Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has appointed Stergomena Lawrence Tax as the country’s new minister for defence and national service.
She replaces Elias Kwandikwa, who died early August while undergoing treatment in Dar es Salaam, the Directorate of Presidential Communications at State House said in a statement issued late Sunday.
Dr Tax, who becomes the country’s first woman defence minister since independence, also served as the first and only executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an inter-governmental organization established in 1992 to promote political, socio-economic and security cooperation and integration among its 16 members.
She was appointed defence minister two days after she was sworn-in as a member of Parliament.
President Suluhu said she appointed Dr Tax to break the taboo that reserves the position for men.
“The minister’s job at that office is not to carry guns or artillery. Her main duty is to mainly coordination and manage administration and policies at the ministry,” she said during the swearing-in ceremony at Chamwino State House, Dodoma.
“[But] that was not the only reason [for her appointment]. [She has] vast experience from her previous position at SADC, so she is aware of the security issues in the region,” the President said.
She added that Dr Tax is well-informed of Tanzania’s security forces engagements in Mozambique and Congo, their systems and all details about their operations.
In another development, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has also appointed Dr Eliezer Feleshi as the new Attorney General (AG).
Dr Feleshi replaces Prof. Adelardus Kilangi who has been appointed ambassador.
Prior to his appointment, Dr Feleshi was the Principal Judge of the High Court.
According to the statement, the new AG and other new appointees will be sworn in on Monday, September 13, at 11:00am at State House Chamwino, Dodoma.