Tanzania's President John Magufuli who denied existence of COVID-19 dies at 61

By Lokmat English Desk | Published: March 18, 2021 03:16 PM2021-03-18T15:16:39+5:302021-03-18T15:17:50+5:30

Tanzania's President John Magufuli, one of Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptics, has died aged 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu ...

Tanzania's President John Magufuli who denied existence of COVID-19 dies at 61 | Tanzania's President John Magufuli who denied existence of COVID-19 dies at 61

Tanzania's President John Magufuli who denied existence of COVID-19 dies at 61

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Tanzania's President John Magufuli, one of Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptics, has died aged 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Wednesday after a more than two-week absence from public life that led to speculation about his health. She said he died from the heart disease that had plagued him for a decade. She said burial arrangements were under way and announced 14 days of mourning and the flying of flags at half staff. State television broadcast mournful and religious songs. Magufuli, had not been seen in public since Feb. 27, sparking rumours that he had contracted Covid-19. 

Officials denied on March 12 that he had fallen ill and on Monday the vice president urged Tanzanians not to listen to rumours from outside the country and said it was normal for a human being to be checked for the flu or fever.. “Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart disease at Mzena hospital in Dares Salaam where he was getting treatment," the vice president said on state broadcaster TBC. He was Tanzania's first president to die while in office. He was nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for his fondness for massive public works and a reputation for pushing through policies despite opposition – a hard-charging leadership style that won support from many Tanzanians. But he also attracted criticism at home and abroad for what opponents saw as his eccentric handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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