Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has died at the age of 61.
The death of President Magufuli was officially announced on Wednesday night by Vice President Samia Suluhu.
Suluhu, in a televised address, said Magufuli died of heart complications and the country would commence 14 days of national mourning for the fallen leader.
Samia Suluhu. PHOTO/COURTESY
The strongman, according to the VP, died at Zena Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
On March 6 President Magufuli was taken to Jakaya Kikwete Heart Hospital and later released but on March 14 he was rushed to Zena Hospital for urgent medical attention, according to the Vice President.
Taarifa ya Kifo Cha Rais Wa Jamhuri Ya Muungano Wa Tanzania pic.twitter.com/LNi5CtoURm— Samia Suluhu (@SuluhuSamia) March 17, 2021
According to the VP, Magufuli died from Chronic atrial fibrillation at 6pm on Wednesday after suffering from the disease for more than 15 years, even as many believe he passed on due to complications relating to Covid-19.
She said funeral arrangements will be made public in due course, even as all flags will fly at half mast in the East African nation for the 14-day official period of mourning.
The late Magufuli was condemned by many, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) failing to initiate measures to protect Tanzanians from Covid-19 pandemic, after he declared the country "Corona-free" last year and refused to lock down the country.
Magufuli was to later half-heartedly admit that the country was being ravaged by Coronavirus after more than 10 senior state officials died due to what was believed to be complications linked to Covid-19.
Last week, it was rumoured he had been flown to a Nairobi hospital for urgent treatment after he reportedly developed complications from the virus, with exiled opposition leader Tundu Lissu laying credence to the claims also reported cautiously by Kenyan media.