Samia Suluhu becomes the first female president in Eastern Africa

Only five months into the late president John Pombe Magufuli’s second term, Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu now becomes the first female President of Tanzania and the first female Head of State in the East African Community.

President Magufuli’s death was announced Wednesday night by the country’s Vice President who said the late Magufuli aged 61, succumbed to heart disease at Mzena State Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

The late head of state’s death comes following weeks of speculation over his whereabouts and health after he was first admitted at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on March 6 before being discharged.

According to Tanzanian officials, president Magufuli was again rushed to hospital on March 14 after feeling unwell.

His death settles the rumors about his whereabouts, however, it also opens a new chapter for a country that has never changed governments outside of elections.

According to the Tanzanian Constitution, the Vice President now takes over the remainder of the term.

Magufuli was born in Chato, Geita region on October 29, 1959.