Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli has died at the age of 61, the government announced on Wednesday.
The announcement was made by the country’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan on state TV.
John Magufuli was known as a populist leader who played down the seriousness of the novel coronavirus pandemic and steered his country away from democratic ideals.
He died at a hospital in the port city of Dares Salaam. He was 61.
Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan in her announcement did not specify the nature of Magufuli’s underlying illness in her brief remarks, but said that he had suffered from chronic atrial fibrillation for more than a decade.
She indicated that, flags will fly at half-staff nationwide and that funeral arrangement was underway.
John Pombe Magufuli, a trained chemist, was first elected in October 2015 on an anticorruption platform.
He was initially lauded for his efforts to bolster the economy, stem wasteful spending and upgrade Tanzania’s infrastructure.