East African country of Tanzania is set to get its first female leader as incumbent President John Magufuli has died aged the age of 61.
His deputy, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan who broke the news early Thursday morning at the in a statement issued by her office is set to become the nation’s first female leader.
According to Hassan, Magufuli died on Wednesday from heart related complications at a hospital in in the nation’s capital, Dar es Salaam.
The deceased leader had not been seen in public for more than two weeks prompting rumours that especially from the opposition parties that he had contracted Covid-19.
Going by the provisions of the country’s constitution, Hassan will be sworn in as the new president within 24 hours and should serve the remainder of Magufuli’s five-year term which he began last year.
A very controversial leader, the had last year urged his fellow countrymen and women to go to churches and mosques to pray for the eradication of the dreaded Covid 19.
“Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ… It will burn instantly,” he said.
After she is sworn in, Suluhu will become the second female head of state in East Africa after Sylvie Kinigi of Burundi, and the third in the wider eastern Africa region after Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde whose post is ceremonial.
Ms Kinigi was the acting President in Burundi between October 1993 and February 1994, while Ms Zewde has been president since October 2018.
Suluhu will also be the second Zanzibari after Ali Hassan Mwinyi to lead the United Republic.