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HomeKenya NewsSamia Hassan sworn in as Tanzania’s 6th President following Magufuli’s death

Samia Hassan sworn in as Tanzania’s 6th President following Magufuli’s death

By Collins Chibole and Seliphar Musungu in Dar es Salam

Dar es Salam

Samia Suluhu Hassan is now the sixth President of Tanzania taking over from the late John Pombe Magufuli who died last Wednesday.

President Suluhu prior to taking over the reigns of power today, she served as the Vice President to the late President since 2015.

Suluhu is the first woman to hold the office. She would also be the second Zanzibarian and second Muslim, after Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who served from 1985 to 1995.

 She would become one of two serving female heads of state in Africa, alongside Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde.

She was first elected to a public office in 2000; she came to national prominence in 2014 as the vice-chairperson of the Constituent Assembly, created to draft a new constitution.

She is the first woman to serve as President in the East African nation. She became Tanzania’s first female vice-president following the 2015 general election, after being elected on the CCM ticket, along with President Magufuli. Suluhu and Magufuli were reelected to a second term in 2020.

Before her tenure as vice-president, she served as the Member of Parliament for Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015, and was the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office for Union Affairs from 2010 to 2015.

Prior to this, she served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, in the administration of President Amani Karume.

In 2014, she was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

Suluhu was born on 27 January 1960 in the Sultanate of Zanzibar.

 She completed her secondary education in 1977 and began working.

Subsequently, she pursued a number of short-courses on a part-time basis. In 1986, she graduated from the Institute of Development Management (present-day Mzumbe University) with an advanced diploma in public administration.

Between 1992 and 1994, she attended the University of Manchester and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in economics.

In 2015, she obtained her MSc in Community Economic Development via a joint-programme between the Open University of Tanzania and the Southern New Hampshire University.

After her secondary school education, she was employed by the Ministry of Planning and Development as a clerk. Upon graduation with her public administration degree, she was employed on a project funded by the World Food Programme.

In 2000, she decided to run for public office. She was elected as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed a minister by President Amani Karume.

 She was the only high-ranking woman minister in the cabinet and was looked down on by her male colleagues because of her gender. She was re-elected in 2005 and was re-appointed as a minister in another portfolio.

In 2010, she sought election to the National Assembly, standing in the parliamentary constituency of Makunduchi and winning by more than 80 per cent.

President Jakaya Kikwete appointed her as the Minister of State for Union Affairs.

In 2014, she was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

In July 2015, CCM’s presidential nominee John Magufuli chose her as his running mate for the 2015 election, making her the first female running mate in the party’s history.

She subsequently became the first female vice-president in the history of the country upon Magufuli’s victory in the election.

In 1978, Saluhu married Hafidh Ameir, at present a retired agricultural officer. They have four children.

Her daughter Mwanu Hafidh Ameir (born 1982), the couple’s second child, is a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

Ends

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