Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Picks New Army Chief

Tanzania's Samia Suluhu Picks New Army Chief (News Central TV)

Major General Jacob John Mkunda has been promoted to a General and named Tanzania’s Chief of Defence Forces, taking over General Venance Mabeyo, who has retired.

General Venance Mabeyo

In place of General Venance Mabeyo, who retired, Major General Jacob John Mkunda has been promoted to the rank of General and appointed Chief of Defence Forces of Tanzania.

Mkunda is Tanzania’s ninth military commander; he was chosen by President Samia Suluhu on Wednesday and sworn in at State House on Thursday.

The former head of operations and training was also the former commander of the land troops.

On July 1, General Mabeyo will retire at the age of 66 after more than five years as the army’s top officer. On February 1st, 2017, the late President John Magufuli appointed him.

Also appointed by President Suluhu as Chief of Staff and second-in-command of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces with the new rank of lieutenant general is Brigadier General Salum Haji Othman, who oversees research and military development.

Lt. Gen. Mathew Mkingule was replaced by General Othman, who, like President Suluhu, is a native of the Zanzibar archipelago. Mkingule is now an ambassador for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

General Mabeyo will be known mostly for upholding constitutional provisions governing the transfer of presidential powers in the case of an incumbent’s death after Magufuli’s untimely death in March 2021, which sparked reports of some turmoil within the ruling CCM party.

Prior to his formal passing on March 17, the late Tanzanian president’s inner circle strictly prohibited news coverage of his condition. There then followed a two-day period of no leadership before his deputy Samia took office on March 19.

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