Bobi Wine signs the condolence book. [Courtesy]

As Tanzanians lay their late President John Pombe Magufuli to rest, messages of hope and condolences continue to stream in from all corners of the world.

From the East Africa region, Uganda’s opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine has sent a message of encouragement to Tanzanians. Taking to social media, the singer turn politician applauded Tanzanians for a peaceful transition of power. In his message, Bobi wine also reaffirmed his support for Tanzanians.

“Paid respects to late President John Pombe Magufuli at the Tanzania High Commission in Kampala. We continue to stand with the people of Tanzania as they mourn their leader and salute them for ensuring a peaceful transition in the face of this tragedy. May his soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.

The burial ceremony of the late Tanzania President is underway with hundreds of mourners braving the scorching sun in the little-known town of Chato, Geita Region in northwestern Tanzania. The ceremony is being led by the Catholic Church. Chato, Geita and neighbouring residents have been paying their last respects to him at the Magufuli Stadium all week. His body was moved through different towns in Tanzania to allow for public mourning.

Close family, relatives and friends of Magufuli are also attending the private funeral service in Chato. Security has been heightened at the ceremony.                                                                                                       

Magufuli’s body lay-in-state as members of the public bid him farewell. Thousands lined up as the hearse containing the coffin made its way into the grounds on Thursday, accompanied by military vehicles.

Zanzibar’s second Vice President Suleiman Abdalla praised the late president for taking the lead on several development projects in the East African nation.He said that Magufuli left a legacy in all sectors including education, finance, transport and others.

“The pain of losing President Magufuli does only affect Tanzanians. It is being felt worldwide,” Abdalla said.

Magufuli died on March 17 after a 10-year battle with heart complications. Before his death, he had declared Tanzania “Covid-free” and would later express doubt on the safety of masks and vaccines. Magufuli was a Covid-19 skeptic who urged Tanzanians to avoid wearing mask and denounced vaccines as a Western conspiracy.

Bobi Wine and other dignitaries. [Courtesy]