President John Magufuli of Tanzania dies at 61

President John Magufuli of Tanzania has died of heart failure at age 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu announced on Wednesday.

Tanzania's State House has shared a picture of President John Magufuli exchanging a foot greeting with opposition politician Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad to prevent spread of coronavirus 
Tanzania’s State House has shared a picture of President John Magufuli exchanging a foot greeting with opposition politician Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad to prevent spread of coronavirus

“Our beloved President passed at 7 p.m. this evening,” Suhuhu said on national television.

“All flags will be flown at half-mast for 14 days. It is sad news. The president has had this illness for the past 10 years.”

He said President Magufuli died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city.

Magufuli had not been seen in public since the end of February.

Government officials had repeatedly denied he was in ill health even as rumors mounted that he was possibly incapacitated.

The AP noted that “Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent deniers of COVID-19. He had said last year that Tanzania had eradicated the disease through three days of national prayer.”

Tanzania has not reported its COVID-19 tallies of confirmed cases and deaths to African health authorities since April 2020.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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