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Tanzania's 2025 Elections: The Enduring Influence of Magufuli's Legacy Amid Samia's Reforms

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louis Buyisiwe

Apr 16, 2024

Magufuli's legacy still resonates as the country approaches the 2025 elections.

John Magufuli, who served from 2015 until his death in 2021, was a polarizing figure in Tanzanian politics. Known for his strict governance style, he was both revered and criticized. His administration was marked by a crackdown on political freedoms and a strong stance on development projects, which garnered both domestic and international attention.
Late President of Tanzania and current President of Tanzania Suluhu Samia

Three years after the death of former President John Magufuli, Tanzania continues to feel his impact on its political landscape as current President Samia Suluhu Hassan implements significant reforms.

Despite these changes, Magufuli's legacy still resonates as the country approaches the 2025 elections.


John Magufuli, who served from 2015 until his death in 2021, was a polarizing figure in Tanzanian politics. Known for his strict governance style, he was both revered and criticized.

His administration was marked by a crackdown on political freedoms and a strong stance on development projects, which garnered both domestic and international attention.


Since taking office, President Samia has reversed many of Magufuli’s restrictive policies, notably in political and civic spaces.

Her administration has reformed election laws and reinstated public rallies, aiming to strengthen democracy and reduce the ruling party's grip on power. These measures have invigorated the opposition, boosting their visibility and engagement ahead of the upcoming election.


Despite these reforms, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party maintains significant advantages. Critics argue that some of Samia's reforms have not gone far enough, as recent legislation still falls short of substantial electoral change.

Moreover, internal party dynamics and resistance from Magufuli loyalists pose additional challenges to her leadership.


As Tanzania moves towards the 2025 elections, the interplay between Magufuli’s enduring influence and Samia’s progressive policies will be crucial in shaping the nation’s democratic trajectory.


Samia’s strategic approach to party politics and governance reforms has positioned her as a transformative leader, yet the full impact of her policies will be tested in the forthcoming elections.

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