Archive for Obituaries

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Ali Mufuruki (15 November 1958 to 7 December 2019) was one of the few businessmen of Tanzanian African origin to make it onto the Forbes Rich List, where, in 2011, his assets were estimated at $110m. The figure may have been exaggerated, and he did not appear on the list in subsequent years, but his achievements are not in doubt.

He was born in Bukoba to parents Abdul Hassan Mufuruki and Jalliya Rutaihwa. He was employed by Daimler-Benz and studied in Germany, where in 1986 he achieved a degree-level qualification in Mechanical Design Engineering from the Fachhochschule (or Technical High School) in Reutlingen. He returned to Tanzania to be head of mechanical engineering at the state-owned National Engineering Company. Two years later he created his own company, Infotec Computers Ltd, which installed and maintained computers across Tanzania, supplying both the hardware and software. The timing was perfect: computers were suddenly a key part of the business world. The business expanded rapidly and a few years later the South African based Woolworths Holdings Ltd licensed its interests in Tanzania to the Infotec Investment Group (his holding company). Its first store in Tanzania opened in December 1999, and the franchise was subsequently extended to Uganda. Mufuruki started many other companies; the long list included a franchise of Levi’s, the US-owned maker of jeans, and, with a Norwegian company, a business selling internet-based booking systems to tourist venues. It opened office buildings, locating its headquarters in one of them, a prestigious building in Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam.

But Mufuruki was not just interested in his own businesses. He served as a director or chair of a list of companies and committees far too long to list here (but including the Tanzanian arm of Coca Cola, Vodacom Tanzania, Air Tanzania, Mwananchi Communications Ltd and the Nation Media Group in Kenya). He became involved in the international circuit of business conferences where he spoke, very effectively, about the potential, but also the weaknesses, of businesses in Africa. In 2000, he was a co-founder – and from 2005 chair – of the Chief Executive Officers Roundtable of Tanzania, providing a voice representing business interests across the whole private sector (agriculture and services as well as manufacturing), not controlled or dominated by the government.

But his long-term legacy is likely to be the book which with three friends he published in 2017. [Ali Mufuruki, Rahim Mawji, Moremi Marwa, Gilman Kasiga. Tanzania’s Industrialization Journey, 2015-2056: From an Agrarian to an Industrialised State in 40 Years. Nairobi: Moran Publishers, 2017. Also on the internet at http://online.anyflip.com/davt/tltf/mobile/index.html#p=1 See also the review in Tanzanian Affairs Issue 120, May 2018]. It broke new ground in many ways. It was probably the first book about economic strategy in Tanzania written from within the business community, rather than by academic economists or consultants from overseas. It used the authors’ experiences of their business dealings in the Asian tiger economies, and the work of the Chinese economist Justin Lin and the Korean, Ha-Jung Chang, to demonstrate the benefits of government intervention to steer the process of industrialisation. It was far ahead of its time in much of what it advocated, e.g. that energy policy be based on solar power and not on gas and oil, with as much as possible of the solar hardware fabricated in Tanzania. It presented figures to show that Tanzanian wage rates are below those in China or Bangladesh, so Tanzania can undercut them in the production of labour-intensive products such as garments or the assembly of light electronic products, and export to the whole world, provided the infrastructure is in place and efficient. Its deeper purpose was to give Tanzanians confidence that they can take control of their destinies and make their nation a better place, socially as well as economically. Tanzania has lost another of its leading businessmen, but his ideas will live on in this book, and in his many speeches and presentations on the internet. [Andrew Coulson]

Professor Harold John Cooke, FRGS (1927-2019), was one of the last of the post-war geographers who pursued successful careers in both the Colonial Service and post-Independence African academia.

Born into a working class Manchester family, John entered Manchester University on a scholarship and graduated with a Geography degree in 1948. Following a year’s National Service in the Intelligence Corps in Egypt he was posted to Tanganyika as a District Officer (cadet) in the Colonial Service in 1951. There followed a series of postings, mostly in the districts surrounding Lake Victoria, and culminating in appointment as District Commissioner in the Bukoba District in 1960.

An accomplished mountaineer, he used his free time to climb the mountains of East Africa. He made three ascents of Mt Kilimanjaro, including, in 1957, the first recorded ascent of the Heim Glacier, and the first west-east transect across the entire massif.

In 1956 he married Sylvia Kaufmann, whose family fled from Germany to Tanganyika in 1936, in Tanga. She was to be his constant companion and partner until her death in 2018.

With Tanzanian Independence in 1961 John resigned as DC and moved to the coast where he taught secondary level geography at Tanga and then Karimjee secondary schools. In 1969 he completed a PhD on the Karst of the Tanga limestone, awarded by the University College of Dar-es-Salaam.
Later that same year, John and Sylvia moved back to the UK where John took up a job as a geography teacher, before taking the opportunity two years later to establish the Department of Environmental Science at the new Botswana campus of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1991 they moved to rural Wales for a quiet retirement. [Philippa John-Cooke]

Sultan Qaboos bin Said (1940-2020) of Oman was the world’s longest ruling King, and a much-loved friend of Tanzania. Though an absolute monarch, who served for almost 50 years, he was both relatively benevolent and popular, including in Tanzania, where historic bonds between Zanzibar and the Omani Kingdom remain powerful.

He came to power in a bloodless coup that overthrew his father, Sultan Said bin Taimur, in 1970, and went on to turn the country from a back­ward and isolated country into a prosperous, modern state, engaged in the wider Arab region. Less impressive was the lack of political change; Qaboos retained personal control of all the main government posts and refused to delegate any real power even to other members of the royal family that has ruled Oman continuously since 1749.

The sultans of Oman ruled over much of the East African coast from 1689 to 1856, maintaining extensive trade routes. In either 1832 or 1840, the sultans moved their capital from Muscat to Zanzibar.

In December 1963, Zanzibar had a brief moment of independence when the British, who had shared power with the sultans as a protectorate (1890-1963), left the islands as a constitutional monarchy back under Omani rule. On January 12, 1964, a violent revolution in Zanzibar overthrew the sultanate, ending over two centuries of power in the region.

Mwalimu Nyerere with Sultan Qaboos bin Said

And yet, the ousting of the Omanis from Zanzibar in 1964 left many Zanzibaris with have strong familial and historical ties to Oman. To this day, many East Africans share a special connection with Oman, and many Omanis speak fluent Swahili.

Sultan Qaboos made quiet but a concerted effort to maintain these ties of family and friendship, particularly after Tanzania began, in the 1980s, to open her doors to tourism and trade. This included various charitable and diplomatic initiatives, the establishment of direct flights between Oman and Zanzibar in 2011, funding the construction of a new Grand Mosque of Zanzibar and the restoration of the Beit el-Ajaib (House of Wonders), and a delegation that visited Zanzibar in 2017 to strengthen cooperation along the coast.

The Sultan’s death was mourned on Zanzibar and in wider Tanzania. Even before he died, residents of Stone Town gathered at Jaws Corner to pray for his health after news circulated that he was ill.

Sultan Qaboos never married and had no children. However, he left a letter nominating his chosen successor and a meeting of the royal family agreed to support his choice: his cousin, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, the Minister of Culture.

James Mapalala, veteran politician and one of the leading pioneers of pluralism in Tanzania, died in Dar es Salaam in October, aged 83.

Mr Mapalala is probably best known for being the first prominent Tanzanian politician to publicly demand the reinstatement of the multiparty democracy. He did so in 1986, something that angered the government at the time. Accused of forming a political party contrary to the then constitution, he was jailed for two years in Lindi and later taken to detention in the Mafia Island before being released in 1989.

He officially formed the Chama cha Wananchi (CCW) in 1991, one of the two parties (along with Kamahuru, in Zanzibar) that merged in 1993 to form the Civic United Front (CUF). He was elected to be the first CUF national chairman, the position he served until 1994, when his tenure ended following a political wrangle that erupted in the party.

To many young Tanzanians, Ambassador Paul Ndobho (1938-2019) isn’t a familiar name. But to the older generation Ndobho is revered as a strong politician, who had guts to stand even against Father of the Nation Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

In 1968, Ndobho opposed a bill, which was orchestrated by Mwalimu Nyerere, which sought to provide gratuity allowances to MPs and ministers. His main argument was that Tanzania was still too poor to afford such kind of expenditure. Standing up to President Nyerere at that time was seen as political suicide, but Mr Ndobho’s motion sailed through with only one legislator opposing it.

Ndobho became a legislator at the young age of 27 after he won the Musoma North parliamentary seat in 1965 through Tanzania African National Unity (TANU). The constituency included the home village of Mwalimu Nyerere.

He was appointed to various positions under President Nyerere’s administration, including: Kigoma regional secretary (1975) and Tanzania ambassador to Russia (1976). After the reintroduction of multi-party politics in the early 1990s, Ndobho defected to the then main opposition NCCR-Mageuzi, winning both the endorsement of former President Nyerere and the Musoma Rural seat in parliament.

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Tanzanian billionaire, business mogul, author and philanthropist Reginald Mengi has died aged 75. From humble roots, Mr Mengi had grown a business empire spanning mining, consumer goods and the media, worth, according to Forbes Magazine, US$550 million.

The legend of Mengi’s rise is well-known, as he was not shy to tell the story regularly, including in his 2018 Memoire, I Can, I Must, I Will. He describes how he started life bedding down with the farm animals in a small hut, but made his way out of poverty via an accounting college in Glasgow. He took night classes and worked as a bus conductor and cleaner to pay his way. He got a job as an accountant with PwC and was posted first to Nairobi then back home to Tanzania, in Dar es Salaam. By 1989, when he left the firm, he had risen to the role of Chairman and Managing Partner.

In an interview with Forbes Magazine in 2014, Mengi describes how the want of a pen sparked his mind on the way to his fortune. Amid wide­spread shortages of basic supplies in the 1980s, he had spent a whole day searching the streets of Dar es Salaam for a pen when he ran into a friend who knew someone, who knew someone else, who could export pen parts to Tanzania. He assembled them on his bedroom floor. “That little business gave me my first million dollars,” said Mengi.

The extent to which such stories were exaggerated as part of the man­agement of his public profile is unclear, but it is also said that Mengi’s first marriage, into a well-connected family in his home region of Kilimanjaro, helped move his career and business along considerably.

Today, his flagship IPP Limited owns several newspapers including The Guardian and Nipashe as well as several TV and Radio stations includ­ing the country’s leading TV station, ITV. He pioneered independent media in Tanzania when state monopolies were relaxed in the 1990s. The company also has interests in a number of Coca-Cola’s bottlers and bottles its own brand of water, Kilimanjaro Drinking Water. At the time of his death, Mengi was planning to expand into vehicle assembly for Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo cars in East Africa, as well as mobile phone manufacturing.

Mengi was also one of Tanzania’s most prominent philanthropists. He gave away large sums – reportedly millions of dollars every year – to Tanzanian educational, medical and religious institutions. Through this, and with the assistance of the highly visible presence he was able to command through his own media outlets, he had become a very popular figure among Tanzanians, well known even outside business, media and political circles.

Rumours often circulated that Mengi had aspirations for a political career. His name was mentioned occasionally as an outside candidate for leadership within CCM, though this never materialised. Perhaps his occasionally outspoken remarks on environmental causes and good governance made it impossible. Or perhaps this was part of an astute business strategy: rumours of political ambitions could provide useful leverage in his dealings with government.

“I am shocked at the death of an elder and a friend Dr. Reginald Mengi,” said President Magufuli. “I will remember him for his immense contribution to the development of our country and for the words he wrote in his book. I offer my condolences to members of his family, IPP workers and the entire business community.”

Previously, the President had spoken at the launch of Mengi’s book. “One of the things that Mengi has showed us with his life is that it is possible to rise above one’s circumstances if one is willing to pay the price,” he said. “There is no shortcut to success. Mengi’s story is a wake-up call to young Africans to work hard and persevere despite of the odds,” he added.

Mengi is survived by his second wife, former beauty queen Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe Mengi, and four children.

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Ruge Matahaba
Media and entertainment entrepreneur, Ruge Mutahaba, died in a South African hospital in February at the age of 49, following kidney failure. Officially, Ruge was Director of Strategy and Programmes Development at Clouds Media Group, but he was much more than this. He had played a leading role in transforming the popular music and entertainment industry in Tanzania over the past two decades.

Ruge co-founded Clouds Media with his long-time collaborator and business partner, Joseph Kusaga. The new radio station arrived into a music scene dominated by decades-old Tanzanian classics and stars and their music imported from the DRC or USA, and up-ended it. Ruge promoted local acts, enabling young Tanzanians to develop a musical style and culture of their own. Bongo Flava may draw heavily on American hip-hop, but it combines this with elements from taarab and dansi music as well as the creativity and imagination of street Swahili to create something uniquely and recognisably Tanzanian.

Ruge didn’t invent the style, but he enabled it to flourish. And with Ruge at the helm, Tanzanian youth culture became cool again. As social and political commentator, Elsie Eyakuze, notes, “we youth went from being nobodies to a real demographic with a voice and power. And all this because one young man decided to dedicate his entire life-force to what he loved and to do it in the country he loved. That’s why nowadays anything youth is possible.”

“We believed there was room for us to make some money in the most unconventional ways, and to promote local content because some young men had started making music,” Ruge said. Besides Clouds Media, Ruge played influential roles in establishing the Fiesta concert series, Primetime Promotions, the Smooth Vibes record label, the Sauti za Busara festival, the Fursa campaign, and Tanzania House of Talent.

Ruge Mutahaba was born in Berkeley, California in 1970. He studied primary school in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, before progressing to Forodhani Secondary for O-level and Pugu High School for A–level studies. He later joined San Jose University of California for degrees in marketing and finance.

Perhaps the best evidence of Ruge’s impact on popular culture in Tanzania is to witness the response to his death. Thousands lined the streets in mourning, first in Dar es Salaam and later in Bukoba when his body returned from South Africa.

“It is with great sadness that I received the news on the passing of my son Ruge Mutahaba,” said President John Magufuli on Twitter. “I will forever remember him for his huge contribution in the media and entertainment industry as well as his efforts in mentoring the youth. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete said he was at a loss for words. “My heart bleeds and is filled with sadness after receiving news on the death of Ruge Mutahaba. The nation has lost a young visionary and patriot. He helped me during and even after my presidency. May he rest in peace,” Kikwete posted on Twitter.

“I do not like small dreams, I like big dreams,” Mutahaba said while delivering a lecture at University of Dodoma. “You need to be aggressive and please do not stop until you are a star.”

Hatim Amir Karimjee
It is with profound sadness that the Karimjee Jivanjee family announce the passing of Hatim Amir Karimjee on 12 January, 2019 at the age of 73, in London, England, surrounded by family and close friends. He was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania on 27 July, 1945 to the late Amir Yusufali Karimjee O.B.E and the late Kulsum Amir Karimjee.

Hatim leaves behind a deep-rooted legacy of professional and philanthropic achievements honouring his family, his community, and his country. Hatim will be deeply missed and forever cherished by his wife, Razia, his son, Yusuf, his daughter-in-law Aran, his adored grandchildren Kaleem and Danyal, and his two siblings, Zamy and Mahmood Karimjee.

He will be greatly remembered for his generosity, his sharp wit and booming spirit; his appreciation of art, and his fervent love for food, wine and travel. Hatim’s appetite for life will live on through those who knew and loved him.
Hafiz Khandwala

Peter Le Mare
Soil scientist, woodworker, yoghurt maker, occasional needleworker and environmentalist, Peter Le Mare, has died aged 95. Peter worked on the Tanganyika groundnut scheme at Kongwa in the 1940s, initially living and working in tents until houses were built.

When the scheme, intended to supply vegetable oil for the UK’s post-war diet, folded in 1952, Peter moved to Uganda, before returning to Tanzania in 1963. Peter worked on fertiliser use for tropical soils at Ukiriguru, where, in 1965, he had the honour of escorting President Julius Nyerere, for whom he had great respect, around the research plots.

Peter went to Friends’ school, Saffron Walden, in Essex, and Leighton Park school, Reading. A conscientious objector during the second world war, he was instructed to “work full-time on the land”. He went first to Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, where he assisted with field experiments to improve soil fertility and the wartime production of food.

In 1945 he began working at the ICI Research Station near Bracknell, Berkshire, where he met Joy Smallwood, a horticulturalist. They married in 1946, before moving to east Africa the following year. While there, Peter sailed on Lake Victoria in a dinghy he had built himself and climbed Kilimanjaro.

The family returned to the UK in 1969 where, back at Rothamsted, Peter wrote his PhD based on his overseas work. In 1973 he became a research fellow at Reading University specialising in tropical food crops.
Margaret Le Mare

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Mama Zippora Shekilango

Mama Zippora Shekilango, an education and gender activist, died in September at the age of 80.

Her late husband, Hussein Ramadhani Shekilango, is perhaps more famous, and even has a prominent road named after him (Shekilango Road in Dar es Salaam). But it would be a mistake to see Mama Shekilango as merely her husband’s wife.

For many years, she was a doughty campaigner on gender and education issues. First, she had been a teacher and headmistress at highly successful schools including Zanaki, Msalato, Kisutu, Jangwani and Forodhani.

It was her love of education, for the girl child to have equal chances of education as the boychild, that led her to become one of the country’s leading gender rights activists. Despite coming from a generation where both men and women celebrated patriarchy, she became instrumental in advocating for gender equality. Twenty-five years ago, out of con­viction that gender equality was the way to inclusive development, with others she founded the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP). The organisation has been at the forefront of the struggle for gender equality in Tanzania ever since.

Zitto Kabwe, the leader of the opposition party ACT Wazalendo reflected on her passing by quoting her: “Without quality education the nation will find itself stagnant and this is why it’s always important to meet and discuss the way forward.”

Saumu Jumanne, of the University of Dar es Salaam, paid tribute: “The knowledge that a teacher passes on to the students, more often than not outlives the teacher. Her values will live on. Hopefully as a nation we can learn from her dedication to teaching, gender activism and all in the spirit of patriotism. To the likes of Mama Zippora, Tanzania always came first in their doings. This is a great lesson to all of us in public services today.”

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Derek Ingram

Derek with the other founders of the Britain-Tanzania Society in 1975

Derek Ingram (20 June 1925 – 17 June 2018) was one of the founders of the Britain Tanzania Society. The official picture shows him with Bishop Trevor Huddleston, Roger Carter, the indefatigable first Secretary of the Society, and John Malecela and Amon Nsekala, both of whom were Tanzanian High Commissioners in London (John left the post to become Prime Minister in 1990).

Derek was a tall man – gaunt, serious, loveable, a little other-worldly, but entirely reliable and utterly frank. By 1975, when BTS was founded, he had known Julius Nyerere for at least 15 years. He described a journey to Nigeria, and on to Nkrumah’s Ghana, in 1960, which makes it clear how much he valued Nyerere’s judgements, even before Independence the following year.

Derek left school early to become a journalist – he made a good living as a sub-editor when he was only 17. After service in the navy, he worked on the Daily Express, then the Daily Mail where he was repeatedly promoted till he became Deputy Editor, before falling out with the proprietor Lord Rothermere over what he saw as his racist attitudes to Rhodesia. At this point, in 1967, he and a friend set up Gemini News Service, a network of journalists across the Commonwealth. Six stories were printed on gestetner machines, stuffed into enveloped and mailed out to its loyal subscribers twice a week. It was never a financial suc­cess but launched many careers, including Lindsay Hilsum and Trevor MacDonald, and enabled those living and working in one part of the Commonwealth to know a little about what was happening elsewhere. Derek insisted on accuracy, clarity, clear simple English, and the impor­tance of contacts built up over many years. It made him one of the most respected journalists in the Commonwealth, an expert on all its coun­tries. Derek himself lived quietly in London, never married, devoted to his life’s work.

Gemini carried on till 2002. Derek never lost his interest, and continued reading the newspapers every day and writing and talking to his huge circle of friends. He died peacefully just short of his 93rd birthday. The Britain Tanzania Society was just one of his interests, but we would be very different without him.

Andrew Coulson

Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti

Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti


Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti (1996-2018) were conjoined twins whose positive outlook and determination to survive against the odds had captured the hearts of Tanzanians. They died in June at the age 21 after suffering respiratory complications at Iringa Regional Hospital.

The women, who were joined from the navel downwards and shared organs like the liver and lungs, had two hearts and separate heads and arms, and were against the idea of being surgically separated. The twins were very well known in Tanzania and the news of their deaths caused sadness nationwide.

President John Magufuli tweeted that he was “saddened” by their deaths, adding that Consolata and Maria had “dreamed of serving the nation”.
Health Minister, Ummy Mwalimu, said the twins “have fought a war to an end. Rest in peace, Maria and Consolata.”

Maria and Consolata were born in Makete, Njombe Region, in 1996. With care and support provided by Maria Consolata, a Catholic charity that adopted and named them, they were able to complete secondary education. Last year they enrolled with the Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU) with the goal of becoming teachers.

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Esmond Martin with Abdulrazak Gurnah

When American conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin (1941-2018) was brutally murdered in his home in Lang’ata, Nairobi, on 4th February 2018, the world lost one of its most dedicated and fearless wildlife investigators, known for his meticulously researched reports on illegal trading in rhino horn and elephant ivory.

The East African coast also lost one of its best researchers. He began his career by writing about Malindi and the Lamu archipelago, before moving on to study the dhow trade. Cargoes of the East, written with his wife Chryssee, is now a classic, as is the keenly observed account of his research trips in the mid-1970s, Zanzibar: Tradition and Revolution, still one of the best introductions to the islands.

After an absence of 30 years, Martin returned to Zanzibar in 2006 to attend a conference on dhows and sailing in the Indian Ocean. With characteristic energy and enthusiasm, as well as looking up old friends and making new ones, he also found time to collect material for an article on the local trade in African civet skins.
He’ll be remembered most, though, for his undercover research into the global ivory and rhino horn trades. His tragic murder was widely covered in the international press, along with ample speculation on the reasons for it (a botched robbery? A contract killing?). The case remains unsolved.
Martin Walsh

Ophelia Mascarenhas

Born in Zanzibar, Ophelia Mascarenhas (1938-2017) completed her Cambridge School Certificate in 1953, was accepted at Makerere University College to read for an Honours Degree and graduated from University of London in 1962. She joined her husband Adolfo Mascarenhas at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she studied School Librarianship, awarded MLS (1965) and appointed as Librarian at the University of DSM in 1966. Later, Ophelia was the first woman in Tanzania to get a Fulbright Scholarship; and was selected to join a University of her choice, Clark University which had close con­nections to the University of Dar es Salaam. In 1986 she obtained a PhD in Geography.

Ophelia was a highly respected reference librarian, as well as a researcher/scholar on information and gender studies in her own right. She transformed the East Africana Collection to become the flagship for research and information in East and Central Africa and encouraged students, staff and other researchers to explore relevant information and not be stuck in their disciplinary bias.

Ophelia was promoted through ranks at the UDSM to become the first Tanzanian Professor of Library Studies. She served as Director of the UDSM Library from 1986 to 1991 where she significantly contributed to the improvement of library services in general. In 1995 in recognition of her hard work and dedication, she was declared the best UDSM worker from the University Library. She was not only an administrator but an innovator, pushing for the then new technology CD-ROM with a grant from Carnegie to help researchers and students, and also started an Environmental Data Bank with the support of DANIDA. Her services were widely sought and she served as an advisor to the Irish Embassy for their Development Work in Morogoro Region, advocating for self-reliance and participation. Ophelia was appointed by President Mwinyi to be the Chair of the Tanzania Library Services (TLS) and during her tenure TLS expanded beyond Dar es Salaam into every Region with the mandate that secondary school pupils be given full access. In 1996 she took a sabbatical and moved to Harare, as a Human Resource Director in the Centre for Southern Africa newly established by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Throughout her life, as a teacher in Zanzibar and later librarian/ researcher at UDSM, Ophelia fought all types of discrimination and infringement of the rights of workers, women, rights of people to infor­mation on resources, including land, and contributed to the advance­ment of women/gender studies. She and Marjorie Mbilinyi prepared
Women and Development in Tanzania: An Annotated Bibliography for UNECA (Addis Ababa, 1980), and a more detailed analysis of women’s resistances and struggles in 1983 with additional annotations, Women in Tanzania (Uppsala, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies). The Bibliography went through nine editions. As the value of her work gained ground beyond Tanzania there was no lack of support from international agencies (SIDA, NORAD, DANIDA, UNU, the Ford Foundation etc). Ophelia was also a resource person for numerous local institutions and an active participant in public fora organised by REPOA, Policy Forum, ESRF, Twaweza and TGNP Mtandao. Ophelia prepared Gender Profile of Tanzania: Enhancing Gender Equity for TGNP and SIDA in 2007 and the Gender Barometer for Tanzania (TGNP) in 2016.

After retirement, Ophelia became the Coordinator and researcher of a large four country study on ICTs in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. This was followed by a related study supported by DFID through the Tanzanian Commission of Science & Technology (COSTECH), The Economic Impact of Telecommunications on Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction in Tanzania which documented how ICT increased the gender and income gap between rich and poor. In her presentation at the Harvard Forum in 2009 she remarked that the use of mobiles had increased from to 25%, but warned that mobiles would siphon off money from the poor without support and training. She got the assistance of Airtel to train 100 micro small operators to keep accounts, use mobiles for ideas communication and markets. Following the launch in Dar es Salaam of ICT Pathways To Poverty Reduction, Ophelia was surrounded by girls from secondary and post-secondary schools, full of admiration, pride and hope that girls and women had an important contribution in bringing change.

Marjorie Mbilinyi in consultation with family members

Veteran free-thinking politician, Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru (1930­-2018), was both a patriarch and a rebel. Hi rebellious streak was at its most evident in his 2015 decision to join Edward Lowassa in defecting from CCM to Chadema, despite holding very different views from Lowassa (and Chadema) on economic matters. He stuck with this change after his preferred candidate lost the 2015 presidential elec­tion, even while many of the others who shifted party at the same time returned to the ruling party fold.

But Kingunge’s 2015 act of rebellion was certainly not his first. He was no stranger to controversy, and loved political and philosophical debate. In the 1970s, as serving government representative he refused to support a government motion in parliament. The government lost the motion and he was fired. He found himself in disagreement – sometimes pub­lic – with Mwl. Nyerere on numerous other occasions when his Marxist worldview meant he tried to push the party and country further to the left than Nyerere was willing to do. At a time when Nyerere was held in awe by many around him, when the accepted practice was to clap hands and nod approvingly at whatever the leader said, Kingunge would speak up and present an alternative view.

As a teenager in the mid-1950s, Kingunge joined the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and worked in various capacities including secretary-general of the party’s youth league. In the 1960s, he went for university education to Liberia and Senegal, and spent some time at the Sorbonne in France. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was the chief ideologue of TANU and CCM, having taught at the party’s ideological institute at Kivukoni, Dar es Salaam. He became a key interpreter of the party’s ideology of Socialism and Self-Reliance, and was among the key figures on the process of joining TANU and the Afro Shiraz Party (ASP) of Zanzibar to found Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in 1977. At vari­ous times he held ministerial posts, served as an MP and as Regional Commissioner in four different regions, and as secretary of the CCM National Executive Committee.

“His passing marks the end of an era,” said fellow political veteran, Jenerali Ulimwengu. “He is probably the last of the young people who joined the ranks of independence campaigners and stayed on to serve his party, and country. His was an age of the politics of conviction and commitment; he has checked out in the age of the politics of expediency and convenience.”

“Kigunge has contributed a lot for this nation,” said President Magufuli in a statement. “We will never forget what he did for this country. We will remember his good deeds and most specifically his fight for the interests of the nation, particularly in maintaining peace and unity,” he said.

Socialite, model and “video queen”, Agnes “Masogange” Gerald (1989-2017), was a regular on the front pages of Tanzania’s celebrity obsessed Udaku tabloid newspapers. She made her name as an actress in Tanzanian music videos, and indeed quite literally took her stage name after featuring in one such video by Belle 9, called “Masogange”.

In one sense, Masogange was a master of suggestion – hinting at affairs, pregnancies and more on her social media profiles. Editors loved it – this was exactly the kind of gossip and scandal that sold their papers. In another sense, she was far from subtle: a google search for her image shows a wide selection of photos drawing attention to one thing in particular – her curvaceous behind. This too sold papers. Her profile on Instagram, a photo-sharing social media platform read “I got ass, I’m beautiful, I know how to make money.”

She attracted headlines too for her alleged drug use. Two weeks prior to her death, she was sentenced to a fine of TSh 1.5m ($700) or a two-year jail term, having been found guilty of using heroin. She was among the first of the high-profile targets of the efforts of Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda, to clamp down on drug problems. This was not her first drug-related case: in 2013 she had been arrested at a South African airport in possession of suspicious chemicals.
Masogange died at the young age of 28, while receiving treatment for pneumonia at hospital in Dar es Salaam.

Comments (1)

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

The editorial team is sorry to inform you that Hugh Wenban-Smith, a contributor to Tanzanian Affairs for many years, has sadly passed away. A full obituary will follow in the next issue of Tanzanian Affairs.

Dedicated conservation activist, Wayne Lotter (1965-2017), was murdered by an unknown assailant in Dar es Salaam on August 16, 2017. His taxi from the airport was stopped by another vehicle at the junction of Chole Road and Haile Selassie Road in Masaki. Two men opened his car door, one of whom then shot him. The police are reported as saying they believe he was deliberately targeted for his work. Three people have been charged with the murder. Wayne leaves behind his wife Inge, daughters Cara Jayne and Tamsin, and parents Vera and Charles Lotter.

Originally from South Africa, Wayne had become a leading and innovative conservationist in Tanzania, but his work made him well-known in global conservation circles around the world. Born in Johannesburg, he spent much of his childhood on safari in Kruger National Park. He studied for a master’s degree in nature conservation at Tshwane University in 1990, and spent many years as a ranger in South Africa before shifting his attention to Tanzania.

In recent years, Lotter’s primary focus was the Selous-Niassa corridor in Southern Tanzania, where much of the slaughter of elephants had been taking place. An estimated 60% of Tanzania’s elephant population were killed between 2009 and 2014.

Rather than simply bolster policing efforts, Lotter recognised that a more intelligent approach was needed to address such a complex problem. With two colleagues, he founded the Protected Areas Management Solutions (PAMS) Foundation, and recruited a network of informants in poaching areas who would track both elephants and suspected poachers. When the poachers were then arrested, so much was known about their movements that it became much easier to convince them to provide information on those higher up the chain.

This intelligence-led approach worked. In five years more than 2,000 poachers were arrested. More significantly, the rate of poaching was cut dramatically and the elephant population began to stabilise. And partly as a result of his efforts with PAMS and with the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigations Unit in Tanzania that he also helped to establish, several key figures in the poaching and ivory business were arrested: the so-called “The Queen of Ivory”, Yang Fenglan, and Boniface Malyango, also known as “Shetani Hana Huruma” / The Devil With No Mercy, who is said to have killed or ordered the killing of 10,000 elephants.

Of course, this meant that he knew his life was in danger. He received multiple death threats. “My deepest condolences to Wayne’s family and all those at PAMS Foundation for this senseless loss,” said Prince William, patron of the conservation charity, Tusk. “Governments and NGOs must win this fight for the sake of all of us, especially those in communities whose livelihoods are being plundered by murderous criminals.”

Renowned primatologist, Dame Jane Goodall, described Wayne as a hero of hers and a hero to many. “If this cowardly shooting was an attempt to bring the work of the PAMS Foundation to an end it will fail.

Those who have been inspired by Wayne will fight on,” she said. “Wayne devoted his life to Africa’s wildlife,” read a statement released by the PAMS Foundation. “From working as a ranger in his native South Africa as a young man to leading the charge against poaching in Tanzania, he cared deeply about the people and animals that populate this world. Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile. He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.”

The politician and former coach of Taifa Stars, the Tanzania national football team, Joel Nkaya Bendera (1950-2017) died in December at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

By some, Bendera will be remembered most for guiding Taifa Stars to the Africa Cup of Nations in Nigeria in 1980, the only time the team has ever reached the finals of a major international tournament. He also had spells managing Simba Sports Club, Young Africans (Yanga) and Tanga’s African Sports.

What differentiated Bendera from many soccer coaches Tanzania has had, according to journalist Attililo Tagalile, was that he combined coaching skills with a solid grounding in psychology. He believed that for any team to win a game, it was important that the played were as well prepared mentally as they were skilled.

Bendera later went into politics, and was elected as the MP for Korogwe Urban, representing CCM. He held the post of Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Sports from 2006, before holding various Regional Commissioner posts.

“Bendera was a brave and hard-working leader. He was very cooperative and always wanted to achieve tremendous success from the work he was doing. It is a big loss,” said President Magufuli.

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Ambassador Clement George Kahama

Ambassador Clement George Kahama


After a period of deteriorating health Ambassador Clement George Kahama, popularly known as “Sir George”, died in Dar es Salaam on 12 March 2017, aged 88. His long political career – first in local government and then at the national and international levels, and covering both the colonial and independence eras – spanned more than half a century. He was the longest serving Minister in Tanzania’s history, holding a wide range of portfolios.

Born in November 1929 in Karagwe (Kagera Region), Sir George was educated at the Ihungu Secondary School and then the Tabora Government Boys Upper Secondary School, prior to undertaking his higher education at Loughborough College in UK between 1952 and 1954. He then returned to Tanganyika to become the First General Manager of the Bukoba Native Cooperative Union Ltd (responsible for the purchase, processing and marketing of coffee, tea and other agricultural commoditie

s) and also to serve concurrently as Chairman of Bukoba District Council.
In 1957, he became a Nominated Member of the Tanganyika Legislative Council (LEGCO), representing the then West Lake province (now Kagera Region) and from 1958 was an elected MP for that Region. In the two years leading up to Independence he served as Minister for Social and Co-Operative Development in the transitional government.

In the three years immediately following Independence on 9 December 1961, Sir George served first as Minister for Home Affairs and then as Minister for Commerce and Industry, Communications, Transport and Works. He then began the first of three career stints overseas, serving in 1965 and 1966 as Tanzania’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and to the European Economic Community.
He returned to Dar es Salaam to become for the next seven years the General Manager and CEO of the National Development Corporation, the largest holding company in Tanzania. It was the period immediately after the Arusha Declaration and, during his stewardship, 89 industrial, agricultural, mining and commercial parastatal enterprises were established (some of them as joint ventures with transnational corporations).

Then for the ten years after 1973 George Kahama had responsibility for the planning, development and building of the new national capital, Dodoma. He discharged these responsibilities concurrently as both Minister of State in the President’s Office and as Director-General of the Capital Development Authority. They were challenging times but today Tanzania’s functioning new capital city stands as a testament to Sir George’s determination to realise Mwalimu Nyerere’s vision.

Next, serving as Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism in 1983 and 1984, George Kahama turned his attention to developing and promoting the spectacular game reserves and national parks for which Tanzania is famed worldwide. Then, for the succeeding five years he served as Tanzania’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China, with concurrent accreditation to Vietnam, North Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.

From Beijing he moved to Harare, serving next as the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe in 1989 and 1990.

Then, as the domestic economic reform programmes took root and the Tanzanian government made moves to liberalise the economy and to welcome private and foreign investment, Sir George was recalled to Dar es Salaam in 1990 to establish and run the Tanzanian Investment Promotion Centre (now TIC). He was the Centre’s First Director-General, in the President’s Office.

Between 1995 and 2000 Sir George continued in Parliament as the MP for Karagwe. George Kahama’s last Cabinet portfolio was as Minister for Cooperatives and Marketing, a post he held for five years until his retirement from active politics in November 2005.

Sir George served each of Tanzania’s first three Presidents (Nyerere, Mwinyi and Mkapa). He was a man of many accomplishments, discharging each of his responsibilities with an almost boundless energy. Few people, even those in high office, are as fortunate as he to have such opportunities to lay the foundations for the development of a major new nation like Tanzania. Moreover, as a devoted Catholic, Sir George was honoured with two special Presidential assignments. In 1962, he represented President Nyerere at the inaugural meeting of the Second Ecumenical Council in the Vatican, returning to Rome in 2005 to represent President Mkapa at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Many in the older generation of Tanzanians remember George Kahama with fondness. In retirement he was Chairman of a number of private Tanzanian companies. He lived with his family in Msasani and is survived by his wife Janet and eight children. After lying-in-State at the Julius Nyerere Convention Centre, followed by a memorial service on 16 March at St Peter’s Oysterbay – a service attended by many government and CCM leaders both past and present as well as by other dignitaries – Sir George was laid to rest in Kinondoni Cemetery.

I had the privilege of working with Sir George in a Commonwealth advisory capacity in the early 1990s when he was heading the Tanzanian Investment Promotion Centre, and I came to know him and some of his family well. I am especially grateful to his eldest surviving son, Richard Kahama, for having provided his Father’s detailed CV and for his approval of this Obituary. Roger M Nellist with special thanks to Richard Kahama

Philemon Ndesamburo
The death of Philemon Ndesamburo; business tycoon, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) co-founder, and former MP, brought the town of Moshi to a standstill as thousands suspended their activities. Current Chadema National Chairman Freeman Mbowe led procession carting the casket through the town. Permission for the procession had initially been denied by the police, but the decision was reversed following a public outcry, though the planned route and destination were altered.

Born on February 19, 1935 in Old Moshi ward, Moshi District in Kilimanjaro Region, went on to become a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and seasoned politician. He was fondly referred by many as Mzee Ndesa while others, due to his sound financial situation, added, Mzee Ndesa Pesa.

With a degree in Agricultural Business from the University of London, UK, in the 1970s he was reportedly posted to a position he considered not conforming to what he studied. Instead, he opted for life out of the government system.

He first ventured openly in politics in pursuit of reforms in 1988 as one of a small group advocating for changes to the national constitution. With the advent of multi-party democracy, he was among the first ten members of Chadema. He lost two hard-fought electoral campaigns against Augustino Mrema, in 1994 for Councillor of Kiboriloni Ward in Moshi and in 1995 for Moshi Urban parliamentary seat, before eventually winning the same seat in the 2000 elections. He held the seat until his retirement in 2015.

But his influence within Chadema extended well beyond his own electoral career. Ndesamburo earned a position for himself as the kingmaker and the financier of last resort to opposition politicians, particularly in northern regions. He also served as Central Committee (CC) member, Kilimanjaro regional chairman, and a member of the Chadema Board of Trustees.

As an opposition politician, Ndesamburo preferred to tell the government what it should do in a persuasive manner rather than adopting the brash and confrontational style of many opposition politicians. Just a week before his death, he discussed President John Magufuli’s industrialisation drive, arguing that it would not attain the desired results if it was not linked to agriculture, which remains the backbone of Tanzania’s economy. “The two sectors have to complement each other for the economic take off desired,” he said in an interview.

Chadema Co-Founder and first Chairman Edwin Mtei, a senior official in the first phase government, attributed the success of the party to the late Ndesamburo. Mr Mtei who was. “We knew each other since our childhood; we rented and later built houses at nearby areas in Dar es Salaam. We collaborated for a long time since we were at Old Moshi Mahoma and later in the party. We initiated it as an empty set and now it is the main opposition party. … It is his courage and ability that got us here,” said Mr Mtei.

Brian Harris
Born in Neath, South Wales, in 1929, Brian Harris went to the Neath Grammar School for Boys and then to Aberystwyth University, where he studied agricultural botany and became an expert plant scientist. Later he undertook a PhD. He shared interests in natural history with his wife Sine MacLachlainn, from Mull, who was also a botanist. Brian was eventually appointed to teaching posts with his wife. Together they worked in several African universities including in Ghana, Nigeria and the University of Dar es Salaam, where Brian was Head of Botany.

Brian brought many positive, new ideas to the University of Dar es Salaam: he saw the need for a herbarium and saw to it that the herbarium had a staff, and was himself interested in the campus grounds. He was also a great naturalist and ecologist, including work on bat pollination in African plants.

Following his retirement in 1990, Brian relocated to Edinburgh. But his love of plants and flowers continued as he threw himself into a variety of community projects in the city.

Recently he had suffered from cancer of the larynx, from which he was recovering, but sadly he died after a short illness on 20th April 2017.
With thanks to Heather Goodare of the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links (FOMBL) in Edinburgh, and to Kim Howell.

Comments

OBITUARIES

Elly Macha MP

Dr Elly Macha, 1962-2017. Elly Macha, a pioneering advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, passed away in March in Wolverhampton hospital after a serious illness.
What is most remarkable about Dr Elly is that she has been unsighted since developing glaucoma in Moshi when she was only 2 years old. Despite this by the 1990s Elly had pursued her education with great determination, courage and strength of character on a journey which took her from Irente school for the Blind, Tabora School for girls, Korogwe Form 5 and 6, an Education Degree in special needs at the University of Dar es Salaam, an MA at the University of Manchester (Special Education Internationally) and finally to a PhD at Leeds University on Gender, Disability, Development and Access to Education. She climbed to Uhuru peak of Kilimanjaro in 1994, and it is typical that she should keep going to the top.

Dr Elly Macha consistently followed her expertise and passion to promote women’s rights and those with disability, especially in the area of education. She also wanted to promote opportunities for others just as she had herself received. On returning from the UK she worked for the African Union for the Blind in Nairobi until 2010. Then, in Arusha she started her own NGO, Reaching Orphaned Children and Youths with Disability in Tanzania, as well as undertaking some other consultancies. Throughout these years, Elly remained strongly focussed and committed to her vision in this area despite the road not always being an easy one.

The culmination of her interest and work in human rights and disabilities was her nomination in 2015 as a Member of Parliament representing the opposition party, Chadema, in one of the special seats reserved for women. She was sworn in at the Bunge (Parliament) on November 17th, 2016. It was with great delight that she wrote: “I am so happy to be a Member of Parliament for Tanzania. It has been my dream for a long time and I am grateful to God that it is now a reality. For sure, I will use the opportunity to advocate for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in all development policies and programmes.” She went on to cite the ratification by Tanzania of the UN convention on rights for people with disability (2009) and Tanzania’s Disability Act of 2010 amongst others, as springboards from which to operate.

The loss to Tanzania’s Parliament and all she hoped to achieve as an MP is significant for her friends, fellow Parliamentary colleagues and all those for whose life issues she worked for as an MP. She brought the very best of her qualities, her expertise and experience, to the Bunge and to her service of others in Tanzania and this will be greatly missed. To those who have shared time with Dr Elly, she was always delightful company with a sense of humour as well as an inner strength and hope that kept looking forward.
Jonathan Pace and David Gibbons

Sir Andy Chande, 1928-2017.
Prominent businessman, Jayantilal Keshavji Chande, has passed away in a Nairobi hospital, at the age of 88. Popularly known as Sir Andy, after receiving an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 2005, his influence had stretched across many aspects of business, politics, philanthropy and more in Tanzania.

He was born in Mombasa in 1928, to parents who had emigrated from India six years earlier. They now ran a small shop in the village of Bukene, Nzega District in northwest Tanzania, close to a small train station on the Tabora-Mwanza branch line. The family business grew, and indeed thrived, while Andy attended a succession of schools in Bukene, Tabora, Dar es Salaam and India, and by the time he returned from India aged 22, it had become a firm of national importance: producing soap and oils, milling rice and maize, representing various international firms’ presence in Tanganyika and with extensive trading interests across East Africa and beyond. It was, for example, the largest exporter of coffee from Tanganyika.

The family and business moved from Tabora to Dar es Salaam, with Chande taking on an ever-growing role – he became Chief Executive Officer of Chande Industries in 1957. Already, his role stretched well beyond the immediate firm, however: he served periods as President of the Dar es Salaam Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture and Secretary of Dar es Salaam Round Table. In 1958, he accepted an offer from Governor Turnbull to join the Tanganyika Territory’s Legislative Council (LEGCO) and Executive Council (EXCO). Amidst all this, he married in 1955, to Jayli Madhvani, from a wealthy Indian family in Uganda.

In 1960, a year before independence, Chande declined an invitation from Mwalimu Nyerere and Oscar Kambona to run for elected office on a TANU ticket, arguing he could better support the new nation through business than through politics. This distinction was not possible to maintain for long in the post-independence era, however. Five days after publication of the Arusha declaration in February 1967, Chande was summoned to the Ministry of Commerce, to be told that his company had been nationalised. But rather than leave the country, as his brothers had done, or accept President Nyerere’s offer of a role in the diplomatic service, Chande said he would prefer to keep running his now-nationalised company, the National Milling Corporation. Nyerere accepted.

This was not Chande’s first role in public administration, and nor would it be his last. Over the next 40 years, Chande held positions on the boards, often as chairman, of many sensitive and important public institutions: Tanganyika Standard Newspapers (both pre- and post-nationalisation), the National Bank of Commerce, Tanesco, Air Tanzania, Tanzania Harbours Authority, Tanzania Railways Corporation. He seemingly had the trust of President Nyerere – and later Presidents Mwinyi, Mkapa and Kikwete too – for the role he could play building trust with the Indian community, for his administrative skills, for his political nous.

Beyond this, Chande was connected to the International School of Tanganyika, Shaban Robert School, Buguruni Deaf School, the College of Business Education, the International Medical and Technical University, Muhimbili National Hospital, the Round Table and Rotary International. He became life Vice-President of the Britain-Tanzania Society from the 1970s and provided regular and useful advice both to BTS itself and to many of the society’s members.

Despite his many significant roles, to younger Tanzanians today, Sir Andy’s name is indelibly connected to one particular aspect of his life, as even a brief glance at the tabloid frontpages in the days following his death demonstrates. Chande became a member of the Freemasons in 1954, as his 2005 autobiography, A Knight in Africa, explains. He was one of the first East African Asians to be admitted; Africans were not able to join until several years later. He became district grandmaster for East Africa from 1986 to 2005, and was awarded the Order of Service to Masonry in 2006. He did not hide his membership, and made it clear that Freemasonry is a society for people who want to improve themselves and the world, and has nothing to do with witchcraft.

To date, Sir Andy is the only Tanzanian citizen to have been awarded a knighthood. He also received the prestigious Hind Ratna award from the former Indian Prime Minister, IK Gujral, and was declared to be the “non-Resident Indian of the year” by the International Congress of Non-Resident Indians (NRI), both in 2003.

President Mkapa, speaking at a memorial service to Sir Andy said “I have known him for over four decades. … [T]hroughout, he gave counsel and consultancy without prejudice, fear or favour. [H]is contribution to the growth of our country’s economy through his immense business knowledge and skills cannot be overstated.”

Comments

OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi, former President of Zanzibar, died in Dar es Salaam in August, aged 96. Jumbe is remembered for his major role in bringing stability to Zanzibar after the assassination of his predecessor, the late Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, in April 1972, and for his controversial stance on the relationship between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. Zanzibaris from all sides of the political divide mourned his passing.

A graduate of Makerere University in Uganda, Jumbe joined the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government in January 1964. Prior to Karume’s assassination, he had been the minister of state responsible for Union Affairs, which brought him into close contact with the Union government. It is rumoured that Union President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, played a decisive role in Jumbe’s rise to succeed Karume.

Mzee Jumbe began to represent Mwalimu on the world stage when Mwalimu himself could not attend. He later agreed quickly to Nyerere’s proposal to merge TANU, the independence party of mainland Tanzania, with the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) that ruled Zanzibar, and became vice chair of the new party, CCM.

Jumbe saw a need for change in the politics of Zanzibar as its relations with the Union government became increasingly strained. After the war with Idi Amin, he engineered small changes towards greater democracy. Among other things, this led to a new constitution for Zanzibar and the establishment of the House of Representatives.

But growing calls for either separation from mainland Tanzania or a changed format of the Union could not be silenced forever. With the help of a Ghananian lawyer, Jumbe secretly produced a document in defence of a three-government (Zanzibar, Tanganyika and the Union) structure. But his secret document was stolen from his office and landed in the hands of president Julius Nyerere. On January 29, 1984, he lost four leadership positions: Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council, Vice Chair of CCM, Zanzibar President and Vice President of the Union government. Ali Hassan Mwinyi took over as Zanzibar leader, and Jumbe stepped back from political leadership.

President John Magufuli called Jumbe “an important person who devoted himself in the fight for freedom, unity, justice and development of Zanzibaris and Tanzanians in general at a time when the country was passing through difficult times.”

Roland Brown played a significant role in the development of Tanzania and of its international relations throughout most of the first two decades after Independence. During that long period he was one of three British expatriate advisers who worked very closely with President Nyerere and his government. (The others were Joan Wicken, Mwalimu’s personal assistant, and Professor Reginald Green who advised on financial and economic affairs).

Roland had met Nyerere in the UK when Mwalimu was studying there in the 1950s, and thereafter served as a constitutional adviser to him. At Independence, Roland became Tanzania’s first Attorney General (AG), serving between 1961 and 1965. Probably his biggest assignment as AG was to get involved in the top-level discussions following the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, when Mwalimu asked him to prepare the agreement that was to govern the union of Zanzibar and the Mainland. Reportedly, this was drafted in complete secrecy, even without the knowledge of key Zanzibaris.

After Roland was succeeded as AG by Mark Bomani in 1965, he stayed on in Tanzania as Mwalimu’s adviser on international and commercial legal affairs. Among many other things, he worked on the extensive nationalisations after the 1967 Arusha Declaration – devising, for instance, the legislative framework for the nationalisation of the private commercial banks (which he was given just three days to do).

Mwalimu also ‘loaned out’ Roland for important external assignments. Following the mass riots in the Zambian Copper Belt in the 1960s Roland was asked by Kaunda to head a Commission of Inquiry. Then, in the 1970s, as Rhodesia headed uncertainly to independence, Nyerere nominated Roland to represent Joshua Nkomo in the all-party discussions. He recalled how he sat for several days in the hot train stationed midway across the Victoria Falls Bridge that was the venue for those acrimonious talks, as Mugabe, Nkomo and other nationalist leaders argued out a possible independence scenario with Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and the South African Prime Minister Vorster.

Roland had left Tanzania in the late-1970s to become Special Adviser (Legal) at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London – in which capacity he continued to advise Tanzania, especially on energy and mineral sector matters. Working closely with Hon. Al Noor Kassum (the Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals) and Andrew Chenge (then an Attorney in the AG’s Chambers), Roland was instrumental in framing Tanzania’s Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Act 1980 – an Act that served the country well for the next 35 years.

In the mid-1980s, Roland moved to New York to become Chief Legal Counsel at the UN Centre for Transnational Corporations (UNCTC), from which position he retired in the 1990s to establish in Sussex a private consultancy, Transborder Investment Advisory Services.

At different points in his career Roland had also been a part time lecturer at Cambridge University and later a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex. He also advised the Labour Cabinet minister Peter Shore for a number of years.

Following the death of his wife, Irene, Roland left the UK more than a decade ago to live with his son in Denmark. He commenced the preparation of a light memoir about the decolonisation period in East Africa, based on his first-hand experience there with Mwalimu and his many meetings with Presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Seretse Khama and other leading politicians of the time. In preparing that memoir he was given special access to the FCO files pertaining to that momentous period. It is not known if he finished his thesis before falling ill. He died aged 92 in a Copenhagen nursing home on 14 May 2016.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Samwel Sitta, passed away in Germany in November, aged 74.

Mr Sitta entered parliament in 1975, representing Urambo constituency for CCM. He served as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the early 1990s, supervising the transition to multiparty democracy, and Minister for East African Cooperation and Minister for Transport during President Kikwete’s second term. At various times he also held posts as Director General of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and as a Regional Commissioner. Having failed to win the CCM nomination for president in 2015, he stepped down from active politics.

Sitta will be remembered most for his five-year term steering parliament as Speaker from 2005 to 2010, a period that many see as the time when parliament found its role. He earned a reputation for “speed and standards.” His leadership was instrumental in ensuing the Richmond energy scandal was debated in full in parliament, leading to the downfall of Edward Lowassa as Prime Minister. And he made no secret of his desire to weaken party control – including in his own party CCM – of MPs and parliamentary processes. This approach and his co-authorship of a book, “A parliament with teeth,” lost him support within CCM and the party ensured he did not continue as Speaker after the 2010 elections.

Mr Sitta’s time as chair of the 2014 Constituent Assembly, reviewing the draft national constitution prepared by Justice Warioba, is remembered less fondly by some. Many of his previous supporters in the opposition – who had applauded his appointment as chair of the assembly – were disappointed when Sitta appeared to play a more partisan role than he had done as Speaker.

Nevertheless, Sitta is personally credited by many for the transforming parliament into a respected national institution – and his time as Speaker will be remembered for fruitful, non-partisan debates. Some of the warmest tributes came from leaders of opposition parties. Chadema chairman, Freeman Mbowe, praised Mr Sitta “for freeing Parliament from the shackles of the executive”, and transforming it into an independent organ with powers to fearlessly scrutinise the government. “There’s no other Speaker who came after him who has managed to command the House respect as he did,” said Halima Mdee, also of Chadema.

Former Prime Minister John Malecela described him as the “unsung hero of pluralism” who engineered the transition to multiparty democracy. He ensured that country’s legal framework accommodated changes. President Magufuli praised Mr Sitta for “his hardworking attitude, nationalism and culture of defending truth at various levels of his leadership as a civil servant or politician.

Long-serving cabinet minister, Joseph Mungai, has died in Dar es Salaam after a short illness, aged 73. Mungai had served for 35 years as MP for Mufindi, and held three major ministerial roles. In 1972, under President Nyerere, he became Minister for Agriculture at the age of 28. Later presidents also put their trust in him, appointing him to sensitive dockets as Minister of Education under President Mkapa and Home Affairs under President Kikwete.

In February 2008, Mungai retired, taking the opportunity of Kikwete’s decision to dissolve cabinet following the resignation of Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. He did not leave politics entirely, however. He remained as an MP until 2010, and in 2015 he surprised many when he joined the exodus of many of Lowassa’s supporters from CCM to Chadema when the former Prime Minister became the opposition UKAWA coalition’s presidential candidate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Corporation, Augustine Mahiga, described Mr Mungai as an “icon and true leader”.

Former Mayor of Dar es Salaam, Didas Masaburi, died in October at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam, where he had been receiving treatment. He was 56 years old.

During his life, Mr Masburi served in various positions which include Dar es Salam mayor – from 2010 to 2015 – a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) as well as the Dar es Salaam Regional chairman of CCM youth wing. He had contested the seat of Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, in the 2015 parliamentary election, losing out to Saed Kubenea of Chadema.

President John Magufuli led mourners paying their last respects. He prompted chuckles at the funeral by acknowledging that Masaburi had five wives and more than 20 children, adding that it was not shameful to have many wives and children. “It is normal in African culture to have many wives and children, so I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to all the widows regardless of their legitimacy,” he said.

Comments