John Magufuli, president of Tanzania, is dead - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

John Magufuli, president of Tanzania, is dead

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By Our Correspondent



The Tanzanian government has announced the death of President John Magufuli.

Samia Suluhu Hassan, vice-president of Tanzania, confirmed his death in a live television broadcast on Wednesday evening.

According to Hassan, the president died of heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, former capital of Tanzania.

Prior to his demise, there had been concerns over his whereabouts considering his absence from the public since late February.

Although there were reports at the time that he was sick, the Tanzanian government had dismissed rumours that the late president had been infected with the coronavirus.

Magafuli had repeatedly denied the existence of the virus in Tanzania, and in February 2021, he had called for prayers to defeat “respiratory diseases”.

Under his watch, Tanzania had stopped publishing records of its coronavirus cases, weeks after announcing its first infection in March 2020.
 
In May 2020, the president had expressed worry over the validity of results using test kits, after claiming that a goat and pawpaw tested positive for the virus.

However, in February 2021, the government had asked citizens to ensure adherence to the non-pharmaceutical interventions for preventing spread, such as wearing of face masks.

The directive came after Seif Hamad, vice-president of Zanzibar, died weeks after he reportedly contracted the coronavirus — Zanzibar is a part of Tanzania, but with its own government.

Magafuli’s death comes four months after he was elected to a second term in office in November 2020 — he won over 80 percent of the total votes against Tundu Lissu, his main rival.
 
He was 61 at the time of his death