Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has hired former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as her advisor on Covid-19 and trade.
International media reports indicate that the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is responsible for restoring Tanzania’s image among foreign investors and advising the government on Covid-19.
Blair has visited Tanzania on two occasions since Samia Suluhu Hassan assumed the presidency in March this year after the sudden death of her predecessor, John Magufuli.
In July, during his first official visit to Tanzania, Blair and President Samia discussed how to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Blair said his institute is responsible for facilitating the testing and distribution of vaccines, and may help Tanzania to access top vaccine producers.
In a report, SABC News International editor Sophie Mokoena said Hassan has a right to make decisions for Tanzanians but she described Blair’s credibility in peace and security as questionable.
She also questioned the decision to hire Blair in the context that Tanzania has always led in pan-Africanism and economic strengthening of the continent.
In Malawi, President Lazarus Chakwera also hired Blair and his TBI last year to set up a delivery unit to diagnose deficiencies in the government machinery and address them in order to improve competency of governance institute.
Malawians last year faulted Chakwera’s decision to rope in Blair and asked the President to reverse the decision. However, Blair is still Chakwera’s advisor and the two met in the country last month.
Blair was also an adviser to former Malawi President Joyce Banda during her presidency between 2012 and 2013. During the period, over K2 billion in public funds was stolen in the scandal known as cashgate.