Tanzania’s head of state dies aged 61 in the middle of Covid rumours

Tanzania’s controversial head of state John Magufuli has passed away aged 61, the country’s vice head of state confirmed on Wednesday, greater than two weeks after he was last seen in public.

Samia Suluhu Hassan claimed in a state TV address that Mr Magufuli passed away from heart issues at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, concerning 270 miles east of Tanzania capital Dodoma.

” It is with deep remorse that I notify you that today … we lost our brave leader, the head of state of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli,” Ms Hassan included.

Speculation had been swarming in East Africa as well as among resistance politicians in Tanzania that Mr Magufuli, a Covid sceptic, had actually passed away from the fatal disease, although this has not been confirmed.

Mr Magufuli was last seen in public at an occasion in Dar es Salaam on 27 February by an opposition leader that prompted the government to tell the public concerning the head of state’s alleged problem, stating citizens had the right to learn about his health and wellness.

Some Tanzanians told Reuters on condition of anonymity that fear and also anxiety had prevailed in the country due to the unknown condition of the president.

Over the weekend, police arrested 4 individuals for supposedly spreading false information regarding the health issues of politicians.

Nicknamed “The Bulldozer,” Mr Magufuli was a previous chemistry professor from the village of Chato in northwest Tanzania, that rose the political ladder quickly after winning a parliament seat in 1995.

Elected president in 2015, he had actually been accused by Western nations as well as opposition parties of eroding democracy, which he denied.

Mr Magufuli was elected momentarily term in 2020 amidst opposition allegations of fraudulence and intimidation.

He was an active Covid sceptic and knocked measures to stop the spread of the virus and classified vaccines as a Western conspiracy theory.

Vice-president Hassan stated there would be 14 days of national mourning as well as flags would fly at half-mast to mark Mr Magufuli’s fatality.

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