Zanzibar loses Vice President to COVID-19


Zanzibar’s first vice president, Seif Sharif Hamad has died after more that three weeks of being hospitalised with the coronavirus.

Hamad’s ACT-Wazalendo party announced in January that the 77-year-old had been hospitalised with the virus, as part of rising evidence of a surge in cases in the country.

The news of his death was announced by Zanzibar President Ali Hassan Mwinyi said in a short speech broadcast by state-run ZBC television.

“Hamad died this morning at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was hospitalised,” Mwinyi said.

“The nation has really lost a patriotic leader. I also declare seven days of mourning and the national flag will fly at half-mast,” he added.

Tanzania and its semi-autonomous island Zanzibar have played down the threat of the virus, which President John Magufuli claims has been fended off by prayer.

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