29 October 1959 – 17 March 2021President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania.
The news of the passing of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli’s death came as a shock last night to many Africans across the world. But was his death sudden? Was he ill? What happened to him?
Until his death last night, Wednesday 17th March 2021, Mr Magufuli served as the fifth President of Tanzania from 2015. He served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications from 2000 to 2005 and 2010 to 2015, during which he was nicknamed bulldozer for his rallying against mining companies. He was also chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019 to 2020.
He was one of Africa’s respected leaders and has been the president of Tanzania since 2015. A scientist, with his major in Chemistry and Mathematics from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1988. Earning also his masters and doctorate degrees in chemistry from the University of Dar es Salaam, in 1994 and 2009, respectively. In late 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Dodoma for improving the economy of the country.
Last year, the President raised dust with his scepticism of the legitimacy of the hype that was levied on the covid19 pandemic. He controversially was said to have sent to the lab supposed covid samples from – papaya, goat and many inanimate objects for testing. All of which came back with results – some were said to have come back positive, some negative and some inconclusive. After the incident, he decided to stop all covid protocols in the country, including ending all lock downs, mask-wearing and recording of cases and death from the virus. He was then branded covi19 denier.
There have been several speculations already flying about on social media about his death. His scepticism brought about media speculations around his health began following his disappearance from the public on February 27. Since then, it has been speculated that he was receiving treatment in a Kenyan hospital in Nairobi after contracting COVID-19.
However, the government is adamantly refuting such stories. According to the official news released to the media last night, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, said Magufuli had been hospitalised at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute since March 6.
She said the president died at 6 pm at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam. Mr Magufuli died of heart problems after 10 years of suffering from chronic atrial fibrillation. The briefing confirmed.
The government has also confirmed that the country would begin a 14-day national mourning with flags flying at half-mast. Also, according to the constitution of Tanzania, should the president become gravely ill or dies, the Vice President automatically takes charge. Therefore on the passing of Mr Magufuli, 61-year-old Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has now taken over as the president of the country. Making her the first female president in the southern Africa.