Kenyas President Uhuru Kenyatta today joined thousands of Tanzanians and visiting leaders, who among them includes eight other African Heads of State, at the Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma for the State Funeral of the late President John Pombe Magufuli.
Kenyatta, who was being accompanied by EAC Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed, attended the sad ceremony with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo and Felipe Nyusi of Mozambique.
Other Heads of State present were Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, Azali Assoumani of Comoros, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Mogkweetsi Masisi of Botswana.
President Kenyatta in his address eulogised the fallen Tanzanian Head of State as a leader who was very hardworking and transformative whose rich legacy of success within a very short period of time made him to be recognized and respected across the globe.
Kenyatta, also the current Chairperson of the EAC, disclosed that the late Magufuli was his very close ally with whom he spoke often, sharing their minds on the relationship between the two neighbouring countries and the development of the regional bloc.
He also wished the President elect Samia Suluhu success as she begins her new journey in her new position as she leads Tanzanians, assuring her of his and the EAC region’s support and also requesting her to complete what the departed President began for he has shown her the way. He never forgot to urge Tanzanians to fully support their new leader.
The New Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu in her address, said that the late president Magufuli was loved by many in Tanzania and the region as a whole, and regrets the departing of the former Head of State.
Suluhu in addition said that the late Magufuli was her political mentor who lifted the political profile of Tanzanian women.
Besides his ‘no-nonsense’ approach to the management of public affairs, she revealed that Magufuli was a caring and loving fatherly figure with a playful streak only known by those who worked closely with him.
Suluhu said Magufuli loved and always expected to see nothing else but results. And that he had no time for hatred and sideshows.
She also assured Magufuli’s widow, Mrs Janeth Magufuli, that her administration will continue taking care of her and the family.
The visiting Heads of State didn’t lack something to eulogise Dr Magufuli with in their speeches with President Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo also the current Chairperson of the AU describing the late President as a ”Nationalist and a great defender of the economic freedom of Africa” who will be remembered for his relentless fight against corruption.
The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also mourned the late Magufuli as a forthright and bold leader who was an ambassador for the adoption of Kiswahili language in African countries.
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