Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have expressed deep sorrow and heartfelt condolences on the loss of His Excellency Dr John Pombe Magufuli, the 5th President of the United Republic of Tanzania, who died on 17th March 2021.
At the State Funeral held on Monday, 22nd March 2021, in Dodoma, the United Republic of Tanzania, in honour of the late Dr Magufuli, SADC leaders expressed their deepest heartfelt condolences to the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr Magufuli’s widow, Mama Janet Magufuli, the Magufuli family, and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania. They also expressed continued support and solidarity with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania under the leadership of the new President, H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The President of the Republic of Mozambique and SADC Chairperson, His Excellency Filipe Jacinto Nyusi said that the late Dr Magufuli was an exemplary developmental result-orientation leader, and that the Region will remember and cherish Dr. Magufuli as a true Pan-Africanist who championed the development of Africa, and stood for self-determination and economic independence of the continent, and the use of the African’s resources for the benefit of its peoples.
“The entire SADC is here, all of us are here at this big farewell to this great man, a great leader of our generation,” said H.E President Nyusi, adding that with the passing on of Dr Magufuli, the people of the United Republic of Tanzania, the SADC Region and Africa as a whole have lost a great, committed and inspirational leader admired across the African continent and the entire world. He further said that, the success of the United Republic of Tanzania is the success of SADC, and SADC will remain in solidarity and forever support the new Tanzanian President H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The State funeral was attended by members of the SADC Double Troika namely, the President of the Republic of Mozambique and SADC Chairperson, His Excellency Filipe Jacinto Nyusi; President of the Republic of Malawi and incoming SADC Chairperson, H.E Dr Lazarus Chakwera; President of the Republic of Botswana and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation H.E President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi; President of the Republic of South Africa, and incoming Chairperson of the SADC Organ, H.E Cyril Ramaphosa; and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and outgoing Chairperson of SADC Organ, H.E Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E Felix Antoine Tshisekedi; the Republic of Zambia, H.E Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu; and the President of the Comoros, H.E Azali Assoumani, also attended the funeral service. Namibia was represented by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, and Angola was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Téte António. The Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax also attended.
President Chakwera said Dr Magufuli was not just an icon, but a hero who had the knack to fight laziness, sloth, and corruption. “To us who have been entrusted with governing the nations of our beautiful and rich continent, President Magufuli’s leadership shall forever move us out of complacency. It is right for us to hold him in this regard. May his name be preserved in every capital of Africa as a symbol of the kind of resolve that will create the Africa we want. May his work be venerated in every village as an example worthy of our imitation.”
President Masisi said the SADC Region has lost a true leader, a real friend and doyen of democracy, unity and development. President Masisi said Dr Magufuli will be remembered for his contribution of Tanzanian troops, along with those from Malawi and South Africa, towards the peace effort in the eastern DRC. He hoped that Dr Magufuli’s love and dedication to his country will continue to inspire the people of Tanzania to work for economic prosperity and peace across the continent.
President Ramaphosa described Dr Magufuli as a true Pan-Africanist and tireless champion of the cause of Africa’s progress who was unapologetic about being African. He said Dr Magufuli had a vision for the development of Tanzania, the SADC Region and the entire African continent. President Ramaphosa said Dr Magufuli disliked travelling abroad as he preferred staying at home so as to serve and work for his people, and that the work he had done was quite impressive. Dr Magufuli stood out as a warrior against corruption and was among a new generation of African leaders who believed in working for the people, and not for themselves, focusing more on economic development of his country, the SADC Region and the African continent.
President Mnangagwa noted that as SADC Chair, Dr Magufuli supported the regional call for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West. SADC has since set 25 October as a day the Region will stand in solidarity with Zimbabwe in calling for the removal of the economic embargo. He said under Dr Magufuli’s leadership, the United Republic of Tanzania was the first African country to come to the aid of Zimbabwe when it was hit by Cyclone Idai in 2019, through providing food stuffs, blankets, medicine and tents for the affected people.
Issued by the SADC Secretariat 22nd March, 2021
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