President Samia Suluhu Hassan Names Tanzania’s Finance Minister Philip Mpango as her Deputy
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has nominated Finance Minister Philip Mpango as her deputy.
The 63-year-old’s name will now be presented to Parliament for approval in line with the country’s Constitution.
For Mpango to be sworn in as the country’s next vice president, his nomination has to be approved by at least 50 per cent of the Members of Parliament.
If he gets parliament’s nod, Mpango will take over the position left vacant by Suluhu following her swearing as Tanzania’s 6th President on March 19, two days after President John Pombe Magufuli’s death.
Mpango has held the position of Finance Minister since November 2015.
In February this year, he was forced to address a press conference after reports that he had succumbed to Covid-19.
The minister, who was filmed coughing and gasping, left many in shock as he defended his health in the company of his doctor at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dar es Salaam.
“I came to the hospital with my oxygen cylinder but in the last three days I did not use it because my health has improved,” he said.
Mpango was overwhelmed by emotions as he sent condolences following a spate of deaths of prominent people attributed to “pneumonia” and “respiratory challenges”.
Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu is among netizens who criticized Mpango for the act.
“Has the intelligence of our leaders reached this level? Who allowed this patient to cough on people, instead of being in hospital for treatment or bed rest?” Lissu posed on on Twitter.
“What kind of doctor is this who was coughed on without mask? What are you trying to prove by this recklessness?”
Lissu has maintained that Magufuli, who denied the existence of Covid-19 in Tanzania for months, succumbed to Covid19 complications.