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Tanzania’s VP Samia Suluhu to tour Korogwe and Pangani

IMAGE via TWITTER @Hakingowi

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania | THE INDEPENDENT | Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan will tour the north-east Tanzanian districts of Korogwe and Pangani Monday and Tuesday, her first official engagement since speculation of the whereabouts of President John Magufuli started early this week. All eyes will be on her security detail at both visits, where she will hold public rallies.

She will lay a foundation stone at a new Fruit factory project, and a college, before holding a Public rally Monday in Korogwe.

A day later, she will lay a foundation stone for the new Pangani council administration building  and check on the progress of the ongoing Pangani safe water project.

Despite Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday reassuring the country that Magufuli is out of public view because he is simply busy, speculation continued about the whereabouts and health of Tanzania’s President.

Magufuli, 61, Africa’s most prominent coronavirus skeptic has not been seen in public since February 27, leading to speculation that he’s ill and admitted in Nairobi hospital, where he is being treated after contracting COVID-19.

Exiled Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu went on to allege that Magufuli is in coma, and has since been flown to India.

Prime Minister Majaliwa in a speech after Friday prayers dismissed Lissu’s claims. “Tanzanians should be at peace. Your president is around, thanks for voting strongly for him recently. He is  healthy, working hard, planning for the country. To spread rumors that he is sick is just an outcome of hate.”


Should Magufuli be gravely ill as is reported, the constitution states that the Vice President takes charge. That, in this case would be 61-year-old Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.  ( CLICK TO READ SAMIA BIOGRAPHY)

The reports that  Magufuli has been flown abroad for treatment are also surprising, because he rarely travels outside the country’s borders. What that means is that his Vice President Samia Suluhu has been the most noticeable figure, representing Tanzania, at all international meetings in the past five years.

Magufuli has made only eight visits abroad since he was elected Tanzania president in 2015. He rarely travels far, reportedly for health reasons, and has only visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda (twice) since he became president.

That means, Samia Suluhu Hassan is the face that everyone is familiar with,  representing Tanzania at all the UN, African Union, SADC and East African Community meetings held outside their country.

In fact, two weeks back at the virtual East African Heads of State Summit, Magufuli appeared at the introduction only and left Samia to participate in the rest of the discussion. It turns out that was the last time he was seen in public, and also her last public engagement.

Just before that, he had launched what is said to be regions’ biggest bus hub, and a major road intersection in Dar, completed in a record 30 months that is aimed at ending massive traffic jams.

One comment

  1. Tanzania has empowered women, unlike Uganda where the female speaker is being fought by two men.

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