Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the first female President following the sudden death of John Magufuli on Wednesday. Her swearing-in ended the fears of a constitutional vacuum.
According to Al Jazeera, Hassan promises, to be honest, obey, and protect her country’s constitution. She dressed in a black suit and red headscarf before dignitaries at a ceremony in the capital, Dar es Salaam this morning (Friday, March 19)
During her address, she said, “It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart. 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,”
Hassan ascended to the presidency after President Magufuli’s death due to heart disease was announced by the government on Wednesday, more than two weeks after he was last seen in public.
Magufuli’s absence since February 27 had fueled speculation about his health and sparked rumors he had contracted COVID-19, although officials had denied he was ill.
Described as a softly spoken consensus builder, Hassan has become the country’s first female President and the first to be born in Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island in the Indian Ocean of the union of the Republic of Tanzania.
She said that Magufuli, “who always liked teaching,” had prepared her for the task ahead. “Nothing shall go wrong,” she said, 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.
On Thursday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a statement that declared three days of mourning and ordered the country flag to fly half-mast during this period.