On 17th March the president of the Republic of Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli succumbed to heart-related complications. Announcing yesterday day night, the vice president Samia Hassan Suluhu said the president was admitted and died while receiving treatment in the hospital in Dar El Salam.
The death of president Magufuli is set to bring a historical reign in Tanzania that has been having presidents under elections and make dominated leadership.
Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan sworn in as president on Friday, as the new president-elect of Tanzania after the demise of President Magufuli On Wednesday. The soft-Spoken Vice president set to take office as stated in Tanzania's constitution for the remainder of the term.
“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be honest and obey and protect the constitution of Tanzania,” said Hassan, before dignitaries at a ceremony in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
With all eyes focused on her leadership style, many predict a different style from that of her predecessor President Magufuli. The major focus being on how her government is will handle the current Corona Virus pandemic that is being experienced globally.
Magufuli's reign saw neglect on efforts on the fight against Covid-19, there were minimum protective measures on the fight against the virus with president Magufuli showing no interest in the acquisition of vaccines for its population.
Tanzania remained low-key on its Corona Virus statistics and in June 2020 and opened all the events including sporting events and urged Tanzanians to work and pray against the virus. Many labeled him a 'rebel' because he was a scientist.
Early this year after the death of senior government officials succumbed to Corona. He urged Tanzanians to wear masks recommended by the ministry of health.
Magufuli being adamant and firm with less diplomatic efforts, Samia Hassan is in contrast to her predecessor, she is termed diplomatic and more engaging and accommodating even to contrary opinions.
During her inaugural speech, she urged unity and burying of hatchets. This comes after the immediate announcement of president Magufuli's death, Opposition leader Tundu Lisu stating on his socials of calling new elections.
"This is a time to bury our differences, and be one as a nation,” she said adding, “This is not a time for finger-pointing, but it is a time to hold hands and move forward together."
Suluhu Hassan has not been afraid to go against the stands of her party in the past: In 2017, she visited opposition leader Tundu Lissu at a Nairobi hospital following an assassination attempt, with many speculating that state forces were involved.
Pictures of their meeting made headlines across Tanzania and caused a stir amongst CCM party members.
Opposition leaders have fled the country during Magufuli's leadership and assassinations among other human rights being undermined and neglected expected to have a turn during the new reign of Samia as well as respect to the rights of Media and its practitioners. Many anticipating that her reign wouldn't be similar to Magufuli's reign that was criticized for being divisive and even seeing those with different political stands fleeing the country for safety.
Speaking to DW, Tanzania's Activist Maria Sarungi tells of Tanzanians not expecting much soon from her as much as they have huge expectations and a change of guard termed as 'dictatorial' since she still originates and stands with the ruling party CCM.
"I think the expectations of Tanzanians are very huge. Tanzanians are very eager to open up a new chapter after a very dark, controversial, and extremely divisive five- and a - half years of John Magufuli," said Hassan.