John Pombe Magufuli, Tanzania president is dead
The Tanzanian government has announced the death of President John Pombe Magufuli
In a live television broadcast on Wednesday evening, Tanzania’s vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, announced his death.
Hassan reports that the president died of heart problems in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s former capital.
Concerns about his whereabouts had been raised prior to his death, given his absence from the public eye since late February.
Despite rumors that he was ill at the time, the Tanzanian government denied claims that the late president had been infected with the coronavirus.
Recall that John Pombe Magufuli had previously disputed the virus’s presence, claiming that it could be healed with prayers in certain cases.
Tanzania had stopped publishing reports of its coronavirus cases under his leadership only weeks after reporting the first infection in March 2020.
After alleging that a goat and pawpaw tested positive for the virus in May 2020, the president expressed skepticism about the authenticity of test kit findings.
However, months after the index case was registered, the government instructed people to follow non-pharmaceutical measures such as wearing face masks.
In November 2020, Magafuli was re-elected to a second term in office, defeating his key challenger, Tundu Lissu, with over 80% of the vote.
At the time of his death, he was 61 years old.
# Tanzania president, John Pombe Magufuli is dead
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