Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday assured Tanzanians that her leadership will not change the late John Magufuli’s vision on the country’s development trajectory.
Ms Hassan, who was sworn in several hours after announcing the death of President Magufuli, said she was ready to continue the work of her predecessor with all her strength, speed and dedication.
The president made the remarks while leading thousands of Dodoma residents, and African leaders who had flocked the Jamhuri Stadium for the national farewell ceremony for the country’s fifth-term President.
Giving the assurance, President Samia told the country’s retired presidents and other leaders that just as the late Magufuli was to them, she was also their daughter and assured them of cooperation in building the Tanzania that their beloved (Magufuli) aspired to and which all Tanzanians aspire to as well.
“Let me take this opportunity to assure you that nothing will be lost. Our country is in safe hands,” Ms Hassan said, adding, “My colleague, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi and I, will continue where he (Magufuli) left off and we will get to where he envisioned Tanzania to be.”
She emphatically said Tanzania had a president in the name of Samia Suluhu Hassan who happens to be a woman.
The new president assured friendly and neighboring nations that her leadership would repay the kindness shown to Tanzania by strengthening the existing ties.
“Tanzania will continue to be a good neighbour and a good partner in regional and international co-operation. Our relationship will continue to be safer and stronger under my leadership,” she said, accompanied by shouts and applause from the crowd.
President Samia dismissed Tanzanians and other people who were wondering if she would be able to lead the nation as well as the late Magufuli was doing.
“For those who are sceptical on whether this woman will be able to be the President of Tanzania, I want to tell you that I’m standing here as the President, I repeat, I’m standing here as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and whose nature is feminine,” said Ms Hassan with her face displaying great courage.
To all Tanzanians, President Samia appealed to them, regardless of their differences, to use this period of mourning as an opportunity to thank God for the life of Magufuli.
“Thank God for being lucky enough to be led by the late Magufuli. We will also reflect on the good guidance and vision he had for our nation and which would give us the motivation to work together to build our Tanzania that we all need,” said Ms Hassan.
The Head of State also said that although the late President Magufuli left early, he had completed the work he had come to do.
“The task was to show the way, to show us how the work is done, how to implement and make difficult decisions in the national interest. So, we have no option but to follow the path he left us in,” said the Commander in Chief.
The president did not forget the late Magufuli’s family as she promised her government to continue to oversee after this family of a President who happened to be the most famous across borders due to the kind of leadership and patriotism he showed to his nation.
“I assure you that we will always be with you…We know how we robbed you of the time to stay with your loved one, you have been so dedicated to this nation… but I assure you I will be with you, we will look after you and hold your hand all the time,” promised the head of state.
When the vice chairman of CCM Mainland, Philip Mangula, stood up, he began by explaining that there was great sorrow, and great sadness in the country.
But he went on to say that there were also fears and worries “that our President whom we were used to is gone… Now: what will happen?
“I just want to remind you that President Magufuli and Ms Hassan are the ones who went around the whole country to articulate our party’s goals and objectives for the next five years,” he said.
“I believe that, since these are the ones who carried the CCM flag, I am not worried and I want to assure the people and members who are worried that things will go as planned,” he added.
For his part, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi who wasappointed to speak on behalf of the political parties urged Tanzanians to pay tribute to Dr Magufuli for all the good that he has left.
“My fellow Tanzanians, for all that has been said here, in order to pay tribute to our beloved Dr Magufuli, then all the good that we have heard being spoken here let us honour him by developing and sustaining them,” said Judge Mutungi, urging Tanzanians to continue praying for President Samia.
Earlier at a ceremony held at the parliamentary grounds in the capital, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, recalling the manner in which Magufuli called and instructed him at any time, asked MPs to pray for the late President’s mother who was ailing.
“Honourable members, we have a big petition, today. We have the body of our beloved president here, but his mother is in bed (sick) for two years.
“Let us pray for both of them, so that the mother may be strengthened and the late President be placed in eternal peace,” said Majaliwa.
Dr Magufuli died of heart complications at the Mzena Memorial Hospital in Dar es Salaam on March 17, and his body will be laid to rest at his hometown of Chato in Geita Region on Friday March 26, 2021.
Magufuli is the first Tanzanian President to die in office-and this makes the country record its first female President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, 61, sworn into office on Friday, March 19, 2021.