sexta-feira, 19 de março de 2021

Coup d'Etat in Tanzania?

 Magufuli is the latest African 'Covid' sceptic to suddenly drop dead

 David Montoute

 March 18th, 2021

Africa's leading Coronavirus sceptic, President John Magufuli, is dead at age 61.

Tanzanian president Magufuli, who had come to power in 2015 on a strong, anti-corruption platform was re-elected in a landslide last year.  Staying true to his promises, the "Bulldozer" president fired corrupt executives - including half of his own cabinet - for corruption and inaction. His economising measures banned foreign travel for public servants, and as a result, the government saved £330m in one year alone. Magufulli slashed his own salary by three quarters and converted costly independence day celebrations into a national clean-up day, in which the President himself would go litter-collecting. He also revived national industries, subsidising Tanzanian export farmers who were affected by low market prices. And all of this followed the institution of a free secondary education system in his first year in office. Tanzania's government began to garner the respect and admiration of its people, with a Pew report from late 2017 finding that "trust in the national government is highest in Tanzania. About nine-in-ten people in Tanzania (89%) trust their government to do what is right for their country", a state of affairs that led some to toute it as a "beacon of democracy".

And then came the 2020 lockdowns.

Although the government initially closed schools and banned sporting events, it did not implement any national lockdown. Shortly afterwards, Magufuli, a former chemistry teacher, grew increasingly sceptical of the pandemic narrative following the revelation of numerous false positive cases worldwide. In May, he investigated the claims himself, sending human-named samples of goat, sheep, motor oil, papaya, quail and jackfruit for testing in the national laboratory. Several of these came back positive for COVID-19.

Magufuli fired the head of Tanzania’s national laboratory and called for an investigation into what he suspected was a “dirty game” relating to the test kits supplied via the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“The equipment or people may be compromised and sometimes it can be sabotage,” Magufuli said in a speech broadcast live on state-television. Urging Tanzanians to not live in fear of the virus, the government re-opened schools, allowed large sporting events and religious gatherings, stopped mass-testing and stopped updating public reports on the putative virus. Naturally, this led to dire predictions of a Covid "disaster" and, when this did not materialise, accusations that the government was "covering-up" a hidden epidemic. 

However, a local correspondent for the US government-financed Voice of America could find nothing unusual about life in Tanzania during this period, neither in the hospitals nor in the streets around him. Later in 2020, even a harshly critical piece on the website of global development group Devex acknowledged a "member of the civil society in Tanzania" who, speaking anonymously, described how his colleagues' initial scepticism of the government's approach had transformed into belief. The source added that:

“For the past two months, there have been fully-fledged political rallies and there is nowhere where the gathering has been less than 500 people…There is no incident which is reported, the deaths which are reported are ordinary deaths, you can't equate it with what we are hearing from other countries around...”

But Magufuli's heresy was not merely symbolic. The European Union had given 27 million euros to Tanzania to impose COVID-19 measures prescribed by the WHO's strict lockdowns, including masking and mass-vaccination. Tanzania took the money, and then declared the country coronavirus-free. The donor nations could not hide their fury, and in the EU parliament, MEP David McAllister angrily ranted about the Tanzanian "regime" that took the EU's money and demanded to know what had been done with it.

At this point, a rash of media stories appeared denouncing the Tanzanian government in various ways. Off-Guardian explains how Magufuli had previously enjoyed a positive reputation in global media, a situation which dramatically changed as soon as he dissented from from global lockdown regime.

As the lockdown and vaccination agendas advanced around the world, Magufuli  remained steadfast, voicing serious doubts about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines developed and manufactured in the West. On Feb 2, 2021, Tanzanian health minister, Dorothy Gwajima, announced that the country had no plans to recommend widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines. Less than a week later, the UK's Guardian ran an atrocious hit-piece against Magufuli, entitled "It's time for Africa to rein in Tanzania's anti-vaxxer president". The article, in a section of the Guardian financed by the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation, disparaged Magufuli an anti-scientific populist who must be "openly challenged". Similar articles elsewhere painted the president as a religious obscurantist, for having called for prayer in repsonse to the "pandemic". The thinly-veiled contempt of religiosity that is endemic amongst Western "progressives" naturally had its audience outside of Tanzania. Magufuli, however, with a phD in chemistry, was simply following sound scientic principles, by refusing to draw conclusions based on faulty premises (i.e. the accuracy of the coronavirus test kits sent to Africa). In stark contrast to the corporate lackeys that populate the halls of power in London, Washington and Paris, Magufuli insisted that the health ministry would only accept COVID-19 vaccines once Tanzania’s experts had examined and certified them.

Magufuli's radical, alternative approach to the "pandemic" was the adoption of the herbal remedy known as "Covid Organics", developed and promoted by the Madagascan government. The formula is a decoction made from the plant Artemisia annua. The sweet wormwood plant supplies artemisinin, a key ingredient, of the artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended as first-line treatments against malaria, and for whose discovery Professor Youyou Tu won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015. Yet, despite the plant's known anti-viral properties, its endorsement by Luc Montagnier (another Nobel Laureate), the WHO has repeatedly issued warnings against the use of the "untested" remedy. Besides Tanzania, another dozen African countries have so far received shipments of the Madagascan formula.

On the night of  Wednesday 17th, however, Vice president Samia Suluhu announced that the president had died of a “heart condition”, of which he had suffered for 10 years. The announcement, which followed several weeks of the president's public absence (and government attempted to repress the rumours), plunged Tanzania and the wider region into grief

Finally, the Tanzanian President had been "reined in". 

As the Western press aired evidence-free claims that the President had died of the Coronavirus, the BBC chimed in, warning of the "cautionary tale" of Covid-denying Magufuli. Although, why exactly someone who died "of a heart condition" should provide a cautionary tale for Covid-sceptics is not clear. 

Beyond the crowing tone of media talking-heads, local voices had darker suspicions. A Kenyan news site has cited a "high ranking Government official" in Tanzania who has claimed that an alliance of Chinese and Western Countries had killed Magufuli due to his policies of guarding the country's rich mineral resources. Whilst the website offers no specific evidence to back this claim, it pointed to Magufuli's protectionist policies, suggesting these as a context:

"In a recent event that shocked many people, he impounded raw materials at the Port of Dar es Salam which were destined for China, and demanded that the firm should manufacture the materials in Tanzania...This action angered many international firms who threatened to pull out of Tanzania in protest but this did not deter President Magufuli from standing his ground and told them off and if they don’t play along they should keep off Tanzania."

This twin rejection of Western and Chinese imperialism was even highlighted in a BBC profile piece from June of last year. The article describes Magufuli's battles against Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corp. and how the Tanzanian leader had demanded a 60% government stakeholding in three of the country's gold mines. Although the government had to settle for a 16% share, "the talks signalled that it was no longer business as usual."

Magufuli had also cancelled two deals with China: the building of Tanzania's first electric railway line, intended to link Dar es Salaam to the capital city, Dodoma,  and an £8bn construction project at the port of Bagamoyo, due to the unacceptable financial terms negotiated by his predecessor.

It may well be that Magufuli met the predicable end of any African leader who attempts to confront billionnaire consortia without a significant external ally (a lesson Muammar al-Gaddafi learned in 2011). But it was Magufuli's opposition to the lockdown/vaccine formula that provides the most immediate context for his death. The fate of the previous African leader to challenge the lockdown regime unveils the panorama. Last May, Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza dismissed the claim of a global pandemic as a nonsensical hoax. Rejecting what he called unacceptable intereference in Burundi's internal politics, the leader ejected WHO officials from the country ahead of national elections (which he went on to win). Less than one month later, the athletic 55-year-old was dead of an apparent heart attack. Under Nkurunziza's replacement, most of Burundi's Covid policies have swung 180 to align with the policies of the WHO.

It is impossible not to see a parallel to Magufuli's death, also attributed to a heart attack. And although a quarter of Africa's countries did not implement any lockdown, only three of the continent's heads-of-state openly challenged the World Health organisation's impositions and chartered radically different approaches towards the "pandemic". These were Burundi's Nkurunziza, Madagascar's Rajoelina, and Tanzania's Magufuli. Now, two of those three leaders are dead, both in an eerily similar manner.

Even before there was any confirmation of Magufuli's death, the reversals in Covid polcies were underway. The near certainty that a silent coup is taking place is underlined by the rash of sudden deaths that preceded Magufuli's, sudden deaths of several top government officials, reported by AFP and Bright Kenya News. According to the latter, the dead officials include (but are not limited to) Chief Secretary to State House John Kijazi, Former Deputy Finance Minister Gregory Teu, Former Governor of Bank Of Tanzania Benno Ndulu and first Vice President of Zanzibar. These follow the death on February 17th of Zanzibar’s first vice president, Seif Sharif Hamad, who died after being hospitalised "with COVID-19" (Spain's La Razón adds that no cause of death was publicly specified in these cases).

We are expected to believe that the construct called "Covid-19", with its infection fatality rate of 0.14% somehow laid waste to an entire swath of Tanzanian high officials in less than a month. This sudden cluster of deaths amongst the officials seems yet another coincidence too far. One can always counter that "the virus" has wreaked similar havoc in the governments of Zimbabwe and Malawi, as the Guardian's hit-piece avers. After all, in January "four Zimbabwe cabinet ministers... died of Covid. In Malawi, four government officials, including two cabinet ministers, succumbed." Yet, Zimbabwe is in the 122nd place (100 death per million) in world mortality, whilst Malawi sits in 140th place (56 deaths per million). How is it possible that countries with such neglible fatality rates are seeing such a disproportionate effect amongst their leaders? Could a hidden hand be operating more widely in Africa than previously suspected? 

After the anti-lockdown President of Belarus revealed that the IMF attempted to bribe him to shut down his economy, he was rewarded with an attempted colour revolution. That the IMF, whose stated goal is to promote trade & economic growth, should be actually attempt to shut down economies is the surest confirmation that the changes underway under the cover of a pandemic are part of a fundamental, global shift without precedent. And if there were ever any doubts about the lengths to which the pandemic-mongers will go to enact that shift, the latest events in Tanzania should put those doubts firmly to rest. And the hysterical rhetoric directed at other "Covid-denier" heads-of-state should put them on notice that no one is safe. To avoid the imposition of a worldwide, pseudo-medical technocracy, we must all confront the official discourse head-on, and do so with the same vigour and clarity as John Magufuli.

Under Magufuli's British-educated replacement Samia Suluhu, facing this challenge will be difficult for Tanzania. They will either bend to the will of the World Health Organisation or maintain Magufuli's legacy. It is not clear that the latter will be chosen, given the high price they risk paying for it. 

Meanwhile, a piece of older footage of Magufuli's has been re-aired by Tanzanians. In what may be meagre consolation to his widow and five children, one of the President's final messages proved tragically prophetic:

"One day you will remember me. And I know that you will remember me for the good things I did for Tanzania and not the bad ones...this is because I have sacrificed my life for the sake of poor Tanzanians," Read more:

 "One day you will remember me. And I know that you will remember me for the good things I did for Tanzania and not the bad ones...this is because I have sacrificed my life for the sake of poor Tanzanians."

"One day you will remember me. And I know that you will remember me for the good things I did for Tanzania and not the bad ones...this is because I have sacrificed my life for the sake of poor Tanzanians," Read more:
"One day you will remember me. And I know that you will remember me for the good things I did for Tanzania and not the bad ones...this is because I have sacrificed my life for the sake of poor Tanzanians," Read more:
"One day you will remember me. And I know that you will remember me for the good things I did for Tanzania and not the bad ones...this is because I have sacrificed my life for the sake of poor Tanzanians," Read more:
"One day you will remember me. And I know that you will remember me for the good things I did for Tanzania and not the bad ones...this is because I have sacrificed my life for the sake of poor Tanzanians," Read more:



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