogoro Deputy Mayor Isihaka Sengo; among others.

Tanzania has so far recorded 300 coronavirus cases with ten deaths. However, civil activists say the number could be higher and is being suppressed.

Unlike in Kenya where a daily update is provided by the ministry of health, Tanzanians can could for more than three days before getting a briefing on the country's numbers. The last official tally was given on Monday.

The country was criticized over its handling of the coronavirus after Magufuli allowed Tanzanians to continue going to church and mosques arguing that coronavirus could not survive in places of worship.


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