Magufuli announces smallest cabinet in Tanzania’s history

President John Magufuli with Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu and Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassimu unveiling his cabinet

President John Magufuli with Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu and Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassimu unveiling his cabinet

More than a month after taking oath of office as the new Tanzanian leader, President John Magufuli has finally named his 18-man cabinet, the leanest cabinet the East Africa’s second largest economy has ever had , in what is seen as a continuation of his  commitment to cost-cutting measures.

The list which has been highly expected and widely debated by political analysts and the general public is less by 13 portfolios compared to his predecessor President Jakaya Kikwete’s cabinet which consisted of 31 cabinet Ministers. The Cabinet that was announced on Thursday includes six women.

Four of the ministerial positions — finance, tourism, education and transport and works (Magufuli’s former portfolio) — are yet to be filled. The president says he is still consulting and looking for suitable candidates to fill them.

The appointees include George Simbachawene who becomes the Minister of State, President’s Office, Regional Administration, Local Government, Civil Service and Good Governance.

Mwigulu Nchemba, former Deputy Minister, Finance, becomes the minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries who is assisted by Mr William Nashe.

Dr Harisson Mwakyembe, the former East Africa Cooperation minister becomes the minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs. The deputy minister in this ministry is Luhaga Mpina.

Mr William Lukuvi (Lands, Human Settlement Development) assisted by Angelina Mabula, Jenista Mhagama (PM’s Office Employment and the Disabled) with two deputies, Posi Abdallah who is a lecturer at University of Dodoma and Anthony Mavunde.

Dr Hussein Mwinyi retained his former portfolio as the minister for Defence and National Service, while Charles Kitwanga becomes Home Affairs minister. Prof Sospeter Muhongo returns to the ministry of Energy and Minerals that he previously served.

Charles Mwijage becomes the minister for Trade and Industries, while Ummy Mwalimu is now the minister for Health, Community Development and Social Welfare. She will be assisted by Dr Hamis Kigwangala.

Among the new comers include Dr Augustino Mahiga, the minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation who is to be assisted by Dr Suzan Kolimba as the deputy minister.

Eng Stella Manyanya is the new deputy minister of Education, Science and Vocational Training, Nape Nnauye becomes the minister of Information, Culture, Artists and Sports and Anastazia Wambura as the deputy minister. Makame Mbarawa becomes the minister for Water and Irrigation.

Dr. Delfin Rwegasira, an economist quickly expressed optimism in the cabinet saying it would walk the talk in cutting government spending.


He added that the delay by the president to name the entire cabinet provides more time to reflect on the actual people to head the portfolios. “The ministries such as education and finance are very complex and need well committed people to lead them,” he suggested.

Dr Benson Banna, a political analyst said Dr Magufuli had made the right choices and that his team can help him advance public interests.