Samia Suluhu Hassan announced the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli yesterday, March 17th.
In a televised announcement, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan explained that the 61-year-old president died of a heart condition that he’d suffered from for 10 years.
The announcement followed weeks of rumours and questions surrounding the president’s health and wellbeing.
Who is Samia Suluhu Hassan?
61-year-old Hassan is from Zanzibar and has been the vice president since 2015. Before that, she was a minister of state under the vice president’s office. While she also previously worked in the government of Zanzibar in various roles.
Between 2005 and 2010, she served as Minister for Tourism in Zanzibar and between 2000 and 2005, she served as a Minister of Youth Employment, Women and Children Development in Zanzibar.
In recent years, Samia Suluhu Hassan became the political face of Tanzania, representing the country at all UN, AU, SADC and EAC meetings not held in Tanzania.
In term of education, Hassan studied Public Administration at Mzumbe University in 1986 before joining the Institute of Management for Leaders, Hyderabad in India.
She also studied at the University of Manchester for a postgrad degree in economics, before going onto to do her Masters in community economic development with a programme between Open University of Tanzania and Southern New Hampshire University, USA.
What happens when a president dies in Tanzania?
Although no word has been confirmed yet as to who will become president, according to Tanzanian constitution Samia Suluhu Hassan should theoretically take the role.
Reportedly, Article 37 (2) states the if the chief justice finds that the current president unable to “discharge the functions of his office by reason of physical or mental infirmity,” then the vice-president would become president.