By Charles Kombe
Friday marked a new chapter of leadership in Tanzania as the first-ever female president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, took the oath of office.
The inauguration was witnessed by members of the cabinet and former presidents at the statehouse in Dar es Salaam.
The 61-year-old Hassan was Magufuli’s vice president, first elected with him in 2015 and re-elected last year. She will serve out the remaining four years of the late Magufuli’s term, which ends in October 2025.
Some Tanzanian citizens say Hassan’s new leadership could bring about positive changes to the country..
“We are praying [for] the best to her,” Joseph Aboubakar, who lives in Dar es Salaam, told VOA. “Our mother has already taken the country’s leadership and we believe she will lead the country in a good direction.”
Aboubakar added that Hassan is not new to leadership, as she has been in a top position for more than five years.
Kyande Muro, a small kiosk owner in Dar es Salaam, said raising people’s incomes would be the best thing the new president could do, and that he would like the new president to attract more investment in the country so people in the streets can find jobs.
Some see Hassan’s presidency as challenging the stereotype that women cannot hold top leadership positions.
Rose Reuben, a chairperson of the Tanzania Media Women Association, said she believes that Tanzania is going to move forward under Hassan’s leadership.
Magufuli died Wednesday in a Dar es Salaam hospital, twenty days after his last public appearance. The late president was rumored to be suffering from COVID-19, which he long denied was present in Tanzania. However, Hassan said he died of heart failure.
Magufuli will be buried next Thursday at his home in Chato, in the northwestern region of Geita.