Somber mood engulfed Zanzibar Islands soon after President Hussein Mwinyi announced the death of First Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad.
President Mwinyi, addressing the Nation from his Vuga-based office, said his top Lieutenant breathed his last at 11:26am on Wednesday at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, where he had been receiving treatment since February 9th, 2021.
"On behalf of Zanzibaris and on my own behalf, I console the bereaved family, relatives, ACT-Wazalendo, Zanzibaris and all Tanzanians. I am wishing them patience and endurance in this trying period. The Nation has lost a patriotic and brave Leader," Dr. Mwinyi announced.
The Isles Leader declared seven days of mourning, saying during the period all flags will fly at half-mast.
President Mwinyi said the Government in collaboration with the deceased's family and ACT-Wazalendo will continue providing more information on the death and burial arrangements.
Loud cries, weeps and sobs dominated at various ACT-Wazalendo offices in Unguja as the opposition party's members and fans thronged the places to mourn the fallen politician.
Maalim Seif died after 72 days in office as the second in command in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.
He took oath of office before President Mwinyi on December 7, 2020 following a political reconciliation, which led to the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) that involves the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi and ACT-Wazalendo.
The 77 year-old Hamad was first admitted at Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital for treatment on January 31st, 2021 prior to his transfer to MNH in Dar es Salaam on February 9th, 2021.
Before falling ill, Mr. Hamad was on a countrywide tour of Unguja and Pemba Islands, mostly preaching unity of all Islanders for the country's development.
President Mwinyi, in celebrating his first 100 days in State House, cited the unity and calmness in the country as top on his achievements, appreciating Maalim Seif for his readiness to support the peaceful settlement of their political squabbles.