President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Chairperson of the East African Community addressed the nation on Thursday morning after the passing of President John Pombe Magufuli.

The President expressed his sadness over the death of Dr Magufuli as he conveyed his condolence to the family of the Tanzanian head of state.

“On behalf of the government and people of Kenya, I convey our sincere condolences to the First lady of Tanzania Janeth Magufuli, their children, the entire Magufuli family and indeed affirm our deep solidarity with the government and people of Tanzania during this challenging time. Tanzania remains in our thoughts and prayers,” the President said.

In solidarity with Tanzania, Uhuru said Kenya will observe a seven day period of national mourning.

Kenya will also fly the East African Community and the Republic of Kenya will be flown at half-mast in Kenya and all territories of Kenya abroad from today March 18 until sunset on the day of Magufuli's funeral.

Uhuru's Orders

"The flag of the East African Community and the flag of the Republic of Kenya shall be flown at half-mast in honour of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli," Uhuru said.

President Uhuru spoke on the close relationship he had with Dr Magufuli and revealed the late Head of State had visited his family during his trip to Kenya.

“Magufuli was a champion of Pan-Africanism. I have lost a friend and an ally. Africa and the world have lost a leader who steered the EAC and the continent,” Uhuru said.

“On behalf of the government and people of Kenya I convey our sincere condolences to the First Lady of Tanzania, Janet Magufuli,” he added.

Kenyatta said that Dr Magufuli had invited him to his home in Chato Tanzania where he met Magufuli's mother and got to spend time with the Magufuli family.

Magufuli’s death was announced Wednesday night by Tanzanian Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu.

The government of Tanzania said President Magufuli succumbed to heart disease at Mzena State Hospital in Dar es Salaam.