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Political Analysis: What awaits Tanzania's first female president?

Political analysis of Tanzanian President Suhulu.   -  
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AP/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Dr John Pombe Magufuli, Tanzania’s now-late president, passed away suddenly Wednesday night from heart failure.

This came after much speculation about his whereabouts. Now there are even more rumours surrounding his death as many seek to pick up the pieces.

Speaking from Nairobi Kenya, political analyst Javas Bigambo, commented on the recent anxiety among many Tanzanians.

"One of the reasons that could have led to the delayed proclamation of the death of President Magufuli could be:

"1.) that they wanted to manage national anxiety;

"2.) that they wanted to work out a power matrix for transition;

"3.) that it would have been a bit shameful for them to make a proclamation that the president has died when speculation was rife that he could have contracted COVID-19 and that it could have now exacerbated other underlying issues that led to that demise, given that the president himself had rebuked any attempt to embrace science with regard to fighting the covid-19 pandemic."

Samia Hassan Suluhu - Magufuli’s vice president is to be sworn in as the nation's first female president for the remainder of the five-year term.

Bigambo explored what could be in store for President Suhulu.

"The gender challenge for her (Samia Suluhu Hassan) being a woman, being a bit laid back, may rob the national confidence in her abilities unless she steps out to demonstrate otherwise.

"The other thing is that Tanzanian people population has not demonstrated that it has got much confidence in a woman as a president and that is why it seems that political parties in that country have been shy to nominate a woman as a candidate to contest the presidency of any party."

Main opposition leader, Tundu Lissu, who is currently abroad in exile, has alleged Maguful had succumbed to COVID-19.

The Kenyan political analyst fears that President Suhulu is not ready for such formidable opponents.

"A two-horse race between Tundu Lissu and President Suluhu today, it would, Tundu Lissu would easily make minced meat of Suluhu.

"Because Tundu Lissu is agile, he knows how to work the crowds, he has got admirable political dexterity and the charm and passion that comparatively is very much missing in president Suluhu and that there would be an issue."

As Tanzania's first-ever female head of state -- and the first in East Africa, President Suhulu has a political trail to blaze.

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