Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has died at the age of 61, the government announced on Wednesday.
Announcing his death in a live television address, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said Magufuli had died of a heart condition.
Speculation had been rife about his possible infection with the coronavirus. He had not been seen in public since the end of February.
“Our beloved president passed on at 6 p.m. this evening,” said Suluhu. “All flags will be flown at half-mast for 14 days. It is sad news. The president has had this illness for the past 10 years.”
She added that the late president died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city.
Following the announcement of his death, opposition leader Zitto Kabwe said he’d spoken with the vice president to offer his condolences.
“The nation will remember him for his contribution to the development of our country,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.