NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday conveyed a message of condolence to Tanzania during a visit to the country’s High Commission in Muthaiga, Nairobi, following the demise of the country’s leader.
The President who was accompanied by speakers of the bicameral parliament and the Acting Chief Justice pledged to support newly installed President Samia Suluhu to carry on with the vision and aspirations of late President John Pombe Magufuli.
“The late president John Pombe Maghufuli was a sincere brother. Tanzania and Kenya are like the twin brothers such that whatever affects Tanzania it touches us too. We are here to show our solidarity with our Tanzanian brothers and unite with the family of the late President John Pombe Maghufuli,” said President Kenyatta after signing a condolence book at the Tanzania’s High Commissioner’s Residence in Muthaiga.
Speakers Justin Muturi, Ken Lusaka and Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu wished the people of Tanzania fortitude at to overcome the sorrow.
“We and Tanzanians have been working together, I usually visit Tanzania as a guest of my colleague Speaker of the Tanzanian Parliament. We came to assure the people of Tanzania that we are together and we will continue to work together,” said the Speaker of the National Assembly.
His Senate counterpart added: “We have been on House Recess but we will be resuming the sessions on Tuesday and we will set aside time to allow Senators to pay their respects to the late President.”
Mwilu said the departed President was a tough guy, someone who did not entertain laxity or incompetence in service delivery and wanted the job well done.
“Your President served his God, I used to see him in the Church, he is a Catholic like me and maybe it is God’s plans, he died during Lent, when we Catholics are called to renounce our sins and repent to God. May God have mercy on him and give Tanzanians the strength to endure this death,” she said.
Magufuli passed away on Wednesday after a brief stay in hospital according to an announcement made by Suluhu on Thursday.
A series of public viewing events have been lined up in the coming week ahead of a State Funeral on Friday.
Top government officials and diplomatic corps in Tanzania were expected to pay their respects to Magufuli at the onset of a series of planned public viewing events on Saturday.
The leaders were scheduled to view late President Magufuli’s body at the Uhuru Sports Complex in Dar es Salaam.
Earlier in the day, a military funeral procession departed the State House in Dar es Salaam for a funeral mass at St Peter’s Catholic Church in Oysterbay.
The mass was attended by Magufuli’s widow Janet, his children and a host of government officials.
Tanzanians living in Dar es Salaam will have an opportunity to bid Magufuli farewell on Sunday before his body is airlifted to Dodoma for members of the public there to bid him farewell on Monday.
Those in Zanzibar and Mwanza will pay their respects on Tuesday and Wednesday after which the late President’s body will be flown to his home town Chato where residents will bid him farewell on Thursday.
Magufuli will be laid to rest on Friday in line with the country’s military traditions.