Tanzania Swears In Samia Hassan As The Country's First-Ever Female President

 Tanzania’s vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, was sworn in as president on Friday, becoming the first female head of state in the East African country, following the death of the president, John Magufuli.

According to Al Jazeera, Hassan, 61, was sworn in at State House in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

She assumes the presidency following Wednesday’s announcement of the death of Magufuli, after a two-week absence from public life that drew speculation about his health.

“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be honest and obey and protect the constitution of Tanzania,” said Hassan, dressed in a black suit and red headscarf before dignitaries at a ceremony in the capital, Dar es Salaam.

In her first public address as president, the 61-year-old leader announced 21 days of mourning for Magufuli and public holidays on March 22 and on March 25, the day the late president will be buried.

“It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart,” said Hassan.

“Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career. Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning,” she after sworn in at 10am local time (07:00 GMT) on Friday.

The absence of Magufuli, Africa’s most vehement Covid-19 sceptic, since 27 February had fuelled speculation about his health and sparked rumours he had contracted the disease, although officials had denied he was ill. Hassan said he had died of heart disease.

Described as a soft-spoken consensus-builder, Hassan will also be the country’s first president born in Zanzibar, the archipelago that forms part of the union of the Republic of Tanzania.

Her leadership style is seen as a potential contrast from Magufuli, a brash populist who earned the nickname “Bulldozer” for muscling through policies and who drew criticism for his intolerance of dissent, which his government denied.

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