NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18- President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a 7 -day mourning period in Kenya following the death of Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli who had been missing for several days.
While addressing the nation and the region as the Chairperson of the East African Community (EAC), Kenyatta directed that the Kenyan Flag and that of the East African Community will be flown at half-mast from Thursday until after Magufuli’s burial.
The head of State said his not only mourning an illustrious African leader, but also a personal friend who was very accommodative
“Africa and the world have, indeed, lost an illustrious leader; whose vision, passion, and immense leadership propelled the Nation of Tanzania forward, and also steered the East African Community to closer integration and cooperation. On the continental stage, the Late President Magufuli was a champion of pan-Africanism,” Kenyatta said.
“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 forge lasting bonds between Kenya and Tanzania.”
Magufuli died from a heart condition, his vice president Samia Suluhu said in an address on state television Wednesday night, after days of uncertainty over his health and whereabouts.
“It is with deep regret that I inform you that today on the 17th of March, 2021 at 6 pm we lost our brave leader, the President of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli, said Vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan.
She said Magufuli died of a “heart condition”, which he has suffered for a decade, at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.
He had first been briefly admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on March 6, but was subsequently discharged, Hassan said.
But Magufuli had again felt unwell and was on March 14 rushed to hospital again.
Confirmation of Magufuli death comes after weeks of uncertainty and wild rumors over his absence, as he was last seen in public on February 27.