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Dr. Tulia Ackson Mwansasu has emerged as the second female speaker of the Tanzanian parliament following an election by Tanzanian members of parliament.
It comes shortly after the swearing in of President Suluhu in 2021; who is Tanzania’s first woman to hold a role as President.
Dr Mwansasu’s election into office follows the resignation of predecessor Job Ndugai after a fallout with the Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu. Mr Ndugai had publicly criticised the country’s borrowing habits.
He had previously criticised the Tanzanian government for widening the national debt through loans. According to a report by All Africa he tendered his resignation after he made comments condemning the Tanzanian government’s act of taking over $560,000 in loans from the International Monetary Fund(IMF). He said that by that level of borrowing, Tanzania risked being auctioned off financially.
Dr. Ackson, who was his deputy beforehand, beat eight other candidates in the voting process and had a landslide victory when she received 376 votes. The Tanzanian parliament itself has a total of 393 members.
This election into the highest position in Tanzania’s National Assembly makes her the second woman to hold and serve in that capacity. The first woman who did so prior to her was Anne Makinda who was also a Member of Parliament for Njombe constituency.
Dr. Ackson holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town and is a renowned expert in matters of labour law, social security law, project financing, mining law, trusts, wildlife management and probates and administration of estates law amongst others.
According to reports by Tanzanian news outlets like The Citizen, she pledged to restore respect from the Tanzanian public in issues surrounding the legislature. Dr. Ackson also pledged to ensure the fulfillment of the legislature’s constitutional role as a watchdog over the performance of the Tanzanian government.
Dr. Tulia Ackson’s appointment is a huge milestone in Tanzania’s quest for gender equality and women’s representation particularly in the political space.