Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, 61, has passed away, according to the country’s vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan.
She stated, “President John Magufuli died of a heart ailment that he has battled for over 10 years,” adding that Magufuli had been receiving treatment at Mzena hospital since Sunday (March 14). Hassan is now the acting president, and she will be Tanzania’s first female president.
Magufuli had not been seen since February 27, and there were rumors circulating that he contracted COVID-19. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa dispelled the rumors last week, stating that the president was “healthy and working hard.”
When Covid-19 arrived in Tanzania, Magufuli urged citizens to pray the virus away, stating, “Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ… It will burn instantly.” Tanzania has not published details of its coronavirus cases since May, and the government has refused to purchase vaccines. The World Health Organization has called on Tanzania to publish data on the coronavirus in the country and ramp up public health measures.