ODM leader expressed shock and grief at the passing on of longtime political friend and Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli.
In a statement seen by Kivumbi.co.ke, Odinga said Magufuli has been by his side at his most difficult and painful moments.
“President Magufuli and his family have been close friends for a long period of time. He has been by my side at my most difficult and painful moments,” he said.
The tough-talking Tanzania president is said to have succumbed to heart complications while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the country’s capital, Dar es salaam.
The country’s Vice President Samia Suluhu made the announcement at around midnight on Wednesday East African time. She will take over the reigns of power for the remainder of Magufuli’s term.
Raila further urged Tanzania to ensure a peaceful transfer of power in East Africa’s biggest nation by geographical size.
The late Magufuli passed on following weeks of speculations over his health condition.
He was last seen in public discharging official duties on February 27, 2021 after which it was speculated he was hospitalized.
On March 13, Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa had to dispel rumours the head of state was in a vegetative state having suffered from COVID-19.
Speaking at a prayer session, Majaliwa said the Tanzania President was well and “continuing with daily activities.”
Opposition politician Tundu Lissu, exiled in Belgium, was on the forefront fueling death rumours about Magufuli, citing inside sources within Tanzania government.
A few days before announcing Magufuli’s death, vice president spoke at a public rally and urged Tanzanians to remain united while hinting her boss was sick.
“I want to confirm to you Tanzania is safe. It’s normal for a human being to undergo checkups like flu and fever and could suffer other illnesses. I want to plead with Tanzanians, now is the time to hold together. This is the time to build unity. It’s not a time to listen to information coming from outside,” said the vice president.