President Museveni has dispatched Uganda’s ambassador to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero to represent him during the state funeral of the late President John Pombe Magufuli.
ChimpReports understands Kabonero arrived in Dodoma on Sunday ahead of today’s ceremony.
Other leaders attending the function include DR Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi and Malawi’s Lazarus Chakwera.
Kabonero has been working closely with Tanzania on the implementation of the East African oil pipeline project and exploration of gas in Tanzania by Ugandan and Tanzanian scientists which Magufuli supported.
Museveni last week described Magufuli as a patriot who could not tolerate corruption and the meddling of outside countries into the affairs of Tanzania.
“It is therefore a great shock that such a useful leader has died so early when he was beginning to make an impact on his country,” he said.
Magufuli was admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute in Dar Es Salaam on March 6, where he was treated for chronic atrial fibrillation, a heart condition he had suffered for more than 10 years.
He had been discharged before being admitted again on March 14 after feeling unwell.
Government officials had insisted Magufuli was healthy and going about his business despite reports showing he was gravely ill.
Museveni directed all flags be flown at half-mast until the day of the funeral.
He said Tanzania is a very important country in the history of Africa considering its support for anti-colonial movements in Africa.
Museveni added that on the account of the good leadership of the patriotic leader Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Tanzania became a base of all the freedom fighters in Africa.
He said in Uganda, Tanzania did not let Ugandans down when fighting Idi Amin and that support was extended by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in 1985 to Uganda.
“In Tanzania, Mwalimu played a huge role in uniting the people of the country, including the use of Kiswahili as a common language and that is why Tanzania is peaceful for many years,” he said.
Magufuli rise to power
Museveni said when the Late Magufuli came to power he had a lot of enthusiasm for Mwalimu’s thinking of Unity and Patriotism.
“He did not want Tanzania to be dictated to by external forces…very allergic to external meddling,” he noted.
He added that Magufuli was also very enthusiastic on the East African Federation.
Mr. Museveni also pointed out that President Magufuli never entertained foreign travel, a move that made the country save a lot of funds he used in very many projects including that of the Airlines.
“One of the things he did, which we should learn from him was to stop foreign travel by the parasitic civil servants who are always squandering scarce resources by travelling abroad,” he said.
The President recalled that he last talked to the late Tanzanian leader on the day of the East African Summit.
Magufuli was later represented by his Vice President at the virtual conference.