Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu has confirmed her political ambitions, saying she intends to run for office in 2025 with a chance to become the country’s first elected female president.
Speaking at an event to mark the International Day of Democracy in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, President Samia said her own elevation to the top job was out of fate and constitutional requirements. “This president (her) is leading because of God’s wish and constitutional requirements,” she said.
She advised Tanzanian women to join forces to ensure a woman candidate wins the next presidential election.
“We have favoured men to become presidents for far too long. God has given us this special opportunity… if we don’t grab it with both hands it will become like a curse upon us (women),” she said.
She also repeated her pledge to appoint more women to positions of leadership as a way of bridging the gender gap.
President Samia’s remarks came on the back of her first significant Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, which included two more women among four new ministerial appointments.
With the appointment of Stergomena Tax as the first woman defence minister after an eight-year stint as executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Ashatu Kijaji as information minister, the number of female ministers running key positions is now seven out of a 23-strong cabinet.
Women now also account for 46 percent of regional administrative secretaries, 43 percent of judges, and 44 per cent of district commissioners.
President Samia also ordered a professional women’s database to be availed to her for consultation in making future appointments, asserting that some important information was hard to come by through government agencies.
President Samia was vice-president during former president John Magufuli’s five-and-a-half year tenure and became president by constitutional decree following his death in March. According to the Tanzanian Constitution, since by October 2025 she will have served more than two-thirds of what would have been the late Magufuli’s second term as president, she is eligible to run for only one term of elective office.
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