Gov’t-owned Tanzanian paper apologises for ‘mourning’ new president


Gov't-owned Tanzanian paper apologises for 'mourning' new president
Photo collage: Newly-sworn in Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and an advert that erroneously mourned her death. Photo: Courtesy

Tanzania’s government-owned newspaper has apologized for printing an incorrect advertisement mourning the death of new President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The post was intended to “congratulate” President Samia after she took over from her predecessor John Magufuli, who died two weeks ago, according to an apology from the Daily News managing editor.

A copy of the advert made rounds on social media, going viral and attracting the ire of social media users.

President Suluhu became Tanzania’s first female president after taking over from the late President John Magufuli who succumbed to heart-related complications while undergoing treatment in the country.

Suluhu was born on January 27, 1960 in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and completed her secondary education in 1977.

While pursuing a number of short courses part-time, Suluhu was appointed as a clerk in the office of the Ministry of Planning and Development.

During her stint there, she graduated with an advanced diploma in Public Administration from Mzumbe University and was almost immediately afterward employed by the World Food Programme.

While there she attended the University of Manchester and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in Economics in 1994.

Suluhu first joined active politics in 2000 when she was elected to the Zanzibar House of Representatives holding a special seat; upon which then Zanzibar President Abeid Amani Karume appointed her to the Cabinet.

She was re-appointed to the same seat 5 years later before she, in 2010, set foot in the National Assembly by clinching the Makunduchi Parliamentary seat after garnering over 80% of the votes.

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, then serving his second and final term, appointed her the Minister for State Union Affairs before – in 2014 – she was tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution as Vice-Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly.

In Tanzania’s next general elections in 2015, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) presidential nominee – the late John Pombe Magufuli – picked her as his running mate, making her the first female running mate in the dominant party’s history.

She, hence, made history by becoming Tanzania’s first female Vice President when Magufuli clinched the seat.

She became the country’s sixth President and first female President in Tanzania and East Africa.

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