On 19th March 2021, former Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan took office as the 6th President of the country after the sudden death of John Magufuli, the previous president, two days earlier.
According to the Tanzanian constitution, she should serve the remainder of Magufuli’s five-year term which began in November 2020 and she should appoint a new Vice President.
During the inauguration ceremony, she called on all Tanzanians to build unity and solidarity in this difficult period and assured them that the nation is strong and the leaders are well prepared to continue Magufuli’s work.
“In this period of mourning, it is time to bury our differences and be united as a nation, to maintain peace, to respect our dignity, our patriotism and our Tanzania. This is not a time to look forward with suspense but a time to look forward with hope and confidence, not a time to look at the past but to look to the future, it is not a time to shake hands but a time to hold hands and move forward, it is a time to wipe away tears and comfort each other so that we can work together to build the new Tanzania that our beloved President Magufuli longed for,” she said.
Commenting on the appointment, Tanzania’s retired President Jakaya Kikwete said he is confident the country is in safe hands and asked Tanzanians to give the new President cooperation so that she can lead Tanzania to success.”
Who is Samia Suluhu Hassan?
Samia Suluhu was born on 27 January 1960 in Zanzibar where she was elected, in 2000, as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed Minister by President Amani Karume.
She was re-elected in 2005 and re-appointed minister. In 2010, she sought election to the National Assembly, and the President at the time Jakaya Kikwete appointed her Minister of State for Union Affairs.
In 2014, she was elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.
In July 2015, presidential nominee John Magufuli chose her as his running mate for the 2015 election, and on 5 November 2015, she became the first female vice-president in the history of Tanzania. Both Magufuli and Suluhu were re-elected for a second five-year term on 28 October 2020.