New Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan (C) inspects a military honor guard after swearing-in ceremony as the country’s first female President after the sudden death of President John Magufuli at statehouse in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 19, 2021.AFP PHOTO
By Anthony Wesaka
Lawyers under the East Africa Law Society have urged the new leadership in Tanzania to combat the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
The late president John Pombe Magufuli had largely been criticized for not putting in place measures to fight the spread of the pandemic and also stopping the publishing of statistics on the prevalence of the disease.
“One of the other things that Dr John Pombe Magufuli legacy will be defined on how he dealt with the Covid-19 crisis. I think, it is a lesson for us to learn that at the end of the day, there is preservation of life by taking Covid-19 measures to preserve the lives of our people,” the president of East Africa Law Society, Mr Bernard Oundo, said on Friday while paying tribute to President Magufuli at the Tanzania High Commission in Kampala.
Mr Oundo lauded other East African leaders for their effort in containing the spread of the virus.
President Magufuli succumbed to heart-related complications on March 17, according to Tanzanian government.
However, the Opposition leaders claimed he died of Covid-19 which he had ignored.
Magufuli, who was nicknamed “the bulldozer” for his successful programme of building infrastructure when he was the Works minister, was immediately succeeded by his deputy, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan.
According to the Tanzanian Constitution, President Samia will finish Magufuli’s five-year term, which he had served for a few months following his re-election last year.
Further, while paying his last respects, Mr Oundo urged the remaining African leaders to emulate the good that Magufuli did such as the fight against corruption, wasteful government expenditure but also learn from his mistakes.
“The message for the remaining East African Society leaders is to learn from and emulate the good he did. For us as the East Africa Law Society, we will choose to share the good lessons that Magufuli left behind but also caution the leaders in the East African Community to respect the rule of law because it’s fundamental for the development of economies,” Mr Oundo cautioned the regional leaders.
At his time of his demise, President Magufuli had been accused of suppressing dissenting voices like lawyers, journalists and civil society organisations.