Tanzania names little known bureaucrat as prime minister

November 19, 2015, 10:43am

By AFP, News24. Photo of President John Magufuli: AFP

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 Thursday.

President John Magufuli, who himself took power earlier this month after winning October 25 elections, nominated former teacher Kassim Majaliwa as the country's new prime minister.

"I hereby propose the name of Kassim Majaliwa, so that the National Assembly endorse him in accordance with relevant procedures," a letter from Magufuli said, read in parliament in the capital Dodoma by the Speaker Job Ndugai.

Majaliwa, aged 60, and a stalwart of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, comes from the south-eastern Lindi district. He was a former deputy minister in the local government ministry, overseeing school education.

His nomination is expected to be passed without problem in parliament, and be sworn in on Friday.

Humble and hardworking

Magufuli's win in the October 25 poll with over 58% 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 him as "very humble and hardworking".

Majaliwa succeeds Mizengo Pinda, who held the post since 2008. Pinda was caught up in accusations of graft 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 also 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 dependent on tourism, has experienced sectarian and political tensions in recent years, including several grenade explosions.