THE world on Thursday joined Tanzanians in mourning the premature passing of modern Pan-Africanist, President John Magufuli, who was promoted to glory on Wednesday after losing his battle against heart disease.
Local and world leaders paid glowing tribute to Dr Magufuli, saying Tanzania and Africa has lost a unique statesman, visionary, bold and fearless leader who rose from humble beginnings and made immense contributions to his country.
The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the tributes, expressing sadness on the demise of the charismatic Magufuli.
“I’m sorry to hear that President John Magufuli has passed away. My thoughts are with his loved ones and the people of Tanzania,” he tweeted.
He was joined by UK High Commissioner to Tanzania David Concar who sent condolences to the people of Tanzania, saying the late Head of State left behind a lasting legacy.
“President Magufuli's dedication to championing hard work and developing Tanzania’s infrastructure will long be remembered. My thoughts are with his loved ones and communities across Tanzania who will mourn his loss. May he rest in peace,” eulogised Mr Concar.
The High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Tanzania, Mr Muhammad Saleem also sympathised with Tanzanians, saying that it was with deep sorrow and grief that he received the tragic news on the sudden death of President Magufuli.
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the government and the people of Tanzania and the bereaved family on this shocking news,” he mourned.
“The unfortunate demise of President Magufuli is indeed a great loss for the government and the friendly people of the nation, the great Africa continent and the world at large. Pakistan has lost a sincere friend. May the departed soul rest in eternal peace,” added the envoy.
China expressed its deep condolences over the death of Dr Magufuli.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Magufuli had attached great importance to the development of relations with China and made important contributions to the promotion of China-Tanzania cooperation in various fields.
"China expresses its deep condolences for his unfortunate death and sincere condolences to the Tanzanian government and relatives of President Magufuli," Zhao said.
Zhai eulogised Dr Magufuli as an outstanding leader who firmly defended national sovereignty, opposed foreign interference and led the Tanzanian people to actively promote the country's economic and social development and has been supported by the Tanzanian people.
“He was an outstanding leader and a staunch defender of national sovereignty against foreign interference. He led the Tanzanian people in advancing national economic and social development and enjoyed their strong support.
“China highly values its profound traditional friendship with Tanzania. At this moment of grief, the Chinese people's hearts are with our friends in Tanzania,” he sympathized.
More condolences poured in from African leaders.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his deep sadness at the passing of Dr Magufuli saying: “South Africa is united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania as they go through this difficult moment.”
President Ramaphosa spoke in a phone call to Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan to express condolences in his personal capacity and on behalf of all South Africans.
On his side President Edgar Lungu of Zambia said he had learnt of the untimely death of President Magufuli with a deep sense of shock and sorrow, noting that the late Tanzanian leader was a good friend of his.
President Lungu has described Dr Magufuli as an outspoken, fearless, and practical modern African leader who made the world pay attention to his unconventional leadership as he transformed Tanzania.
He extended sincere condolences to the government and people of Tanzania, as well as the bereaved family on the great loss of the prolific son of Africa.
President Lungu added the untimely death of President Magufuli will forever be painfully etched in the collective memory of the Tanzanians for his selflessness to bring about socio economic transformation and prosperity of his countrymen.
President Lungu said on the regional front, President Magufuli will be remembered for his immense contribution towards the growth of the Southern African Development Community -SADC- through his recent Chairmanship of the regional body.
President Lungu further said Dr Magufuli was equally passionate about the promotion of the Swahili language throughout the SADC region and would go out of his way to teach fellow Presidents the Swahili language during meetings.
Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera also sent an emotional message of condolences to Tanzanians, saying Magufuli was a towering symbol of Africa's economic resurgence.
He said his passing on was an incalculable loss to the continent.
"As Malawi joins Tanzania in mourning this loss over the next 14 days, we pray for uncommon strength and fortitude for the people of Tanzania and their government as they move ahead together in the spirit of unity and in a manner that maintains peace and stability," said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader holds fond memories of Magufuli who hosted him and his entourage just four months ago in Dar es Salaam, during an official visit.
Condolences also came from Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who tweeted: "My deepest condolences to the family of His Excellency President John Magufuli and the people of Tanzania. Africa mourns with you. May his soul rest in peace.”
As SADC Chairperson, Magufuli supported the regional call for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West, Mnangagwa said.
Somalia President Mohammed Farmaajo also extended heartfelt condolences to Tanzanians.
“We wish the nation and the Government patience and stability in this period of prayer and mourning,” he condoled.
CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Humphrey Polepole said the party is in deep shock following the untimely death of Dr Magufuli.
Polepole said the country and the party have been robbed of a committed and visionary leader who pioneered a number of positive changes as well standing firm on party assets and investments since he took the chairmanship post in 2016.
He said the late President Magufuli will be remembered for historic transformation in a number of avenues, making Tanzania one of the respected nations for its firm stand when it comes to national interests.
The Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) Party Leader Kabwe Zitto sympathized with fellow Tanzanians, saying that it is with deep emotion he learnt of the death of President Magufuli.
“This is an unprecedented moment for our nation, and one that will undoubtedly move us all in very personal ways. My immediate thoughts are with mama Janeth and the whole family of our deceased President. On behalf of ACT-Wazalendo, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to incoming president Samia Suluhu Hassan for this most difficult loss,” he wrote.
On Wednesday night, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced to the nation the passing on of President Magufuli, sending the country into great shock. It is the first time in the country’s history a sitting president passes away.