Tanzania gets a new president, but also a new coronation policy?

Yesterday it was announced that the Tanzanian President Magufuli had died after not appearing in public for two weeks. The question is what kind of coronation policy his successor will choose. Magufuli has always trivialized the impact of corona in his country.

Samia Suluhu Hassan, the current vice president, becomes Magufuri‘s successor. This will give Tanzania its first female president. According to Africa correspondent Elles van Gelder, it is to wait and see what the coronation policy of Hassan will look like.

โ€œUntil Magufuli’s death, Hassan was unable to speak out on coronation policy, but it is believed that Magufuli himself was particularly skeptical about corona. With Hassan in power, that can cause a revolution.โ€

That Magufuli was coronasceptic, as evident from his policy. Since May last year Tanzania no longer registers infections and deaths and vaccines were no longer ordered. Also talking about corona was โ€œa kind of state secretโ€, says van Gelder. โ€œOnly he and his Minister of Health were allowed to say something about it.โ€

As a result, the mentioned cause of death of Magufuli is also questioned in Tanzania. For example, Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu said on Twitter a few days ago that he had heard from high-ranking sources that Magufuli had been recorded with corona. โ€œNow that the cause of death has been explained differently, the opposition says that the government continues to lie,โ€ says Van Gelder.

There is also uncertainty about the date and place of death. โ€œIt has been said that Magufuli died in a hospital in Dar es Salaam, but there were rumors about an African president admitted to Kenya. That has never been confirmed by the government.โ€

Magufuri‘s successor Hassan is faced with an increasing call for coronameasures, Van Gelder knows. โ€œThe Catholic Church in Tanzania says that 60 nuns and 25 priests have already died of corona. Universities also went against the policy of the Tanzanian government, calling for the wearing of mouthcaps.โ€

Pressing Stamp

The presidency of Magufuli began in 2015. Although his popularity in his appointment was considerable, Van Gelder says he will be remembered especially when the president did not take on Corona and turned more and more power towards himself.

โ€œWhen he began to rule, he was seen as someone who knew how to deal with corruption in the country. But he was limiting the democratic space ever further. Opposition was dangerous, journalists did not dare to criticize and social media were curbed,โ€ says Van Gelder.

โ€œHe was still popular in the countryside, but especially young people wanted change. Hassan is out of Magufuli’s term of office, giving her more than four years to make her own mark.โ€