By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus - In an address on state television, Tanzania's Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, announced the death of President John Pombe Magufuli - who died on Wednesday 17th March from heart complications at a hospital in Dar-es-Salaam.
Accordingly, Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health.
Opposition politicians said last week that he had contracted COVID-19, but this has not been confirmed.
Magufuli was one of Africa's most prominent Coronavirus skeptics and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus.
"It is with deep regret that I inform you that today... we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli," Vice-President Hassan said in the announcement.
She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half-mast.
Besides, according to Tanzania's Constitution, Hassan is to be sworn in as the new president and should serve the remainder of Magufuli's five-year team which he began last year.
Although Magufuli had last been seen in public on 27th February, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa insisted last week that the president was “healthy and working hard.”
Magufuli will be remembered for his aggressive stance on Tanzania's development, being the president in office when Tanzania attained its middle-income status, and also his no-nonsense stance on corruption.
May his soul Rest in Peace.