- More than 10 African leaders have died in office over the last decade
- In 2014, Zambia's Michael Sata who served as the country's fifth president died after just three years in power
- Another prominent leader who died in power was Libya's Muammar Gaddafi who was murdered in 2011
Tanzanian president John Magufuli who had just begun his second term in office, died on Wednesday, March 17, evoking memories of other African leaders who lost their lives while still in power.
Briefly.co.za lists 10 other leaders in the continent who passed on due to long-term illnesses, heart conditions and even assassinations.
1. John Pombe Magufuli
Tanzanian head of state John Pombe Magufuli passed away on Wednesday, March 17, at 6pm, according to an announcement made by Vice President Samia Suluhu on state television.
The Chama Cha Mapinduzi party leader had been missing from the public for about two weeks, and speculation was rife about his whereabouts and health condition in the days leading to the announcement of his death.
The 61-year-old succumbed to heart-related complications, which he had been battling for over 10 years.
2. Michael Sata
Michael Sata served as the fifth president of Zambia, from September 23, 2011, until his death on October 28, 2014.
Sata died aged 77 while receiving treatment from an undisclosed illness in London, United Kingdom.
After his election into office, concerns about his health were raised after he missed major state functions even though his spokesmen downplayed the claims and insisted he was in good health.
3. Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi served as president of Ethiopia's transitional government from 1991 to 1995, then as her prime minister from 1995 until he died in 2012.
Zenawi died in Belgium, aged 57, from an undisclosed ailment after ruling Ethiopia for 21 years.
He was best remembered for introducing multi-party democracy, even though he was also accused of violently suppressing the Oromia people's legitimate protests in the northern part of the country.
4. John Atta Mills
John Atta Mills was a Ghanaian politician and legal scholar who served as president of Ghana from 2009 until he died in 2012.
He was sworn into office on January 7, 2009, after defeating the ruling party's candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 presidential elections.
Mills had been admitted at the 37 Military Hospital in the capital Accra, three days after his 68th birthday.
The late Ghanaian leader had had throat cancer and had been in and out of hospital before he died.
5. Bingu wa Mutharika
Bingu wa Mutharika from Malawi was another president who died in office.
He suffered a heart attack in April 2012 and died at the age of 78.
Mutharika was best remembered for his great agricultural policies in his first term from 2004 to 2008, leading to an increase in food production.
However, his reputation was damaged after mass protests over his purchase of a KSh 15.4 billion president jet, which was deemed expensive.
Other presidents who died in office as reported by Briefly.co.za were:
6. Malam Bacai Sanha, president of Guinea-Bissau (2012).
7. Muammar Gadhafi, Libya (2011).
8. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, president of Nigeria (2011).
9. Joao Bernardo Vieira, president of Guinea-Bissau (2009).
10. Omar Bongo, President of Gabon (2009).
11. Lansana Conte, president of Guinea (2008).
In related news, Briefly.co.za reported that Basetsana Kumalo has slammed a fake news report claiming that she is pregnant with late Tanzanian President John Magufuli's child.
The media personality, married to Romeo Kumalo, took to Instagram a few days ago to react to the report that was published on 18 March. The report by mpasho-news.com published a pic of Bassie alongside Magufuli.
It said that Basetsana is a Kenyan woman named Sara Wanjiru, 34, who claimed to be six months pregnant with Magufuli's child. Bassie shared the screenshot of the report on her timeline and said her name is not Sara Wanjiru.
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