Magufuli, I eulogize
The man for the rest against the West.
As in his life, so it is in his death, Magufuli has taught us few things, if Africa cares to learn: that an African country can resist western manipulation, thuggery and exploitation and remain standing firmly, proud and mightily. That every African country is endowed with the resources to develop sans loans from the Bretton Woods institutions, China or other Sharks if its leaders are ready to place country above personal aggrandizement. That Africa’s main bane is corruption and all what it takes to slay this hydra headed is exemplary incorruptible leadership. No more… That any support the West or China gives Africa is at a price; not charity, not actuated by charity, love, or philanthropy.
Magufuli stood his ground for Tanzania. His commitment, leadership, statesmanship were second to none. Amazing how he was frugal. Bewildering how he fought corruption and won; how he inculcated financial and fiscal discipline; how he banned or drastically cut down on official foreign travels, for himself and others; how he prosecuted corrupt officials.
Longfellow was speaking of people like Magufuli when he wrote:
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime.
And, departing, leave behind us
Footsteps on the sands of time.
Footsteps, that, perhaps another,
Sailing over life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and ship-wrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again
Well, I hope that our African leaders, “sailing over their countries’ solemn mains” and “with a heart for any fate” which their resistance against neocolonialism could bring, would be inspired by Magufuli’s footprints on the sands of Africa.
(Yes, all that the BBC could remember Magufuli for was his stance against Covid-19 pandemic. That tells me until Africa is able to tell its own story, celebrate its own children, and sells its own agenda, it would remain “sorry” for the rest of the world.)
Adieu, Mr. President. We celebrate your life. You ran your race in grand style. We pray you are in a better place.