Samia Suluhu Hassan took office last month when John Magufuli died of complications from heart disease. He is an enthusiastic denial of the epidemic, and many critics have accused him of the virus deaths, as well as thousands in Tanzania, although the government has not released information on the outbreak since April.
Health officials outside Tanzania have warned that current Tanzanian travelers have found a large number of cases indicating the country is experiencing an outbreak of uncontrolled outbreaks, including most of the new mutant strains found by scientists. research The country has not implemented any quarantine measures.
Expectations are high for Hassan, who served as vice president, to reverse Magufouli’s health policy, which includes refusing vaccines and leading to the threat of secession from the international community. Opposition supporters and rights activists also hope Hassan will try to rebuild Tanzania’s democratic foundation, where they say Magufuli was nearly obliterated during his five years in Magufuli power. Closing newspapers and websites creates financial barriers to starting new publications and imprisoning journalists and dissidents.
In a speech on Tuesday, Hassan gave one indication that she was aiming for partial liberalization, calling for the banned media bureau’s license to be restored.
“We should not ban the media forcibly. It’s reopened and we should make sure they follow the rules, ”she said.
Those who had suffered under Magufuli’s repression of free speech and opposition politics said Hassan’s speech would not mean much unless action was encouraged.
“We need quick action, especially in the face of the epidemic,” said John Mbatia, chairman of NCCR-Mageuzi, one of the Tanzanian opposition parties. No one wearing a mask I still think they are not serious about this outbreak. “
The indication of that kind of symbolic intent goes a long way, he said. It was just one of the many indicators in Hassan’s speech that hampered the critics. For example, in the issue of freedom of the press, Hassan’s condition that the media must “Follow the rules” makes some people wonder if free speech is the result of a real act.
Those rules are severely limited, said Muthoki Mumo, representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Sub-Saharan Africa if the media bureau could open it again. The movement will be hollow, especially with journalists in prison and others who have been missing for years, including Azory Gwanda, who reported the story. Police-related killings
“There was a big problem with what she said because most territorial laws were really a big problem for the media,” she said. “When questions like what happened to Azory Gwanda remain in the air, there are still question marks.”
Within the CCM of Hassan and Magufuli, or the revolutionary group, some were more welcome to welcome the change in tone.The CCM had been in power for decades, and Magufuli, an alleged critic, created more sycophantic politics, whose opposition from His inner party had never been heard before.
With some exceptions, Hamisi Kigwangalla is an outspoken CCM member of Congress and is using his training as a physician to support his plea for greater transparency and action against coronavirus under Magufuli as of the day. Tuesday, after Hassan’s speech, he said he felt proven by her words.
“I found her statement to be very favorable and forward-looking,” he said. Many aspects of the outbreak here in Tanzania and moving in the direction of vaccination. ”
But Hassan gave no details in her speech, she recently announced plans to create a coronavirus specialist agency to advise her government on the epidemic.
Maria Sarungi Tsehai, two of Magufuli’s fiercest commentators and activists, and opposition leader Tundu Lissu, said they would consider Hassan an extension of Magufuli’s rule until it proves otherwise.
“What we really need is a systematic change,” said Sarungi, whose television station Kwanza had shut down twice under Magufuli. “The president’s order became the law of the land. As long as this continues, we will be at the mercy of whoever is responsible. ”
The deeper democratic reforms, including the writing of a new constitution, are part of what Lissu awaits before his permanent return to Tanzania. He had to take refuge in Belgium after last year’s presidential campaign against Magufuli, where he was repeatedly arrested in 2017.During the previous campaign, he was shot multiple times for what he was told. As a politically motivated assassination attempt
“Now that you’re president, you have to tell us. You have to tell the world who is behind these assassination attempts, and myself, who is behind the killing of villagers, fishermen, farmers and pastoralists in the national parks of Thailand. We behind “The kidnapping and disappearance of political opponents and media critics,” he said, “if you do that, I’ll feel very comfortable and go home.”
Bearak reported from New York.