DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania’s new president has named a little-known politician to be the east African country’s prime minister to lead a parliament dominated by the ruling party, state media said on Thursday.
President John Magufuli, who himself took power early this month after winning October 25 elections, nominated former teacher Kassim Majaliwa as the country’s prime minister.
“I hereby propose the name of Kassim Majaliwa, so that the National Assembly endorses him in accordance with relevant procedures,” a letter from Magufuli said, read in parliament in the administrative capital Dodoma by the Speaker Job Ndugai.
Majaliwa, aged 60, and a stalwart of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, comes from the southeastern Lindi District.
He was a former deputy minister in the local government ministry, overseeing primary and secondary school education.
Majaliwa’s nomination is expected to be passed without a hitch in parliament. He will be sworn into office on Friday.
Magufuli’s win in the October 25 poll with over 58 per cent of votes cemented the long-running CCM’s firm grip on power.
“This is a little known politician. It is a surprise appointment,” said Zainab Vullu, a member of parliament, describing Majaliwa as ‘‘very humble and hardworking.”
If approved, Majaliwa will succeed Mizengo Pinda, who has held the post since 2008.
Pinda was caught up in accusations of corruption in 2014, claims he always denied.
Tanzania’s elections were largely peaceful, but the opposition said the vote was rigged and also claimed victory, while semi-autonomous Zanzibar — which voted for its own president — annulled polls over irregularities.
On Zanzibar, incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein from the CCM has met with his former deputy, Seif Sharif Hamad of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), in a bid to resolve the crisis.
Zanzibar, where the economy is heavily dependent on tourism, has experienced sectarian and political tensions in recent years, including several grenade and acid attacks.