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President Hassan treads carefully in post-Bulldozer era

Magufuli’s successor hopes to build on his popular anti-corruption legacy to claim new political ground of her own

President Samia Suluhu Hassan made an unequivocal pitch for herself as the political heir to the late President John Magufuli in her first speech to parliamentarians this week since taking office last month.

'Dr Magufuli departed physically, but his visions, philosophy and strategies on national development are still alive,' said President Samia, prompting loud applause.

That was entirely in tune with the political balancing act which the new President has sought to take. With little personal following prior to taking up the presidency, she needs to shore up the support of Magufuli's allies and continuing the war on graft is a sure bet to find favour in the court of public opinion (AC Vol 62 No 7, Life after the bulldozer).

This campaign has also been high on Suluhu Hassan's agenda after a report by the auditor general, Charles Kichere, earlier this month suggested that rampant financial mismanagement in state agencies and parastatals is part of the Magufuli legacy. 

The President has already suspended the Director-General of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Deusdedit Kakoko, pending an investigation into accusations of embezzlement, and told lawmakers that the office of Director of Public Prosecutions and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau would both be strengthened.

She has also ordered investigations into the alleged misuse of funds that were released from the Bank of Tanzania for development projects earlier this year.

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