While his COVID-19 policies have dominated media coverage regarding his disappearance and suspicious death, Tanzania’s John Magufuli was hated by the Western elites for much more than his rebuke of lockdowns and mask mandates. In particular, his efforts towards nationalizing the country’s mineral wealth threatened to deprive the West of control over resources deemed essential to the new green economy.

Less than 2 weeks ago, Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan delivered the news that her country’s president, John Pombe Magufuli, had died of heart failure. President Magufuli had been described as missing since the end of February, with several anti-government parties circulating stories that he had fallen ill with COVID-19. During his presidency, Magufuli had consistently challenged neocolonialism in Tanzania, whether it manifested through the exploitation of his country’s natural resources by predatory multinationals or the West’s influence over his country’s food supply. 

In the months leading up to his death, Magufuli had become better known and particularly demonized in the West for opposing the authority of international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) in determining his government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. However, Magufuli had spurned many of the same interests and organizations angered by his response to COVID for years, having kicked out Bill Gates-funded trials of genetically-modified crops and more recently angering some of the most powerful mining companies in the West, companies with ties to the World Economic Forum and the Forum’s efforts to guide the course of the 4th industrial revolution.

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