By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus – Last Friday, Tanzania made history as it became the first East African country to have a female president, when Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, took an oath to become its seventh president.
This comes after the death of John Pombe Magufuli who died last week, just months into his second term. Consequently, Samia Hassan will serve the remainder of his term, which is to end in October 2025.
“We are praying the best for her,” Joseph Aboubakar, who lives in Dar es Salaam, told VOA. “Our mother has already taken the country’s leadership and we believe she will lead the country in a good direction.”
It should be remembered that Samia is not new to leadership since she has been the Vice President from 2015, among other positions in the government of Tanzania for decades.
Additionally, many people welcomed Samia’s presidency saying it challenges stereotypical notions that women cannot hold top positions of leadership. Rose Reuben, the Chairperson of the Tanzania Media Women Association, said she believes that Tanzania is going to move forward under Samia’s leadership.
Besides, Magufuli died on Wednesday in a Dar-es-Salaam Hospital, twenty days after he was last seen in public. Although he was rumoured to be suffering from COVID-19, official sources and Samia, herself, said he died of a heart failure.
The late Magufuli is to be buried this Thursday, 25th March 2021, at his home in Chato, in the Northwest region of Geita.