CHATO, 26 March 2021 – Tanzania’s former president John Pombe Magufuli has been laid to rest in his home village of Chato in the northwestern of the East African nation.
The mortal remains of Magufuli were lowered to the grave at 16:45 local time at his family home in Chato, along the southern shores of Lake Victoria.
A 21-gun salute rang out in Chato as fighter jets flew over the gravesite in honor of the fallen commander-in-chief.
Magufuli died on Wednesday last week, officially from cardiac complications, and his burial ends a week of public mourning across the country and the East African region.
His state funeral held last Tuesday in the capital, Dodoma.
First elected president in late 2015, Magufuli had just started his second term in office when he took ill, disappeared from public view for a little less than three weeks before passing into glory.
The funeral was attended by family and top government officials led by his successor and the newly-inaugurated Tanzanian president, Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Along with glowing tribute, the fallen Tanzanian leader’s passing has been followed by sharp criticisms of his denial of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Many have lauded his war on corruption, his efforts to ensure that Tanzanians benefit from their mineral wealth, and his investments in major infrastructure projects.
Critics have slammed his intolerance towards dissidents, his muzzling of the press, and his clampdown on civil society.
Magufuli will also be remembered as Africa’s forefront COVID-19 skeptic, especially if his successor reverses Tanzania’s unorthodox treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic.