President John Pombe Magufuli passed on March 17 evening, his hitherto vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan announced on Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) late Wednesday night.
Although Magufuli, 61, was a Covid19 skeptic who recommended prayers and herbal potions for those suffering the viral respiratory disease, Vice President Hassan said the president had succumbed to heart complications.
Magufuli had suffered the chronic atrial fibrillation heart condition for over a decade.
On March 06, Magufuli sought medical treatment at Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute.
He showed signs of improvement and doctors discharged him.
But the president’s medical team rushed him to hospital on March 14 after he felt unwell.
He passed on March 17 at 6pm.
Speculation that Magufuli had contracted Covid19 has dominated global news headlines after the head-of-state was last seen in public at the close of February.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa said Magufuli was in office working.
“Tanzanians should be at peace. Your president is around, thanks for voting strongly for him recently. He is healthy, working hard, planning for the country. To spread rumors that he is sick is just an outcome of hate,” Majaliwa said.
But opposition leader Tundu Lissu insists Magufuli died of Covid19.
“Magufuli died of corona,” Lissu told KTN from Belgium. “President Magufuli did not wear a face mask. He actually denigrated anyone who wore face masks. He did not believe in vaccines, he did not believe in science.”
Claiming his sources had confided in him that Covid19 had ended Magufuli’s life, Lissu added: “”He placed his faith in faith healers and herbal concoctions of dubious medical value. And what has happened, happened. He went down with corona.”