John Magufuli: Tanzania's president dies aged 61 after health rumours

John Magufuli: Tanzania's president dies aged 61 after health rumours

BBC·2021-03-18 06:00

image copyrightAFP

image captionThe 61-year-old president died from heart complications on Wednesday

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has died aged 61, the country's vice-president has announced.

He died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Samia Suluhu Hassan said in an address on state television.

Mr Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health.

Opposition politicians said last week that he had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed.

"It is with deep regret that I inform you that today... we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli," Vice-President Hassan said in the announcement.

She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half mast.

Obituary: Tanzania's 'bulldozer' president John Magufuli

Mr Magufuli was declared president on his 56th birthday in October 2015. He was elected for a second term following a disputed poll last year.

He was one of Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptics, and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus.

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Africa

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