Death of the President: Why Magufuli passing shocks Nation

Thursday March 18 2021
By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania President John Magufuli has died at the age of 61, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has announced yesterday.

In a televised speech on TBC, the Vice President announced that the President died of a heart complications on March 17, 2021, at about 6pm at Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was admitted to on March 14.

Ms Hassan said Magufuli was first briefly admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on March 6, but was subsequently discharged. But he was rushed to the hospital again on March 14 after feeling unwell. She announced that the nation will observe a 14-day period of mourning.

“It is with deep regret that I inform you that today March 17 we have lost our brave leader, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr John Pombe Magufuli,” Vice-President Hassan said in the announcement.

She explained that the President had a heart condition that he had struggled with for the past 10 years, adding that funeral arrangements will be announced later.

He becomes the first Tanzanian President to die while in office. Others, namely, Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Benjamin William Mkapa died long after they had completed their terms of office.


President Magufuli’s death comes just a month after the demise of Zanzibar’s First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad who died at Dar es Salaam’s Muhimbili National Hospital on February 17.

In a tweeter message, Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi also announced to the nation that Dr John Magufuli had passed away at Mzena Hospital where he was admitted with a Heart complication.

Last Public appearance

Dr Magufuli’s last public appearance was on February 27 when he swore in Dr Bashiru Ally as the Chief Secretary at State House in Dar es Salaam but did not make any remarks over the appointment.

That appearance was preceded by a tour of development projects in Dar es Salaam where he commissioned the John Kijazi Interchange at the junction of the Nelson Mandela/Sam Nunjoma and Morogoro Road on February 25.

On the same day he commissioned the newly built Magufuli Bus Terminal at Mbezi Louis and later on that evening he dissolved the Dar es Salaam City Council.

“I want one Municipality within Dar es Salaam to be upgraded to a city and the others to remain as municipalities and I think Ilala is the most suitable as for now because it is in the centre’ announced President Magufuli during his speech.

While on the same tour he called on the minister of Home Affairs to investigate the delays in payment of pension of police officers once they retire.

Second Term

Dr Magufuli was sworn in on November 5, for his second term after he was declared winner of the October 28,2020 elections.

Magufuli, the incumbent, recorded 12,516,252 votes of the total votes cast with his closest contender Tundu Lissu recorded 1,933,271 votes of the total votes, acco.