Justus Wanzala, Nairobi
Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli was sworn in today (Thursday the 5th) for a second five-year term after emerging the winner in the elections held last week ( 28th October).
Magafuli of Chama cha Mapinduzi (The Revolutionary Party) beat his main opponent Tundu Lissu of Party for Democracy and Progress (Chadema) by garnering 84 percent of the votes cast.
The president took the oath of office alongside Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan at a ceremony held at Jamhuri Stadium in the country’s administrative capital Dodoma.
Magafuli who was sworn in before Judge Ibrahim Hamisi Juma promised to be faithful and protect the country’s constitution.
He also pledged to boost the country’s economic prospects and tackle challenges such as unemployment while vowing to serve the country diligently without fear of favour.
Thousands of Tanzanians thronged the stadium to witness the colorful event that was graced by over 20 foreign dignitaries.
Among foreign leaders present were presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbawe, Azali Assoumani of Comoros, Burundian Prime Minister, Alaine Bunyoni, Botswana’s Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane, Mozambique’s Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário and former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete among others.
Lisu had contested Magafuli’s win described the election processes as a sham calling for fresh elections.
The opposition leader also alleged that the elections were fraudulently conducted. However, the country’s Electoral Commission has dismissed the claims.
Lisu was arrested on 2nd November by the police and released after questioning following a call for a mass protest against the election results.
The incident saw the American Embassy in the country issue a statement urging restraint and calling on all parties to seek a peaceful resolution to the electoral disputes.
The presidential elections were held simultaneously in the mainland and the semi-autonomous Zanzibar Archipelago part of the United Republic of Tanzania, where Hussein Ali Mwinyi son of Tanzania’s second President Ali Hassan Mwinyi emerged the winner. Mwinyi also of Chama cha Mapinduzi, was sworn in on Monday (2nd November).