Tanzania’s former president, 61-year-old John Magufuli, passed away recently. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding his death, given that no one heard from him for a couple of weeks, and the government wasn’t providing any information regarding what was going on.
The official government line is now that he died of heart failure on Wednesday, while Tanzania’s opposition leader claims he died of coronavirus earlier this month, citing “credible government sources.”
It’s worth remembering that Magufuli was perhaps the biggest coronavirus denier among all heads of state. He encouraged people to go to church, because praying “can vanquish the satanic virus.” He stated that the country had no plans to get a vaccine, but rather would use local herbs to protect people. By comparison he almost made Donald Trump look like Jacinda Ardern.
Anyway, this afternoon Magufuli’s body was loaded onto a plane at Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport, as his body was going to be flown to Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma.
Well, there was a security breach at the airport, to put it mildly. Literally hundreds of people managed to get over a security fence and storm the tarmac. Below are some videos, which show you just how close to planes people got.
Banana Republic of Tanzania. The marauding gang entered the international airport and got into planes without any hindrance.
— Robert Alai, HSC (@RobertAlai) March 21, 2021
VIDEO : Wakazi wa Dar es Salaam wamsindikiza #ShujaaWao, Hayati Rais Magufuli hadi ndani ya Uwanja wa Ndege Terminal II katika Ndege ya @AirTanzania aina ya Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner iliyoandaliwa kwaajili ya kubeba mwili wake kuupeleka jijini Dodoma. #HakikaNiUpendo. #RIPMagufuli pic.twitter.com/ilpbtEpwvQ
— Koncept TV (@koncept_tv) March 21, 2021
It would appear to me that Magufuli’s body was carried on Air Tanzania flight 108, a Dash 8-400 with the registration code 5H-TCF.
We’ve seen one or two (or even in some cases a dozen) people get into the secure area of an airport, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this.
It’s not entirely clear to me what the motive was for people storming the airport. It goes without saying that Magufuli has a mixed legacy, so were these his fans, people who just thought it would be cool to get onto an airport tarmac, or…?