President John Magufuli of Tanzania is Dead, Opposition Claims his Death Was COVID-19 Related

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President John Magufuli of Tanzania is Dead, Opposition Claims his Death Was COVID-19 Related
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

President John Magufuli of Tanzania has died aged 61, the country’s Vice-President disclosed.

Magafuli reportedly died on Wednesday from heart-related complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, the Vice-President, Samia Suluhu Hassan said in an address on state television.

The President had not made a public appearance for more than a fortnight, and speculations were rife about his state of health.

Last week, opposition politicians claimed he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, but this has not been confirmed, BBC reports.

In his announcement, Hassan said, “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.”

She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half-mast.

Magufuli became president on his 56th birthday in October 2015. He was elected for a second term following a disputed poll in 2020.

He was one of Africa’s most prominent coronavirus sceptics and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus.

Since May, Tanzania has not published details of its coronavirus cases, and the government has refused to purchase vaccines.

Despite not making a public appearance since 27 February, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, last week insisted that the president was “healthy and working hard”.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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