DODOMA (MalawiTalk) – A Tanzanian translator on Monday struggled to accurately interpret in Swahili the eulogy of Malawian President Dr Lazarus Chakwera during the funeral of late president Mr John Magufuli, Tanzania’s fifth president in the capital, Dodoma. as Chakwera said Magufuli’s leadership shall forever move African leader “out of complacency.”
Chakwera delivered his eulogy in his usual American accent in English which saw the Swahili translator struggling to interpret and at times let the Malawi leader speak without interpretation.
Said Chakwera: “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.”
Chakwera said it is right to hold Magufuli in high regard.
“John Pombe Magufuli was not just an icon. He was a hero. May his name be preserved in every Capital of Africa as a symbol of the kind of resolve that will create the Africa we want. May his work be venerated in every village as an example worthy of our imitation. And may his soul rest in eternal peace as he meets with his God, with whom we hope to one day see Magufuli coming,” said Chakwera.
Magufuli’s death was announced last Wednesday after he was not seen in public for two weeks.
The official explanation for his death was that he died of heart failure amid speculation that he had fallen ill with Covid-19 .
Magufuli gained international notoriety during the Covid-19 crisis for being one of the few leaders in Africa to deny the virus posed any threat.
A devout Catholic, he said God would protect Tanzanians and mocked face masks and social distancing.
He was seen as a populist leader who introduced economic reforms to Tanzania, including austerity measures aimed at cutting government borrowing and fruitless spending.
He was also celebrated for his anti-corruption stance and his presidency, which started in 2015, oversaw a continuation of the country’s strong GDP growth, boasting one of the highest growth rates in Africa at 5.8% in 2019, according to the World Bank.
His presidency also oversaw the erosion of civil liberties in the lead-up to Tanzania’s 2020 elections with independent observers Tanzania Election Watch casting doubt over the fairness of the election amid widespread intimidation and a lack of transparency.
On Tuesday, 23 of March 2021, the body of late Magufuli will be flown to Mwanza city in the Lake zone, which is the second largest city in Tanzania to give a chance to the city residents to pay their last respect to their beloved departed leader.