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Why was Covid so deadly for African Leaders?
Failing healthcare system or something else?
Could Covid have been used as an excuse to bump off political rivals in third world countries? Or perhaps they were removed by foreign powers looking for regime change. For example in March 2020, 12 Iranian politicians and officials died from Covid including a member of the clerical body that appoints the supreme leader, Ayatollah Hashem Bathayi Golpayegni. Admittedly, Golpayegni was 78 but Ali Reza Zali, who was leading the campaign against the Covid outbreak, acknowledged that many of those who died were otherwise healthy.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) produced a short analysis in 2021 looking at why so many African leaders died of COVID-19. They estimated that the average minister was a 60.5 year old male and that the fatality rate in the general population for this demographic was 0.17%. However, amongst worldwide ministers and heads of states this figure was 0.6% which was heavily skewed by Africa with a fatality rate of 1.33%.
Why, when Africa was barely affected by Covid, were African leaders and ministers disproportionality killed by the disease?
The BMJ found that between 6 February 2020 and 6 February 2021, Covid claimed the lives of 24 national ministers and heads of states around the world. For some reason this didn’t include the Iranian deaths above but putting that aside, 17 of those 24 deaths occurred in Africa.
There was nothing special or different about the demographic of African ministers, “if anything, the African leaders who succumbed to COVID-19 were slightly younger than their seven counterparts on other continents”.
Five suggestions were given as to why the death rate could be so much higher.
More comorbidities. However, no evidence of this was uncovered;
Poor healthcare. You would think of all the people in Africa, the leaders of the nation would have access to the best healthcare around;
General mortality in Africa was higher than reported. This was challenged by the WHO;
African ministers work environments are busier and, therefore, they are more prone to the circulation of the virus. Even the BMJ say this is a weak hypothesis;
50% of the African deaths occurred in Southern Africa and the majority after the more transmissible ‘South African’ variant was reported.
Or was it something else?
Not included in the report, due to it happening at the time it was published, was the death of another African leader, John Magufuli. Magufuli was president of Tanzania and died in March 2021, aged 61.
The Tanzanian leader had gone missing for two weeks before his death was announced even though the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, had insisted that the president was “healthy and working hard”. The media speculated that he was in hospital with Covid but when the vice-president, Samia Suluhu announced his death, she said he had died of heart failure.
From the very start, Mr. Magufuli had been a Covid sceptic. The Guardian’s obituary even called him “Tanzania’s Covid-denying president”. He had said how well Tanzania’s economy would do because they weren’t locking down and causing huge harm.
Just over two weeks before his disappearance, the Guardian published an opinion piece titled “It’s time for Africa to rein in Tanzania’s anti-vaxxer president.” The article was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.
Mr. Magufuli, who had trained as a Chemistry teacher, first saw through the Covid scam when he realised the false positives produced by PCR tests. He sampled a goat, sheep and even a pawpaw fruit, assigned them human names and ages, sent them off for analysis and all came back with a positive Covid test result.
As a result, the president said “There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation”. At the time of his death, only 21 Tanzanians had died and the president said the country was “Covid-free”. However, the country had stopped testing and recording deaths as ‘with Covid’ so we can’t be sure if this was correct or not.
Masks were laughed at and the government’s advice was to “improve personal hygiene, wash hands with running water and soap, use handkerchiefs, herbal steam, exercise, eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water, and [use] natural remedies that our nation is endowed with”. Whilst in the West, we were told to stop exercising and sit indoors worrying.
The Tanzanian president had also refused to buy “dangerous” foreign vaccines, instead choosing “herbal remedies”. However, even though Western media said this “herbal remedy” lacked scientific evidence, it was in fact made from Artemisia, a plant from Madagascar, shown to fight SARS-CoV-2.
Artemisia is used against malaria and has shown anti-inflammatory effects, including inhibition of interleukin-6 that plays a key role in the development of severe COVID-19. Furthermore, it has been shown to inhibit the viruses invasion and replication, as well as reducing oxidative stress and inflammation and mitigating lung damage. The plant also contains zinc, gallium and selenium, as well as having an antiviral effect.
The week before the president disappeared, ten prominent Tanzanians, including the former Bank of Tanzania Governor, all died from suspected Covid. This led to the WHO calling upon Tanzania to take “robust action”. The president suggested citizens should wear masks but reiterated that the country would not impose a lockdown.
A million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine were ordered and a vaccination drive was put in place. A Covid task force was setup, masks had to be worn and lockdowns were enacted.
Pierre Nkurunziza - President of Burundi
President Nkurunziza died unexpectedly, after a short stay in hospital, aged 55 in June 2020. Again, it was suspected that he had Covid but the official reason given for his death was a heart attack.
A month earlier in May 2020, the president had refused to introduce any social distancing or lockdown rules. After the WHO questioned the country’s Covid statistics, Burundi expelled WHO’s coronavirus team and declared them persona non grata for interfering with pandemic management.
On 30th June, new president Evariste Ndayishimiye announced that Covid was Burundi’s biggest enemy and to fight it required “strict compliance with the barrier measures that the Ministry of Health will now display everywhere across the country”.
In April 2020, the high court in Malawi stopped the government from implementing a national lockdown. This had been initiated by a civil society group which challenged president Peter Mutharika who wanted a lockdown to save 50,000 Malawian lives. To date 2,686 Malawians have died with Covid.
However, in January 2021, a number of government ministers died including Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Lingson Belekanyama; Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Ernest Kantcheche; Transport Minister, Sidik Mia and Foreign Minister, Sibusiso Moyo (the former army general who ousted Mugabe).
Subsequently, the president used these deaths to stress the importance of new restrictions.
As well as the deaths above, which highlight how Covid deaths were used to change Covid policies in their respective countries, other Covid deaths included:
Ambrose Dlamini, Prime Minister of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland);
Christian Myekeni Ntshangase, Minister of Public Service in Eswatini;
Makhosi Vilakait, Minister in Eswatini;
Mahmoud Jibril, former Libyan Prime Minister and part of rebel government that overthrew Gaddafi;
Pierre Buyoya, former Burundi president who died in Paris and had just been sentenced to life imprisonment in Burundi over the assassination of his successor, Melchior Ndadye;
Khalif Mumin Tohow, Justice Minister of Somalia. This was the second Covid death in Somalia;
Sekou Kourouma, Chief of Staff to Guinean President Alpha Conde;
Amadou Salif Kebe, Head of Guinea’s electoral commission;
Victor Traore, Director of Guinea’s Interpol bureau;
Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari;
Mohamed Ben Omar, founder of the Nigerien Social Democratic Party which allied with the President of Nigeria’s party;
Mahamane Jean Padonou, 2016 Nigerian presidential candidate and special advisor to President Issoufou;
Ismail Gamadiid, Minister of Climate Change in Somalia;
Perrance Shiri, part of the Cabinet of Zimbabwe and cousin of Mugabe;
Ellen Gwaradzimba, Minister of State in Zimbabwe;
Sibusiso Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Zimbabwe, noted for announcing the ousting of Mugabe;
Joel Biggie Matiza, Minister in Zimbabwe and on the US sanctions list;
Jackson Mthembu, Minister in South Africa. A medical helicopter transporting his doctor crashed, killing all 5 on board, the same day Mthembu died;
Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, founding member of Senegal’s ruling party;
Hasan al-Lawzi, Minister of Information in Yemen.
The list could go on and on.
I’m not saying that any of these people were taken out by the WHO or some international organisation that wanted lockdowns or to sell more vaccines. But what I am saying is that, in less transparent countries, Covid provided the perfect cover to get rid of a political opponent or undergo some type of regime or agenda change.
We have seen in the West how politicised the pandemic became and how politicians used the situation to their advantage as much as possible. Unfortunately for many of those Western politicians, killing people you don’t agree with is a little bit harder and more likely to get you put behind bars.
But in many third world countries, including the ones listed above in Africa, this happens a lot. And normally papers such as the Guardian would be rightly outraged. They would claim a coup had taken place or a political assassination.
However, many of the people who would normally be reporting and getting outraged about these deaths joined the cult of Covid. Suddenly, instead of investigating what happened, the political victor only had to write “maybe died of Covid” and Western media just reported “So sad, Covid is so terrible, if only they had been vaccinated”.
I’m sure some of the aforementioned deaths were due to some respiratory virus but maybe now that some ‘journalists’ are coming out of their Covid-induced reporting comas, they will start investigating whether all these politicians really died from Covid or were politically assassinated. The fact that African leaders were almost 8 times more likely to die from Covid than the general population might give them a clue.
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