JUBILATION filled Dodoma City and its environs as President John Magufuli and Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan took oath of office on Thursday at Jamhuri Stadium here.
A grand parade, mass display and various performances spiced up the colourful second inauguration of President John Magufuli.
Hundreds of Dodoma residents from ordinary citizens, government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and political party leaders trooped to the stadium from as early as 6:00am and made their presence felt throughout as they chanted, clapped hands and sang enthusiastically.
The ceremony attracted Heads of States from different countries across the continent, and those who could not attend sent their representatives who brought greetings from their top leaders to the country.
It was a fanfare that featured military parades, prayers, traditional dancing troupes from both parts of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mainland and Zanzibar, as well as circus artistes National leaders including former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete arrived at the stadium as early as 8:00 am.
The event was also attended by former Prime Ministers, David Cleopa Msuya, Judge (rtd) Joseph Warioba, John Malecela, Fredrick Sumaye, Edward Lowassa, Mizengo Pinda and Kassim Majaliwa.
Newly-elected Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi and his entourage arrived at 8:57 am followed by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan a few minutes later.
He was followed by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President of Comoro Azali Assoumani and Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Dressed in a dark suit and a red tie, President Magufuli arrived in an open van at 9:40 am.
His motorcade which had a BMW limousine and several motorcycles arrived in a slow motion going around the stadium, as the Head of State who was with the Chief of Defence Forces, General Venance Mabeyo waved to the cheerful crowd.
The motorcade entered the stadium from the northern entrance and advanced slowly past the VIP stand before going around the stadium. It stopped in front of the saluting dais. The audience waved flags all the while.
As usual, a red carpet was there for the president. He alighted from the open van and went straight to the saluting dais where he received a 21-gun salute.
The national anthem and that of the East African Community followed. After the salute, the president inspected a Guard of Honour.
Later on the president’s flag was lowered to half-staff, signaling that his first five-year term had come to an end.
Dr Magufuli later proceeded to the swearing in dais where he was sworn in for his second term in office by Chief Justice Professor Ibrahim Juma in company of Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai, Attorney General Professor Adelardus Kilangi and Chief Secretary Dr John Kijazi, among others.
After he took the oath of office, the Vice-President Ms Samia was also sworn in by Prof Kilangi.
Later, Dr Magufuli walked again to the saluting dais where he received yet another 21-gun salute. The national anthem and that of EAC followed.
He later inspected a guard of honour and then joined the guests at the VIP area.
The rest of the audience watched the parade as the soldiers marched in front of the President who is a Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to salute him. Marching male and female soldiers impressed the ululating crowd so much.
The parade left the stadium at around 12:20pm.
After the president delivered his inauguration speech, there were traditional cultural dances from Zanzibar.
Also a group of artists performed a special song that conveyed a special message to congratulate Dr Magufuli.
Their performance impressed the crowd, drawing wild cheers.