Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan was on Friday sworn in as the country’s first female president after the sudden death of John Magufuli from an illness shrouded in mystery.
Hassan, 61, a soft-spoken Muslim woman from the island of Zanzibar, will finish Magufuli’s second five-year term, set to run until 2025.
Wearing a bright red headscarf, Hassan was sworn in as the country’s sixth president, at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam, where neither she nor the majority of attendees wore a mask, in the Covid-sceptic nation.
“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be honest and obey and guard the charter of Tanzania,” stated the brand new president, as she took the oath of office earlier than examining troops at a military parade and receiving a cannon salute.
She becomes the simplest different modern serving woman head of kingdom in Africa along Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, whose role is in particular ceremonial.
Hassan was little acknowledged outdoor Tanzania until she regarded on kingdom television on Wednesday night time to announce that Magufuli had died aged sixty one from a coronary heart circumstance after a mysterious three -eek absence from public view.
But questions had been raised over the authentic motive of his demise, after multiple rumours that Magufuli — one of the international’s most fervent Covid-sceptic leaders — had caught the virus and had sought remedy abroad.
Main opposition chief Tundu Lissu insists his sources stated Magufuli had Covid-19 and had without a doubt died a week in the past.
And Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper, which ultimate week stated an “African chief”, in clear connection with Magufuli, turned into in a Nairobi hospital, on Friday gave more info of his infection, additionally indicating Magufuli had in truth died last week.
Citing resources, the paper said Magufuli was discharged from Nairobi Hospital on lifestyles help after it was decided he couldn’t be resuscitated and again to Dar es Salaam where he died ultimate Thursday.
The paper details his preliminary evacuation to Nairobi on March eight in a medical plane, as he suffered “acute cardiac and respiration ailments.”
The fundamental question striking over the brand new president is whether she will usher in a change in management fashion from her predecessor, nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, appreciably in the coping with of the pandemic.
– ‘A new bankruptcy’ –
Magufuli leaves at the back of a complex legacy, after a swing to authoritarianism which saw him crackdown on the media, activists and loose speech while refusing to take any measures in opposition to Covid-19.
He referred to as for prayer rather than face masks, refused to submit case information or put in force lockdown measures, and championed opportunity medicines.
In May closing 12 months, he revealed a papaya, quail and goat had examined advantageous for the virus in a secret operation, proving “sabotage” at the country wide laboratory.
However by February, as cases soared and the vice chairman of semi-self sufficient Zanzibar changed into found out to have died from Covid-19, Magufuli conceded the virus become nonetheless circulating.
The opposition and rights companies have urged Hassan to change route.
“As we maintain mourning, allow us to use this era to open up a new chapter for rebuilding country wide harmony and admire to freedom, justice, rule of regulation, democracy and people-concentrated development,” stated Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of competition group Chadema, in a statement Thursday.
He urged Hassan to “lead the country towards reconciliation”.
Meanwhile Human Rights Watch stated in a assertion that the new authorities “has a danger for a clean begin by using ending problematic past practices.”
– ‘Hold your breath’ –
However analysts say Hassan will face early strain from effective Magufuli allies inside the party, who dominate intelligence and other crucial factors of government, and would try to steer her choices and agenda.
“For individuals who had been kind of waiting for a breakaway from the Magufuli way of factors I would say maintain your breath in the meanwhile,” stated Thabit Jacob, a researcher at the Roskilde University in Denmark and professional on Tanzania.
Hailing from Zanzibar, the semi-independent island inside the Indian Ocean, Hassan rose thru the ranks over a 20-year political profession from local authorities to the country wide meeting.
A ruling party stalwart, she became named Magufuli’s going for walks mate inside the 2015 presidential campaign. The pair have been re-elected in October ultimate 12 months in a disputed ballot marred by using allegations of irregularities.
Hassan have to consult the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) approximately appointing a new vice chairman. The celebration is ready to hold a unique meeting of its primary committee on Saturday.
Tanzania is observing a 14-day mourning length and details on Magufuli’s funeral haven’t begun to be introduced.
Magufuli is the second East African leader to die below mysterious circumstances.
Burundi’s similarly Covid-sceptic leader, Pierre Nkurunziza, died from “heart failure” ultimate June after his wife become flown to Nairobi to be treated for coronavirus.