Tanzania's Magufuli calls for three-day prayers, no lockdown

Friday February 19 2021

Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli. FILE PHOTO | NMG

By The EastAfrican

President John Magufuli has said there will be no lockdown and asked Tanzanians to pray for three days starting Friday.

“Today for the Muslims who have already begun, tomorrow the Seventh Day Adventists who pray on Saturdays and on Sunday for Christians,” he said.   

Addressing mourners on Friday in Dar es Salaam at the requiem mass for Chief Secretary Ambassador John Kijazi who died on Wednesday, the president said “God has never forsaken this nation. We won last year and graduated to middle-income status amid coronavirus, and projects implementation went on without imposing a lockdown and we will never impose lockdown.” 

“Let’s pray and fast for three days I am sure we will win. May I ask religious leaders just as you have been doing, keep insisting in prayers. We will win. We won last year we will win this year and years to come.”

Recent reports of a new strain of the novel coronavirus in various countries, including some bordering Tanzania, have raised numerous questions from the public.

Last month, Archbishop Jude-Thaddeus Ruwa’Ichi of the Catholic Church in Dar es Salaam told congregants that Covid-19 was still at large and that it was unfortunate that churches had abandoned all precautions against being infected.


But the President warned the country's Health ministry against rushing to embrace vaccinations promoted by foreign nations, prompting the ministry to urge citizens to practice hygiene and use traditional medicine to treat Covid-19.

President Magufuli had declared the country to be coronavirus-free in April and ordered full re-opening of borders and economic activities, saying God had answered the country's prayers.

There is no official Covid-19-related statistics or information available in Tanzania and issuing of unsanctioned Covid-19 information is strictly prohibited and restricted to the president, prime minister, the minister for Health and the government’s chief spokesman.

Tanzania last posted coronavirus updates on April 29 when the national caseload stood at 509 with 21 deaths and 183 recoveries.