Tanzania has suspended Parliament sittings following the death of Sumve MP Richard Ndassa on Wednesday in Dodoma.
Ndassa, 61, is the second legislator to have died in the past 10 days in Tanzania
Tanzania’s National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai said the MP died after a short illness but did not reveal the cause of death.
Word has it that the MP succumbed to COVID-19.
Reports by The Citizen indicates that the hotel where the MP was residing was disinfected by medical personnel from the Ministry of Health and no one was allowed into the facility.
President John Pombe Magufuli led the nation in mourning Ndassa. The Head of State described the MP as a friend and counterpart in his political career.
“I recall in 1995 when Ndassa and I became members of Parliament. He was an MP for Sumve constituency and I was the MP for Biharamulo East which is now known as Chato constituency. May his soul rest in peace,” said a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications, quoting President Magufuli.
On April 20, the ruling party CCM lost another lawmaker MP Reverend Gertrude Rwakatare who died in Dar es Salaam.
As of Wednesday, Tanzania had reported a total of 480 cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths.
The latest comes at a time the world continues to condemn Magufuli for defying safety measures such as social distancing as outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Magufuli refused to close churches last month despite calls from medical experts from all quarters. This many believe may have contributed to the spread of the contagious disease in the country.
Instead, the Head of State termed worship centres as places where people could seek healing.