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Finance minister to be sworn in as Tanzania vice president

By Emmanuel Too | March 31st 2021
Tanzania Vice President nominee, Dr Philip Mpango. [Courtesy]

Tanzanian Vice President nominee and Finance Minister Philip Isdor Mpango will be sworn in today.

Dr Mpango’s swearing-in will take place at State House Chamwino, Dodoma, at 3pm.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday, proposed the name of the Finance Minister to fill the position of VP.

In a statement, State House said the VP nominee’s name was presented during a special sitting of the National Executive Council committee meeting of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party.

The Speaker of the Tanzanian Parliament, John Ndugai, made the announcement of the VP nominee to the House.

Mpango’s nomination for the position was unanimously approved by 363 Members of Parliament, which represented a 100 per cent of the total votes cast.

According to the Constitution of Tanzania, a VP’s nomination can only be ratified by at least 50 per cent of the MPs.

Mpango will now be the country’s second in command replacing Samia Suluhu, who took over the presidency following the death of John Pombe Magufuli.

The 63-year-old, will also be the fifth VP since the creation of the office in 1995 and the 14th since the country got independence.

Mpango, whose name means plan in Kiswahili, has been serving as Finance Minister since November 2015. 

He was appointed to the Cabinet after he was nominated to Parliament by CCM party after the 2015 General Election.

The economist had previously served in different capacities in government. 

Between 2010 and 2015, he served as the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs, and also became the Personal Assistant to the President (Economic Affairs).

He served for a period of one year in an Acting capacity as the Commissioner General for Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

Mpango also led the President’s Economic Advisory Unit, as well as sitting in other senior government positions.

He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam.

Recently, a clip of the Minister coughing and gasping for air while giving a press conference, caused a stir, after he came out to dispel rumours about his health.

His appointment comes 12 days after President Suluhu took the oath of office on March 19. 

Since the burial of her predecessor, President Suluhu has hit the ground running. 

First elected as Magufuli’s running mate in 2015, after he nominated her in July, she was re-elected last year along with him and, according to the constitution, she should serve out the rest of the five-year term in the top job.

Suluhu was a surprise choice for a running mate in 2015, leaping over several other more prominent politicians in the CCM party.

Her political journey started in 2000 when she was elected as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed a minister by President Amani Karume.

In 2005, she was re-elected. Suluhu’s 2012 election into the national assembly where she got more than 80 per cent of the votes solidified the fact that people were recognising her leadership skills.

Currently, President Suluhu is Africa’s only Executive female political leader as the Ethiopian presidency is largely a ceremonial role, and joins a short list of women on the continent to hold the position. Ethiopia’s current president is Sahle-Work Zewde.

Sylvie Kiningi, a Burundi politician, became the first female president in Africa when she formed a caretaker government after a military coup killed President Melchior Ndadaye. She also served as Burundi’s prime minister between 1993 and 1994. 

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