Tanzania’s President Magufuli dies after coronavirus rumours

John Magufuli, the Tanzanian President has died at the age of 61, BBC reports.

The country’s vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who made the annoucement in an address on state television said, he died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.  

Recall that Magufuli had not been seen in public for over two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health.

Opposition politicians said last week that he had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed.

The late Tanzanian President was one of Africa’s most prominent COVID-19 sceptics, and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus.

“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.

According to her, there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half mast.

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Following the Tanzania’s constitution, Ms Hassan will be sworn in as the new president and should serve the remainder of Magufuli’s five-year team which he began last year.

While people were wandering about the absence of Magufuli who was last seen in public on 27 February, but Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa insisted last week that the president was “healthy and working hard”.

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