Tanzania opposition leader Tundu Lisu has said he was expecting news of President John Pombe Magufuli’s death and is thus not surprised at all.
Speaking to a Kenyan TV station from Belgium where he says he is a permanent legal resident, Lisu said he had prior credible information Magufuli was very ill and would not make it.
“I had expected this all along from March 7, when I first tweeted about it… it is just sad that the government continues to lie about his cause of death. Magufuli succumbed to COVID-19” he said.
Tundu has been vocal on social media with sensational updates on the health of Magufuli from March 7, 2022, in a country where the government has a tight grip on media freedom as well as freedom of speech in general.
The late Magufuli passed on following weeks of speculations over his health condition.
The country’s Vice President Samia Suluhu made the announcement at around midnight on Wednesday East African time. She will take over the reigns of power for the remainder of Magufuli’s term.
He was last seen in public discharging official duties on February 27, 2021 after which it was speculated he was hospitalized.
On March 13, Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa had to dispel rumours the head of state was in a vegetative state having suffered from COVID-19.
Magufuli becomes the first ever Tanzania president to die in office since the country attained independence.
Tundu Lisu went back to Belgium following hotly contested General Election in Tanzania in 2020 which Magufuli won amid claims of massive voter rigging from the opposition and election observers.
In 2017, Tundu Lisu survived an assassination attempt in which he said he took 16 bullets after which he left for Tanzania only to return few months to the 2020 General Election.
He said he is ready to come back from to his home country post-Magufuli era.