Tanzania’s President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli has died at the age of 62, the Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced on Wednesday.
In a televised address on TBC, the Vice President said that the President died of a heart attack on March 17, 2021, at about 6pm at Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was admitted on March 14.
The Vice President noted that Magufuli was first briefly admitted at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on March 6, from where he was discharged. However, she revealed that the President was again rushed to hospital on March 14 after feeling unwell.
Africa Tembelea has since learnt that Tanzania will observe a 14-day period of mourning.
Source: TBC pic.twitter.com/M2j3nSwpDt
— AfricaTembelea (@AfricaTembelea) March 17, 2021
Born on October 29, 1959, Magufuli earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1994 and 2009, respectively.
After a short stint of teaching at Sengerema Secondary School and later working as an industrial chemist, Magufuli went into politics under the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
He was elected a member of parliament in 1995 and that same year appointed deputy minister of works, receiving the title of minister in 2000.
In 2010, he gained popularity after he was appointed Tanzania’s minister for works and transportation for the second time.
His fight against graft in the road construction industry was endearing for Tanzanians, who later nicknamed him “the bulldozer.”
He ran as president in 2015 and won 58% of the vote, defeating Edward Lowassa of the Chadema opposition party.
In 2020, he was re-elected — a win that opposition presidential candidate Tundu Lissu decried as fraudulent.