“President John Magufuli died of a heart ailment that he has battled for over 10 years,” Samia Suluhu Hassan mentioned.

She added that the president had been receiving therapy at Mzena hospital since Sunday, and introduced 14 days of nationwide mourning.

Hassan is now the performing president of Tanzania. While a date for her swearing-in has not but been introduced, she will likely be Tanzania’s first feminine president.

After days of hypothesis that Magufuli was ailing with Covid-19, the nation’s Prime Minister dispelled the rumors final week. Magufuli, who normally made weekly public appearances at Sunday church providers, had not been seen since February 27, fueling stories that he was ailing and was being handled overseas.

Kassim Majaliwa mentioned he was shocked folks have been questioning the president’s whereabouts, including that the chief was “fine and continuing with his daily activities,” as he spoke throughout a Friday prayer session at a mosque within the nation’s Njombe area, in response to state broadcaster Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

Covid denials

Magufuli was one of Africa’s most distinguished Covid skeptics.

Early on within the pandemic, Magufuli dismissed the seriousness of coronavirus in Tanzania, urging his residents to “pray coronavirus away,” believing the “satanic virus can’t live in the body of Jesus Christ,” and blaming the rising quantity of optimistic circumstances on defective check kits.

In June, he claimed his nation had eradicated coronavirus “by the grace of God,” questioned the security of international Covid-19 vaccines and made no plan to acquire any pictures for his nation, as a substitute pushing for the use of natural medication and steam therapies.

Tanzania hasn’t reported Covid-19 figures since April 2020, prompting the World Health Organization to name for Tanzania to publish information on the coronavirus and ramp up public well being measures.

Last month, the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam warned that Covid-19 circumstances had been surging since January.

”The Bulldozer’

Known as “The Bulldozer” for his robust stance towards corruption and for his hardline insurance policies, Magufuli swept to victory in October 2015 as Tanzania’s fifth president.

But pleasure over Magufuli’s intolerance for corruption was shortlived as he started a clampdown on democracy and significant voices.

Magufuli oversaw closures and suspensions of quite a few media retailers, whereas his authorities undermined judicial and parliamentary independence, carried out a partial ban on public rallies, harassed MPs, closed on-line political area, and prosecuted critics below defamation and sedition legal guidelines.

In June 2017 Magufuli introduced that pregnant college students wouldn’t be allowed to return to high school after giving delivery.

“In my administration as the President no pregnant girl will go back to school… she has chosen that of kind life, let her take care of the child,” he mentioned at a public rally in 2017.

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Tributes to a populist chief

As information of the president’s dying emerged, opposition chief Zitto Kabwe provided his condolences to Magufuli’s household. “This is an unprecedented moment for our United Republic of Tanzania, and one that will undoubtedly move us all in very personal ways,” the chief of the ACT-Wazalendo social gathering mentioned in an announcement. “My immediate thoughts are with Mama Janeth, and the whole family of our deceased President.”

He additionally provided “blessings, courage and patience” for Hassan. “My fellow Tanzanians, let us continue to pray for patience and understanding. This is a moment to show our maturity and integrity as a nation,” Kabwe added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the primary world leaders to precise their sympathy on the dying of Magufuli. “My thoughts are with his loved ones and the people of Tanzania,” he wrote in a publish on Twitter.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta paid his respects to Magufuli in a televised deal with Thursday morning and declared a seven-day interval of nationwide mourning in Kenya.

“Africa and the world has lost an illustrious leader whose vision, passion and immense leadership propelled the nation of Tanzania forward… in the passing on of President Magufuli, I have lost a friend, a colleague and a visionary ally whom I worked closely, particularly on our commitment to forge lasting bonds between Kenya and Tanzania,” he mentioned.

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