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Mystery surrounds the death of Tanzania’s Covid-denying President John Magufuli, who went missing after criticizing Covid-19 PCR tests.

Magufuli died on March 17 following an 18-day absence that prompted rumors about his health and well-being.

Magufuli becomes the first Tanzanian leader to die while in office.

Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan reported Magufuli’s death on state television late Wednesday, saying Magufuli died from “heart disease.”

Magufuli’s death opens the door for Hassan to be Tanzania’s first female president.

Magufuli was last seen in public on Feb. 27, sparking rumors he had Covid-19. Officials denied he was sick with the coronavirus.

The president was criticized for mocking Covid-19 tests as a complete fraud when a goat and a piece of fruit tested positive.

Magufuli criticized the testing kits sent from the United States and suspended a lab director.

The president instructed his security forces to check the quality of the test kits by randomly obtaining samples from a goat and a pawpaw.

“There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,” he said at the time.