OMG: Major Security Breach At Airport In Tanzania

Filed Under: Travel

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.

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…?

  1. African politics is lit. Seriously, you think things get interesting in the US or UK? No. Check out Sub-Saharan African and Eastern Europe for the real action.

    I feel confident he probably died of complications from it. Makes sense for the silence.

  2. If it was a simple heart complication, there would be no reason to keep silent about the health issue for weeks.

  3. Ben, this is not OMG, this is Africa. For the rest of the world, it might look like a security breach. For sub-Saharan Africa, it’s just people mourning their President.

    At most African airports I’ve seen, including capital cities, it would not be difficult at all to enter the tarmac. Things are just so different down there. So very very different.

  4. OMG is a fabulous way to start posts; I still keep up with your blog and frequently re-read your posts: so sad about Cathay Dragon’s fate

  5. yeah Ben! start with OMG on your post all your want, we love your blog cause of the way you are 😀

  6. @lucky, you do you, don’t let other people change your style.

    I guess karma came early for this whack job. Didn’t he say covid doesn’t exist in his country? I’m sure many people in his country died because of his denial. Only if lightening can strike around the world for similar whack jobs….

  7. Wow, almost looks like the US Capitol on January 6. Except I don’t see the same kind of violence, anger, and destruction. Yeah, what happened in my DC neighborhood two months ago was much worse.

  8. It was pretty well known that he had COVID. While he maintained a “suburban” mentality that others should go and pray the disease away/deny it, he of course had access to the top healthcare available once his time came. Really hoping they can get their political situation sorted out, otherwise it could get ugly fast.

  9. Yeah lucky- don’t capitulate to the haters- and in a way this is abjectly hilarious. Don’t always agree with your takes, but love your perspective and appreciate your constant candor and takes

  10. I rarely so an answer for him so you can save the energy. Yes in some countries is not so tight. I still remember the question of the security in PNG about 10 years ago whether i have packed my slippers. I did not get it and probably will not ever. That was it. So whats the big fuzz with the OMG? Its Africa.

  11. Looks like what’s been happening in Portland for a year now. Oh, other than they were less violent. Oh wait, there was no violence in Portland…

  12. At least they probably manage to keep their parliament safe unlike certain condescending western countries

  13. There have been ads circulating on social media in this region for “contract mourners” from Tanzania and neighboring countries, offering a fairly significant sum. These are clearly fake to most educated people, but there are hundreds of folks from Malawi who have gone north to try to take advantage of this and I don’t doubt a significantly higher number of locals in Tanzania as well.

    The irony is that this kind of mob is something that Magufuli would have hated. For all his autocratic tendencies and COVID denialism, he was the contemporary African president who most sought to bring order to his country and tried to lead by example.

  14. Wait, so he was in Dar this whole time? Not Nairobi or Delhi?

    Media in Nairobi stated “the presence of an African leader” in one of their hospitals, and rumours said he had been flown to India for better treatment. Pure deduction but I suspected that, were he indeed flown to India, he’d have been under the careful stewardship of Indian politicians and the fine people over at AIIMS.

    Flightradar24 would’ve picked up a standard charter flight to Dar from either Nairobi or Delhi, I think

  15. @Ray; This was part of a more public farwell therefore the flight was known. I really doubt they wanted anyone to know when he was flown to Nairobi and the body was flow back to Dar and I can tell you that FR24 does not pick up everything in Kenya/Tanzania or with total accuracy.

    For those saying this is Africa so it’s normal; it is definitely not at least in East Africa. People don’t have access to the secure parts of the airport willy nilly especially near the terminal area. In fact NBO is an airport where people get harassed a lot especially those who are not flying. If this had happened on the other side of the airport I might understand as it’s fenced but not well manned but this is a failure of security personnel.

  16. Reminds me of the stories we’ve heard about covid-deniers here in the US, who show up in the ER unable to breathe without assistance, unable to taste or smell anything, and so weak they can’t move – and still they insist they don’t have covid.

    It’s a good thing I’m not a doctor, because my response would be, “OK, it’s entirely your choice – my recommended treatment, or you can stop by the head shop on your way home for some President Magufuli herbs.”

  17. I love how you compare him to Trump. In retrospect Trump’s actions are no worse than even those countries in Europe that supposedly had good results last summer. Just look at the Czech Republic and Germany now. It seems as if all of the nations in the west have had similar terrible responses regardless of their leaders. And unfortunately Biden is not doing any better.

  18. Only difference between this and the Miami post was that every member of the crowd weren’t holding their cell phones up lol.

  19. So Trump is so bad in that he helped push for the development of 3 current vaccines as well as many more, all within a 9 month time frame. Remember for me how he did nothing.

  20. Just shows that you travel for reviews and blogging and points/miles. It shows you do not really know what goes on in much of the world. I wonder how much of the local experiences you have when you travel. As others have said this is quite common in Africa and also I would add that the authorities probably expected this to happen. I mean they probably planned for it. Notice how nothing is being done to force people out and how it is all calm. When there is a breach of security usually it refers to something bad that happened.

  21. I heard there was a security breach in some capital on January 6th. I heard there was security breach perpetrated by Russia on some country’s entire defense and domestic agency digital infrastructure. In fact I heard there was a compromised transfer of power in said same country. In the last two weeks citizens there were murdering each other on mass in massage parlors and grocery stores there too. Banana Republic?

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.