Tanzania declares 5 days to mourn death of Edward Lowassa

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Tanzania has declared 5 days of mourning the death of veteran politician Edward Lowassa who died on February 10, 2024.

Lowassa died at the age of 70 years while receiving treatment at Jakaya Heart Institute in Dar es Salaam.

His death was announced on Saturday February 10, by Tanzania’s Vice President Philip Mpango. 

“He had been unwell for a long time and had been receiving treatment at the Jakaya Kikwete Heart Institute since January 14, 2022. After which he was taken to South Africa for further medical treatment before returning to the institute,” stated Mpango. 

Lowassa was suffering from high blood pressure, and lung problems. 

During the mourning periods, flags will fly half-mast across the country. 

READ ALSO: Countrywide blackout in Tanzania due to power failure

The veteran politician Lowassa served as Prime Minister in Tanzania and also held different leadership positions in government and opposition.

He also contested for the presidency in the country, although he was not successful. 

The Tanzanian politician will be remembered for his love for the country’s ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), that was formed in 1977.

He resigned as Prime Minister on February 7, 2008 after being linked to irregular procurement in the Richmond scandal. 

At that time, Lowassa blamed his political competitors for witch hunting, saying that his enemies were out to finish him politically.

In 2015, when he contested for the CCM party ticket to contest for the presidency, he lost to John Pombe Magufuli.

After losing the CCM ticket, he joined the opposition coalition to run against Magufuli of CCM in the presidential elections but lost. 

He led the opposition in Tanzania for some time but later reconciled with the ruling party, CCM and President Magufuli, before he died in 2021.

Lowassa was born in Monduli in Arusha, Northern Tanzania. He gained popularity from the 1960’s as a young man. 

He became more prominent in 1990’s when he became Minister, as he was known to be a no-nonsense leader.

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