H.E. Mr Ali S. Mchumo

May 21: His Excellency Mr Ali S. Mchumo was received in audience by the Duke of York and The Prince Edward, Counsellors of State acting on behalf of The Queen, and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Commission as High Commissioner for the United Republic of Tanzania in London. His Excellency was accompanied by the following members of the High Commission: Mr lli Kapangala Mwambulukutu (Minister Counsellor), Brigadier Waziri Simba (Defence Adviser), Mr Simon Mlay (Minister Counsellor), Miss Fatma Abdullah (Minister Counsellor), Mr Juma Ameir Juma (Counsellor) and Mr Waziri Lukanza (Administrative Attache). Mrs Mchumo was also received by Their Royal Highnesses.

The first of three State Landaus arrived at Buckingham Palace just before 12 o’clock pulled by four horses. If it had been an Ambassador inside there would have been only two. But this carriage was carrying His Excellency Mr Ali S. Mchumo, a new High Commissioner and Tanzania is a member of the Commonwealth not a mere foreign country. Accompanying the High Commissioner was the Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps Lt Gen. Sir John Richards KCB KCVO resplendent in a much decorated uniform. Two more carriages followed with staff from the High Commission. And then came a car carrying the High Commissioner’s wife. Had there been a King rather than a Queen ruling Britain things would have been slightly different. Mrs Mchumo would have not been there at all. She would have had a separate meeting with the Sovereign in the afternoon of the same day. Queen Elizabeth created a new tradition when she decided to combine the two ceremonies into one.

The ceremony took place in what is described as the 1844 room in the P a lace. 1844 because that was the year when the room was refurbished prior to its occupation by the Emperor Nicholas of Russia on a State visit to Britain. There are two paintings in the room – one of George, Prince of Wales and the other of Frederick, the second son of King George III.

Mr Mchumo was transferred to London recently from the post of Ambassador to Japan after the sudden and unexpected elevation of the previous High Commissioner, Mr John Malecela, to the post of Prime Minister (Bulletin No 38).

Mr Mchumo has also served (from 1983 to 1988) as Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique, with concurrent accreditation to Swaziland and Lesotho. Previously he had held various positions in the Government in Dar es Salaam including Junior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (1975- 1977), Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (1977-1981) and Minister for Trade (1981-1983). Earlier in his career he was Political Education Officer and later Chief of Personnel in the National Service and later a Major, then a Lt. Colonel and then a Colonel in the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces . Mr Mchumo has an LLB which he obtained at the University of Dar es Salaam in 1970. He went to school in Rufiji, Kilwa and Tabora.

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