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Former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi dead at 98

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Tanzania’s former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi has died at the age of 98, President Samia Suluhu Hassan announce Thursday. Mwinyi was the second President of Tanzania from 1985-1995. He succeeded the founding president, Julius Nyerere.

He died at Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam on Thursday at around 1700hrs.

Following the death of the second phase President, the Head of State declared seven days of national mourning in honour of Mwinyi popularly known as ‘Mzee Ruksa’.

Alongside declaring seven-day national mourning period, President Samia Samia  issued an order for Tanzania’s flags to be flown at half-mast.

The veteran politician served as head of state from 1985 to 1995. Previous posts include Interior Minister and Vice President. He also was chairman of the ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from 1990 to 1996.

During Mwinyi’s terms, Tanzania took the first steps to reverse the socialist policies of Julius Nyerere. He relaxed import restrictions and encouraged private enterprise. It was during his second term that multi-party politics were introduced under pressure for reform from foreign and domestic sources.

Often referred to as Mzee Rukhsa (“Everything goes”), he pushed for liberalization of morals, beliefs, values (without breaking the law) and the economy.

Early life

Mwinyi was born and raised in the village of Kivure, Pwani Region. He then moved to Zanzibar and got his primary education at Mangapwani Primary School in Mangapwani, Zanzibar West Region. Mwinyi then attended Mikindani Dole Secondary School in Dole, Zanzibar West Region. From 1945 to 1964 he worked successively as a tutor, teacher, and head teacher at various schools before deciding to enter national politics.

Mwinyi had been receiving medication at a London Hospital before he returned to Tanzania for further medication.

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