Tanzania Appoints First Female Defence Minister, Sacks 3 Others

Dr Stergomena Tax
Dr Stergomena Tax

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu has named Dr Stergomena Tax as the new Minister of Defence and National Service, making her the first woman to hold the position in the country.

Tax replaces Elias Kwandikwa who passed away on August 2, 2021, while undergoing treatment in Dar es Salaam.

Her appointment comes amidst a cabinet reshuffle by President Samia in which three cabinet ministers were sacked and a new Attorney General appointed.

​​Those sacked are Communication Minister Faustine Ndugulile, Leonard Chamuriho (transport) and Medard Kalemani (energy).

In the reshuffle, Tax becomes Minister of Defence and National Service, two days after she was sworn in as Member of Parliament.

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Tax served as Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a position she held until August 31, 2021.

The reshuffle was announced through a statement issued by the Director of Presidential Communication, Jaffar Haniu.

The changes also see a rebound of Bumbuli MP, January Makamba, to the cabinet as Minister for Energy replacing Dr Medard Kalemani.

On the other hand, Prof Makame Mbarawa becomes the new Minister of Works and Transportation replacing Dr Leonard Chamuriho.

Prior to the latest appointment, January Makamba had served as Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union and Environmental Affairs), before his appointment was revoked by late President John Magufuli.

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Dr Ashatu Kijaji was also appointed Minister of Communication and Information Technology by President Samia, replacing Dr Faustine Ndugulile, whose appointment was revoked.

In another development, Samia has also appointed Dr Eliezer Feleshi as the new Attorney General (AG).

Dr Feleshi replaces Prof. Adelardus Kilangi who has been appointed ambassador.

Prior to his appointment, Dr Feleshi was the principal judge of the High Court.

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