Former Tanzania Vice-President Samia Suluhu has officially taken office as the President after her swearing-in this morning.
At about 10:15 AM, Suluhu took the oath of office as the sixth President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Mrs. Hassan was sworn in at the Dar Es Salaam State House.
BREAKING NEWS: Samia Suluhu Hassan sworn in as the 6th president of the United Republic of Tanzania. pic.twitter.com/pOgMCvQbl8
— KTN News (@KTNNewsKE) March 19, 2021
Suluhu takes over from President John Pombe Magufuli, who died on Wednesday from heart-related complications.
First Tanzanian female head of state
Aside from becoming Tanzania’s first female President, Suluhu, she also became the first female head of the State of the East Africa Community (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania). However, in East Africa (which includes Burundi and Rwanda) she is second behind Sylvia Kinigi of Burundi (1993-1994).
Tanzania’s Constitution does not allow for the vacancy of power, hence why Suluhu was sworn in so soon after Magufuli’s death.
“The Constitution does not allow a vacuum. Once it was official that the President was dead, the next step was for the swearing-in of the Vice-President,” Tanzania’s opposition member, Zito Kabwe, told Reuters yesterday.
The swearing-in ceremony was a low-key affair, with many regional Heads of States not attending. However, former Tanzanian President Jakaya Murishio Kikwete and Zanzibar’s incumbent, Hussein Mwinyi, were in attendance.
Suluhu showed up draped in red and black colours, inspecting a guard of honor set up by Tanzania Defence Forces.
Suluhu will serve the remainder of the late Magufuli’s term, having served as his Deputy since 2015, when Magufuli first came to power.
Considering the fact that she is from Zanzibar, expectations will be that she will nominate a Vice-President from mainland Tanzania.
Burial plans for Magufuli
Suluhu, after her swearing-in, then announced burial plans for the late President Magufuli. Suluhu said that they would bury the late President on March 25 in Chato. The public would pay their last respects to Magufuli on Saturday, March 20.
She also announced 21 days of mourning, with all flags in the country set to fly at half-mast over the duration.