President John Magufuli’s disappearance makes him potentially the 2nd “Covid denier” head of state to lose power.
After winning his first election in 2015 he slashed government salaries (including his own) in order to increase funding for hospitals and buying AIDs medication. In 2015 he cancelled the Independence Day celebrations and used the money to launch an anti-Cholera campaign. Healthcare has been one of his administration’s top priorities, and Tanzanian life expectancy has increased every year while he has been in office.
The negative coverage of President Magufuli is a very recent phenomenon. Early in his Presidency he even received glowing write-ups from the Western press and Soros-backed think tanks, praising his reforms and calling him an “example” to other African nations.
All that changed when he spoke out about Covid being [a] hoax.
When he was re-elected in October 2020 the standard Western accusations of “voter suppression” and “electoral fraud” appeared in the Western press which had previously reported his approval rating as high as 96%.
And the anti-Magufuli campaign increased momentum in the new year, with Mike “we lied, we cheated, we stole” Pompeo initiating sanctions against Tanzanian government officials as one of his final acts as Secretary of State. The sanctions were notionally due to “electoral irregularities”, but the obvious reality is that it’s due to Tanzania’s refusal to toe the Covid line.
Just last month, The Guardian, always the tip of the spear when it comes to “progressive” regime change ran an article headlined:
It’s time for Africa to rein in Tanzania’s anti-vaxxer president
The article makes no mention of goats, papaya and motor oil testing positive for the coronavirus, but does ask – in a very non-partisan, journalistic way:
What is wrong with President John Magufuli? Many people in and outside Tanzania are asking this question.”
Before going on to conclude:
Magufuli [is] fuelling anti-vaxxers as the pandemic and its new variants continue to play out. He needs to be challenged openly and directly. To look on indifferently exposes millions of people in Tanzania and across Africa’s great lakes region – as well as communities across the world – to this deadly and devastating virus.
The author doesn’t say exactly how Magufuli should be “challenged openly and directly”, but that’s not what these articles are for. They exist simply to paint the subject as a villain, and create a climate where “something must be done”. What that “something” is – and, indeed, whether or not it is legal – are none of the Guardian-reading public’s business, and most of them don’t really care.