Tanzania’s first woman leader urges unity after the death of COVID-19 skeptic Magufuli | Tanzania

Tanzania’s new president, Samia Solo Hassan, said the country should unite and avoid pointing fingers afterwards John Magufuli dies, Its Covid-19 questionable predecessor.

She wore a red headscarf, and took the oath of office on the Koran at a ceremony held at the presidential headquarters in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of the East African country. She is the first female head of state in a country of 58 million people.

Hassan, the vice president since 2015, gave a brief and bleak speech after she was sworn in, addressing a dense crowd of males that included two former presidents and uniformed officers.

She said, “This is the time to bury our differences, and to be one country.” “This is not the time to point fingers, but to hold hands and move forward together.”

The remarks appeared intended to dispel the uncertainty that arose after Magufuli, who was criticized by opponents as a divisive and authoritarian figure, disappeared from view for the 18 days before his death was announced.

His absence from public life He drew speculation that he was in critical condition with Covid-19. Hassan said upon announcing his death on Wednesday that Magufuli had died of a heart condition.

One of the first tasks the 61-year-old will face is deciding whether to purchase Covid vaccines. Under her predecessor, The government said it will not get any vaccines until the country’s experts review them.

Analysts said she will also face the task of healing a country polarized during the Magufuli years, and building her own political base to govern effectively.

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Hasan is described as a soft-spoken consensus builder, and he will also be the first president of the country to be born in Zanzibar, the archipelago that is part of the Federation of the Republic. Tanzania.

Its leadership style is seen as a potential contradiction to Magufuli, a reckless populist who earned the nickname “Bulldozer” for his tough policies and who has criticized His intolerance to dissentThis was denied by his government.

She praised the late leader in her statements, saying, “He taught me a lot, and he was my mentor and prepared me enough.”

Rights groups say Magufuli’s six-year rule has been marred by arbitrary arrests, suspension of critical TV and radio stations, blocking of social media, and other abuses.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said that Tanzania has an opportunity to revive its democracy and reverse the “descending human rights trajectory” in the country under Magufuli.

DaMina Advisors, a political risk advisory firm, has speculated that the new president is likely to make a public shift around her predecessor’s Covid-denial policy and his generally negative attitudes toward foreign investors.

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