Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli is dead.
In a televised address on Wednesday night, Tanzania vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan said that Magufuli had died of heart complications.
Hassan said that Magufuli was hospitalised on March 6 at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute.
WHAT WE KNOWS SO FAR:
Few days ago, a man was arrested in Tanzania for reporting that president Magufuli is ill.
The president has not been seen for two weeks, sparking rumours the coronavirus sceptic leader is ill with Covid-19 or unwell and incapacitated.
At least one man was arrested for allegedly spreading false reports that Magufuli was seriously ill in the Kinondoni area of Dar es Salaam, Regional Police Commissioner for Kinondoni Ramadhani Kingai said at a press conference Saturday.
“There are a lot more who have been spreading false statements. We will arrest them all,” Kingai said.
Prime Minister Hassan Majaliwa on Friday denied reports Magufuli is ill and said he is “fit and working hard as usual.”
“The president has a lot to do,” he said, adding that the president had delegated some duties to his aides.
Tanzania’s minister of constitutional and legal affairs threatened to prosecute anyone who relayed “inane” rumors about the president’s health but stopped short of answering questions about his condition.
Human rights groups say the cybercrime law is one of several that Magufuli’s government uses to suppress freedom of expression.