Tanzanian President John Magufuli

Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, as well as chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat on Thursday expressed their deep condolences over the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday announced a seven-day period of national mourning in honor of the late Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli.

Kenyatta ordered that Kenyan flag and that of the East African Community to fly at half mast in all public buildings and Kenyan diplomatic missions abroad until sunset on the day Magufuli, who died Wednesday evening due to heart disease, will be buried.

The Kenyan leader mourned Magufuli as a champion of pan-Africanism, saying Africa and the world have lost an illustrious leader, whose vision, passion, and immense leadership propelled Tanzania forward, and also steered the East African Community to closer integration and cooperation.

“In the passing on of President Magufuli, I have lost a friend, a colleague, and a visionary ally; whom I worked with closely, particularly on our commitment to forging lasting bonds between Kenya and Tanzania,” he said in a televised news conference in Nairobi.

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat on Thursday also expressed condolences over the passing of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

“On behalf of the African Union family, the Chairperson expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the late President Magufuli, and stands in solidarity and mourning with the government and people of Tanzania during this difficult time of loss,” an AU statement read. The chairperson of the AU Commission described Magufuli’s sudden death as a continental loss.

“Africa has lost a valiant champion of regional cooperation in the East African region and a committed Pan Africanist leader. May his soul rest in peace,” the statement quoted Mahamat as saying.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Thursday sent a message of condolences to Tanzania’s Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan following the death of President Magufuli.

The Zambian leader said he was greatly saddened by the untimely death of the Tanzanian leader and noted that the late Tanzanian president will be remembered for his immense contribution towards the growth of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) when he served as chair of the regional bloc, adding that Zambia will continue to cherish the friendship shared by the two countries.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sent a message of condolences to the family of Tanzanian President John Magufuli following his death Wednesday at the age of 61. “My deepest condolences to the family of His Excellency President John Magufuli and the people of Tanzania. Africa mourns with you. May his soul rest in peace,” Mnangagwa said in a tweet Thursday.

As SADC Chairperson, Magufuli supported the regional call for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West, Mnangagwa said.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has declared national mourning for late Tanzanian President John Magufuli. During the period of the national mourning, Rwanda’s national flag and the flag of the East African Community on Rwandan territory will fly at half-mast until his burial, said the Office of the Prime Minister Thursday in a statement, pledging that Rwanda, which shares the border with Tanzania, will remain in solidarity with the people of Tanzania and the family of Magufuli.

Earlier in the day, Kagame sent his condolences to the Tanzanian people in a tweet, saying Magufuli’s contribution to Tanzania and the region “will not be forgotten.” Magufuli died Wednesday in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, the largest city of Tanzania. Magufuli had been in office since 2015 and was serving his second five-year term until his death. He was chairman of the Southern African Development Community from 2019 to 2020.

The Tanzanian government has announced a 14-day national mourning following the death of Magufuli, who was re-elected the president of Tanzania in October 2020. According to Tanzania’s Constitution, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan shall be sworn in and serve the remainder of Magufuli’s term.

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