Tanzania has held a state funeral in the capital, Dodoma, for former President John Pombe Magufuli.
The event was attended by several African heads of state including the presidents of Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Mozambique, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The African leaders who attended the funeral paid glowing tribute to John Magufuli considered a strong pan-Africanist.
Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera referred to him as “Africa’s finest son” whose “life of service” would be remembered.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa also described him as a “true pan-Africanist” who was unapologetic about being an African.
“Swahili has been introduced in South African schools as a honour to the late President John Magufuli who insisted on its use,” Mr Ramaphosa said.
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masese in his tribute said that Mr Magufuli was a “great teacher” like Tanzania’s founding President Julius Nyerere.
“Even in Botswana he expected us to speak Swahili…We too have introduced Swahili in our curricula,” Mr Masese added.
The late president, according to the government died of heart attack at a local hospital in Dar es Salaam this month.
Magufuli was however reported to have contracted Covid-19 and was not seen in public for weeks.
In Dodoma, people gathered in large numbers, with his coffin driven around the stadium for people to catch a final glimpse of.
His death attracted a lot of global attention due to his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, after refusing to admit its existence.
Magufuli encouraged prayers instead of adopting health protocols and vaccines after describing the virus evil.
Many of his critics say his actions led to many deaths from the virus in Tanzania.