John Magufuli

Residents of Tanzania’s main city of Dar es Salaam have been banned from holding any events or festivities whilst the nation mourns the late President John Magufuli, the privately-owned Citizen newspaper quotes the city’s governor as saying.

Abubakar Kunenge made the announcement after Samia Suluhu Hassan had been sworn in as president on Friday morning – two days after Tanzanians had been told Magufuli had died of heart complications.

“President Samia Suluhu has declared 21 days of mourning and I will issue this order to you that during those days no events will be allowed in the city,” the regional commissioner is quoted as saying.

“I know that we are humble people who respect and value much of our Tanzanian traditions and customs. This is a tragic loss to the country so I cannot allow celebrations to go on.”

He also urged employers to allow people time to go and view Magufuli’s body when it goes to lie in state at Uhuru Stadium – and gave buses permission to change their routes over the weekend to take them there, the paper reports.

Magufuli’s style of leadership may have been authoritarian and he may have had critics over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but his no-nonsense approach to getting things done won him huge support in Tanzania.

He is to be buried in his hometown of Chato next Thursday.