Although the masks were nowhere to be seen, Tanzania’s first female president took a bold stand against her Covid-19, denying her predecessor in her first major speech since taking over from John Magufuli, who died in March.
Samia Suluhu Hassan said last week, “We can’t separate ourselves,” she indicated last week that she would not only end Magufuli’s coronavirus denial, but also work to improve relations with investors and multinational corporations.
Addressing government and military officials, the former vice-president announced plans to hire a panel of scientific experts to advise on how to deal with the spread of the epidemic, a fundamental change in Magufuli, who gained notoriety among a few world leaders. Denying the virus was no threat.
The speech suggested that Hassan, who studied economics in the UK and worked at the UN, distanced himself from his former boss’s legacy and raised cautious hopes among observers that Tanzania could change course in five years. Creative authoritarianism And growing isolation under Magufuli.
“We are very excited about the signals we are hearing from the new leadership in Tanzania,” said Dr. John Nekengasong, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa, after Mogufuli. Publishing closed Statistics of Kovid-19 in May.
“[Hassan] Magufuli was not satisfied with the way the country was run, but he did not have a strong statement. Therefore, we expect more than we have already witnessed, ”said Selim Saeed Selim, a Zanzibar-based political analyst. However, he played a note of doubt: “Many in Tanzania are optimistic for the best but they are prepared for the worst.”
Magufuli was elected president in 2015 as a candidate for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzzi, promising to fight corruption. Yet he became increasingly oppressive, dissenting. Last October, he won a In the second term The election has been threatened.
Opposition leader said Dundu Lisu, Who entered Exiled to Belgium Considering returning to a good home even after an assassination attempt in 2017 and briefly contesting the July election. The new president, he said, “turned him over to Magufuli without hesitation. What he has done with his words is a big denial of Magufuli.” Magfuliism There is no alternative for him except Magufuli. It’s not an option for the country either. “
Since taking office in late March, Hassan has appointed his own finance and foreign minister, fired the head of the tax authority, who isolated investors and began clearing Magufuli’s network in government.
However, he did retain some Buddhists, including Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima – who went on national television to explain that The vegetables are smooth Will isolate the coronavirus – although the administration, bureaucracy, and party structure will be filled with allies of its predecessors inherited.
Hassan, a veteran diplomat in the West, was compared to Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom. “[Thatcher] Basically, people in many organizations looked down on him, but he held her hand, ”said the diplomat. “Hassan needs to strike a balance as well: to continue what made Magufuli popular while changing what didn’t work.”
Magufuli dismissed foreign investors, persuading critics to call Tanzania “Cuba of East Africa.” He banned the export of crude ore and led to 190 billion Tax disputes Against a global mining company that is now part of Barrick Gold.
Smile Was quoted “Let’s not get to a point where we’re starting to shrink our muscles against investors,” he said, referring to the mining companies’ quick fix and “challenges on tax and other issues.”
An executive of the Natural Resources Agency welcomed his remarks: “He is right. Not only did Magufuli understand what incentives investors needed, but he was also not interested. He didn’t even pick up the phone. ”
During his first foreign trip as president, Hassan on Sunday signed an agreement in Uganda with President Yoweri Museveni and Total of France to build a long-delayed oil pipeline connecting their countries.
Margarita Dimoir, head of intelligence at the strategic advisory body Africa Practice, said:
Dimova added, “After a lot of testing for the private sector, the pendant seems to be rocking.” Tanzania’s image among international investors is likely to be reconsidered. But like any transformation, it is involved in uncertainty.
“We want to be close to foreign investors,” said Hassan, a telecom investor. He is slowly washing away those who were close to Magufuli. These are good signs – but it’s too early to encourage. “A senior government official insisted that Hassan was implementing party policies in a” different way “.
“We are still dealing with a group that has an innate tendency to anti-knee-jerk market and anti-free speech,” said a senior Western donor. “As much as I’m happy, I don’t think we’ll ever have a liberal democracy with a strong free market any time soon.”