History has been made in Tanzania as Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn in as the nation’s President, making her the first female leader of the East African country.
The 61-year-old was sworn into office following the sudden and controversial death of his predecessor John Pombe Magufuli.
While taking the oath, she said “I Samia Suluhu Hassan, swear and solemnly affirm that I will be faithful to the United Republic of Tanzania, and serve it with all my heart, and that I will preserve and defend the constitution of the union of Tanzania in accordance with the law laid down, so help me God”.
“I swear that I will undertake my presidential duties for Tanzania faithfully and conscientiously fulfill those responsibilities,” she told the ceremony attended by military and government officials.
Making her first statement as the president of Tanzania, Suluhu said: “The oath I took today of office is different and unlike any other I have ever taken in comfort, excitement and joy. I took this oath with sorrow and all across the country there is great sadness, I took this oath on a day of mourning.”
“For this I am sorry.”
The history maker announced 21-day mourning for Magufuli, adding that all flags of Tanzania will fly at half-mast for the period.
Magufuli reportedly died of a heart condition at the age of 61. His death came after two weeks of speculation about his health on suspicion of contracting COVID-19.
It is imperative to note that before taking the office of the president, Suluhu served as the vice president for six years. The Muslim woman became the first Tanzanian vice president when she took the office in 2015.
Suluhu, a mother of four also served as a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives in 2000-2005. It was also during this time that she was elected as the minister of labour by then President Amani Karume.
She served as the Zanzibar minister of tourism in 2005-2010. The history maker was the parliamentary member of Makunduchi area of Tanzania in 2010-2015.