Veteran NTV anchor turned Public Relations consultant Winnie Mukami has died.
A number of journalists shared news of her passing which occurred on Wednesday, March 17.
“Just got the news that we have lost another media colleague, former NTV news anchor Winnie Mukami. Condolences to her family and friends as she rests,” Radio Africa Group Editor Oliver Mathenge wrote.
Mukami became a household name in 2003 when she anchored NTV News when it was launched. She had started her career journey at KBC as a TV and radio current affairs presenter and producer two years earlier.
It is while working at Nation Media Group that her star shone and she was often compared with top anchors such as Katherine Kasavuli, Swaleh Mdoe, Sophie Ikenye, and Louis Otieno amongst others.
In a previous interview, the ex-news anchor narrated that her most memorable TV experience was during the 2007 PEV when she had to be in the studio the whole day reporting on the news as it unraveled.
“I remember how a couple of my colleagues at some point could not make it to work as they were stranded in their homes as a result of the chaos across the country,” recollected Mukami.
She also broke the news when President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto were implicated in the violence and were to face charges at the International Criminal Court.
In 2010, Mukami left the station and founded her own public relations consultancy known as Winners Frontiers International Limited.
“Having worked in Broadcast Industry for over eight years, I bring valuable experience acquired from the industry to our various Clients at Winners Frontiers,” part of her Linked-in account read.
In 2018, she was appointed to the board of Kenya Pipeline Company for a period of three years by then Petroleum Secretary John Munyes.
Prior to her stellar career in media and government, Mukami revealed that she used to hawk Uji (porridge) to construction workers before she secured formal employment.
Winnie Mukami told a local publication that she would walk around Kitengela looking for construction sites where she would sell her porridge.
She used the meager earnings from the business to support her parents and three siblings.
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, one of Africa’s most prominent coronavirus skeptics, has died aged 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Wednesday after a more than two-week absence from public life that led to speculation about his health.
She said he died from the heart disease that had plagued him for a decade. She said burial arrangements were underway and announced 14 days of mourning and the flying of flags at half staff. State television broadcast mournful and religious songs.
Magufuli had not been seen in public since Feb. 27, sparking rumors that he had contracted COVID-19. Officials denied on March 12 that he had fallen ill and on Monday the vice president urged Tanzanians not to listen to rumors from outside the country and said it was normal for a human being to be checked for the flu or fever..
“Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart disease at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,” the vice president said on state broadcaster TBC.
He was Tanzania’s first president to die while in office.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Friday that he had spoken to Magufuli, and blamed the narrative of the president’s ailment on some “hateful” Tanzanians living abroad.
Tundu Lissu, Magufuli’s main rival in the October election when the president won a second five-year term, had suggested Tanzania’s leader had been flown to Kenya for treatment for COVID-19 and then moved to India in a coma.
After the death was announced, opposition leader Zitto Kabwe said he had spoken to Vice President Hassan to offer condolences for Magufuli’s death. “The nation will remember him for his contribution to the development of our country,” Kabwe said in a statement published on Twitter.
HASSAN WOULD BE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT
According to Tanzania’s Constitution, Vice President Hassan, 61, should assume the presidency for the remainder of the five-year term that Magufuli began serving last year after winning a second term. She would be the East African nation’s first female president.
Born in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, Hassan studied economics in Britain, worked for the U.N.’s World Food Programme and then held various government posts prior to becoming Tanzania’s first female vice president in 2015.
Hassan said Magufuli was admitted on March 6 to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute for heart problems and discharged the next day. A week later he felt bad and was rushed to Mzena hospital where he was getting treatment under the supervision of doctors from the cardiac institute, she said.
In Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital with more than two million residents, the streets were empty when news of Magufuli’s death was announced just before midnight.
“I remember him since his days when he was minister of works and then he became president, a president who worked hard that even if you didn’t agree with him it got to a point that you agreed with him. I appreciated him, he did a really good job,” one man, Patrice Tarimo, said in Dar es Salaam after hearing the news.
Nicknamed “The Bulldozer” because of his reputation for pushing through policies despite opposition, Magufuli frustrated the World Health Organization (WHO) during the pandemic by playing down the threat from COVID-19, saying god and remedies such as steam inhalation would protect Tanzanians.
The former chemistry teacher had mocked coronavirus tests, denounced vaccines as part of a Western conspiracy to take Africa’s wealth, and opposed mask-wearing and social distancing.
Tanzania stopped reporting coronavirus data in May last year when it had reported 509 cases and 21 deaths, according to the WHO, which has urged the government to be more transparent.
He was re-elected for a second term in 2020, winning 84% of the vote in an election the opposition said was marred by irregularities and whose results it rejected.
Kenya remains unbowed despite the crisis the coronavirus pandemic has brought in the last year.
These are the words of President Uhuru Kenyatta during his national address on Friday.
“As much as our nation was wounded, it remains unbowed,” he said.
“Instead of giving in to the shock of lockdowns, businesses have reengineered their business models, responding to shocks.”
Uhuru said the country’s approach has been a mixed bag of fortunes.
He cited the cessation of movement which had heavy costs on the economy but saved lives.
“We chose life over the economy,” he said.
“You can always revive an economy, but you can’t revive a lost life.”
All public gatherings have been prohibited for 30 days from midnight on Friday.
Uhuru said this will be extended if infections don’t go down.
“This should be followed regardless of the political or social standing,” he said.
Burials should be conducted within 72 hours of death and gatherings will be limited to family members, capped at 100 persons.
The number also applies to weddings.
A leader who, for over a year declared his country to be free from COVID-19 and said prayers helped to defeat the virus is now in need of the prayers he vouched for. Alongside this, Magufuli is in the hands of foreign and Tanzanian doctors as he said no Kenyan doctor should touch him. He has come to Kenya to be saved from COVID-19, as the man is said to have tested positive for the virus and is in critical condition at the Nairobi hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Many Tanzanians have suffered because of this ignorance and defiance to fight the virus as Kenya, Rwanda and other neighbouring countries. And sadly many more deaths are being recorded silently as the country has done absolutely nothing to fight the pandemic.
For a man like Nasa Kiwanga who lost his daughter, Tully, to COVID-19 earlier this month in Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma, he has little to look forward to in a country ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic with no preventive measures.
Residents and doctors pointed to a growing number of illnesses and deaths while opposition politicians said government’s stance is endangering lives, but the man President Magufuli was adamant.
As fate would have it, it is only recently that Magufuli on a Sunday church mass in the capital Dodoma, urged citizens to take precautions including traditional remedies and wear face masks – but only locally made ones. According to a source witness, Magufuli said to them,
“We should take health precautions as it was announced. He said we should put God first, while searching for an alternative, in line with steam inhalation. He said that his own children got sick, some of his little ones got sick and they recovered. It’s all about putting God first, he said, adding that steam inhalation should not be ignored”.
With a likelihood of fear growing in him, Magufuli again reiterated the same and called on citizens for three days of prayer to defeat unnamed respiratory diseases. This was amid warnings from the Catholic church, the U.S. embassy and others that Tanzania is seeing a deadly resurgence in coronavirus infections.
And now, Tanzanian President Magufuli needs our prayers to be able to fight the dreaded virus. Tanzanian and Kenyan prayer warriors must seek the face of God to heal President Magufuli who is in critical condition.
With many Tanzanians finding their President’s remarks unsettling many have taken up responsibility to protect themselves but this is not enough as it has to be a united effort as a country.
As we pray for Magufulis’s recovery Tanzanians must start protecting themselves and the Tanzanian government must take up responsibility.
Intense speculation has been generated online over the whereabouts of the Tanzanian president John Magufuli, with many pointing a finger to a hospital in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Those asking questions include the leader of the opposition Tundu Lissu, who said the matter was, “a matter of grave public concern” in a tweet.
Contacted by The Africa Report, Lissu would neither confirm nor deny the diagnosis.
Kenya’s local newspaper has said that an African leader had been admitted to a Nairobi hospital, without confirming their name.
Other sources have indicated that Magufuli is in a Dar-es-Salaam hospital, suffering from Covid-19-like symptoms.
Criticism of Magufuli’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic dates back to last year, when he ordered a plane-load of Madagascar’s unproven herbal potion, refused to talk to regional leaders about the spread of the virus, and claimed that three days of national prayer would be sufficient to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Doctors against denialism
More recently he has been criticized by doctors in Tanzania who have been pleading for greater attention.
Speaking anonymously, one doctor told The Africa Report: “We are pressured by the authorities not to attend to people who have coronavirus symptoms rather than treating them for pneumonia and lung infections. As doctors, we are in danger because we are not even getting personal protective equipment. The government has to change its perception and take this pandemic seriously.”
Change of heart?
But the mindset has been changing at the top of the regime, as the virus has taken its toll on top-ranking Tanzanian officials.
Those who have died include: chief secretary to State House John Kijazi, former deputy finance minister Gregory Teu, former governor of Bank of Tanzania Benno Ndulu, and first vice-president of Zanzibar Maalim Seif Sharrif Hamad, whose party ACT Wazalendo confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19 just before his death.
“A number of Tanzanians traveling to neighboring countries and beyond have tested positive for COVID-19. This underscores the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond,” warned Dr. Tedros
The WHO chief added that “This situation remains very concerning. I renew my call for Tanzania to start reporting COVID-19 cases and share data. I also call on Tanzania to implement the public health measures that we know work in breaking the chains of transmission, and to prepare for vaccination.”
Dr. Tedros’ statement followed the death in the past week of Tanzania’s First Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad, reportedly after being admitted with COVID-19.
Magufuli’s position remains odd in East Africa, where Uganda’s President Museveni and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta have set the pace in Africa, with tough measures to control the pandemic. The two neighboring countries have undergone months of a complete lock-down, with mask use promoted extensively by the government.
Uganda’s Museveni has twice been to Tanzania in the past six months, and on both occasions, while he wore a mask, Magufuli and his entire cabinet, were mask-less.
Garissa Senator and Chair of the Building Bridges Initiative Taskforce Yusuf Haji is dead, the family confirmed.
Haji, 80, died at a hospital in Nairobi on Monday morning.
According to family members, the senator has flown from abroad a fortnight ago and later admitted to Aga Khan hospital, in Nairobi where he died while receiving treatment.
Haji was a known peacemaker mostly working on reconciliation efforts between warring clans.
Haji was a long-time administrator who served in various areas including the vast Rift valley between 1970 and 1998.
He was nominated to Parliament in 2002. And in 2007, he was elected to Parliament unopposed as Ijara MP.
He was the Minister of Defence of Kenya from 2008 to 2013 and briefly served as its acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs in 2012. He has served in the Senate of Kenya from 2013 until his death.