THE East African Community (EAC) has mourned the great loss Tanzania has suffered following the passing on of President John Magufuli.
Chairman of the EAC Heads of State Summit, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said it was a huge blow to the bloc, assuring Tanzanians that the speed up of EAC integration that was highly being augmented by President JPM will go on in his legacy.
President Kenyatta also directed all EAC flags in Kenya and across all its diplomatic missions abroad be flown at half-mast during the mourning period of seven days. Kenyan flags will also be flown at half-mast.
“Magufuli was a champion of Pan-Africanism. I have lost a friend and an ally. Africa and the world have lost a leader who steered the EAC and the continent. On behalf of the government and people of Kenya I convey our sincere condolences to the First Lady of Tanzania, Janet Magufuli,” said President Kenyatta.
Ugandan President and the longest serving Member of the EAC Heads of State Summit, Mr Yoweri Museveni mourned the second death of a sitting president in the region within less than a year.
“I have, with great sadness, learnt of the death of His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli. We join Tanzania in mourning the passing of a great son of Africa,” said Mr Museveni, adding that Dr Magufuli was a pragmatic leader who believed in and worked for the economic empowerment of East Africans.
Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye on his part offered his condolence, saying: “I am terribly saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and brother H.E John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. My thoughts and prayers go out to the government and people of Tanzania and his family for the loss of a great leader, a true Pan Africanist.”
For his part, Rwanda President Paul Kagame said: “We are saddened by the loss of my brother and friend, President Magufuli. His contribution to his country and to our region will not be forgotten. My deepest condolences to his family and the people of Tanzania. The people of Rwanda stand with Tanzania during this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, the East African Business Council (EABC) has conveyed deepest condolences and sympathy to the family, citizens and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania for the loss of Dr Magufuli who was also a Member of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State.
EABC Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Dr Peter Mathuki sent the condolences and sympathy on behalf of EABC’s Board Chairman, Mr Nick Nesbitt, Board of Directors, Management and members of the EABC.
The oncoming EAC Secretary General said that President Magufuli was a patriotic, intellectual Pan-African leader who pioneered the vision of ‘Tanzania ya Viwanda’, Standard Gauge Railway, revived Air Tanzania and Julius Nyerere Hydropower among other landmark achievements that have delivered prosperity to the citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania and the EAC region.
“His exemplary stewardship led to economic growth and elevated the United Republic of Tanzania to middle-income status,” said the CEO of the regional apex body of private sector associations and corporates from the six East African countries.