Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to the former Tanzanian President Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli describing him as a dedicated servant of Tanzania, East Africa and the entire continent.
Magufuli, 61, aka “The Bulldozer” died on Wednesday 17, March 2021 at a hospital in Dar es Salaam. His death was announced by the then vice president Samia Suhulu who has since been sworn in as the new president.
Mr Museveni on Monday 22, March 2021 visited the High Commission of the United Republic of Tanzania in Kampala, Uganda to pay tribute to Dr Magufuli where he signed a condolence book.
He said that it is unfortunate that he is mourning Dr Magufuli on the same day he was supposed to be in the country to sign key agreements for commercialization of the proposed East African crude oil pipeline between Uganda, Tanzania, and Total SE, the parent company of Total E&P.
Mr Museveni said that two weeks ago, he wrote to Dr Magufuli jokingly telling him that today March 22 would be a double victory day because 42 years ago, on March, 21, the Tanzanian People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) together with Uganda Freedom fighters led by Mr Museveni had defeated the army of President Idi Amin in Rugando, Mbarara.
He said that Magufuli’s death is a sad occurrence that has left a great challenge in not only Tanzania but the whole of Africa.
“The Tanzanian People’s Defence Forces together with our freedom fighters with me present had defeated the army of Idi Amin in their counter-attack against the town of Mbarara at a place called Rugando 12 miles from Mbarara on the Kabale road. I was joking I was saying that today would be a double victory for the military and economic. Little did I know that I would be here signing a condolences book. This is so sad,” Mr Museveni said.
He also said that that leaders should emulate Dr Magufuli’s legacy of being a dedicated servant. On Saturday, Museveni declared 14 days of mourning in honour of the deceased leader. Mr Museveni also directed that the flags of Uganda and that of the East African community shall be flown at half-mast throughout Uganda’s missions abroad.