Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has died at the age of 61, the government announced on Wednesday.
Speculation had been rife about his possible infection with the coronavirus.
Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, Magufuli had downplayed the severity of the virus. At one point, he made fun of the country’s coronavirus testing facilities, saying he had secretly sent samples of papaya and goat and that they came out positive. Though he never provided proof of that claim, he warned that those results could mean that people were getting false positive results.
Shortly afterward, Tanzania stopped sharing updates on the number of people infected and killed due to COVID-19. The country’s last coronavirus figures were given in May last year. At that time, 509 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus and 29 had died.
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has passed on.
Magufuli’s death was announced by Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu on Wednesday.
Speaking in a televised address, Vice President Suluhu said President Magufuli had been diagnosed with chronic atrial fibrillation, a disease he has battled for over 10 years.
Tanzania begins 14 days of mourning.
Funeral arrangements will be announced soon. Zackgh.com still following this news to update you.