Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan was on Friday sworn in because the nation’s first feminine president after the sudden dying of John Magufuli from an sickness shrouded in thriller.
Hassan, 61, a soft-spoken Muslim girl from the island of Zanzibar, will end Magufuli’s second five-year time period, set to run till 2025.
Sporting a vivid pink scarf, Hassan was sworn in because the nation’s sixth president, at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam, the place neither she nor the vast majority of attendees wore a masks, within the Covid-sceptic nation.
“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be sincere and obey and shield the structure of Tanzania,” stated the brand new president, as she took the oath of workplace earlier than inspecting troops at a navy parade and receiving a cannon salute.
She turns into the one different present serving feminine head of state in Africa alongside Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, whose function is especially ceremonial.
Hassan was little recognized exterior Tanzania till she appeared on state tv on Wednesday night time to announce that Magufuli had died aged 61 from a coronary heart situation after a mysterious three -eek absence from public view.
However questions have been raised over the true reason for his dying, after a number of rumours that Magufuli — one of many world’s most fervent Covid-sceptic leaders — had caught the virus and had sought therapy overseas.
Major opposition chief Tundu Lissu insists his sources stated Magufuli had Covid-19 and had truly died per week in the past.
And Kenya’s Every day Nation newspaper, which final week reported an “African chief”, in clear reference to Magufuli, was in a Nairobi hospital, on Friday gave extra particulars of his sickness, additionally indicating Magufuli had in truth died final week.
Citing sources, the paper stated Magufuli was discharged from Nairobi Hospital on life assist after it was decided he couldn’t be resuscitated, and returned to Dar es Salaam the place he died final Thursday.
The paper particulars his preliminary evacuation to Nairobi on March 8 in a medical airplane, as he suffered “acute cardiac and respiratory diseases.”
The principle query hanging over the brand new president is whether or not she is going to usher in a change in management type from her predecessor, nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, notably within the dealing with of the pandemic.
Magufuli leaves behind a posh legacy, after a swing to authoritarianism which noticed him crack down on the media, activists and free speech, whereas refusing to take any measures in opposition to Covid-19.
He referred to as for prayer as a substitute of face masks, refused to publish case statistics or implement lockdown measures, and championed various medicines.
In Might final yr he revealed a papaya, quail and goat had examined constructive for the virus in a secret operation, proving “sabotage” on the nationwide laboratory.
Nevertheless by February, as circumstances soared and the vice chairman of semi-autonomous Zanzibar was revealed to have died from Covid-19, Magufuli conceded the virus was nonetheless circulating.
The opposition and rights teams have urged Hassan to vary course.
“As we proceed mourning, allow us to use this era to open up a brand new chapter for rebuilding nationwide unity and respect to freedom, justice, rule of regulation, democracy and people-centred growth,” stated Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of opposition group Chadema, in an announcement Thursday.
He urged Hassan to “lead the nation towards reconciliation”.
In the meantime Human Rights Watch stated in an announcement that the brand new authorities “has an opportunity for a recent begin by ending problematic previous practices.”
Nevertheless analysts say Hassan will face early stress from highly effective Magufuli allies throughout the get together, who dominate intelligence and different important points of presidency, and would attempt to steer her choices and agenda.
“For individuals who had been form of anticipating a breakaway from the Magufuli method of issues I’d say maintain your breath in the intervening time,” stated Thabit Jacob, a researcher on the Roskilde College in Denmark and knowledgeable on Tanzania.
Hailing from Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island within the Indian Ocean, Hassan rose via the ranks over a 20-year political profession from native authorities to the nationwide meeting.
A ruling get together stalwart, she was named Magufuli’s operating mate within the 2015 presidential marketing campaign. The pair had been re-elected in October final yr in a disputed ballot marred by allegations of irregularities.
Hassan should seek the advice of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) about appointing a brand new vice chairman. The get together is ready to carry a particular assembly of its central committee on Saturday.
Tanzania is observing a 14-day mourning interval and particulars on Magufuli’s funeral have but to be introduced.
Magufuli is the second East African chief to die below mysterious circumstances.
Burundi’s equally Covid-sceptic chief, Pierre Nkurunziza, died from “coronary heart failure” final June after his spouse was flown to Nairobi to be handled for coronavirus.