For millions of Tanzanians, Magufuli symbolized an eternity of hope even when the World over was fighting the prevalence of Corona. To them, he was a hero, a liberator of their economic progress and a Pan Africanist who dissuaded from the Western influence.
Tanzanians, unlike Kenya, enjoyed a vibrant economy where masses socialized unbothered by the pandemic that threatened to wipe the human race. Kenya for instance, the government in place put stringent measures of social distancing, putting on masks and enforcing curfew hours as measures to avoid the spread of the disease.
Tanzanians, unlike were urged to pray against the spread of diseases and rely on herbal concoction for relief.
Magufuli’s death was announced on by the country’s vice-president, Samia Suluhu, who said the president died of heart failure. He was 61.
“The president of the United Republic of Tanzania, the honourable Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli … [has] died of a heart condition, at hospital Mzena in Dar es Salaam, where he was receiving treatment,” she said on state broadcaster TBC.
First female president
The demise of Pombe Magufuli could propel Tanazania to have its first female president in Vice President Samia Suluhu.
The Tanzanian Constitution Article 37(5) says when “the Office of the President becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, loss of electoral qualifications or inability to perform his functions due to physical infirmity or failure to discharge the duties and functions of the Office of the President, then the Vice President shall be sworn in and become the President for the unexpired period of the term of five years and in accordance with conditions set in Article 40.”
After she is sworn in, Ms Suluhu will become the second female head of state in East Africa, after Sylvie Kinigi of Burundi and the third in the wider eastern Africa region after Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde whose post is ceremonial.