The body of the late Tanzanian President John Magufuli is expected to be buried in Zanzibar on Tuesday and in other cities before his burial on Friday. Yesterday Monday, John Magufuli was honoured with national tributes in front of thousands of Tanzanians and several African heads of state at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, the Tanzanian capital.
After being laid to rest in Dar es Salaam on Saturday and Sunday, John Magufuli’s body was welcomed on Monday in the Tanzanian capital Dodoma to receive the national tributes due to his rank. The streets of Dodoma were filled with singing, screaming and crying, as well as the Jamhuri stadium where paramedics were forced to attend to people who had lost consciousness.
The tribute to John Magufuli was attended by nine African heads of state including South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi, Zimbabwe’s Emerson Mnangagwa, Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi, as well as ambassadors from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France and Japan.
The occasion was seized by all to pay tribute to the greatness of the deceased. While Felix Tshisekedi, current Chairperson of the African Union, hailed « a visionary, patriotic and nationalist fighter » and « a committed pan-Africanist », Uhuru Kenyatta recalled that « from Magufuli, we have learned to live without dependence on others. Look at the roads, electricity and other infrastructure projects he has implemented.
For the South African head of state, Africa has lost a true pan-Africanist who preferred to stay in his country to serve his people instead of spending his time travelling the world. After Dodoma, Magufuli’s body is expected to be buried in Zanzibar on Tuesday, followed by other cities before his burial in his hometown of Chato in the northwest of the country on Friday.
Samia Suluhu Hassan, the new Tanzanian President, has declared 21 days of national mourning and Felix Tshisekedi has declared three days of national mourning in the DRC in solidarity with the Tanzanian people.