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Tanzania president Suluhu ditches tradition, wears mask

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu has appeared to abandon tradition by wearing a mask.

The 61-year old was spotted donning the mask during her first international visit as Head of State to Uganda on Sunday.

She touched down at Entebbe International Airport early morning and was received by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa before heading to meet her host Uganda President Yoweri Museveni. Upon arrival, she also avoided shaking hands with her hosts.

And at State House hours after her arrival, she reappeared in public in a changed wardrobe but the mask was still intact covering her nose and mouth.

Suluhu, who was sworn in as the country’s president last month following the sudden death of John Magufuli has never been spotted wearing a mask when she is at home.

Thus, her picture in a mask could represent a change in policy as Tanzania has repeatedly downplayed the existence of the virus in the country.

But the Tanzania President recently announced the formation of a task force to advise her government on recommendations and remedies surrounding the pandemic.

“It is not proper to ignore it (Covid-19). We cannot reject or accept it without any evidence from research,” she explained.”They (experts) will tell us more about the pandemic and advise us about what the world is proposing. We cannot accept everything as it comes, but we also cannot isolate ourselves as an island while the world is moving in a different direction.”

The climax of Suluhu’s one-day official visit to Kampala will be the signing of three agreements of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Tripartite Project Agreement by the Presidents of both countries.