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Tanzania’s President dies after Covid rumours

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«It is with great regret that I inform you that today, 17 March 2021, at 18:00, we have lost our courageous leader, President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania,» in a televised address on Thursday night said Samia Suluhu Hassan , Tanzania’s Vice President.

This comes after weeks of speculation and the suspicion that he had been hospitalized for Covid-19. Hassan said that Magufuli was hospitalized on March 6 at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute.

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has not been seen in public for 18 days and rumours have spread that he was ill. The speculation had led to several arrests, as the government sought to contain the rumours.

On Tuesday, the opposition leader from the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT Wazalendo) issued a statement demanding Magufuli’s whereabouts. The party also called for the release of all citizens who have been arrested.

Tanzania’s main opposition leader Tundu Lissu, who is exiled in Belgium, said, citing sources that Magufuli was gravely ill from Covid-19, exacerbated by underlying health conditions.

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