Zanzibar First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad is dead.
The president of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council Hussein Mwinyi announced Hamad’s death on Wednesday afternoon, declaring Seven Days of national mourning. He didn’t reveal the VC’s cause of death.
Hamad, 77, passed away on Wednesday morning, two weeks after confirming reports that he had been hospitalised over Covid-19.
The Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazendo) party official said his wife had also contracted the virus.
“It is true I am at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital where I am being treated for Covid-19 and my wife has been isolated at home,” Hamad told the East African via a text message on Monday, February 1, 2021.
He was reportedly admitted to the hospital on January 31, 2021.
Tanzanian President John Pombe has sent his message of comfort to the politician’s family, friends and the people of Tanzania at large.
“I have received with profound shock the news of the death of Hon. Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the First Vice President of Zanzibar. I send my condolences to the President of Zanzibar Hon. Dr. Mwinyi, Family, Zanzibaris, ACT-Wazalendo members and all Tanzanians. May his soul Rest in Peace,” Magufuli wrote on Twitter.
Nimepokea kwa masikitiko taarifa ya kifo cha Mhe. Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, aliyekuwa Makamu wa Kwanza wa Rais wa Zanzibar. Natoa pole kwa Rais wa Zanzibar Mhe. Dkt. Mwinyi, Familia, Wazanzibari, wanachama wa ACT-Wazalendo na Watanzania wote. Mungu amweke mahali pema peponi,Amina
— Dr John Magufuli (@MagufuliJP) February 17, 2021
Hamad, who was appointed Zanzibar’s First Vice President in December last year, became the first person to publicly reveal Covid-19 status since April 2020 when Tanzania stopped releasing coronavirus statistics. Then, there were at least 509 infections and 21 fatalities.
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous Island in the East African country.
Magufuli recently warned Tanzanians against embracing Covid-19 from western countries. He said steam therapy had proved effective in the fight against Covid-19 in the country.
Speaking in Chato on January 27, the Head of State cast doubt on the global urge to develop Covid-19 vaccine claiming that little has been done to help cure other diseases like tuberculosis, HIV-AIDs, malaria among other infections.
“You should stand firm. Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for AIDs by now; he would have found a vaccination of tuberculosis by now; he would have found a vaccination for malaria by now; he would have found a vaccination for cancer by now,” he said.
He added, “the Health ministry must know that not every vaccination is meaningful to our nation. Tanzanians must be mindful so that we are not used for trials of some doubtful vaccinations which can have serious repercussions on our health.”
Magufuli claimed that Tanzanians who had been vaccinated against Covid-19 in other countries “brought a strange variant” back home.