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Mwanza residents celebrate and mourn President John Magufuli

AFRICA
By Betty Njeru | March 24th 2021

 

Hundreds of thousands of residents have turned up in Mwanza to pay their last respects to President John Pombe Magufuli.

Residents followed the vehicles ferrying Magufuli’s body from the airport to CCM Kirumba Stadium.

Songs of remembrance, praise and shouting rented the air as a procession made way through the town.

“Magufuli lala salama, mwendo umeumaliza,” they chanted.

In celebration and mourning, they lay branches and kangas on the road as a sign of respect for the fallen leader.

Mwanza residents pay their last respects to President John Magufuli. [Courtesy]

Magufuli’s body was ferried from Zanzibar to Mwanza yesterday, as a week-full body-viewing procession takes places in major Tanzanian towns.

From here, the body will then be ferried to Chato tomorrow (Thursday) ahead of a private funeral service of the immediate family and close relatives.

He will be laid to rest on Friday at his home in Chato, Tanzania.

Yesterday, the procession made way in Zanzibar as its residents mourned the president, remembering him for pushing for unity.

Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi referred to Magufuli as an agent of change, in line with his party Chama Cha Mapinduzi identity, which means the party of change.

He then thanked them for coming out in large numbers, regardless of religion and tribe.

Tanzanians were granted the wish to view the president’s body following his death last week on March 17, announced by President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Magufuli succumbed to heart-related complications.  

At the weekend, his body was in Dar es Salaam for viewing. It was then moved to Dodoma on Monday for the last repects, and proceeded to Zanzibar on Tuesday. Today, it lays-in-state in Mwanza, after which it will be transported to Chato tomorrow, ahead of the burial on Friday.

On Monday, 17 Heads of State led by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the State funeral in the capital Dar es Salaam.

President Samia Suluhu now faces a full in- tray after Friday’s funeral. Her first priority is the appointment of a vice president.

 

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