, DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Nov 5 -President Uhuru Kenyatta was Thursday among dignitaries who joined thousands of Tanzanians at a colourful swearing-in ceremony of John Pombe Magufuli as the fifth President of Tanzania.
President Kenyatta was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for the ceremony, at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, which included a 21 gun salute and military parade.
Other African leaders at the ceremony were AU chairman and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Joseph Kabila (DRC) Congo, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Magufuli won the presidency with 58 percent of the votes cast – a total of 8.9 million – to succeed outgoing President Jakaya Kikwete and to also extend the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s (CCM) 51-year reign.
Dr Magufuli’s running mate, Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes the first woman in the history of Tanzania to be the First Vice President.
In his address, Dr Magufuli affirmed his party’s commitment to work with the opposition to deliver on its campaign pledges.
He also pledged to work hard to meet people’s expectations after they bestowed on him the trust to lead the country during recent general elections.
Noting that he was ready to take the nation to the next level of development, President Magufuli urged Tanzanians to join him in building a country that avails opportunities to all.
“Tanzania is larger than all political parties. Let us forget political differences and join hands in developing our country,” he said.
He thanked outgoing President Kikwete for ensuring a smooth transition.
President Kenyatta, in a congratulatory message, praised the people of Tanzania for the manner in which the country has distinguished herself over the years as a leading beacon of democracy in Africa.
He described the election of Dr Magufuli as a re-confirmation of the desire for continuity with the policies of the ruling party which is credited with the national cohesion and development that the country has enjoyed since independence
“I wish to assure you of my full support and desire to forge even closer bonds of friendship, entrenching further our integration agenda and indeed, uplifting the welfare of our people,” said the message.
Later, President Kenyatta joined other Heads of State and Government for a luncheon at State House gardens in Dar es Salaam.