Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was forced to momentarily stop his speech during the late President John Pombe Magufuli’s memorial service in Tanzania on Monday, March 22.
Uhuru was invited to address the gathering, and a few minutes into his speech, a nearby mosque began a call for the Islamic midday prayer known as Salat al-zuhr.
Both Kenyatta’s voice and the Muslim cleric’s rented the air and in a show of respect, the President observed silence until the prayer was completed.
As he resumed his speech, he again had to keep silent as the mourners gave thunderous applause in recognition of the kind gesture.
President Kenyatta’s action was a demonstration of his knowledge about culture and religion, earning him regards from the Islam community.
“Much respect for our President Uhuru Kenyatta who has kept silent as the adhan goes off during the live transmission of the farewell ceremony for the late President John Magufuli in Dodoma. High regard and understanding culture,” former PS Fatuma Hirsi stated.
While eulogising the late president, the Head of State said, “I mourn a close friend. His death is a blow to me personally. We spoke almost daily, and I consulted him frequently on EAC matters. He showed the world that Africa can be independent.”
Kenyatta also encouraged the new President Samia Suluhu, to take up her new role with courage, adding a biblical reference to Moses and Joshua.
“Like Joshua was told…do not be afraid. Be courageous because the Lord is with you all the time,” he said.
The burial for the late president is scheduled to take place on March 26, 2021, in his native home in Chato District in Geita region.