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Private sector mourns John Magufuli

WORK LIFE
By Fredrick Obura | March 18th 2021
Late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli (PHOTO: FILE)

NAIROBI, KENYA: The East African Business Council (EABC) has sent condolences to the Tanzanian government following the death of President John Magufuli.

The President died on Wednesday from heart disease following an 18-day absence from public life that drew speculation about his health.

“The late President Pombe Magufuli pioneered the vision of Tanzania ya viwanda, Standard Gauge Railway, revived Air Tanzania, Julius Nyere Hydropower among other landmark achievements that have delivered prosperity to the citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania and the EAC region as well as economic growth to middle-income country status,” said Peter Mutuku Mathuki Executive Director, EABC/ Incoming Secretary-General, EAC.

“He was at the forefront of promoting the socio-economic role of the private sector, improving local content and strengthening value chains in the EAC region,” he said.

Magufuli’s death, the first of a Tanzanian leader while in office, opens the prospect that the country will gain its first female president.

The constitution says vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan, 61, should assume the presidency for the remainder of the five-year term that Magufuli began serving last year after winning a second term.

The vice-president addressed the nation on television late on Wednesday, saying Magufuli had died from the heart disease that had plagued him for a decade. She said burial arrangements were underway for the 61-year-old leader but did not indicate when she would be sworn in.

President Magufuli signing a document at a past event (PHOTO: EABC)

Following his death President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a seven-day period of national mourning starting Thursday.

“In testimony of the high esteem in which the people of Kenya hold President John Pombe Magufuli, the Republic of Kenya will observe a period of seven days of national mourning,” said President Uhuru.

Uhuru mourned the death of his closest territorial colleague, Magufuli, by calling him an “illustrious leader and a champion of pan Africanism".

“I have lost a friend, a colleague, and a visionary ally with whom I worked closely, particularly on our commitment to form lasting bonds between Kenya and Tanzania,” Uhuru said during a live address from State House, Nairobi, on Thursday.

 

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