Hassan succeeds Magufuli as Tanzania’s first female president

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Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan is to be sworn today as Tanzania’s first female chief executive following yesterday’s death of President John Magufuli.

She would finish the rest term of the late leader that was reelected last November and whose tenure expires in 2025.

IN the interim, Presidient Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the government and people of Tanzania over the passage of their 61-old leader.

He said the late Magufuli’s courage and love for his country inspired various reforms that generations “will continue to celebrate, including the challenging decision to reduce size and cost of governance, insistence on a people focused budget with clear priorities on education and health and consistently fighting profligacy and frivolities in public expenditures.”

Buhari affirmed that Magufuli spent most of his life serving the country and humanity, “with a rich pedigree of working as a school teacher and rising steadily in public service as Member of Parliament, Deputy Minister of Works, Minister of Works, Minister of Lands and Human Settlement and Minister of Livestock and Fisheries.”

ALSO yesterday, a professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode, described Hassan as highly diligent.

According to him, she possesses the wherewithal to succeed as Head of State.

“It is, therefore, not surprising that her ascendancy has been well received by all and sundry. It would seem that Africa is now shedding its sexist, anti-feminine attitude in favour of competence and leadership potential,” he stated.

On inauguration, Hassan is becoming the second female head of state in East Africa after Sylvie Kinigi of Burundi, and the third in the wider eastern Africa region after Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde whose post is ceremonial.

Kinigi was acting president in Burundi between October 1993 and February 1994, while Zewde has been president since October 2018.

Hassan is the second Zanzibari after Ali Hassan Mwinyi to lead the republic.

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