Tanzania’s Head of State, Jakaya Kikwete, was elected on October 31 for another presidential term. He wasted no time in solidifying his position by naming a new cabinet. As new as the cabinet may seem, the Head of State retained most of the old guard in his government. Most senior ministers were not surprised at all to find out that their positions were secure and have been reappointed. President Kikwete said he was generally pleased with the performance of the previous cabinet team and thus reflecting no major changes in the new cabinet. Kikwete has helped Tanzania transform its international image and improve on its world economic standing.
The turnout was low at the polls and the opposition accused the ruling government of rigging the elections. But the government dismissed the allegations and claimed the elections were free and fair. Among the cabinet ministers who retained their jobs were Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Mustafa Mkulo, and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Bernard Membe. William Ngeleja, who held the portfolio of Energy and Minerals, also retained his job. Also holding on to his Ministry was Minster for Defence and National service, Hussein Mwinyi.
A new cabinet position was announced, that of Foreign and Direct Investment with aim to facilitate trade into the country and attract investment. In comparison, the new cabinet has 50 members including 24 new ministers and deputy Ministers whilst the previous had only 47 in total. Some of the new appointees include Anna Tibaijuka, who happen to be an ex-Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. She becomes the country’s new Minister of Lands, Housing and Human settlements. President Kikwete had embarked on massive development projects to empower his country’s economic potential, and this new term would position his government to deliver if not all but most of his party manifesto’s.
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