Feared and loved in equal measure, Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, aka “The Bulldozer”, is a funny man.
Quite witty, sometimes sarcastic if not outrightly controversial.
The tough talking Magufuli is renowned for a number of tasteless roadside declarations but the latest one has left tongues wagging endlessly and for a purpose. This is why.
On Sunday, Magufuli announced that Tanzanian Government would not close down places of worship over the killer coronavirus since these places is where healing can be found.
“These Holy places are where God is. My fellow Tanzanians, let us not be afraid of going to praise Him,” he said.
Speaking to a congregation in a church, he had attended, the President called the Covid-19 virus Satanic and stated that it cannot survive while in the “body of Christ”.
“Corona cannot survive in the body of Christ, it will burn. That is exactly why I did not panic while taking the Holy Communion,” he said while the congregation cheered.
While the president is allowed to bask in occasional limelight and enjoy ululation from the crowd, his misleading statement and allegations about coronavirus is crossing the red line since churches and mosques present the riskiest places for the spread of the disease that has killed over 16,000 people worldwide.