The Nation is in great shock following the unexpected death of President John Magufuli yesterday aged 61.

Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced the most devastating news to the nation via national television, TBC, last night.

"Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave Leader, President John Magufuli," the Vice-President announced.

Dr. Magufuli died from heart illness at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was receiving treatment, said Mama Samia.

The Vice-President revealed that President Magufuli had first been briefly admitted to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on March 6.

His condition improved and was discharged on March 7 but on March 14 he was rushed to hospital again after feeling unwell.

Dr. Magufuli was from chronic atrial fibrillation, a condition he had fought for more than a decade. The Vice-President announced 14 days of National Mourning and said that flags would fly at half-mast nationwide.

The untimely death of the charismatic Leader has left Tanzanians devastated as they mourn the unbearable loss. What a loss! Tanzania has lost. Africa has lost.

Dr. Magufuli was born on October 29 and held different ministerial positions for about 20 years before becoming Tanzania's Head of State. He served as Minister of Works, Transport and Communications from 2000 to 2005 and 2010 to 2015.

He was Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) from 2019 to 2020.

First elected as a Member of Parliament in 1995, he served in the Cabinet of Tanzania as Deputy Minister of Works from 1995 to 2000, Minister of Works from 2000 to 2006, Minister of Lands and Human Settlement from 2006 to 2008, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries from 2008 to 2010, and as Minister of Works for a second time from 2010 to 2015.

Running as the candidate on the ruling CCM ticket, Dr. Magufuli won the October 2015 Presidential Election and was sworn in on 5 November 2015.

In July 2020 Magufuli was nominated again as the ruling party's Presidential Candidate in an election that was held on October 28, last year.

He received the highest votes and was therefore re-elected to extend his Presidency until 2025 for a second term. After taking oath as the East African nation Head of State in 2015, Dr. Magufuli straight away began to impose measures to cut back unnecessary government expenditure.

He barred unnecessary foreign travel by Government Officials and discouraged lavish events and parties by public institutions. He took more than a month before unveiling his first cabinet whereby he reduced from 30 Ministries to 19 to help reduce costs.

Dr. Magufuli championed a number of reforms which will go down in history as important drivers of economic growth. Under his leadership, Tanzania amended the laws governing the award of mining contracts, giving the country the right to renegotiate or terminate them in the event of proven fraud.

The new legislation also removes the right of mining companies to resort to international arbitration. His Administration worked on various strategic infrastructure projects targeting economic development.

The notable projects include revival of the cash-strapped Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), the expansion of Terminal III of Julius Nyerere International Airport, construction of Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway, Julius Nyerere Hydropower Power, Ubungo Interchange, new Selander Bridge and Kigongo-Busisi Bridge.

He was Magufuli nicknamed 'The Bulldozer' in reference to his roadwork projects and the term was also used about his moves to reduce spending and corruption within the Government. Magufuli ventured into elective politics after a short period as a teacher at Sengerema Secondary School between 1982 and 1983.

He taught chemistry and mathematics. Later on, he quit his teaching job and was employed by The Nyanza Cooperative Union Limited as an industrial chemist. He remained there from 1989 to 1995, when he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) representing Chato district.