Following the sudden death of President John Pombe Magufuli, who on Wednesday 17 March, 2021 succumbed to heart failure in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, the former vice president Suluhu Samia Hassan, 61, has been sworn-in as new president.
During her speech after being sworn in by Ibrahim Hamis Juma, the country’s Chief Justice, Suluhu has vowed to serve all people in Tanzania diligently.
Suluhu has become the second female head of state in East Africa after Sylvie Kinigi of Burundi. She will serve the remainder of Magufuli’s second five-year term, which expires in 2025.
Magufuli on Wednesday March 17, 2021 succumbed to heart complications according to a statement released by authorities in the country. Among the dignitaries present in the room where Hassan Suluhu was sworn-in were former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete.
Foreign media has repeatedly reported that Pombe Magufuli might have died of Covid-19, a disease he said would be cured by prayer alone, and not vaccines. The late Magufuli was among the few heads of state in the world who down played the severity of Covid-19.
Magufuli, 61, dies at a time when Tanzania is grappling with wide spread corruption, poverty and Coronavirus.
Suluhu inherits a country where the majority of the youth lack gainful employment. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries on earth. The majority of people in Tanzania survive on less than a dollar a day.
Leaders from neighboring Uganda and Kenya have ordered flags to be flown at half-mast for the next 14 days as the world mourns the death of Covid-Denying president, John Pombe Magufuli.
More to follow shortly….