Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has been sworn for a second and final term in office, which will run from 2021-2025.
In the swearing ceremony that is currently underway at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Samia Hassan Suluhu was sworn in as Vice President.
Magufuli, who was first elected as President in 2015, held up a ceremonial spear and shield to signify the beginning of his second term, shortly after taking oath on Thursday morning, amid cheers from a huge crowd that attended the ceremony.
“Mimi, John Pombe Magufuli nitatimiza kazi kwa bidii na moyo mkunjufu bila uoga, upendeleo wala chuki. (I John Pombe Magufuli, vow to serve Tanzanian citizens diligently without fear, favour or hate), ” he said.
At least eight dignitaries attended the function including Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe).
Other dignitaries present are former Tanzanian Presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete, Burundi’s Prime Minister Alaine Bunyoni, Botswana’s VP Slumber Tsogwane and Mozambique Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário.
Also present is Zanzibar’s newly elected President Hussein Ali Mwinyi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya is being represented Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of East African Community and Regional development Adan Mohammed, and Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Hussein Dado.
Tanzania’s electoral body declared Magufuli of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) the winner of this year’s presidential election for a second term on Friday with 12.5 million votes (84%) amid strong opposition from his main challenger Tundu Lissu who came in second with 1.9 million votes (13%).
The poll was marred by claims of arrests, restricted access to polling stations, multiple voting, pre-ticking of ballots and widespread blocking of social media.
Lissu and other opposition leaders termed the Magufuli’s re-election as fraud and called for disbandment of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to pave way for a fresh election.
The Chadema candidate is among several opposition leaders who were arrested early this week for organising protests in the country. They have since been freed but continue to call for justice.
The US embassy in the country has called on Magufuli to “restore faith in Tanzania’s democracy” amid the rigging claims.
Glad to hear police have just freed @zittokabwe @freemanmbowetz and several others. Now @MagufuliJP should take additional steps to ease tensions and restore faith in Tanzania's democracy. Free all political prisoners, investigate election irregularities and restore the internet.
— Ambassador Donald J. Wright (@USAmbTanzania) November 3, 2020