Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli [photo: Kenya Today]
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a 7 day period of national mourning. He also declared that the flag of the East African Community and the flag of Kenya be flagged at half-mast on all public grounds. This, as a symbol of mourning the death of Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli.
Uhuru said, “In testimony of the high esteem in which the people of Kenya hold President John Pombe Magufuli, the Republic of Kenya will observe a period of seven days of national mourning.”
Speaking earlier today, the President said the Kenyan government stands firm with Tanzania during this challenging time.
In his condolence message, the President described the late Tanzanian President as an illustrious leader and a champion of pan-Africanism.
He said, “Magufuli was a champion of Pan-Africanism. I have lost a friend and an ally. Africa and the world have lost a leader who steered the EAC and the continent.”
He sympathized with Magufuli’s family, friends, Tanzania and East Africa at large. He said, “On behalf of the government and people of Kenya I convey our sincere condolences to the First Lady of Tanzania, Janet Magufuli.”
Announcement of death
His death was confirmed by the country’s Vice-president Samia Suluhu in a televised announcement. Ms Suluhu said that Magufuli was admitted at a Dar es Salaam hospital receiving treatment from a heart specialist.
She added that Magufuli died on Wednesday evening.
She said, “With deep shock, we announce that today, March 17, 2021, at around 6pm, we lost our great leader and President of the United Republic of Tanzania, HE Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli due to heart complications at the Muzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam.”
She added, “Plans for the funeral are underway. Our country will be in mourning for 14 days and our flags will fly half mast.”
International leaders mourn Magufuli
International leaders across the world are mourning the death of Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli.
In Somalia, President Mohamed Farmajo sent his condolences to the Tanzanias and the family of the late President.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also sent his condolences and said the country stands in solidarity with Tanzania.
The US State Department expressed condoled with Tanzanians and said it now hopes that Tanzania can move forward on a democratic and prosperous path.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was sorry to hear of President Magufuli’s death.
The President died of heart complications, shortly before midnight on Wednesday, at the age of 61.
Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan will now be sworn in and lead for the rest of the President’s term.
The government has declared a 14-day mourning period.