Connect with us

News

Tanzania Swears In Samia Suluhu As First Female President

Published

on

Tanzania Swears In Samia Suluhu As First Female President Pointloaded

Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan was on Friday sworn in as the country’s first female president after the sudden death of John Magufuli from an illness shrouded in mystery.

Hassan, 61, a soft-spoken Muslim woman from the island of Zanzibar, will finish Magufuli’s second five-year term, set to run until 2025.

Wearing a bright red headscarf, Hassan was sworn in as the country’s sixth president, at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam, where neither she nor the majority of attendees wore a mask, in the Covid-sceptic nation.

“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be honest and obey and protect the constitution of Tanzania,” said the new president, as she took the oath of office before inspecting troops at a military parade and receiving a cannon salute.

She becomes the only other current serving female head of state in Africa alongside Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, whose role is mainly ceremonial.

Hassan was little known outside Tanzania until she appeared on state television on Wednesday night to announce that Magufuli had died aged 61 from a heart condition after a mysterious three -eek absence from public view.

But questions have been raised over the true cause of his death, after multiple rumours that Magufuli — one of the world’s most fervent Covid-sceptic leaders — had caught the virus and had sought treatment abroad.

Main opposition leader Tundu Lissu insists his sources said Magufuli had Covid-19 and had actually died a week ago.

And Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper, which last week reported an “African leader”, in clear reference to Magufuli, was in a Nairobi hospital, on Friday gave more details of his illness, also indicating Magufuli had in fact died last week.

Citing sources, the paper said Magufuli was discharged from Nairobi Hospital on life support after it was determined he could not be resuscitated, and returned to Dar es Salaam where he died last Thursday.

The paper details his initial evacuation to Nairobi on March 8 in a medical plane, as he suffered “acute cardiac and respiratory illnesses.”

The main question hanging over the new president is whether she will usher in a change in leadership style from her predecessor, nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, notably in the handling of the pandemic.

– ‘A new chapter’ –
Magufuli leaves behind a complex legacy, after a swing to authoritarianism which saw him crack down on the media, activists and free speech, while refusing to take any measures against Covid-19.

He called for prayer instead of face masks, refused to publish case statistics or implement lockdown measures, and championed alternative medicines.

In May last year he revealed a papaya, quail and goat had tested positive for the virus in a secret operation, proving “sabotage” at the national laboratory.

However by February, as cases soared and the vice president of semi-autonomous Zanzibar was revealed to have died from Covid-19, Magufuli conceded the virus was still circulating.

The opposition and rights groups have urged Hassan to change course.

“As we continue mourning, let us use this period to open up a new chapter for rebuilding national unity and respect to freedom, justice, rule of law, democracy and people-centred development,” said Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of opposition group Chadema, in a statement Thursday.

He urged Hassan to “lead the nation toward reconciliation”.

Meanwhile Human Rights Watch said in a statement that the new government “has a chance for a fresh start by ending problematic past practices.”

– ‘Hold your breath’ –
However analysts say Hassan will face early pressure from powerful Magufuli allies within the party, who dominate intelligence and other critical aspects of government, and would try and steer her decisions and agenda.

“For those who were kind of expecting a breakaway from the Magufuli way of things I would say hold your breath at the moment,” said Thabit Jacob, a researcher at the Roskilde University in Denmark and expert on Tanzania.

Hailing from Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island in the Indian Ocean, Hassan rose through the ranks over a 20-year political career from local government to the national assembly.

A ruling party stalwart, she was named Magufuli’s running mate in the 2015 presidential campaign. The pair were re-elected in October last year in a disputed poll marred by allegations of irregularities.

Hassan must consult the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) about appointing a new vice president. The party is set to hold a special meeting of its central committee on Saturday.

Tanzania is observing a 14-day mourning period and details on Magufuli’s funeral have yet to be announced.

Magufuli is the second East African leader to die under mysterious circumstances.

Burundi’s equally Covid-sceptic leader, Pierre Nkurunziza, died from “heart failure” last June after his wife was flown to Nairobi to be treated for coronavirus.

Share this post

Rakib Idris is a scientist, blogger, entrepreneur, web designer, socioeconomic and political commentator. He loves writing quality contents for readers and presenting to them happenings around the world promptly as they occur. Thank you for visiting pointloaded.com , •••• For Advert Placement Call/WhatsApp: 09054011337 or send an E-mail to info@pointloaded.com

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Ramadan 2021: Sultan Asks Nigerian Muslims To Commence Fasting

Published

on

Ramadan 2021: Sultan Asks Nigerian Muslims To Commence Fasting Pointloaded

Following the sighting of the moon, this year’s Ramadan starts Tuesday, April 13th 2021, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, announced Monday.

Alhaji Abubakar, who is the president of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said this in an announcement on NTA live broadcast.

He urged all Muslims to use the occasion of the holy month to pray fervently for the country and indulge in acts of charity so as to benefit maximally this month.

The NSCIA on Monday had issued a guideline enjoining the Ummah to practice social distancing during the 1442AH Ramadan.

“All COVID-19 protocols should be observed. I’tikaf should still be put on hold while strict observance of all COVID19 protocols including avoiding lengthy or crowded sessions should be observed,” it stated.

Ramadan is the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar seen as sacred by Muslims during which they refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days — depending on when a new crescent is slighted.

The sighting of this new moon marks the beginning of another month, Shawwal, and the celebration of Islamic festival, Eid-l-fitr.

The Ramadan ritual is observed to attain a spiritual bond with God, as contained in Qur’an 2:183: “Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness.”

Share this post
Continue Reading

News

Benue Crisis: Expose Those Who Killed Soldiers, Return Army Weapons – Ortom Urges Communities

Published

on

Benue Crisis: Expose Those Who Killed Soldiers, Return Army Weapons – Ortom Urges Communities Pointloaded

The Benue State Government has urged community leaders to expose those who carried out an unprovoked attack on Nigerian Army troops, leading to the death of an officer and 10 other soldiers.

In a statement on Friday, Governor Ortom while addressing the recent crisis between communities in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas, called for restraint on all sides including the military.

Ortom noted in his communique that he has already directed leaders of the affected areas to ensure that the weapons the “bandits” took away from the military personnel deployed to bring peace between the warring communities are returned without delay.

Earlier on, the army had reported that its troops came under attack while on a routine operational task, it was not clear who the attackers were at the time.

The military however asserted that the troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke.

The search and rescue team, unfortunately, found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately.

According to the army, efforts were still ongoing to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.

In his reaction, Governor Ortom urged members of the affected communities to expose perpetrators of the unprovoked attacks on the military, stating that such an act is condemnable and also capable of jeopardizing the efforts Government has made to guarantee the return of peace to the area.

The governor disclosed that in an effort to find a solution to the crisis, he set up a Boundary Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu to resolve the land dispute in collaboration with the National Boundary Commission.

The Committee had fixed a date for the demarcation of the area in contention when renewed violence broke out between the Bonta Community of Konshisha Local Government Area and Okpute Community of Oju Local Government Area.

Ortom assured the people that his administration is determined to see the end of the crisis and will support security agencies to fish out those fomenting trouble.

He, however, urged the military to avoid civilian casualties and protect law abiding people while efforts are on to recover their missing weapons.

Share this post
Continue Reading

News

Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband Prince Philip Dies At 99

Published

on

Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband Prince Philip Dies At 99 Pointloaded

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip has died at age 99, according to a statement by Buckingham Palace.

Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history after getting married to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.

The Palace announced the death of the late monarch via its official Twitter handle on Friday afternoon, April 9, 2021.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” it said in a statement.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

The palace added that further announcements would be made “in due course”.

Fears over the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was formally known, had been heightened after he recently spent a month in hospital for treatment.

He left the hospital on March 16 following what was described as a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition and treatment for an unspecified infection.

He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle, west of London, where he had been isolating with the queen — Britain’s longest-serving monarch — since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

He was due to turn 100 in June.

The news of his death saw television channels interrupt regular programmes and start special coverage marking his life.

The BBC announced his death and played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”.

Philip had increasingly struggled with his health in recent years and had retired from public life.

In the run-up to Christmas 2011, Philip was taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains.

The Greek-born former naval officer was then treated for a blocked coronary artery and had a stent fitted

Share this post
Continue Reading