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Tanzanian president dies after COVID rumours.

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Accessed on 18 March 2021, 1010 UTC, Post 1084.


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Russ Roberts

BBC News World

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  1. Zulu king buried as mourners pay tribute at memorial

    Amabutho (Zulu regiments) form a guard of honour as they escort a hearse carrying the body of King Goodwill Zwelithini from a mortuary in Nongoma, KwaZulu Natal on March 17, 2021
    Image caption: Mourners have been visiting the king's palace to pay their respects

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini at a memorial held after the 71-year-old was buried at a private ceremony in the early hours of Thursday.

    "A huge tree has fallen," Mr Ramaphosa said.

    "Moral courage was one of his noblest virtues," he added.

    Mr Ramaphosa gave the eulogy in a white tent erected outside one of the palaces of the king in the small town of Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal.

    The palace has been a beehive of activity, with mourners streaming in to pay their respects, reports the BBC's Pumza Fihlani from the scene.

    Many have come bearing gifts in the form of cows – some of which will be slaughtered and shared with the community, she adds.

    King Zwelithini - the longest reigning Zulu monarch - died in hospital last week from diabetes-related issues.

    The burial ceremony was only attended by a select group of royal men. The secrecy around the burial is part of honouring the monarch, our reporter says.

    It is not clear yet who will succeed King Zwelithini - that is a closely guarded secret, in part for the future king’s safety but also in reverence to the moment at hand, she adds.

    People at the memorial said they were clear on the kind of king they want – a visionary, a straight-talker (like Zwelithini), and someone who will honour their culture and set it as the guiding light for future generations, our reporter says.

  2. Russian row with US intensifies

    Video content

    Video caption: Russia withdraws its ambassador from Washington over future ties with Biden administration

    Russia withdraws its ambassador from Washington over future ties with Biden administration.

  3. Uganda's Museveni mourns 'great son of Africa'

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has eulogised President John Magufuli as a "pragmatic leader who believed in and worked for the economic empowerment of East Africans".

    "We join Tanzania in mourning the passing of a great son of Africa," he tweeted.

  4. Decisions on AstraZeneca and French lockdown - latest across Europe

    Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (R) and Health Minister Roberto Speranza (L) visiting the vaccine center of Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino, near Rome, Italy, 12 March 2021
    Image caption: Italian PM Mario Draghi (R) is keen to resume vaccinations with the AstraZeneca drug

    The EU’s medicines agency will give Europeans this afternoon its decision on the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca drug, after 15 countries suspended its use over a small number of blood clots. On Tuesday the agency said the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks of side effects. The World Health Organization says there's no proven link and the leaders of Italy and France say they’ll resume using the vaccine quickly if it’s given the green light.

    French leaders will this evening announce new measures aimed at slowing a “third wave” of Covid. A year after France’s first lockdown, Prime Minister Jean Castex will announce additional curbs from this weekend for the greater Paris and northern Hauts-de-France regions.

    Norway has recorded its second highest daily number of infections so far, with 1,064 cases.

    Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will take part in a memorial ceremony in Bergamo this morning as part of a national day to remember more than 100,000 Covid victims. Bergamo is heavily symbolic for Italians as it was where military trucks were pictured last year transporting coffins out of the city.

    Danish study suggests 80% of people who catch Covid are protected against further infection, although immunity falls after six months. But the study of PCR tests by the Statens Serum Institute also finds that only 47% of over-65s have the same protection. Researcher Steen Ethelberg says even if you have had Covid it would be a good idea to get vaccinated.

  5. Kenya calls off football friendly with Tanzania

    Kenya's football federation has cancelled a friendly match against Tanzania that was scheduled to be played on Thursday in the capital, Nairobi.

    Coach Jacob Mulee, in a morning radio show, said the match was called off following the death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli.

    He did not indicate if it had been postponed to a later day.

    The friendly match was part of Kenya's preparation for Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Egypt and Togo scheduled for later this month.

  6. South Africa 'united in grief' with Tanzanians

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his “deep sadness” on the death of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

    In a statement, President Ramaphosa said he had spoken to Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan “to express condolences in his personal capacity and on behalf of all South Africans”.

    “South Africa is united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania as they go through this difficult moment,” he said.

  7. 'You'll remember me': Magufuli past video resurfaces

    A past video of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli telling people that they would remember him once he was gone has surfaced on social media.

    “One day you will remember me… I know one day you will remember me, not for bad things but for the good deeds... because I have sacrificed my life for the poor in Tanzania,” President Magufuli says in the video.

    The Tanzanian president died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, according to an announcement by Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan on state television.

  8. What Tanzania's law says on presidential succession

    Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan with President John Magufuli
    Image caption: Vice-President Samia Hassan (l) is set to be sworn in as president

    Tanzania is mourning a sitting president for the first time in its history following the death of President John Magufuli on Wednesday evening.

    According to the constitution, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan will be sworn in as the new president and should serve the remainder of Mr Magufuli's five-year team which he began last year..

    Ms Hassan will be the sixth president of Tanzania and the second from the country's semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar.

    After taking the oath of office, she will consult with her ruling CCM party to nominate a vice-president.

    According to the constitution, since she hails from Zanzibar, her deputy is required to come from the mainland.

    The nominee must be confirmed by a minimum of 50% of MPs.

    Should Ms Hassan stay on as president for three years or more, the law states that she will be allowed to run for the presidency only once.

  9. Kenya declares week of mourning for Magufuli

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (r) and President John Pombe Magufuli
    Image caption: President Kenyatta (R) said Mr Magufuli (L) was a champion of pan-Africanism

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta says he's learned "with profound sorrow" and sadness the death of Tanzania President John Magufuli.

    He has conveyed his condolences to widow Janet Magufuli, the government and people of Tanzania.

    President Kenyatta said Mr Magufuli was a champion of pan-Africanism.

    "I have lost a friend, colleague and visionary ally," he said.

    Mr Kenyatta, who is the current chairman of the East African Community, has declared a seven-day period of national mourning in Kenya.

    He said the flag of the East African Community and Kenya’s flag would be flown at half-mast throughout Kenya and all its diplomatic missions abroad until sunset on the day of Mr Magufuli's funeral.

  10. Magufuli 'drove Tanzania towards disaster'

    Tanzania's opposition leader Tundu Lissu
    Image caption: Tanzania's opposition leader Tundu Lissu lives in exile in Belgium

    Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has said President John Magufuli's death has offered an opportunity to "chart a new course and step back from the brink of disaster".

    Speaking to BBC Newsday programme on Thursday, Mr Lissu said Mr Magufuii's "politics, policies and Covid denialism" had "driven the country towards disaster".

    Earlier, Mr Lissu told Kenya’s private television station KTN that President Magufuli’s death had not come as a surprise to him.

    Mr Lissu, who lives in exile in Belgium, said he had known that Mr Magufuli was gravelly ill all along since he tweeted on 7 March asking about the whereabouts of the president.

    He says he had learned from “very credible sources in government” that the president was ill with Covid-19.

    “The only thing that surprises me is the fact they continued to lie, even now his government continues to lie.

    "Magufuli died of corona, that’s one. Two, Magufuli did not die this [ Wednesday] evening…I have information from the same sources that Magufuli had [already] been dead,” Mr Lissu told KTN.

    Tanzania Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in an address on state television on Wednesday, said President Magufuli had died hours earlier from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.

    The president had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health.

  11. Timeline of key events in President Magufuli's life

    Here is a timeline of the events in the life of Tanzania's President John Maguifuli.

    1959: Born in Chato in north-western Tanzania.

    1995: Elected as an MP for the first time.

    2000: Appointed to the cabinet for the first time as minister of works.

    2015: Elected president for his first term.

    2020: Elected for a second term as president.

    2020: 5 November - sworn in for a second term.

    2021: 6 March - admitted to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute for cardiovascular problem.

    2021: 7 March - rumours begin to circulate about his whereabouts after a week-long absence.

    2021: 11 March - various opposition parties in Tanzania want to know the whereabouts of the president.

    2021: 12 March - Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa denies that President Magufuli is ill and says he is "in good health and working".

    2021: 14 March - rushed to Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam for further treatment.

    2021: 15 March - Vice-President Samia Suluhu gives Tanzanians "greetings" from President Magufuli amid growing fears about his condition and whereabouts.

    2021: 17 March - dies at 18:00 local time.

    2021: 17 March - Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan announces on television the death of President Magufuli. Fourteen days of mourning are declared.

  12. Tanzania mourns for President John Magufuli

    Video content

    Video caption: Mr Magufuli leader died from complications relating to a heart condition, government said.

    Tanzania's government announced the late president died from complications relating to a heart condition.

  13. Video content

    Video caption: Atlanta shootings: 'It's scary just to be an Asian American woman.'

    Inside the Washington protest against hate crimes towards Asian Americans following the Atlanta spa shootings.

  14. Tanzanians mourn death of their president

    Residents watch television for the announcement of the death of Tanzania"s President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam,
    Image caption: Residents in Dar es Salaam react as the death of President Magufuli is announced

    Fourteen days of national mourning have been declared in Tanzania to mark the death of President John Magufuli, who died at the age of 61.

    Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan said Mr Magufuli had died from complications related to a heart condition.

    One woman, who lives in Mr Magufuli's hometown of Chato, gave an emotional reaction to the news:

    "I have received this news with great sadness. I am really touched. He was not my relative, but he was someone who listened to people's problems and he was down to Earth. It is really painful," she told the BBC.

    Residents watch the television announcement of the death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli
    Image caption: The vice-president announced Mr Magufuli's death on state television

    "To be honest this news has hurt me so bad, it’s like I have been told of my father’s death. Because he was our elder, president and our national leader," said Dulli from Kiembe Samaki in the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar.

  15. Magufuli was 'my close friend for a long time'

    Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has mourned the death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli.

    Mr Odinga says his family and that of the Tanzanian president have been "close friends" for a long time.

    "He's been by my side at my most difficult and painful moments," he said.


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