Magufuli Death & Rise of First East African Female President

Compiled By Markson Omagor




Magufuli, 61, a man with a double edged legacy that has severally bred divided global opinion was pronounced dead late Wednesday. The death according to authorities was occasioned by a ‘heart condition’ called chronic atrial fibrillation.


Magufuli had last been seen in public late February- sparking demands for information on his whereabouts, all as Tanzanians speculated that he had contracted Covid-19, a viral disease he quite downplayed.


The immediate impact is that Tanzania will become the first East African nation to have a female as its President.


Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan will after taking oath within 24 hours, at least until 2025 in accordance with the Tanzanian constitution assume presidency, becoming the first female president in both Tanzania and the EAC regional bloc.


Questions Tanzanians and other East African leaders are asking are whether Suluhu will continue with the Magufuli Bulldozer way of management.


Whether the East African Nation will continue downplaying the severity of Covid-19 and therefore conform to World Health Organization (WHO) Standard Operation Procedures and the vaccine.


Who is Suhulu


Samia Suluhu Hassan, 56, was appointed as the first female Vice –President of the Republic of Tanzania by the country’s new President John Magufuli. Born on January 27, 1960 in, Zanzibar, Hassan is a rarity in Africa where politics is a male dominated dirty arena.


Only one of her four children is a politician


Samia Hassan married Afidh Ameir, who was an agricultural officer, in 1978. They have four children. The only child to follow in her political footsteps is her daughter, Wanu Afidh Ameir, who holds a special seat in the Zanzibar House of Representatives.


She is well educated


She attended Chawaka and Mahonda primary schools in Unguja and Ziwani Primary in Pemba Island. She went to Ngambo for her secondary education but later transferred to Lumumba, both in Unguja Islands. After completing her studies she joined public service in 1977 as a clerk in the Ministry of Labour and National Planning.


She joined Mzumbe University where she got an Advanced Diploma in 1986. Last year, Southern New Hampshire University, in partnership with the Open University of Tanzania, awarded her Master’s Degree in Science (Community Development). In 1994, she was awarded a postgraduate diploma, from University of Manchester.


Her distinguished public service


In 2000, Zanzibar President Amani Karume, appointed Hassan to be Minister of Labour, Gender Development and Children. She served as the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment from 2005 to 2010, after which she was appointed Minister of State for Union Affairs, which she headed from 2010 to November, 2015. On November 5, last year, Samia was sworn in as the first ever female vice president of the Republic of Tanzania, under President John Pombe Magufuli.


She has had an active political career


She started her career in active politics in 2000, when she was elected to a special seat in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. She sought a successful re-election in 2005.  2010, she won the Makunduchi Parliamentary elections, on a CCM ticket.  John Pombe Magufuli chose her as his running mate in last year’s General elections, which they won on a CCM ticket.  She is the 10th Vice-president.


She is an ardent women rights activist


Samia Suluhu Hassan was a revered activist, before she fully got into politics. She campaigned for empowerment of women, gender balance and equality. Her swearing in as the 10th Vice-president, was described by Tanzanian women activists as a sign that women empowerment has a brighter future.


She is one of the architects of Tanzania’s new constitution


She was the Vice-chairperson of the Tanzanian Constituent Assembly in 2014. This body was responsible for the drafting of the new Tanzania constitution.





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