“Been since morning trying to solve this #TBJoshua puzzle… no success so far”, wrote Evarist Chahali, a Tanzanian social media activist on Twitter. “Did he decide not to turn up for the inauguration or was he asked not to after photos emerged showing him with Lowassa?”
Lowassa took to his verified Twitter account to acknowledge Joshua’s presence and thank him for bringing ‘God’s guidance’.
“I appreciate the great honour the servant of God, T.B. Joshua, gave to me by coming to my home to discuss the affairs of the nation and pray with my family,” he wrote in Swahili.
It was the first public statement the CHADEMA presidential candidate had made on social media since his rival was declared the winner of the hotly contested elections.
Lowassa’s wife Regina similarly broke her silence on social media by tweeting about Joshua’s visit to their home. “I am very grateful for the presence of T.B. Joshua, God’s servant, in my house,” she wrote. “We have received comfort and God’s blessings.”
On Wednesday 4th November 2015, Joshua held a long meeting with prominent UKAWA leaders, the coalition of opposition parties that tried to topple the ruling CCM party from power.
His prolonged meetings with Lowassa and his colleagues have given credence to the notion that Joshua’s main intention for visiting Tanzania was to bring a message of reconciliation and peace in the wake of the disputed elections.
“If TB Joshua was in it for the publicity, he would have sat in the limelight with the likes of Magufuli, Mugabe, Zuma, Kenyatta and the rest of them at today’s ceremony,” wrote one commentator on a Tanzanian blog. “But he’s not a materially-minded pastor; I know his main concern is peace and stability for our nation.”
Both Lowassa and Tanzania’s new President Magufuli are friends of the Nigerian ‘Prophet’, having visited him in Nigeria several years ago.
Ihechukwu Njoku – freelance Nigerian journalist