No Bulldozing: Tanzania’s Suluhu Embraces Opposition, Press Freedom

President Samia Suluhu-Hassan has called on opposition figures in Tanzania to forge a good working relationship with the new leadership in the country, as she restated her commitment to Press freedom and respect for democratic values.

Suluhu, in her first televised Presidential address said press freedom and democracy “are important for stimulating development and peace,”

She said there will be talks with opposition candidates on ways to make the country a better place.

The 61-year old former Vice President replaced her predecessor John Magufuli in March after the man nicknamed “bulldozer” for his uncompromising, autocratic style died in Paris. Magufuli’s regime was notorious for press gag and a total stifling of opposition.

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Suluhu, who worked through the ranks in Tanzanian politics seeks to do things differently from her former boss, saying earlier in the month that the country will approach COVID-19 on a scientific level.

Magufuli lived in denial of COVID-19, saying it didn’t exist and later, said the nation’s churches have prayed against it until his final months where he called on people to protect themselves.

The approach of the new President will help to reposition Tanzania’s democracy from its current hybrid regime standard.

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