Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes the first female president of Tanzania following Magufuli’s death

Tanzania’s new president, H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan | Source: President Hassan’s Twitter account.

Tanzania’s Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn into office on Friday as president of Tanzania  following the death of President John Magufuli who died of heart disease on Wednesday this week.

Mrs. Hassan, a member of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party has made history as the first female head of state in the east African country.

In her first public address, the 61-year-old leader announced 21 days of mourning for Magufuli. Aljazeera quoted the new president saying:

“It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart. Today, I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career. Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning.”

A native of Zanzibar, President Samia Hassan is not young in national and local government politics. A valiant member in the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), she has more than 20 years in the political realms.

“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 to,” she says.

Having served in various capacities, Mrs. Samia Hassan was named Magufuli’s running mate in the 2015 presidential campaign. According to Tanzania’s constitution, she will serve the remainder of Magufuli’s 5-year term of office which will expire in 2025.

The country’s constitution gives the new president a choice to propose a deputy – a choice to be confirmed by the votes of 50 per cent or more of the National Assembly.