President Samia reshuffles cabinet, names new foreign minister

Wednesday August 30 2023
Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu. PHOTO | STR | AFP


Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday named a new Foreign Minister in a reshuffle to her Cabinet, the second such changes she has made since she took power in March 2021.

In a statement, she named former minerals minister Doto Biteko as Deputy Prime Minister and placed various other existing ministers in new dockets.

Biteko will also take over the Energy Ministry portfolio from January Makamba who became Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation. Former foreign minister Stergomena Tax will return to the Defence Ministry which she held before moving to foreign affairs last year.

Read: Samia dissolves finance and trade ministries, forms three dockets

"As deputy to Kassim Majaliwa who was retained as Prime Minister, Mr Biteko will be in charge of coordinating government activities," Chief Secretary Moses Kusiluka said in a statement.

The deputy premier position is unconstitutional and at the president's discretion. It has had only two other previous occupants, Augustine Mrema and Salim Ahmed Saliim, who held it on separate occasions during the tenure of former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1985-1995).


The surprise reshuffle also saw the works and transport ministry being split in two and the appointment of Stephen Byabato as deputy minister for foreign affairs directly responsible for EAC affairs. 

Prof Makame Mbarawa, previously Works and Transport Minister, became Minister of Transport while the former defence minister Innocent Bashungwa was named Minister of Works and Anthony Mavunde was promoted from deputy minister for agriculture to Minister of Minerals in place of Biteko.

Four ministers swapped dockets with Pindi Chana becoming Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs where she will handle among other matters the government's side of the constitutional review process. She takes over from Damas Ndumbaro who moves to Ms Chana's previous post of Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.

Angellah Kairuki was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources switching places with Mohamed Mchengerwa who became Minister of State in the President's Office in charge of Local Governments.

Read: President Samia reshuffles Cabinet

The only cabinet newcomer was Jerry Silaa as Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, replacing Angelina Mabula who was dropped. In several changes also announced among permanent secretaries, Kennedy Gastorn became Principal Secretary in the Foreign Ministry in charge of EAC affairs.

The new appointments took effect immediately and the swearing-in ceremony will be held in Zanzibar on Friday, where President Samia could shed light on some of the reasons behind the changes.