Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

UPDATED: President Magufuli dead at 61

A corporate coup has removed Tanzania’s “Covid denying president”, and nobody should be surprised.

OffGuardian | March 18, 2021

UPDATE 19/03/21 – Tanzania’s vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been officially sworn in as the new President. Details.

After weeks of being out of the public eye, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has died age 61, according to the country’s Vice President.

The global press are reporting the death of Tanzania’s “Covid denying President” with barely disguised glee.

The official cause of death is rumoured to be a heart attack, but some are implying it may have been due to the virus. The Economist, for example reports:

“Many believe the virus was to blame.”

As if what “many believe” really means anything.

However it happened – whether virus or heart attack or, ahem, “suicide” – the long and short of it is that Magufuli is gone. Just as we predicted only a few days ago.

So what now for the East African nation? Well presumably Magufuli’s successor – be it the Vice-President, or a hastily elected new leader (perhaps the head of the opposition, given so many column inches in recent weeks) – will take the reins of the country.

Will they continue their predecessor’s “Covid denying” policies? I would be astounded.

If what happened in Burundi last summer is any guide, the Tanzanian Covid approach will be totally reversed within a day or two of the President dying.

As the Council on Foreign Relations reported, only last week:

“… a bold figure within the ruling party could capitalize on the current episode to begin to reverse course.”

Expect that “Bold Figure” to rise to prominence very soon, and receive the kind of glowing write-ups in the Western press, that only their hand-picked men ever get.

Bloomberg is already reporting that:

Tanzania’s Next Leader to Face Predecessor’s Covid Denialism

And that:

New leader must decide whether to change course on Covid-19

The Covid reversals have actually already begun, they were being put in place even before the President was reported dead, with WHO spokespeople praising Tanzania’s “new position” on Covid as early as March 12th.

The “new position” will likely be enforced with industrial blackmail. Bloomberg reports:

“Magufuli spearheaded a major infrastructure investment drive, and pending decisions on whether to proceed with several mega-projects will now fall to his successor.”

It’s not hard to see the obvious financial threat here. “Change your Covid position, or foreign investors will pull out of your infrastructure projects”.

Plus, there are the former President’s plans to part-nationalise the mining industry, which his successor may well be forced to halt, for fear of “alienating international investors”:

The nation’s new leader will also need to decide whether to run the risk of alienating international investors and press ahead with controversial mining reforms that Magufuli said were needed to ensure the nation derives greater benefit from its natural resources.

It seems fairly obvious there’s been a major powerplay in Tanzania, a soft coup using business in place of bullets. But what do you think?

  1. What will President Magufuli’s successor do now?
  2. Will the WHO be invited back into the country?
  3. Will they start mass testing?
  4. Will Tanzania’s “hidden pandemic” suddenly come to light?
  5. Did Magufuli really die of natural causes?
  6. For those of you who answered yes to question 5, would you like to buy a bridge?

*

UPDATE 19/03: As of this morning (the 19th) Magufuli’s Vice-President has been officially sworn in as his successor. Samia Suluhu Hassan, who was part educated in Britain, is the countries first female President, which the Western press are naturally all over.

In her inauguration speech, she called upon the country to “come together” and warned this was “not a time for pointing fingers”, demonstrating she’s aware of how suspicious this transition of power appears, and how tenuous her grip on power will be in these early days of replacing a very popular leader.

Remember yesterday when we predicted “glowing write-ups” for Magufuli’s successor?

Well, she’s being described as a “conciliator” in the press, which is Western journalism talk for “someone who will do as they are told”. Human Rights Watch has predicted Tanzania will experience a “revival of democracy” under her leadership, and The Guardian is already reporting:

“DaMina Advisors, a political risk advisory firm, predicted the new president was likely to make a public U-turn on her predecessor’s policy of Covid denial and his generally negative attitudes toward foreign investors.”

It really couldn’t be more obvious what has happened here.

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Tanzania – The second Covid coup?

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | March 12, 2021

John Magufuli, President of Tanzania, has disappeared. He’s not been seen in public for several weeks, and speculation is building as to where he might be.

The opposition has, at various times, accused the President of being hospitalised with “Covid19”, either in Kenya or India, although there remains no evidence this is the case.

To add some context, John Magufuli is one of the “Covid denier” heads of state from Africa.

He famously had his office submit five unlabelled samples for testing – goat, motor oil, papaya, quail and jackfruit – and when four came back positive and one “inconclusive”, he banned the testing kits and called for an investigation into their origin and manufacture.

In the past, he has also questioned the safety and efficacy of the supposed “covid vaccines”, and has not permitted their use in Tanzania.

In the Western press Magufuli has been portrayed as “anti-science” and “populist”, but it is not fair to suggest that the health of the people of Tanzania is a low priority for the President. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

After winning his first election in 2015 he slashed government salaries (including his own) in order to increase funding for hospitals and buying AIDs medication. In 2015 he cancelled the Independence Day celebrations and used the money to launch an anti-Cholera campaign. Healthcare has been one of his administration’s top priorities, and Tanzanian life expectancy has increased every year while he has been in office.

The negative coverage of President Magufuli is a very recent phenomenon. Early in his Presidency he even received glowing write-ups from the Western press and Soros-backed think tanks, praising his reforms and calling him an “example” to other African nations.

All that changed when he spoke out about Covid being hoax.

When he was re-elected in October 2020 the standard Western accusations of “voter suppression” and “electoral fraud” appeared in the Western press which had previously reported his approval rating as high as 96%.

And the anti-Magufuli campaign increased momentum in the new year, with Mike “we lied, we cheated, we stole” Pompeo initiating sanctions against Tanzanian government officials as one of his final acts as Secretary of State. The sanctions were notionally due to “electoral irregularities”, but the obvious reality is that it’s due to Tanzania’s refusal to toe the Covid line.

Just last month, The Guardian, always the tip of the spear when it comes to “progressive” regime change ran an article headlined:

“It’s time for Africa to rein in Tanzania’s anti-vaxxer president”

The article makes no mention of goats, papaya and motor oil testing positive for the coronavirus, but does ask – in a very non-partisan, journalistic way:

“What is wrong with President John Magufuli? Many people in and outside Tanzania are asking this question.”

Before going on to conclude:

“Magufuli [is] fuelling anti-vaxxers as the pandemic and its new variants continue to play out. He needs to be challenged openly and directly. To look on indifferently exposes millions of people in Tanzania and across Africa’s great lakes region – as well as communities across the world – to this deadly and devastating virus.”

The author doesn’t say exactly how Magufuli should be “challenged openly and directly”, but that’s not what these articles are for. They exist simply to paint the subject as a villain, and create a climate where “something must be done”. What that “something” is – and, indeed, whether or not it is legal – are none of the Guardian-reading public’s business, and most of them don’t really care.

Oh, by the by, the article is part of the Guardian’s “Global Development” section, which is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Just so you know.

So, within two weeks of The Guardian publishing a Gates-sponsored article calling for something to be done about President Magufuli, he has disappeared, allegedly due to Covid. Funny how that works out.

Even if Magufuli miraculously survives his bout of “suspected Covid19”, the writing is on the wall for his political career. The Council on Foreign Relations published this article just yesterday, which goes to great lengths arguing that the President has lost all authority, and concludes:

“… a bold figure within the ruling party could capitalize on the current episode to begin to reverse course.”

It’s not hard to read the subtext there, if you can even call it “subtext” at all.

If we are about to see the sudden death and/or replacement of the President of Tanzania, he will not be the first African head of state to suffer such a fate in the age of Covid.

Last summer Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of Burundi, refused to play along with Covid and instructed the WHO delegation to leave his country… before dying suddenly of a “heart attack” or “suspected Covid19”. His successor immediately reversed every single one of his Covid policies, including inviting the WHO back to the country.

That was our first Covid coup, and it looks like Tanzania could well be next.

If I were the President of Turkmenistan or Belarus, I wouldn’t be making any longterm plans.

March 12, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada enables Barrick’s bad corporate behaviour

By Yves Engler · August 3, 2017

Will the Canadian government continue to support Barrick Gold’s exploitation of mineral resources in Tanzania no matter what abuses the company commits?

Would the Trudeau government stop backing the Toronto-based firm if it bilked the impoverished nation out of $10 billion? Or, what if one thousand people were raped and seriously injured by Barrick security? Would Ottawa withdraw its support if one hundred Tanzanians were killed at its mines?

Barrick’s African subsidiary, Acacia Mining, is embroiled in a major political conflict in the east African nation. With growing evidence of its failure to pay royalties and tax, Acacia has been condemned by the president, had its exports restricted and slapped with a massive tax bill.

In May a government panel concluded that Acacia significantly under-reported the percentage of gold and copper in mineral sand concentrates it exported. The next month a government commission concluded that foreign mining firms’ failure to declare revenues had cost Tanzania $100 billion. According to the research, from 1998 to March 2017 the Tanzanian government lost between 68.6 trillion and 108.5 trillion shillings in revenue from mineral concentrates.

The controversy over Barrick’s exports led President John Magufuli to fire the minister of mining and the board of the Minerals Audit Agency. Tanzania’s parliament has also voted to review mining contracts and to block companies from pursuing the country in international trade tribunals.

While the political battle over royalty payments grows, human rights violations continue unabated at Barrick’s North Mara mine. A recent MiningWatch fact-finding mission discovered that “new cases have come to light of serious un-remedied harm related to encounters between victims and mine security and police who guard the mine under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the companies involved and the Tanzanian Police Force. New cases documented in June 2017 include: loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, broken bones, internal injuries, children hit by flying blast rocks, and by teargas grenades thrown by mine security as they chase so-called intruders into the nearby villages. As in past years, villagers reported severe debilitating beatings, commonly with gun butts and wooden batons. Some are seriously wounded by teargas ‘bombs,’ or by so-called rubber bullets. Others are shot, including from behind. As in past years there were a number of deaths.”

At least 22 people have been killed and 69 injured near or at the North Mara mine since 2014. Most of the victims were impoverished villagers who scratch rocks for tiny bits of gold and who often mined these territories prior to Barrick’s arrival. An early 2016 government report found security and police paid by Barrick had killed 65 people and injured 270 at North Mara since 2006. Tanzanian human rights groups estimate as many 300 mine-related deaths and the Financial Times reports that not a single police officer or security guard working for the company has been killed on duty.

Amidst the violence at North Mara and an escalating battle over unpaid tax, Canada’s High Commissioner set up a meeting between Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton and President Magufuli. After accompanying Barrick’s head to the encounter in Dar es Salaam Ian Myles told the press:

Canada is very proud that it expects all its companies to respect the highest standards, fairness and respect for laws and corporate social responsibility. We know that Barrick is very much committed to those values.

Appointed by Trudeau last year, Myles – whose “passion for international development began” when he was 17, according to a University of Toronto profile – took a page out of Stephen Harper’s playbook. During a 2007 trip to Chile the former prime minister responded to protests against various ecological and human rights abuses at the firm’s Pascua Lama project by saying: “Barrick follows Canadian standards of corporate social responsibility.”

A Tanzania Business Ethics columnist was not happy with the High Commissioner’s intervention. In response, Samantha Cole wrote:

It is so insulting that these Canadians and British still think they can trick us with their fancy nonsense ‘spin’ politics and dishonesty. What values is Barrick committed to? Have our nation not witnessed with our own eyes killings? rape? arson and burning our homes? destruction to our environment? poison in our water? corruption? fraud? hundreds of legal cases with local Tanzanian companies who are abused, bullied and suffer? and the list goes on. What ‘values’ is Ambassador Myles boasting about? How dishonest and unethical to stand there and lie about values. He should rather say NOTHING because every country where Barrick operates has a long, long list of illegal activities and crimes.

Disregarding its election promise, the Trudeau government is openly throwing this country’s diplomatic weight behind Canada’s most controversial mining company in the country where it has committed its worst abuses. When asked about Canada’s massive international mining industry during the election the party responded:

The Liberal Party of Canada shares Canadians’ concerns about the actions of some Canadian mining companies operating overseas and has long been fighting for transparency, accountability and sustainability in the mining sector.

The Liberals’ statement included explicit support for An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries, which would have withheld some diplomatic and financial support from companies found responsible for significant abuses abroad. Similarly, the Liberals released a letter about the mining sector during the 2015 election that noted, “a Liberal government will set up an independent ombudsman office to advice Canadian companies, consider complaints made against them and investigate those complaints where it is deemed warranted.”

Nearly two years into their mandate the Trudeau regime has yet to follow through on any of their promises to rein in Canada’s controversial international mining sector. In fact, the Liberals have largely continued Harper’s aggressive support for mining companies.

If they are prepared to openly back Barrick in Tanzania one wonders what exactly a firm would have to do to lose Trudeau’s support?

August 3, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

US Media: Simple Tricks to Provide Distorted Picture of Political Reality

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 25.04.2017

How biased are the US media, really? This is a frequently asked question. The answer is – they are biased very much and they know how to instill the vision of things in a quiet and unobtrusive way. Here is an example to prove the point.

«Defense Secretary Mattis Arrives at Only US Base in Africa» reads the Voice of America’s headline on April 23. «Only US Base in Africa»? It’s hard to believe one’s eyes but that’s what it says. This is a good example of what is called «inaccurate reporting», to put it mildly. Probably, some people will call it outright distortion because anyone who knows the first thing about military matters knows it has nothing to do with reality.

Suffice it to take a cursory look at the US military presence on the continent. Guess who is spending $100 million to build a new drone base in Niger? What about a “cooperative security location” in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which provides surveillance and intelligence over the entire Sahel?

In recent years, the US Army has rolled out an extensive network of over 60 outposts and access points in at least 34 African countries – more than 60 percent of the nations on the continent. To compare, the US has only 50 diplomatic missions in Africa.

In his 2015 article for TomDispatch.com, Nick Turse, disclosed the existence of an «America’s empire» comprising dozens of US military installations in Africa, besides Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. These numerous cooperative security locations (CSLs), forward operating locations (FOLs) and other outposts have been built by the US in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. The US military also has had access to locations in Algeria, Botswana, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Zambia and other countries.

According to a rough guide of foreign bases in Africa, the US military uses Garoua airport in northern Cameroon as a drone base for operations in northeastern Nigeria. It houses Predator drones and some 300 US soldiers. Predator and Reaper drones are based in Ndjamena, the capital of Chad. In Kenia, the military uses Camp Simba in Manda Bay as a base for naval personnel and Green Berets. It also houses armed drones for operations in Somalia and Yemen. In Niger, the American armed forces use Agadez, capable of handling large transport aircraft and armed Reaper drones. The base covers the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. US special operations forces (SOF) use compounds in Kismayo and Baledogle in Somalia. A drone base is operated on the island of Victoria, the Seychelles. PC-12 surveillance aircraft operate from Entebbe airport, Uganda.

At least 1,700 special operations forces (SOF) are deployed across 33 African nations at any given time supported by planes and drones. In 2006, just 1% of commandos sent overseas were deployed in the US Africa Command area of operations. In 2016, 17.26% of all US SOF – Navy SEALs and Green Berets among them deployed abroad were sent to Africa. They utilize nearly 20 different programs and activities – from training exercises to security cooperation engagements – these included Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, among others.

Drone warfare is a special case as the vehicles are carrying out combat missions in peacetime. The full scope of the US unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) program has long been shrouded from view. Only sketchy details emerge off and on about individual drone strikes. The US African Unified Command (AFRICOM) is known to operate at least nine UAV bases in Africa located in Djibouti, the Seychelles, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Niger, Burkina Faso and Cameroon.

Housing 4,000 military and civilian personnel, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, is the hub of a network of American drone bases in Africa. It is used for aerial strikes at insurgents in Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as exercising control over the Bab-el-Mandeb strait – a strategic maritime waterway linking the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean through the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. In 2014, America signed a new 20-year lease on the base with the Djiboutian government, and committed over $1.4 billion to modernize and expand the facility in the years to come.

Unlike other installations, the Djibouti base is called a permanent facility. Not the only facility on the continent but the only «permanent» base. The US military uses the terms Main Operating Base (MOB), Forward Operating Site (FOS) and Cooperative Security Location (CSL). Camp Lemonnier is a MOB. The difference is the size of the presence and the scale of operations a facility is designed for. The terms used do not change the essence – the US uses a vast array of military installations in Africa and the presence keeps on growing. Temporary and permanent facilities are hard to distinguish – you sign an agreement and operate a facility as long as you need it. It’s just a play of words without any effect on substance. For instance, US forces are reported to be deployed in Europe on «rotational basis» or temporarily under the pretext of participation in exercises. Every army unit has an operational cycle, which inevitably includes various stages in training. From time to time, they leave home bases and rotate, moving from one location to another. All military career paths presuppose rotation. Using this or that term does not change the reality – US forces are constantly stationed near Russia’s borders on whatever «basis» it takes place.

It’s not only the increasing number military facilities in Africa and elsewhere. The Donald Trump administration is considering a military proposal that would designate various undeclared battlefields worldwide to be «temporary areas of active hostility». If approved, the measure would give military commanders the same latitude to launch strikes, raids and campaigns against enemy forces for up to six months that they possess in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. No top level permission will be required anymore. The authority could be pre-delegated to Defense Secretary James Mattis on extremely sensitive operations. It could be pushed down all the way down to the head of the Joint Special Operations Command for raids or drone strikes against pre-approved targets. If a high-value target is spotted, a force can move into action without wasting time.

How all these activities jibe with the pre-election promise «A Trump administration will never ever put the interest of a foreign country before the interest of our country. From now on, it’s going to be America first» is an open question. Looks like the whole «black continent» has become an area of vital interests for the United States. But reading the media headlines one gets the impression that it’s just «one base» on the huge continent. Not a big thing from point of view of expenditure and the extent of dangerous involvement in faraway conflicts that have no relation whatsoever to the national security, a reader may say. The lesson is – take what the media tell you with a grain of salt, never at face value. It would stand everyone in good stead.

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel

PressTVGlobalNews | February 12, 2013

Press TV’s documentary program “Tanzania’s shift toward Israel” Looks at how Nyerere’s policies of supporting the oppressed and the Palestinian cause have been abandoned in Tanzania in favor of economic diplomacy advocated by the West.

Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel (I)

Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel (II)

Follow our Facebook on: https://www.facebook.com/presstvchannel
Follow our Twitter on: http://twitter.com/presstv
Follow our Tumblr on: http://presstvchannel.tumblr.com

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Tanzanian Villagers Pay for Biofuel Investment Disaster

 Oakland Institute | September 25, 2012

Oakland, CA — A new brief from the Oakland Institute examining the case of now defunct UK-based Sun Biofuels project in Tanzania shows how the “development” dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when a country hands over its future welfare and development to foreign investors, unaccountable to anyone.

Sun Biofuels secured a concession for 8,211 hectares and started operations in 2009 in the Kisarawe District.The land acquired by the company was collectively held forest and bush land that belonged to 11 villages and was essential to the livelihoods of thousands of rural Tanzanians. Two years into the project, the company declared bankruptcy and dismissed the 600 employees it had hired locally. Sun Biofuels had promised employment for 1,500 people, infrastructure development, hospitals, roads, and more in exchange for the land it needed to grow jatropha.

Based on field work conducted by Oakland Institute Fellow Mikael Bergius in early 2012, the brief shows the dire situation people are in because of the bankruptcy. People have lost their land and their supply of fresh water as well as access to essential natural resources, while the promises of development and better life never materialized. In 2011, what was left of Sun Biofuels was acquired by 30 Degrees East, an investment company registered in the tax haven of Mauritius. At the time of our field research, the project had not resumed. The new company only employed 35 staff, mostly security guards, who ban villagers from accessing their land and natural resources.

Detailing the detrimental impact of the project, both prior to and after the bankruptcy, the brief dispels myths of how foreign investment in agriculture will bring development and food security.

The Sun Biofuels case is a powerful cautionary tale for the four million peasant families in Tanzania whose livelihoods rely on small-scale farming, and who stand threatened by plans to develop large-scale commercial agriculture under the “kilimo kwanza” initiative (agriculture first), which has been touted as the way forward to promote food security and economic growth by the current government.

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment