Uhuru among heads of states attending Magufuli’s funeral mass in Dodoma

President Uhuru Kenyatta is among several heads of states and dignitaries attending the state funeral mass of late Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli in Dodoma at the Jamhuri Stadium.

Kenyatta is also the Chairperson of the East African Community. Other Presidents in attendance are South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi, Malawi’s Lazarus Chakwera, Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo, Comoros’ Azali Assoumani, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi.

Other countries represented by special envoys are Uganda, Srilanka, Angola, Burundi, Namibia among others.

A host of Tanzanian leaders are also present, led by the country’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan.

In his address, President Kenyatta appealed to Tanzanians to support their new President as she steers the country forward from where her predecessor left.

He mourned the late Magufuli as a statesman, a personal friend whom he often consulted on various issues including EAC matters.

He pledged to support the new Tanzanian leader whom he encouraged to lead the country without fear.

” Take up your new role with courage,” he said.

The former first lady and widow Janet Magufuli was overcome with grief during the mass and had to be consoled by the new President Suluhu.

Magufuli leaves behind seven children and 10 grandchildren

Tanzanians since Saturday have been paying their last respects to their leader and fifth President who died last Wednesday aged 61 after an illness shrouded in mystery.

According to the then VP Samia Suluhu, John Magufuli was admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete on 6th March due to a heart condition.

She announced that he died Wednesday at 6 pm while receiving treatment at the Emilio Mzena Memorial Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

His death comes after weeks of speculation over the health of the Tanzanian President who was not seen in public for weeks.

Last week, there were reports that Magufuli was being treated in a hospital for Covid-19 in Kenya.

Mourners lined the streets of Dar es Salaam on Saturday which marked the first day of public viewing.

Magufuli’s coffin was brought to the stadium on Saturday in a procession that was led by his successor, Samia Suluhu Hassan.

It will be taken to several different locations for public viewing before his burial in his hometown of Chato on Friday.

Zanzibar residents will view Magufuli’s body on Tuesday, March 23 and those in Mwanza on 24th.

On Thursday, March 25 Magufuli’s body will be taken to his home, in Chato, ahead of his final rites on March 26.

Here is part of the remaining funeral programme:

March 22:  Body will be flown to Dodoma for paying of last respects by the public. It will be a public holiday.

March 23: Public to pay last respects in Zanzibar

March 24:Body will be flown to Mwanza for paying of last respects by public

March 25: Body will be flown to Geita for family and public to pay their last respects

March 26: Mass at Catholic Church in Chato followed by burial at his home.


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