Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday has been sworn in as president, following the sudden death of John Magufuli from a heart related illness on Wednesday.
Hassan becomes the first female president of the East African country:
“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be honest and obey and protect the constitution of Tanzania,” said Hassan, dressed in a black suit and red headscarf before dignitaries at a ceremony in the capital, Dar es Salaam.
Giving her first public address as president, the 61-year-old announced 21 days of mourning for Magufuli and public holidays on March 22 and on March 25, the day the late president will be buried.
“It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart,” said Hassan. “Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career. Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning,” she after sworn in at 10am local time (07:00 GMT) on Friday.
Magufuli passed on Wednesday due to heart disease, this comes more than two weeks after he was last seen in public.
According to her, Magufuli “who always liked teaching” had prepared her for the task ahead. “Nothing shall go wrong,” she assured, urging all the country’s people to work to unite the nation.
“This is the time to stand together and get connected. It’s time to bury our differences, show love to one another and look forward with confidence,” she said.
“It is not the time to point fingers at each other but to hold hands and move forward to build the new Tanzania that President Magufuli aspired to,” she said amid opposition claims about the cause of Magufuli’s death.
Hassan through an over 20-year political career rose through the ranks from local government to the national assembly. She was named Magufuli’s running mate in the 2015 presidential campaign.