Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu Hassan has revealed her predecessor John Pombe Magufuli’s last words to her a few days before he lost his life.
The 61-year-old first Tanzanian female head of state said her boss, who was then hospitalised, sent her to inspect various development projects they had promised their people
Suluhu made the remarks during Magufuli’s state funeral on Monday, March 22, at Jamhuri Stadium in the administrative capital Dodoma.
“Samia don’t worry about my health, go check out the projects we promised to deliver to the people, send my greetings and tell them I love them,” the former vice president said.
Suluhu revealed that as a routine, she had made a phone call to Magufuli during her official visit to Tanga and did not know those would be his last words.
The sixth Tanzanian president, a member of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi Party, said she was saddened she would no longer hear from Magufuli again, read his messages or consult him.
In her speech, the newly sworn-in president eulogised Magufuli as a sacrificial and hard-working leader who was also her mentor.
She maintained she was ripe for her new job as president thanks to the late president, who guided her every step of the way.
“We wondered if he (Magufuli) had time to rest and to be with family. This made us work harder to meet his desires. We have been cooked and are ripe under his tutelage. We can say without stammering that we are ready to take forward his work with energy, speed and passionate,” she said.
Suluhu said she would continue with the work initiated by Magufuli and told off her doubters who never thought a woman would ascend into the highest office in the East African country.
“Those who have doubts if this woman has what it takes to lead Tanzania. I want to tell you that whoever has stood here is the president of the Republic of Tanzania whose gender is a woman,” she said amidst chants from her Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.