Tanzanian President John Magufuli is dead,opposition claims he died of coronavirus complication
- March 18, 2021
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The death of the President of Tanzania’s John Magufuli has been announced he was aged 61.
The country’s vice-president made the announcement in the nation’s capital Dar es Salaam.
He died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Samia Suluhu Hassan said in an address on state television.
“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,” Vice-President Hassan said in the announcement.
Rumors of President Magufuli’s ill health went viral following his absence from public functions for more than two weeks.
Opposition politicians said last week that he had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed, BBC reports.
Magufuli was declared president on his 56th birthday in October 2015. He was elected for a second term following a disputed poll last year.
He was one of Africa’s most prominent coronavirus skeptics 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.
Magufuli was last seen in public on 27 February.
Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan who made the announcement said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half-mast.