Tanzania’s First Female President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has been Sworn In


After the sudden death of John Magufuli from an illness that remains a mystery, Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president on Friday.

The 61-year-old took the oath of office in Dar es Salaam, wearing a black suit and a red headscarf, before reviewing troops at a military parade and receiving a cannon salute.

Members of the Cabinet and former Tanzanian presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Jakaya Kikwete, and Abeid Karume were present at the inauguration. Only the former heads of state in the room wore facemasks to shield themselves from COVID-19.

To protect themselves from COVID-19, everyone in the room wore facemasks.

Hassan then went outside to check out a military honor guard.

“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, swear to be truthful and to obey and protect Tanzania’s constitution,” she said in front of a room full of dignitaries, who cheered when the ceremony was over.


According to the constitution, Hassan will complete Magufuli’s second five-year term, which will not end until 2025.


Hassan’s inauguration comes just two days after she announced President John Magufuli’s death, two weeks after he went missing. She proclaimed 21 days of mourning for Magufuli and national mourning in her first public holidays on March 22 and on March 25, the day of his burial.

“It’s not a good day for me to speak to you because I have a heart wound,” Hassan said. Today, I took an oath that is unlike any other I have taken in my career. Those were taken with joy. ‘Today, in mourning, I took the highest oath of office,” she said.

Magufuli, she said, had trained her for the mission ahead because he “really liked teaching.” ‘Nothing can go wrong,’ she promised, asking everyone in the world to work together to bring the country together.

“Now is the time to band together and form bonds. It’s time to put our differences aside, show each other respect, and move forward with trust, she said. “Now is not the time to point fingers at one another, but rather to join hands and work together to create the new Tanzania that President Magufuli envisioned.”


Hassan rose through the ranks of Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous island in the Indian Ocean over a 20-year political career, from local government to the national assembly.

She was elected Magufuli’s running mate in the 2015 presidential campaign. She is a stalwart of the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

In a controversial election marred by fraud charges, the pair were re-elected in October of last year.

She is Africa’s only other current female head of state, alongside Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, who serves primarily in a ceremonial capacity.

In order to name a new vice president, she must meet with the rest of the party. Analysts suggest she may be manipulated by influential Magufuli allies within the CCM, who monitor intelligence and other vital facets of government.

Hassan was little known outside Tanzania until she appeared on state television on Wednesday night to reveal that Magufuli, who had been missing for three weeks, had died of a heart attack at the age of 61.

After numerous rumors that he had COVID-19 or sought care abroad, questions remain about the true cause of his death.



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