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Samia Suluhu Hassan takes office as President of Tanzania amid doubts about her true political power

Madrid, 19 Mar. (Europa Press) –

John Magufuli, who died this week, was the first woman to accept the presidency of Tanzania this Friday, with doubts as to what her real power would be within a structure that has completely dominated the past few years, said Samia Zuluhu Hassan.

Makufuli died on Wednesday, according to the government, which is suffering from heart problems. The opposition has repeatedly promised that the COVID-19 could be infected, which the late president has repeatedly denied, imposing a ban on the dissemination of data on the epidemic.

Zuluhu Hassan, 61, who was born in the Zanzibar archipelago, has held the post of vice president until now, so he has risen to the first position of power according to the constitution. Among the pending challenges is to secure control of the ruling party, Sama Cha Mapintuci, if it wants to retain the presidency at least until the 2025 elections.

Makhoufuli chose him as a candidate to run in the 2015 election, but ‘a poster’ admitted that he would have liked former defense minister Hussein Mwini, and that his party had insisted on appointing a woman. He had her in office for re-election in October 2020.

This Saturday, Suluhu Hassan already has a meeting at the ruling party headquarters in Dar es Salaam to ask for recommendations on the appointment of the future vice president and begin to lay out his ‘road map’ in which he will be reviewing Makufuli’s policies regarding the corona virus epidemic.

Suluhu Hassan, who trained at the University of Manchester where he studied economics, oversaw small issues related to the environment or labor as vice president, and had a ceremonial position in front of the ubiquitous makufuli.

Message to the new leader

Human Rights Watch hopes the presidential replacement will open a new chapter, as Magufuli is considered to have applied during his decree on “harmful laws and policies that severely affect human rights.” “The new government now has an opportunity to put an end to the controversial practices of the past,” said Otsino Namwaya, director of the Organization for East Africa.

The HRW reversal calls for harassment, harassment by opposition and critical newspapers and a ban on pregnant young women with children attending classes. “As Makhfuli passes away, it is more clear than ever that there is an urgent need for justice for many who have been abused,” Namwaya said.