Samia draws latent line between herself and Magufuli

TANZANIA’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has addressed the parliament for the first time since she assumed power, delivering a speech that categorically draws the line between herself and her predecessor, the late John Magufuli.

Although she paid lip service to Magufuli’s “heroic achievements,” the content of her speech showed a stark difference between the two.

She insisted that she was bent on nurturing a political environment where freedom of the press and democracy would flourish. Magufuli’s administration had no space for democracy.

She said she wants to meet opposition parties to discuss matters of national interest. Magufuli selectively met some opposition leaders when he wished to manipulate them.

Although she didn’t mention the date of the expected consultative meeting with the leaders of the opposition parties, President Samia wants to see activities of the political parties resume. Under Magufuli only his party was allowed to practice politics. Magufuli banned opposition and sought to paralyse them.

She has acknowledged the importance of the freedom of expression and of the media. She promised to cause the amendment of laws that infringe upon the said rights.