John Pombe Magufuli at the age of 61, has taken oath as President of the United Republic of Tanzania at a colourful Inauguration ceremony at Dodoma’s Jamhuri Stadium.
“It’s an important event – if only because it will be the first time in the history of Tanzania that a President is inaugurated in Dodoma,” said Dr Hassan Abbasi, the government Spokesperson.
Magufuli officially begins his second term in office after winning the October 28 polls. This second and non-renewable term is scheduled to end in 2025.
Magufuli holding a bible in his right hand and oath in the left hand, stood before Judge Ibrahim Hamisi Juma, Chief Secretary, John Kijazi, and took oath amidst scores of people, visiting Presidents and other dignitaries present on the occasion.
His Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, took oath of office separately in Dodoma’s Jamhuri Stadium, a ceremony that was witnessed by thousands of Tanzanians alongside foreign dignitaries.
Magufuli promised to be faithful, work for the country as well as protect the country’s constitution. He later signed the oath of promise before being handed the constitution. He was then handed traditional symbols of power which include a spear and shield.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa have graced this inauguration also attended by Tanzania’s former leaders including Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Alhaji Ali Hassan Mwinyi, and Ali Mohamed Shein of Zanzibar.
Dr Hassan Abbasi, the government Spokesperson, said that three presidents from Uganda, the Comoros and Zimbabwe, had confirmed attendance by yesterday afternoon.
Magufuli’s supporters are urging him to manipulate the constitution and extend his rule.
However, the reformist and results oriented President has categorically rejected these demands.
According to the National Electoral Commission, Dr Magufuli defeated 14 other presidential candidates in the October 28 General Election and was announced the winner after garnering 12.5 million votes against 1.9 million of the closest opposition rival, Chadema’s Tundu Lissu, official results show.
Will Magufuli Implement Campaign Promises?
Magufuli promised to finish big projects such as the buying of five more aircrafts including a cargo plane for the state-run Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) which he has been reviving in the last five years.
He promised to finish the Nyerere Hydropower project in Rufiji which is expected to generate 2,115 megawatts and ensure reliable supply of electricity in the country which is touting industrialization in attempt to build a modern economy.
Magufuli assured to move on with the construction of the 2,561-kilometer standard gauge railway (SGR) network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.
The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 300km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro.
He also promised eight million new jobs and construction of over 6,000 km of tarmac roads in the next five years.