Former vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan has officially taken over as President of the United Republic of Tanzania. This follows the tragic death of H.E John Pombe Magufuli announced on Wednesday night.
Prior to the announcement, President Magufuli hadn’t been spotted in public since February 27 raising lots of speculation about his wellbeing as Tanzanians demanded to know the whereabouts of their fifth president.
However, the first update they got about their leader in three weeks was a sad one as his vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan announced his demise on national television. Fortnight-long national mourning was immediately announced to allow Tanzanians to deal with the news.
Life, however, had to move on and as the constitution of the country directs, Samia Suluhu Hassan was scheduled to swear in as president latest today. This ceremony, took place today morning in the commercial city of Dar es Salaam.
In the presence former presidents Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete, the soft-spoken Zanzibar native took on the mantle to steer the nation till 2025.
Speaking in Swahili, Mama Samia as she is famously addressed called on the nation to stand together and show love to one other as they build their nation.
It is not the time to point fingers at each other but to hold hands and move forward to build the new Tanzania that President Magufuli aspired toPresident Samia Suluhu Hassan
She used her maiden speech as President to condole with the nation as she promised country that they will remain on the right track under her tenure.
Magufuli’s death is attributed to heart complications much as opposition strongman Hon. Tindu Lissu of the Chadema party claims the former president lost a battle to COVID19.
Samia Suluhu Hassan’s profile
Born on 27 January 1960 in the tourism hub, Zanzibar, Samia completed her secondary education in 1977 and immediately joined the workforce while juggling studies as she pursued short courses. As a diploma graduate in public administration from the Institute of Development Management (present-day Mzuba University), she was admitted to the University of Manchester where she graduated with a postgraduate diploma in economics in 1994.
At the turn of the millennium, she ventured into elective politics scooping a seat in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. In 2010, she joined Tanzania’s National Assembly representing a parliamentary constituency of Makunduchi following a landslide victory in the polls.
She was appointed Minister of State for Union Affairs by H.E Jakaya Kikwete before drumming up support for the Vice-Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly slot in 2014. In this position, she was tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution, an assignment she took on diligently.
During the 2015 polls, she was Magufuli’s running mate subsequently becoming East Africa’s second female Vice President. The first was Uganda’s Dr. Specioza Naigaga Kazibwe who held the position for nine years from 1994. Suluhu maintained the same position as the pair were re-elected in last year’s October polls.
As her profile suggests, she has immense experience in leadership and Tanzania is surely in safe hands.