TANZANIA: Samia Suluhu picks the “Coughing minister” as Vice President

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Dr Philp Mpango speaking to the press after he was discharged from hospital several weeks ago; Courtesy Photo

President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania has nominated the Minister of Finance Philip Mpango for role of Vice-President.

Local reports indicate that president Suluhu nominated Mpango on Monday after days of speculation and anticipation on who will take up the position which fell vacant following the transition of power that saw the Vice President replace John Pombe Magufuli who succumbed to heart complications two weeks ago.

Ever since Samia took oath as new president, there has been a lot of speculation over who would be the country’s next Vice President.

Philip Mpango took to the limelight a few weeks ago when he appeared coughing and gasping at a press conference outside a hospital, to dispel rumours that Magufuli had died of Covid-19. He was later discharged from hospital after 14 days.

According to Article 37(5) of the 1977 Union Constitution, Mpango shall be Vice President after consultations with the ruling party CCM and he will first seek approval by the National Assembly by votes of not less than 50 percent of all the Members of Parliament.

The jostling among politicians has been going on with names including Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, former cabinet minister January Makamba, Foreign Affairs minister Palamagamba Kabudi, Lands minister William Lukuvi and former minister Emmanuel Nchimbi being circulated as possible nominees for the job.

Political analysts could not zero in on the man but said the incoming Vice President must have reconciliation motives to bring unity within CCM.

They also argued that the next VP will have the responsibility to restore the hope of Tanzanians by progressing the projects of Dr John Magufuli and fulfil his dream and as well focus to heal injuries of the current situation of losing the President.

Mpango previously held positions as the acting commissioner general of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the executive secretary in the President’s Office (Planning Commission), the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs, the personal assistant to the president (economic affairs), the head of the President’s Economic Advisory Unit, and as senior economist for the World Bank

Dr Bernardetta Killian of the University of Dar es Salaam was quoted to have dispelled issues related to religion and tribe in choice of the new vice president as long as he or she has the qualities written in the constitution of the country.

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