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End dissent in cabinet, ministers told

Determined to win an election on the ruling party's ticket, President Hassan has reshuffled her cabinet again

A year after being fast-tracked into government as defence minister, Stergomena Tax has been promoted again, this time as Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, replacing Liberata Mulamula, as part of the third reshuffle this year by President Samia Suluhu Hassan (AC Dispatches 15/9/21, President appoints the country's first woman defence minister in mini-reshuffle).

A veteran diplomat, with over 30 years of foreign policy experience, Mulamula was an ally of former President Jakaya Kikwete (AC Vol 50 No 15, Eastern foes at war again) and had been handpicked by President Hassan. Tax also has a reputation as a technocrat.

Innocent Bashungwa, who was the Minister of State in the President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government, takes over the Defence ministry, while Angellah Kairuki, who has been out of government since 2020, replaces Bashungwa at the President's Office (AC Vol 60 No 16, Cashew crisis grinds on)

No detail has been provided to explain Mulamula's sacking, though President Hassan stated that she would not tolerate dissent during the swearing in of the three ministers.

'Once we agree on something, you are part of it. You can't go out and claim that the decision was just a directive, not your will,' said Hassan.

'You need to know the scope of your powers so that when you want to go beyond, you seek permission from higher authorities.'

In a speech on Sunday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, also a member of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Central Committee, called on party members to maintain unity and solidarity. July's internal CCM party elections lifted the lid on the continuing power struggle between President Hassan, and her allies who were close to former President Kikwete, versus the faction which backed Hassan's predecessor John Magufuli.

Though Hassan has refused to be drawn on whether she will seek the CCM nomination as presidential candidate for the 2025 elections, she and her allies have repeatedly cracked down on any attempts by CCM cadres to manoeuvre in advance of the elections.

Some of those allies have told Africa Confidential that Hassan is determined to compete for the party's presidential nomination and had no intention of going down in history as an 'interim leader'.

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