Entebbe, Uganda – President Yoweri Museveni has Thursday joined regional and other world leaders to mourn the passing of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli.
In a tweet, President Museveni said he had with great sadness, learnt of the death of His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli.
“He was a pragmatic leader who believed in and worked for the economic empowerment of East Africans,” Museveni said.
“We join Tanzania in mourning the passing of a great son of Africa,” he added.
Magufuli, 61, was pronounced dead late Wednesday with his death occasioned by a ‘heart condition’ called chronic atrial fibrillation, according to Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
While the region and world at large awaits communication on the burial arrangements, the country’s Vice President Suluhu announced that there will be 14 days of national mourning.
In the same spirit, a number of regional and international leaders have sent in their commiserations including Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, who also doubles as the current Chairman of the East African Community.
Kenyatta made a proclamation to the effect that his country will observe days of national mourning following the death of Tanzanian President, Dr. John Joseph Pombe Magufuli.
“The flags of the East African Community and that of Kenya shall be flown at half mast from today until the day of the funeral,” Kenyatta said.
Others include; Rwandan President Paul Kagame who said he was saddened by the loss of his brother and friend, President Magufuli.
“His contribution to his country and to our region will not be forgotten. My deepest condolences to his family and the people of Tanzania,” Kagame said, adding that the people of Rwanda stand with Tanzania during this difficult time.
On his part, Burundi’s Everiste Ndayishiye said he was saddened to learn of the passing of his friend and brother.
“Iam terribly saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and brother H.E John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,” Ndayishiye tweeted.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Government and People of Tanzania and his family for the loss of a Great Leader, a true Pan Africanist,” he added.
DR Congo President, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo on his part said he heard learned with great sadness the death of his counterpart and brother, Mr. John Magufuli, President of Tanzania. Tshisekedi sent his condolences to the brotherly people of Tanzanian and to the biological family of the illustrious leader.
Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African President also said that his country was united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania following the passing of His Excellency President John Pombe Magufuli.
“South Africa is united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania following the passing of His Excellency President @MagufuliJP,” Ramaphosa said.
He [Ramaphosa] revealed how he had spoken to the Tanzanian Vice-President Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, to express his country’s deepest condolences as they go through this difficult moment.
On Thursday, the People’s Republic of China also expressed its deep condolences over the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Magufuli had attached great importance to the development of relations with China and made important contributions to the promotion of China-Tanzania cooperation in various fields.
“China expresses its deep condolences for his unfortunate death and sincere condolences to the Tanzanian government and relatives of President Magufuli,” Zhao said.
Magufuli was an outstanding leader of Tanzania who firmly defended national sovereignty, opposed foreign interference and led the Tanzanian people to actively promote the country’s economic and social development and has been supported by the Tanzanian people, Zhao said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who last year survived COVID-19, tweeted saying he was sorry to hear that President Magufuli had passed on.
“My thoughts are with his loved ones and the People of Tanzania,” Boris Johnson tweeted.
United States of America also mourned the demise of Magufuli, saying Washington “will continue to work with the Government of Tanzania to improve ties between the American and Tanzanian people.”
In a related development, Africa Tembelea understands that Vice President Suluhu Hassan will assume the presidency after taking oath within 24 hours, at least until 2025 in accordance with the Tanzanian constitution, becoming the first female president in both Tanzania and the EAC regional bloc.