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Magufuli nowhere to be seen at Moi’s Farewell

By Silas Nyamweya | February 11th 2020

Tanzania\'s president was once again missing in action in what is considered a significant event in Kenya, one of the East African countries.

At today\'s highly colorful funeral event graced over by the host, President Uhuru Kenyatta, more than ten heads of state and dignitaries were present, and some gave their condolences.

Among those who attended today\'s ceremony include Rwanda\'s president Paul Kagame, Uganda\'s Yoweri Museveni, Djibouti\'s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, South Sudan\'s Salva Kiir, and Ethiopia\'s President Sahle-Work Zewde. Others who were in attendance include former presidents of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete, Nigeria\'s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and President Brahim Ghali, and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

It is not clear why Magufuli failed to attend today\'s event, although Kenya\'s interior ministry confirms to have invited him over for the same.

Since he was elected president in 2015, Magufuli, rarely travels out of the country, a policy which he defends as part of austerity measures.

He has been on record several times that the reason why he skips foreign travels is to save money.

In 2018, Magufuli failed to attend the Blue Economy Conference that was held in Nairobi despite the meetings significant to Africa and the world at large. Other key international events previously held in Nairobi and skipped by President John Magufuli include the 10th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference and the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) both held in Nairobi in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

However, Magufuli has, in the past, refuted bad blood between Kenya and Tanzania.

During his two-day official visit in Kenya in 2016, President John Magufuli refuted assertions that the relationship between Kenya and Tanzania was strained.

During a joint state briefing at the state house, Nairobi, Magufuli said

\"Our people are one. In Kenya, we have the Maasai people as well as Tanzania; I doubt they care about the borders that exist between the two countries,\" adding that \"let it be known that we communicate with President Uhuru Kenyatta and that we are brothers. Our main goal is to put our people\'s interests first.\"

Nonetheless, unlike in the past where Magufuli could send representatives to such events, former Tanzanian presidents Mkapa and Kikwete did not clarify whether they had come on the official capacity to represent Magufuli.

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