Tanzanian President John Magufuli Has Died
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has died from reported heart complications following two weeks where the status of his health was unknown.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has died at the age of 61. The head-of-state was reportedly receiving treatment at a hospital in Dar es Salaam where he allegedly succumbed to a heart condition. The news was confirmed recently by the country's Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan on state television.
President Magufuli's death comes after a two-week absence from the public which began February 27th. There were countless rumours about the status of Magufuli's health and rampant speculation that he had in fact contracted COVID-19. Several opposition leaders called on the Tanzanian government to account for the president's distinct absence, according to Aljazeera. However, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa responded by saying that Magufuli was healthy and "hard at work".
Magufuli was notably vocal about his anti-COVID-19 and vaccine sentiments. Tanzania has had comparably less preventive COVID-19 measures with Magufuli having publicly declared that the East African nation was free of of COVID-19 following prayer. Magufuli announced, "I believe, and I'm certain that many Tanzanians believe, the corona disease has been eliminated by God." The country currently has 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 20 deaths. However, these figures are a gross underrepresentation of the country's reality as new information has not been shared since May of last year.
According to TimesLIVE, Hassan is set to take over as president for the remainder of Magufuli's second 5-year term which he assumed last year. This would make Hassan the first woman president ever of Tanzania.
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