Following the death of Magafuli, Vice-President Samia Hassan (l) is set to be sworn in as president

Following the death of Magafuli, Vice-President Samia Hassan (l) is set to be sworn in as president


Tanzania’s VP to be sworn-in as President world mourns Pres. Magafuli

Tributes have been rolling in with respect to the death of Tanzannia’s President, John Magafuli on Wednesday. Magafuli’s death from suspected COVID-19 complications has also caused a shift as his Vice, Madam Samia Suluhu Hassan will be sworn in as the new president and should serve the remainder of Mr Magufuli’s five-year team which he began last year, according to the constitution.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has eulogised President John Magufuli as a “pragmatic leader who believed in and worked for the economic empowerment of East Africans”.

“We join Tanzania in mourning the passing of a great son of Africa,” he tweeted.

Kenya called off football friendly with Tanzania. The country’s football federation cancelled a friendly match against Tanzania that was scheduled to be played on Thursday in the capital, Nairobi.

Coach Jacob Mulee, in a morning radio show, said the match was called off following the death of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

He did not indicate if it had been postponed to a later day.

The friendly match was part of Kenya’s preparation for Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Egypt and Togo scheduled for later this month.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his “deep sadness” on the death of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

In a statement, President Ramaphosa said he had spoken to Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan “to express condolences in his personal capacity and on behalf of all South Africans”.

“South Africa is united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania as they go through this difficult moment,” he said.

Meanwhile, a past video of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli telling people that they would remember him once he was gone has surfaced on social media.

“One day you will remember me… I know one day you will remember me, not for bad things but for the good deeds… because I have sacrificed my life for the poor in Tanzania,” President Magufuli says in the video.

The Tanzanian president died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, according to an announcement by Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan on state television.

Ms Hassan will be the sixth president of Tanzania and the second from the country’s semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar.

After taking the oath of office, she will consult with her ruling CCM party to nominate a vice-president.

According to the constitution, since she hails from Zanzibar, her deputy is required to come from the mainland.

The nominee must be confirmed by a minimum of 50% of MPs.

Should Ms Hassan stay on as president for three years or more, the law states that she will be allowed to run for the presidency only once.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says he’s learned “with profound sorrow” and sadness the death of Tanzania President John Magufuli.

He has conveyed his condolences to widow Janet Magufuli, the government and people of Tanzania.

President Kenyatta said Mr Magufuli was a champion of pan-Africanism.

“I have lost a friend, colleague and visionary ally,” he said.

Mr Kenyatta, who is the current chairman of the East African Community, has declared a seven-day period of national mourning in Kenya.

He said the flag of the East African Community and Kenya’s flag would be flown at half-mast throughout Kenya and all its diplomatic missions abroad until sunset on the day of Mr Magufuli’s funeral.

Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu lives in exile in BelgiumImage caption: Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu lives in exile in Belgium

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has said President John Magufuli’s death has offered an opportunity to “chart a new course and step back from the brink of disaster”.

Speaking to BBC Newsday programme on Thursday, Mr Lissu said Mr Magufuii’s “politics, policies and Covid denialism” had “driven the country towards disaster”.

Earlier, Mr Lissu told Kenya’s private television station KTN that President Magufuli’s death had not come as a surprise to him.

Mr Lissu, who lives in exile in Belgium, said he had known that Mr Magufuli was gravelly ill all along since he tweeted on 7 March asking about the whereabouts of the president.

He says he had learned from “very credible sources in government” that the president was ill with Covid-19.

“The only thing that surprises me is the fact they continued to lie, even now his government continues to lie.

“Magufuli died of corona, that’s one. Two, Magufuli did not die this [ Wednesday] evening…I have information from the same sources that Magufuli had [already] been dead,” Mr Lissu told KTN.

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Tanzania Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in an address on state television on Wednesday, said President Magufuli had died hours earlier from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.

The president had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health.

Timeline of key events in President Magufuli’s life

Here is a timeline of the events in the life of Tanzania’s President John Maguifuli.

1959: Born in Chato in north-western Tanzania.

1995: Elected as an MP for the first time.

2000: Appointed to the cabinet for the first time as minister of works.

2015: Elected president for his first term.

2020: Elected for a second term as president.

2020: 5 November – sworn in for a second term.

2021: 6 March – admitted to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute for cardiovascular problem.

2021: 7 March – rumours begin to circulate about his whereabouts after a week-long absence.

2021: 11 March – various opposition parties in Tanzania want to know the whereabouts of the president.

2021: 12 March – Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa denies that President Magufuli is ill and says he is “in good health and working”.

2021: 14 March – rushed to Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam for further treatment.

2021: 15 March – Vice-President Samia Suluhu gives Tanzanians “greetings” from President Magufuli amid growing fears about his condition and whereabouts.

2021: 17 March – dies at 18:00 local time.

2021: 17 March – Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan announces on television the death of President Magufuli. Fourteen days of mourning are declared.


Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles