Tanzania is soon set to get its first female president following the death of President John Pombe Magufuli on Wednesday night.
Magufuli, according to the government, succumbed to heart complications last night at Mzena Hospital at 61 days after reports emerged that he had been hospitalised with Covid-19 complications.
Vice President Samia Suluhu is set to be sworn in as Tanzania’s 6th President in line with the Constitution of the country, making history as the country’s female Head of State.
The Constitution states that “Where the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death, then the Vice-President shall be sworn in and become the President for the unexpired period of the term of five years.”
With five months into Magufuli and Samia’s second term in office, the Second in Command is expected to complete the remainder of the five-year term.
Who is Samia Suluhu?
Samia became Tanzania’s first female Vice-President in 2015 after being elected on the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ticket along with President Magufuli.
Before her tenure as vice-president, she served as the Member of Parliament for Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015 and was also the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office for Union Affairs from 2010 to 2015.
The 61-year-old previously served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar in the administration of President Amani Karume.
In 2014, she was elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.
Born on January 27, 1960, Samia completed her secondary education in 1977, she was employed by the Ministry of Planning and Development as a clerk.
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She pursued a number of short-courses on a part-time basis.
In 1986, she graduated from the Institute of Development Management (present-day Mzumbe University) with an advanced diploma in public administration.
Upon graduation, she was employed on a project funded by the World Food Programme. Between 1992 and 1994, she attended the University of Manchester and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in economics.
In 2015, she obtained her MSc in Community Economic Development via a joint-programme between the Open University of Tanzania and the Southern New Hampshire University.
She is married to Hafidh Ameir, a retired agricultural officer.
The couple has four children and their second-born daughter Wanu Hafidh Ameir is a special member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.