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COVID? Questions linger as second senior Tanzania official dies

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Tanzania’s Chief Secretary of the State is dead.

John William Kijazi’s passing comes only a day after that of Zanzibar Vice President Maalim Seif Sharif.

 “Rais wa muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Dkt. John Pombe Magufuli anasikitika kutangaza kifo cha katibu Mkuu Kiongozi Mhe. Balozi John William Kijazi kilichotokea leo tarehe 17 Februari, 2021,” a statement from the government spokesman said. (The President of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli regrets to announce the death of Chief Secretary of State Amb. John William Kijazi which occurred on Feb., 17th 2021)

Kijazi died at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma. The cause of death was not revealed.

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VP Sharif reportedly died of COVID-19 complications. Tanzania has led the party of global COVID deniers, with President Magufuli declaring the country to be “Covid free” last April.  

“The corona disease has been eliminated thanks to God,” Magufuli said at a church service in Dodoma last June.

On 29 April, the last day official Covid data was released in the country, there were 509 cases, with 21 deaths. At the time of declaring the country cured, Magufuli said only four patients were receiving treatment in hospital.

The World Health Organization, and the U.S government have expressed concern over Tanzanian government’s strategy on Covid-19.

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