It was in the night of Wednesday, March 17, 2021 when President Samia Suluhu Hassan, was compelled to announce the death of his predecessor, John Pombe Magufuli over the National Television.
By then, Mama Samia was serving in her second term as Vice President of Tanzania.
Her voice was shacky. She would admit later that the incident was great shock to her as it was to many who watched the sudden announcement.
The Nation was in tremor and the shock would spread beyond borders in space of few hours.
And that was despite the fact that, for almost two weeks, social media platforms had been buzzing with news and speculations about the health of Dr Magufuli who hadn’t been seen in public for over a fortnight.
It was the first time that a sitting president would be pronounced dead in office.
Twenty years earlier, the country’s then Vice President, Omar Ali Juma died in office while serving under the late President Benjamin William Mkapa.
And in 2021, President Magufuli passed away.
As per constinution, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who was Vice President, automatically took over the reigns.
Was Mama Samia Ready?
During a one-year anniversary interview on the National TV, aired on Wednesday the 16th of March 2022, she had this to say:
As soon as she was sworn in, President Samia set out to iron out problems that Tanzania had with neighbors especially Kenya.
On her trip to Kenya where she held audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta, many of the stumbling blocks between the two countries were removed.
She would later visit Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi as well as various overseas countries including the United Nations, European Union, France, United Arab Emirates and others, were enough to open Tanzania to the world, once more.
Dr John Magufuli was known for those major infrastructural projects. And Mama Samia is executing them all, some are on the verge of completion.
She also hatched new projects.
Finance Minister, Dr Mwigulu Lameck Nchemba when addressing the media in Arusha stated that, almost every inch of the country was currently a ‘construction site!’
“There are building projects everywhere,” pointed out the Finance Minister.
But there are also many foreign investments in pipeline, following the President’s efforts in building the country’s international presence
For instance the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is intending to invest in Tanzania projects worth 19 trillion/-
Belgium and Oman are also eyeing to invest in the Bagamoyo Port, in addition to other countries planning major entreprises in the country.
The Covid-19 Factor
Mama Samia took the banter at the time when the whole world was suffering from the global Coronavirus pandemic.
She managed to procure vaccine consignments, building trust among foreign visitors.
Attracted funds from the International Monetary Fund to help offset negative effects from the epidemic.
Back to life?
Shops that were previously closed have resumed business, flower farms of Arusha that at one time got neglected, are in the process of re-starting operations and as of now, tourism industry is roaring back to life.
Last December, the President participated in CBS’ Royal Tour documentary filming with Peter Greenberg.
Once it gets released on the 21st of April 2022, the feature film will further cement Tanzania’s position as destination of choice in Africa.