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African Leaders attend Magufuli's state funeral in Tanzania

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-03-22 21:06

Catholic Archbishop of Dar es Salaam Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa'ichi spreads incense on the body of late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli during the state funeral at Uhuru stadium, the venue of the national requiem Mass in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania March 20, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Top African heads of state on Monday arrived in Dodoma, Tanzania at the Jamhuri Stadium for the state funeral Mass of John Pombe Magufuli, Tanzania's late president.

Presidents present included Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, Botswana's Mokgweetsi Masisi , Malawi's Lazarus Chakwera, Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros' Azali Assoumani, Zambia's Edgar Lungu, Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mozambique's Filipe Nyusi.

Also at the funeral were Samia Sluhu Hassan, Tanzania's new president and Magufuli's widow, and former Tanzania presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete. Magufuli was eulogized as a leader who loved his country and pushed for progressive change.

Magufuli was praised for boosting transport, both local and international, as well as fighting graft and was acclaimed as the president who pushed for the expansion of the judiciary capacity and making education accessible for all.

Speakers also thanked presidents, ambassadors and prime ministers who attended the funeral at Dodoma, saying it was evident that Tanzania's neighbors and allies are also in mourning.

Magufuli, who died on Wednesday at the age of 61, will be buried on Friday.

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