- The President of the United Republic John Magfuli (61) of Tanzania passed away on March 17.
- The official reason for his death is Chronic atrial fibrillation, the unofficial reason believed by many is COVID-19.
- African Tourism Board Chairman Cuthbert Ncube issues statement.
The President of Tanzania, His Excellency John Magufuli ,died today, March 17, in a Dar es Salaam hospital. The official reason for his death was released by Vice President Hassan: “Chronic atrial fibrillation, a condition.” The unofficial reason is COVID-19.
The President has not been seen in public since February 24. He made headlines in denying COVID-19, made it illegal for doctors to use a COVID-related explanation for a death certificate, and reopened the travel and tourism industry in Tanzania without big restrictions.
The President was a swift denier of COVID saying: “Vaccines are not good. Prayers are better.”
Late President John Magufuli also said in January that Tanzania did not need a coronavirus lockdown because God would protect his people along with homespun precautions such as steam inhalation were better than dangerous foreign vaccines.
COVID-19 numbers were not reported to WHO, and the country was declared by the late President as not having a coronavirus issue.
For many weeks, the rumor on social media is that the President was sick with COVID-19 and was fighting for his life.
He died today on March 17, followed by 14 days of national mourning where flags will fly at half staff. Tanzania has more than 60 million people.
Under Tanzania’s constitution, Samia Hassan Suluhu, 61, will become the East African nation’s president. She will be the first female president, and she is from Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous province where travel and tourism is playing a major role for the economy. Hassan will finish the remainder of the presidential term until next elections are held in 2025.
Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board, said in a statement by the organization:
“It is with deepest sympathy to learn of the passing away of the President of Tanzania. He was one of the champions in accelerating the AU agenda on Africa’s independence and self actualization from colonial rule. One of the bravest leaders who stood for what he believes in, his passing is a blow to continental economic progress as we have noted Tanzania’s economy growing by 4% while the continental economies lost more than 20%.
The African Tourism Board (ATB) has collaborated and is working with the Minister of Tourism in rebranding Africa as the tourist destination of choice to all citizens of our global communities.”
John Pombe Joseph Magufuli was a Tanzanian politician who served as the fifth President of Tanzania from 2015 until his death in 2021. He served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications from 2000 to 2005 and 2010 to 2015 and was Chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019 to 2020.
He was born October 29, 1959 and is survived by his wife Janet and his 2 children Jessica and Joseph.