By IEA Correspondent

Zanzibar’s First Vice President has died while undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at  Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salam Tanzania. The President of Zanzibar Hussein Mwinyi has announced seven days of mourning at the semi-autonomous island of Tanzania. Mourning will involve flags flying half-mast.

The Vice President was hospitalized after testing positive for Covid-19. Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has sent his condolences. Seif Sharif Hamad was a leading opposition figure and Chairman of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo). Tanzania and Zanzibar have downplayed the threat of covid-19 saying that prayer would stop it.

Late Hamad was born on the Island of Pemba in Zanzibar. Prior to becoming the Vice President, he was a member of CCM, the governing party. He served as Zanzibar’s Chief Minister until he was expelled and imprisoned in 1989.

He formed CUF (Civic United Party) in 1992, the main opposition party in Zanzibar. While in CUF, he ran against CCM party six times and claimed all the elections were stolen. He ended up abandoning CUF and running under ACT-Wazalendo.