Faridah N Kulumba
The new Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu Hassan told politicians eyeing her seat in 2025 to desist from early presidential campaigns. President Samia Suluhu said it was premature for anyone to show ambition to become president in 2025, warning that she would be watching out for them. The president did not mention anyone in particular, but suggested she was aware of the campaigns and urged them to stop it as The Citizen reported.
Samia Suluhu was Tanzania’s Vice-President since 2015 November, but became the six president of Tanzania on 19 March 2021 after the sudden death of president Dr John Pombe Magufuli who was announced dead on 17 March 2021 due to heart condition.
According to Article 37 of Tanzania’s constitution, President Samia 61 year old the first female president of that country, would finish the remaining second term of president Magufuli until 2025, and would be eligible to run for another five years term in 2025 when Tanzania will go to election again.
“I know that during the second term of presidency in Tanzania and perhaps elsewhere, politicians jostle for succession but I should warn you against early campaigns for 2025,” said Samia on live television during the swearing in of ministers in State House in Dodoma. She added that the time for campaigns would come and advised those aspiring to the presidency to take it slow for the time being.
Why President Samia warned politicians
According to Tuko, analysts and social media discussion has been rife as to whether President Samia will offer herself for re-election in 2025. Since her ascendancy to the highest political office in Tanzania, political analysts have pointed out that President Samia would need to stump out her authority and work hard to move away from the shadow of the late president Magufuli who had a powerful personality.
Opposition leader Tundu Lissu in an interview with Transition and Africa Program, said that the new president Samia does not have a strong following even Zanzibar where she is coming from, and that she lacks her own political constituency.
“She is weak in that she does not have a political power base. She is a Zanzibari at a time when the Union is under pressure, For a Zanzibari president to preside over non-Union matters will rise many questions that were asked at the end of Mwinyi’s presidency,” said Lissu.
He was referring to Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who became Tanzania’s second president from 1985-1995 who was accused of favouring Muslim and Zanzibar interests while in office. Lissu added that former president’s backers are in positions of power solely because of Magufuli.
Will the new president be powerful enough to win Tanzanians hearts in case she decides to run for presidency in 2021?
While speaking at Magufuli’s funeral, the first Tanzania’s female president Samia Suluhu Hassan assured Tanzanians that there is nothing to worry about. “Let me say something here, for those who have doubts that this woman, if can handle being a president, I want to tell them that the one who is standing here in front of you is the president of Tanzania.
Political analysts predicted that the new leadership will be passing through a period of filling the gaps that were mostly criticised during term. John Mwambu a journalist told African Press that it is still early to predict whether president Samia will be strong as her predecessor Magufuli if at all she decides to enter 2025 presidential race.
He added that the only way president Suluhu can win Tanzanian hearts is by giving back to them the right of expressing themselves, removing all oppressive laws on the media and stop cracking down on press and oppositions. Tanzanians are waiting to see how their new president chooses to lead the country. Many believe that the leadership style of president Hassan will be in sharp contrast to that of the former president Magufuli.