TB Joshua steals limelight at Tanzania inauguration

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Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014.

Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014.

WEB_PHOTO_TBJOSHUA_05112015

Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014.

Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014.

JOHANNESBURG - As Tanzania prepares for the swearing-in ceremony of its new president John Magufuli on Thursday, one of the most honoured guests appears to be Nigerian pastor TB Joshua.

Joshua arrived in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday and was immediately welcomed by the three most prominent men in the country: Magufuli, outgoing president Jakaya Kikwete and the head of the opposition and former prime minister, Edward Lowassa.

Nigerian websites are reporting that Magufuli has a long history with Joshua, having travelled to his church, the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, in 2011.
It was Joshua who encouraged his presidential ambitions.

Lowassa himself is a supporter, having visited the church in 2012.

Joshua is considered controversial in South Africa following the collapse of a guesthouse at his church in 2014, when 85 South Africans were killed.

Supporters of Tanzania&39;s President elect John Pombe Magufuli cheer him at the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) party&39;s sub-head office on Lumumba road in Dar es Salaam, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Emmanuel Herman

While it has been speculated that the collapse was caused by shoddy building work - a Nigerian coroner has ruled the church be investigated for failing to seek approval to erect the building – the church has blamed a mysterious plane flying in the vicinity.

South African president Jacob Zuma, meanwhile, has arrived in Tanzania for the inauguration.