After almost 1 week of national mourning, Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli was interred in a family cemetery in his Chato near the shores of Lake Victoria on. Friday 26th March 2021.
Magufuli’s body he body arrived at Rubambagwe Stadium, in Chato and was honoured with the singing of the Tanzanian national anthem and the East African and that of the EAC followed by a 21-gun salute. This was followed by a mass conducted by the President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) Archbishop Gervas John Nyaisonga.
The casket bearing the remains of the President was lowered into the grave at 16.50 hrs followed by a 21 gun salute by the Tanzanian People’s Defence Forces in a sombre ceremony led by the country’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan and attended by several Tanzanian leaders including the Jakaya Kikwete, Aly Hassan Mwinyi, Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi, former President Ali Mohamed Shein amongst others.
Mr Magufuli died on March 17, from heart complications at Mzena Hospital in Dar Es Salaam. The news was broken by the then Vice President, now President Samia Suluhu Hassan who said Magufuli had succumbed to a heart condition called atrial fibrillation which had ailed him for a decade.
Magufuli’s burial brings the curtain down on an era of a man with a mixed legacy loved and not loved in equal measure depending on where you stand. While others praised him for the war against grand corruption, resource nationalism and the construction of mega-development and infrastructure projects, others accused him of being a covid-19 sceptic who did not tolerate political opposition, muzzled independent media and the civil society.