Tanzania’s Magufuli sworn in, nine African leaders grace the occasion

President Magufuli with Chief Justice Mohamed Othman Chande

President Magufuli with Chief Justice Mohamed Othman Chande

Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, 56, has been officially sworn in as the country’s fifth president along with his Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu.

Ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s Magufuli won the October 25, general election by more than 58% of the vote defeating his archrival, Edward Lowassa, 62 of the opposition alliance, UKAWA.

In his inaugural address, Magufuli, who has been serving as Minister for Works under his predecessor Jakaya Kikwete, acknowledged the election was very competitive but maintained it’s over and now is the time to take care of the country’s business.

Magufuli told thousands of supporters at Dar es Salaam’s Uhuru Grounds that he is mindful of the “soaring expectations” awaiting him but was confident together with his soon-to-be-formed government they will be met.

Immediately after taking the oath of office, Magufuli hit the ground running by heading straight to the State House and appointing his Attorney General George Massaju who is set to be sworn-in this Friday.
The new leader also announced the next parliamentary seating which will involve electing Speaker of the National Assembly, swear in MPs, approve Prime Minister and appoint Deputy Speaker.

“This is the day (Tuesday November 17) that I will also nominate the name for a Prime Minister who will be approved by the parliament,” a Statement issued by Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue said Thursday.

Former lawmaker John Cheyo who attended the colourful ceremony told this website “it’s was a wonderful ceremony with big turnout of citizens this, the president is well supported.”

Chevo urges fellow Tanzanians to continue upholding peace and unity, he also appeals to the opposition to concede defeat and join forces with the new government for the benefit of all Tanzanians.

UKAWA and many leaders of the opposition were noticeably absent at the event, they announced their intension to skip inauguration festivities Wednesday as a “protest gesture” against the “fraud” election results.

Winfrida Mfuka, a resident of Dar es Salaam also said the new president must ensure he picks the right people to help him implement his campaign pledges.

Magufuli’s inauguration ceremony was attended by Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and former Presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete.

Nine African leaders also graced the occasion; Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Joseph Kabila (DRC), Philipe Nyusi (Mozambique) Hailemariam Desalegn (Ethiopia) and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.