Swahili translator struggled to interpret Chakwera as Malawi leader eulogises Magufuli; says Tanzania’s ex-president not just an icon  but hero of Africa


Chakwera - delivering his eulogy on Magufuli

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.

President Chakwera (left) with Tanzanian officials

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.

According to the funeral Program of proceedings from the Tanzania Government, the fallen hero will be buried at his home in Chato after a requiem mass at Chato Catholic Parish.
Chakwera was accompanied by the First Lady, Madam Monica Chakwera and Secretary to the President and Cabinet,  Mr Duvelius Zangazanga Chikhosi among others.

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