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We missed chance to meet him: Bagisu curse the day former Tanzanian president Magufuli died

It is about two months since former Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli died, sending shockwaves across the country and region.

The people the late Magufuli loved most, the Tanzanians, still mourn his untimely death, but they are not alone. Other people who still mourn the late Tanzanian leader are the Bamasaaba (Bagisu) of Mbale district in eastern Uganda.

But why do people of Mbale still mourn Magufuli? A wife of a top politician in Mbale City told this news website that at the time of his death, Magufuli and others were planning to visit Mbale for a traditional marriage ceremony locally known as Khukhwa.

The organisers of the function had told the locals that Magufuli was among the guests to come and therefore the locals would get a glimpse of the then popular East African leader. But that chance never came as death robbed the world of Magufuli who was keen in elevating the welfare of a common Tanzanian.

“A nephew of ours who hails from Mbale but his mother is Tanzanian works in the Finance department of Tanzania’s State House and had a close working relationship with Magufuli. Our nephew was to come with the late Magufuli to pay dowry to the family of his girlfriend, who also hails from Mbale,” said a lady who was involved in the planning of the ceremony before Magufuli died.

The lady added  that their nephew had wanted to first pay the official visit (Khukyeniya) to the family of his girlfriend but that Magufuli insisted that they come officially to Mbale to pay dowry, reasoning that another man could marry off his trusted staff’s girlfriend if the dowry was not done fast.

“We were shocked when we heard of president Magufuli’s death. All plans came to a standstill,” a gentleman who was also involved in planning the traditional marriage ceremony said, adding that they had booked Mbale City’s Cricket Grounds for the occasion where they hoped President Museveni would also attend alongside his then Tanzanian counterpart.

The of Mbale especially also were dealt a blow because had Magufuli not died, he would be the second African president to come to Uganda not for a state visit, but a marriage ceremony; like did South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who came to Kampala in May 2019 for a traditional marriage ceremony where his son married the daughter of former Ugandan Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

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