By Mourice Seretta
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday led Kenyans in mourning the deminse of the United Republic of Tanzania’s President, John Pombe Magufuli.
The head of state offered that Africa and the world had lost an illustrious leader, whose vision, passion and immense leadership propelled the nation of Tanzania forward.
President Kenyatta further said Magufuli also steered the East African Community closer to integration and cooperation.
“I have learnt with profound sorrow and immense sadness of the untimely passing of my Dear Brother, His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. On behalf of the Government and People of Kenya, I convey our sincere condolences to the First Lady of Tanzania, H.E. Mrs. Janet Magufuli, their children and his entire family; and affirm our deep solidarity with the Government and People of Tanzania during this challenging time. Tanzania remains in our thoughts and prayers.
The President further said that on the continental stage, the Late President Magufuli was a champion of Pan-Africanism.
“In the passing on of President Magufuli, I have lost a friend, a colleague, and a visionary ally; whom I worked with closely, particularly on our commitment to forge lasting bonds between Kenya and Tanzania.” The Head of State said.
In honour of the life of His Excellency the Late President Magufuli and in recognition of his strong legacy, and in solidarity with Brothers and Sisters in the United Republic of Tanzania, the wider EAC and the whole of Africa who are in deep mourning following the loss of an outstanding son of Africa President Magufuli, the Republic of Kenya will observe a period of Seven (7) days of national mourning.
He also the Flag of the East African Community and the Flag of the Republic of Kenya shall be flown at half-mast at all Public Buildings and Public Grounds, and wherever else throughout the entire territory of the Republic of Kenya and at all of Kenya’s Diplomatic Missions abroad from forenoon on 18th March, 2021 until sunset on the day of the Funeral.
He outlined that that was a symbol of Kenya’s enduring respect for the fallen President, as well as Kenya’s solemn solidarity with the Nation and People of the United Republic of Tanzania;
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto condoled with the family and people of Tanzania saying that the fallen Magufuli was a unique leader who came from humble beginnings, rising steadily in the ranks of public service through diligence, consistency and commitment.
“President Magufuli will always be known as a decisive, bold and frealess, visionary who was always powered by the courage of his convictions. He easily broke with orthodoxies in government and management that he considered unimaginative, inefficient, mediocre or corrupt,” the second in command said.
Among notable figures from Kenya who sent their condolences to the family and people of Tanzania include ODM Leader Raila Odinga who described Magufuli as not only a family friend but also one who had been close to him during difficult times.
“President Magufuli and his family have been close friends for a long period of time. He has been by my side at my most difficult and painful moments. Over the years, we have worked together especially in the areas of connecting Eastern Africa by way of infrastructure. On behalf of my family and the Orange Democratic Movement, I send our deepest condolences to the President Magufuli’s family and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania at this profoundly difficult and sad time,” Raila said.
To First Lady Mama Janeth Magufuli, Raila said their thoughts and prayers were with her as a family.
He thanked her for the occasions she welcomed Odinga’s family at her home and that the Odinga family will stand with her at the hour of grief and sorrow in her family.
Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka also sent his condolences to the family, friends and to the entire United Republic of Tanzania following the passing-on of President Magufuli.
“My prayers are with all of you during this difficult times. May he Rest In Peace.” Kalonzo offered
The other notable figure was Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who termed Magufuli as a towering East African leader.
“Magufuli was a towering East African leader with a solid transformational agenda for Tanzania as evidenced during his tenure in public service. His track record was hallmarked by dedication, conviction, and the urge for service delivery to the public. As the president, H.E Magufuli embarked on a comprehensive reform agenda to rid Tanzania of corruption and complacency, and bequeath it a visionary and servant leadership.” Senator Moi said.
He added that in his capacity as a Minister for Works, he oversaw an intensive road network expansion program to open up Tanzania, encourage trade and spur economic growth.
ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi said that it was with deep sorrow that he learnt of the passing on of President Magufuli
“I stand in solidarity with the people of Tanzania during this trying moment. May their constitution guide them through a smooth transition as they celebrate his legacy anchored on the war against corruption & strengthening of the economy,” Mudavadi said.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula who is also the Ford Kenya Party Leader also mourned the death of Magufuli.
“He was a distinguished statesman and his death is a loss to the integration of the East African Community. My condolences to his family and the people of Tanzania.” Wetangula said of Magufuli.
Several other leaders also sent their condolences with Kenyans in their numbers taking to various social media platforms to mourn Magufuli.