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March 18, 2021

Heads of State and Government
John Magufuli, Tanzania’s COVID-Denying President, Dies

Vice President Samia Suluhu, announcing President John Magufuli’s death yesterday, said the president died from a heart condition, and that he had been treated at two different hospitals in Dar es Salaam.

A copy of the Tanzanian newspaper "The Citizen," with the headline "Nation mourns," shows a picture of recently deceased President John Magufuli after his death was announced yesterday. In the bottom left, a picture of soon-to-be-president Samia Suluhu.

March 11, 2021

Heads of State and Government
Tanzanian President Magufuli’s Veneer of Omniscience in Critical Condition

A story published yesterday in Kenyan newspaper the Nation suggests—though does not confirm—that Tanzanian President John Magufuli was flown into Kenya and admitted to a hospital in Nairobi to receive treatment for COVID-19.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, standing at a red podium with his country's coat of arms, gives a speech after re-election. He is flanked by a soldier in a red uniform and one other official wearing professional dress.

October 22, 2020

Tanzania
Magufuli is Transforming Tanzania's Ruling Party From a “Benign Hegemon” Into a Malevolent One

​On October 28th, Tanzania will choose a president and members of the country’s National Assembly. This year, few observers expect a fair vote, given incumbent President John Magufuli and his government’s weaponization of the law.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli walks down a red carpet while observing a guard of honor in Nairobi, Kenya. The soldiers are wearing dark blue uniforms; some soldiers are holding swords raised.

November 15, 2019

Tanzania
Tanzania, Where Magufuli Is Waging a War on Democracy

During the four year tenure of President Magufuli, the country has move toward full-on authoritarianism. On November 7, a Magistrates Court in Tanzania postponed for the seventh time the case of journalist Erick Kabendera, who has voiced criticism of the country’s president, John Pombe Magufuli. After initially being violently abducted from his home and later investigated over his citizenship status, Mr. Kabendera is now facing a host of economic charges, including “assisting an organized crime racket” and money laundering. 

Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera arrives, flanked by security, at the Kisutu Residents Magistrate Court

February 23, 2021

COVID-19
Tanzania’s COVID Denialism Harms its Economic Future

Beyond the immediate, detrimental effects for Tanzanians’ health, President John Magufuli’s aggressive COVID denialism is likely to dent the country’s economic prospects.

Two women in Tanzania are seen wearing gloves, masks, and facial shields to protect against COVID-19. Both are also wearing colorful, patterned clothing.

July 13, 2021

Nigeria
T.B. Joshua: A Preacher Who Held Outsized Influence in Nigeria and Africa

Policy makers, diplomats, and commentators in the secular West often fail to take into account the profound influence of religious leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, whether among Christians, Muslims, or adherents of traditional religions. Heaven, hell, and what secularists regard as magic are literal realities, more immediate than government policy or the pronouncements of political leaders. What the preacher says is more credible than the utterances of politicians.

T.B. Joshua, a now-deceased Nigerian pastor, holds his hand on a woman's face. The woman holds her hands raised with her palms upward.

August 4, 2021

Tanzania
Arrests of Tanzanian Opposition Underline Need for Constitutional Reform

On July 21, Freeman Mbowe, chairman of Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (the Party for Democracy and Progress, CHADEMA), and ten other party members were arrested in Mwanza, apparently for violating a ban on “unnecessary gatherings.” The ban, enacted the day prior, was officially billed as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. Yet its timing, coming just before a conference on discussing constitutional reform, and the charges levelled against Mbowe—the party leader is accused, without evidence, of funding terrorist activities aimed at assassinating government leaders—suggest the true intent is to suppress calls for much-needed constitutional reform.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and former President Jakaya Kikwete stand side-by-side.

March 30, 2021

Tanzania
Interview: Tundu Lissu Discusses the Need for Constitutional Reform in Tanzania

Tundu Lissu, a member of the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), has spent his political career, which includes a ten-year stint in parliament, fighting for a more accountable polity in sub-Saharan Africa's fourth most populous country

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu prepares to board a helicopter.

April 1, 2021

Tanzania
Interview: Tundu Lissu on Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the Role of the West in Democratization

Tundu Lissu, in an interview, comments on expectations for President Samia Suluhu Hassan, a Zanzibar native who was sworn in following former President John Magufuli’s death as Tanzania’s sixth—and first female—president.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan inspects a guard of honor after being sworn in as president.

September 13, 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa
Reflecting on Africa’s Last Decade

Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies John Campbell reflects on his last decade writing for Africa in Transition.

Three zebras walk through tall grasses, with a skyline view of Nairobi in the background.