President John Maguful, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the first vice president of Tanzania’s autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, and William Kijazi
Chief Secretary of the State
Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who drew widespread criticism for his denialism of the coronavirus pandemic, has died only five months after he won a second term in a disputed election. He was 61.
“We have lost our courageous leader, President John Magufuli, who has died from a heart illness,” Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on state television on Wednesday. She announced 14 days of national mourning.
Nicknamed ‘The Bulldozer’ for his aggressive leadership style, Magufuli won early praise for tackling corruption, reducing wasteful government spending and improving the lives of peasant farmers by waiving dozens of taxes. He also spearheaded the development of new transport links, power plants and more than 1,700 health centers, investments that helped Tanzania’s economy become one of the world’s top performers.
Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the first vice president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, has died at the age of 77, after falling ill with the coronavirus.
He had been in the hospital since Feb. 9, Zanzibari President Hussein Mwinyi said on national TV, without revealing the cause of death.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has declared the East African nation free of Covid-19. He has shunned lockdowns, discouraged the use of face masks and banned the release of infection data since April, making Tanzania the only country in the world, besides insular North Korea, that doesn’t release the statistics.
“I am saddened by the news of Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad’s death,” Magufuli said on Twitter.
Chief Secretary of the State, Ambassador John William Kijazi was the second high-ranking official in Tanzania to die on Wednesday after Maalim Seif Sharif (first VP of Zanzibar) died in the morning as announced by President John Magufuli.
“The President of the United Republic of Tanzania is saddened to announce the death of Chief Secretary Ambassador John William Kijazi that occured 17th February, 2021,” reads in part a brief statement issued by the Presidents communications office.
Kijazi had been receiving treatment at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH) in the capital Dodoma.
Funeral preparations are to be announced at a later date.