Home World News Zanzibar VP Seif Sharif Hamad succumbs to COVID-19

Zanzibar VP Seif Sharif Hamad succumbs to COVID-19

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Seif Sharif Hamad

The president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar has announced seven days of national mourning following the death of first Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad.

Flags would fly at half-mast during the mourning period, Hussein Mwinyi said.

The 77-year-old Zanzibari politician had been receiving treatment at Muhumbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, a few weeks after contracting coronavirus.

He is likely to be buried on Thursday.

Mr Hamad, popularly known as Maalim Seif, was a giant figure in opposition politics in Zanzibar – and Tanzania in general, reports the BBC’s Athuman Mtulya from Dar es Salaam.

He had joined a government of national unity in Zanzibar following last October’s elections.

He was the leader of the ACT Wazalendo party and was the most prominent official in Tanzania to openly declare that he had contracted Covid-19.

The authorities have repeatedly declared that the East African nation is free from coronavirus or that the virus is under control – and stopped publishing official Covid-19 data in June last year.

-BBC

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