DODOMA, 22 March 2021 – A state funeral is underway Monday in Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma, for the former east African nation’s president John Pombe Magufuli.
A number of days, including Monday, have been declared public holidays within the 14-day period of national mourning declared to honor Magufuli’s memory.
The former leader died last Wednesday, officially from heart-related complications, a week after speculations swirled on social media that he was down with COVID-19.
Ten African heads of state are expected to attend the funeral, including the presidents of Kenya, South Africa, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Impressive crowds of mourners gathered early in Dodoma in the hope of queuing to view the body.
Tanzanian officials announced that the casket will be driven around Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma for mourners to catch a final glimpse of the coffin bearing the former leader.
Hundreds of thousands flooded the streets of the economic capital, Dar es Salaam, over the weekend as the casket was driven through its streets for final respects.
Thousands more were able to view the remains at the city’s main stadium.
An unknown number of people were injured in a stampede at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, as thousands struggled to catch a final glimpse of the casket as it was being conveyed to the aircraft taking the mortal remains to Dodoma.