Mar 17, 2021 - World

Tanzanian President John Magufuli dies

Magufuli is sworn in for his second term. Photo: Xinhua/State House via Getty

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has died at the age of 61, BBC Africa reports citing a statement made by the vice president on state TV.

Why it matters: The strongman president was re-elected in October in an election marred by crackdowns on critics. He was also perhaps the only world leader to reject coronavirus vaccines outright, falsely claiming they didn't work and that the country had already defeated the virus.

  • Magufuli's had disappeared from view over the past two weeks, leading to speculation that he had been hospitalized with coronavirus.
  • Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said in a televised statement that Magufuli died of a heart condition.

Worth noting: Nicknamed "the Bulldozer," Magufuli initially won international praise following his election in 2015 for his efforts to combat corruption and develop infrastructure. More recently, he had drawn criticism for his Covid-denial and political repression.

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