Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s new President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has called on the country to unite and avoid pointing fingers after the death of her predecessor John Magufuli.
“This is a time to bury our differences, and be one as a nation,” she said. “This is not a time for finger pointing, but it is a time to hold hands and move forward together.
For this to work, she urged Tanzanians to never look back, and to not let it affect the here and now.
Instead, the President added, what is needed is to concentrate on the future.
It is a time for weeping tears and comfort to each other, with a targeted goal being working together in building a new Tanzania that the late Magufuli was wishing to create, she added.
Describing him as a statesman and humble, President Hassan said, through actions late Magufuli had changed the image of the country.
He, she added, translated his high desires of taking the country to the apex into plans, strategies and investment that saw investment in mega development projects, notably infrastructure.
Some projects brought in during his tenure include the construction of a 2,561-kilometer Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network.
The over Sh7 trillion project links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi , Uganda and DRC.
The construction of the first phase of the SGR from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is expected to be completed and will become operational later his year.
Other projects are a 2,115 megawatts Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, flyovers and roads.
President Magufuli who died at the age of 61 is also be remembered for reviving the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) by purchasing eight aircraft and leasing them to the national carrier.
President Hassan described the late Magufuli as a person who loved the country and all the time he sacrificed to work for Tanzanians.
She praised the late leader in her remarks: “He taught me a lot, he was my mentor and prepared me sufficiently.”
Ms Hassan assumes a new role as per section 37 (5) of the constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Going by the constitution, where the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, loss of electoral qualifications or inability to perform his functions due to physical infirmity or failure to discharge the duties and functions of the office of President, the Vice President shall be sworn in and become the President for the unexpired period of the term of five years.
Dressed in a black suit and red headscarf, and holding up a Quran with her right hand, Hassan took the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma, vowing to uphold the constitution of the East African country.
The inauguration was witnessed by members of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai, Chief Justice Ibrahim Hamis Juma.
The event was also attended by the Tanzania's former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Jakaya Kikwete and Abeid Karume (Zanzibar).
The former heads of state were among the few in the room wearing facemasks to protect against the Covid-19 pandemic.