By Durrell Namasani
His Excellency the State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera Attended the state funeral of the late Tanzanian leader President John Pombe Magufuli where he minced no words but described the departed leader as inspirational , unpredictable and whose moves nobody saw them coming. He was among several African heads of state that attended the funeral .
Speaking in his address at the funeral Chakwera described Magufuli as an outstanding leader who will greatly be missed. The Malawi leader started by recalling the meeting the two had a few months go when Magufuli hosted him on a state visit to Tanzania
“166 days ago, President John Pombe Magufuli and I had dinner together at the State Residence in Dar es Salaam, but I did not know that it would be our last supper. The following day, he saw me off the apron of Julius Nyerere International Airport, but I did not know that it would be our last goodbye”
In paying tributes to Magufuli relentless fight against corruption, his ability to push for infrastructure development and promotion of Africa independence , Chakwera said Magufuli was not just an icon. He was a hero. May his name be preserved in every Capital of Africa as a symbol
“When they said the cartels of corruption strangling Africa’s governments cannot be defeated, they did not see Magufuli coming. When they said African States cannot become middle-income economies within a single presidential term, they did not see Magufuli
coming. When they said infrastructural projects in Africa cannot be completed on time and on budget, they did not see Magufuli coming. When they said the only way
to pursue our development is to follow the failed. prescriptions of foreign financial institutions that have left Africa more impoverished and in debt than they found it, they did not see Magufuli coming This ability to let no one see his next move coming, which we find unsettling in his death, is also what we found inspiring about his life”
Other African head of state that attended the funeral include Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa , Ramaphosa of RSA, Felix Tshisekedi of DRC, Nyusi of Mozambique among many others .Chakwera was seen off at Kamuzu International Airport by State Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, cabinet ministers and other senior government officials.