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HomeLive StreamTanzania’s president John Magufuli dies aged 61 following heart complications

Tanzania’s president John Magufuli dies aged 61 following heart complications

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President John Magufuli of Tanzania has died at the age of 61.

Mr Magufuli’s death was announced on Wednesday by Vice President Samia Suluhu, who said the president died of heart failure.

“Our beloved president passed on at 6 pm this evening,” said Mr Suluhu 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.”

Mr Magufuli was a prominent Covid-19 sceptic in Africa whose populist rule often cast his East African country in a harsh international spotlight.

The vice president said that Mr Magufuli died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, the Indian Ocean port that is Tanzania’s largest city.

Although the vice president said the cause of Mr Magufuli’s death was heart failure, opposition politicians had earlier alleged that he was sick from Covid-19.

Mr Magufuli had not been seen in public since the end of February and top government officials had denied that he was in ill health even as rumours swirled online that he was sick and possibly incapacitated from illness.

Mr 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.

But the number of deaths of people experiencing breathing problems reportedly grew and earlier this month the US embassy warned of a significant increase in the number of Covid cases in Tanzania since January.

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