President Paul Kagame has paid tribute to the fallen Tanzanian President, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, pointing out that his contribution to the country and the region will always be remembered.
The Head of State joined other African and global leaders mourning the passing of the Tanzanian leader, announced on Wednesday, March 18, after he succumbed to heart complications.
“We are saddened by the loss of my brother and friend, President Magufuli. His contribution to his country & to our region will not be forgotten,” President Kagame tweeted.
“My deepest condolences to his family and the people of Tanzania. The people of Rwanda stand with Tanzania during this difficult time,” he added.
The passing of Dr. Magufuli, 61, was announced by the Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has announced on Wednesday evening, in a televised speech on the Tanzanian Broadcasting Service (TBC).
The Vice President announced that that President Magufuli died of a heart condition on March 17, 2021, at about 6pm at Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was admitted on March 14.
Other East African Community including President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also the chairperson of the regional, in his message of condolence eulogised Magufuli as a friend and a pan-Africanist.
“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 said.
“On behalf of the government and people of Kenya I convey our sincere condolences to the First Lady of Tanzania, Janet Magufuli,” added President Kenyatta.
The Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is the interim Head of State, said Magufuli was first briefly admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on March 6, but was subsequently discharged.
But he was rushed to hospital again on March 14 after feeling unwell. She announced that the nation will observe a 14-day period of mourning.
President 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 by the government.
She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half mast.
Magufuli came into power in October 2015 for his first term, replacing Jakaya Kikwete. He was elected for a second term in a disputed poll last year. His stance on the new Coronavirus drew global attention.