By Nomazulu Thata
Dear Professor Lumumba
Comrade Energy Mutodi is having his last laugh, he was spot on. He told us the bare truth about the late President of Tanzania John Magufuli. The way he was handling the global pandemic in his country was laughable to say the least.
When then Information deputy minister Mutodi spotlighted on how wrong Magufuli was, many of us ridiculed him, me included.
For the benefit of those who may have forgotten, Mutodi said the then Tanzania leader was a scientist, a chemist by profession but was still misleading his nation 58 million people through claims the herbal tea developed in Madagascar could cure Covid-19.
For telling us the obvious, Comrade Mutodi lost his top government job.
But had we all taken time to analyse his statement not his argument, we would have profoundly appreciated and understood the science behind his statement.
Comrade Mutodi argued his wise statement wrongly. He seemed to be making comparisons between Magufuli and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, how they were dealing with the global pandemic within their respective territories.
This is where Mutodi lost it. Magufuli was politicising the pandemic geo-politically by saying the cure for Covid 19 is found in Africa, Madagascar in particular right in the early stages of the global pandemic.
For a doctorate academic holder in chemistry to go against the global grain of scientific thinking was not only pathetic but also questionable hence Mutodi challenged this geo-political approach to global pandemic in the first place.
But still, credit needs to be given to where its due. Mutodi was spot on. We cannot take that away from him. It did not matter how much we hated his Zanu PF political identity.
Comrade Mutodi’s statement was right, but he somehow pitched his argument wrongly. President Mnangagwa he so much reserved praise for, in fact took advantage of the pandemic to repress the citizens of Zimbabwe.
We saw government critics such as Tsitsi Dangarembga, Fadzai Mahere, Hopewell Chin’ono, Job Sikhala, and Jacob Ngarivhume sent to Chikurubi prison for petty reasons. Student activist Allan Moyo also languished in prison for weeks and was almost forgotten.
To demonstrate peacefully against the government is a right enshrined in the national constitution. The UN made an official complaint to the government of Mnangagwa on how he dealt with his opponents under the guise of fighting the pandemic and those who violated the lockdown regulations.
Mutodi should never been taken for a fool.
For a whole president to tell the nation of 58 million that there was no pandemic in Tanzania is wholly naïve, with all due respect I had for him since he came to power in 2015.
The means to communicating such a global pandemic using the bible: the people must have faith in God and will be protected from the Covid-19 displays irresponsibility in African politics generally.
Is it not the bible that saw the colonialisation of Africa? How do you come back again to trust the very methods that saw 4 hundred years of colonialism in Africa: Christianity?
Watching the Adeola Fayehun’s video, a top Nigerian journalist; how the Tanzanians were using the so-called steam treatment for Covid-19 at the marketplace was depressing to see. Steam-treatment for Covid-19 with no scientific backing whatsoever is wholly stupid.
No critical thinking was applied to question the words of the President who recommended it. But because we want to prove the Caucasians that we can make it without their “deadly” vaccine that has been recently established from western countries, we must sink with Magufuli.
I sit down recollect events leading to Magufuli’s death. One of them is the embarrassment Professor Lumumba is going through. But on the other hand, I realise the silence in Zimbabwe; nobody wants to credit Mutodi for getting it right and how he lost his job for telling us the bare truth.
President Magufuli should have read from the media how the Prime Minister of UK: Boris Johnson nearly died from Covid-19. He was careless about Covid-19 in the initial stages of the pandemic.
When Johnson recovered, he took drastic measures to fight the global pandemic. Until today, the UK has the highest cases of Covid-19 and one of the countries in the world with high rate of Covid-19 deaths.
President Trump, HRH Prince Charles and son William were all infected with Covid-19.
In South Africa, the daughter to Nelson Mandela, ambassador Zindzi Mandela died from Covid-19. President Ramaphosa went into quarantine for more than one time when he thought he was exposed to the virus. Are these high-profile deaths and high-profile infections not evidence of the existence of Sars-Covid 2, a pandemic declared by the WHO to be a global pandemic of 100 years. It appears a pandemic recurs every 100 years to cull the global population down (This is my own opinion and am entitled to.) The head of WHO: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is Ethiopian and therefore African. Should I be made to believe that they never communicated about this particularly important issue that affects 58 million citizens of Tanzania: I am sure they did?
In Italy, in Spain, USA, over half a billion have succumbed to this global pandemic, on the other hand. African Presidents must be aware of the responsibility they carry with the lives of over a billion of citizens on the continent.
Our top journalist: Adeola Fayehun wishes that President Magufuli should have survived this Covid-19 so he could have been able to turn around his hypothesis and say Covid-19 was real. He was then going to apply measures that all other global leaders are doing.
Some Africans felt Magufuli’s misfortune was appropriate as he propagated mixed messages onto the continent. He was playing cheap politics at the detriment of citizens who look up to him for guidance.
The populistic approach to politics in most African leaders is to grandstand. Some Africans love shows, anti-Caucasian sentiments that do not serve the citizens anyhow. One example is former President Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme that punished Zimbabweans instead through starvation.
This letter is for Professor Lumumba of Kenya. I have watched his famous speech he gave in Tanzania sometime back. For 2 hours nonstop, he heaped praise on President Magufuli and his politics in East African country.
I wondered still if it was measured to go overdrive in praising an African President. We know our presidents very well and how they love praise, they feed on false praises we give to them, uncalled-for, uninvited in most cases.
However, to the credit of Professor Lumumba, the President of Tanzania Magufuli was on a promising path beginning on his presidency. He tried to eradicate corruption that was bleeding his nation.
Professor Lumumba and Mutodi are known academics. My humble message to them is; please let us not be over excited about our African leaders. Let us learn to tell them the truth in their faces. It does not mean, however, that Professor Lumumba has not critiqued African leaders, he has on several occasions in retrospect.