• February 1, 2023

Tanzanian President John Magufuli Has Died. He Had Not Been Seen Since February : NPR

Tanzanian President John Magufuli (center) arrives to address a stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania, in August. Magufuli’s death was announced on Wednesday. He was 61. Ericky Boniphace / AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Ericky Boniphace / AFP via Getty Images

Tanzanian President John Magufuli (center) arrives at a stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania, in August. Magufuli’s death was announced on Wednesday. He was 61 years old.

Ericky Boniphace / AFP via Getty Images

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has died at the age of 61. The news was announced on state television on Wednesday by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who said the cause of death was heart failure.

Magufuli was a prominent skeptic of the coronavirus. He had not been seen publicly since late February, leading to speculation that he was sick and possibly incapacitated.

He claimed Tanzania eradicated COVID-19 through three days of prayer last year, The Associated Press reported. He downplayed the pandemic and denounced vaccines as a Western conspiracy against Africans.

Tanzania has not updated its COVID-19 cases or deaths since May, but a doctor in Dar es Salaam said the BBC that there has been a significant increase in the admission of patients with respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19 over the past two months.

Magufuli’s main political rival, Tundu Lissu, has claimed the president suffered from COVID-19. Lissu said on Wednesday: “This is a president, his opposition to COVID-19, his attempts to cover it up, his relentless refusal to take action to fight the pandemic that has turned its nose on the world, any international or regional cooperation refused to deal with COVID-19 and now he’s going down with COVID-19 – that’s poetic justice to me. “

Magufuli, a former chemistry teacher, was first elected to the presidency in 2015. Critics said he moved the land towards authoritarianismwhile others praised his previous struggles against corruption.

Lissu called Magufuli a tyrant but said Tanzania would be better after him because “he was so evident in his oppression, because his actions hurt so many people. I think if we speak the language of reform … people will.” know what we’re talking about. “

A diplomatically phrased one Explanation Last month Donald Wright, the US Ambassador to Tanzania, urged governments to provide the World Health Organization with accurate and timely information on the number of cases in their countries.

The US State Department said on Wednesday: “We offer our condolences to the Tanzanians who mourn the death of President John Pombe Magufuli. We will continue to work with the Tanzanian government to improve relations between the American and Tanzanian people The United States remains determined to move on. ” We hope that Tanzania can follow a democratic and prosperous path. ”

Jack

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