Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli has died of heart disease at the age of 61.
Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced Magufuli’s death yesterday saying the Tanzanian leader died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.
“Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart disease at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,” the vice president said on state broadcaster TBC.
According to a Reuters report, Hassan announced that Magufuli was admitted on March 6 to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute for heart problems and discharged the next day. A week later he felt bad and was rushed to Mzena hospital where he was getting treatment under supervision of doctors from the cardiac institute.
She also announced 14 days of mourning and the flying of flags at half-mast. Hassan added that burial arrangement for the departed leader are underway.
The announcement came amid speculation about Magufuli’s health following his absence from public life for two weeks. There were claims that he had contracted COVID-19 but Tanzanian officials refuted the reports on March 12.
Magufuli is Tanzania’s first president to die while in office.