Tanzania’s President John Magufuli dies at 61

Tanzania President John Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent deniers of COVID-19

President John Magufuli of Tanzania, a prominent COVID-19 sceptic in Africa whose populist rule often cast his East African country in a harsh international spotlight, has died. He was 61.

Magufuli’s death was announced on March 17 by Vice-President Samia Suluhu, who said the President died of heart failure.

Magufuli had not been seen in public since the end of February and top government officials had denied that he was in ill health even as rumours swirled online that he was sick and possibly incapacitated from illness.

Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent deniers of COVID-19. He had said last year that Tanzania had eradicated the disease through three days of national prayer.

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