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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Saturday led her fellow citizens in paying the last respects to former President John Magufuli at the Uhuru Stadium in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Magufuli, 61, died from a heart condition on Wednesday at the Emilio Mzena Hospital in the business capital.

Others who paid their last respects to their fallen leader were Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, the widow of Tanzania’s founding president, Maria Nyerere, heads of defense and security forces and senior government officials, including ministers, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries.

They were joined by tens of hundreds of citizens, many of whom broke into tears on seeing the body of the former head of state.

The body of the late Magufuli will lie in state in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Zanzibar, Mwanza and Chato from Saturday until March 25 to enable people to pay their last respects before he is buried in his native Chato home on March 26.

Speaking on Friday after she was sworn in as president, Hassan appealed to Tanzanians to be patient during this difficult period.

“We should take over from where President Magufuli has accomplished. We should stop pointing fingers at each other. We need to forge ahead as a nation,” she said.

President Hassan said Tanzania will remain calm as it has always been.

xinhua