Tanzania’s vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan has announced the passing of its President John Magufuli.
“It is with deep regret that I inform you that today… we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli,” VP Samia said, adding that 14 days of national mourning would be observed and flags would fly at half-mast to honour the president.
According to BBC, President John Magufuli who was aged 61 years died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, from heart complications, two weeks after he had not been seen in public and rumours concerning his health had begun circulating as opposition leader Tundu Lissu said his sources informed him that the president had contracted Covid-19 and was being treated in Kenya.
However, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa maintained that the president was “healthy and working hard”, blaming the rumours on “hateful” Tanzanians in diaspora.
Since May, Tanzania has not revealed its coronavirus cases while its government has rejected acquiring vaccines since John Magufuli announced the country “Covid-19 free” in June 2020, showing doubts about the potency of wearing masks and getting tested, BBC reports.
Following the president’s passing, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan will serve the rest of John Magufuli’s five-year term, which he began last year, as the new president.