Former Tanzania Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu (61) has been sworn in as Tanzania’s new president following President John Magufuli’s death on Wednesday.
Magufuli, who became president in 2015, died of heart complications at Mzena State Hospital in Dar es Salaam.
Following Magufuli’s death in office, Ms. Samia Suluhu has ascended to the Presidency to became Tanzania’s first female President.
Article 37 of Tanzania’s constitution
Article 37 (2) states that when the cabinet finds that the president is unable to discharge the functions of his office by reason of physical or mental infirmity, it may submit to the chief justice a resolution requesting him to certify the president’s incapacity.
Upon receiving such a resolution, the chief justice must then appoint a medical board of no less than three people who are experts recognised as such by the law governing medical practitioners in Tanzania. This board is then tasked with making a determination and advising the chief justice accordingly.
The chief justice must then present the medical findings to the house speaker through a certificate that verifies the president is unable to perform his/her duties.
At that point, it would be deemed that the president’s post is vacant and the vice-president would become president.
Who is Samia Suluhu Hassan?
61-year-old Hassan is from the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, which is about 99% Muslim.
She has been vice-president since 2015. Prior to that, she was a minister of state under the vice-president’s office.
Hassan also served in the government of Zanzibar in different capacities.
She is not popular across the CCM’s different factions.
Tanzania has never had a president who is from Zanzibar, which has experienced several contested elections in recent years.
Hassan has since announced that the country would get into a 14-day period of mourning as arrangements for the burial are made.
During this period, all flags in Tanzania will fly at half-mast, she announced.