Tanzanian envoy denies President to be in India with coronavirus after opposition’s statement
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli is in good health and working normally, one of his diplomats has told a broadcaster in Namibia, countering reports he had been flown to hospital in Kenya and then India in a critical condition with COVID-19.
Earlier on Thursday, Tanzania’s main opposition leader has said President John Magufuli, an avowed coronavirus sceptic out of public view for nearly two weeks, is in India receiving medical treatment for COVID-19 and is in a serious condition.
Tundu Lissu, who lost last year’s election to Magufuli, on Thursday cited medical and security sources in Kenya for his information that the president had been transferred from a hospital in Kenya to India and was in a coma – but did not provide evidence.
Representatives of Kenya’s and India’s governments also contacted by Reuters have not given information either. Lissu told Reuters that Magufuli was flown to Kenya’s Nairobi Hospital at the start of this week and then on to an unknown destination in India.
Magufuli, a 61-year-old leader nicknamed “The Bulldozer,” was last seen in public on Feb. 27 looking his normal self as he swore in a new chief secretary at State House in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam. He has been out of public view for periods in the past.
“The president’s wellbeing is a matter of grave public concern. What’s it with Magufuli that we don’t deserve to know?”, opposition leader Tundu Lissu said in a tweet late on Tuesday as rumours flew on Tanzanian social media.