OBITUARIES

The first conservator of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and author of the famous wildlife book ‘Ngorongoro, The World’s Eighth Wonder’, HENRY ALBERT FOSBROOKE (90) died and was buried in front of his house, perched on a crater rim at Duluti, 15 kms from Arusha at the beginning of May after a long illness. He came to Tanzania in 1931 and had also worked in Biharamulo, Kondoa and Arusha.

A former Principal Secretary in the President’s Office, Central Establishments and in the Ministry of Agriculture, DAVID ALBERT MWAKOSYA (74) died of cancer in Dar es Salaam on June 18.

SIR GEORGE PATERSON, OBE (89) served first in Tanganyika in 1936 as Crown Counsel. He became an excellent big game hunter. He served again in Tanganyika, this time as Solicitor-General, after war service in Eritrea and Kenya.

The Chairman of the 14-member Committee which organised the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution, COL. SEIF BAKARI, who subsequently held a number of important posts in the Zanzibar and Union governments and was, just prior to his death, advisor to President Amour on defence matters, passed away on August 20.

NEVILLE FRENCH CMG who has died at the age of 75 spent 14 years in the administration in Tanganyika, completing his career there as Principal Assistant Secretary for External Affairs. He was later expelled from Rhodesia by Ian Smith for alleged spying and found himself Governor of the Falkland Islands from 1975 to 1977 just as Argentina was beginning to make her military intentions clear by pestering the islands with low-flying jets and circling warships.

MRS LUCY ELIZABETH CROLE-REES (1911-1996) first came to Tanzania in 1966. She was buried by her husband’s side at the Kinondoni War Memorial Cemetery on May 11. Mr Victor Kimesera, Chairman of the Board of the Music Conservatoire of Tanzania (Taasisi ya Muziki Tanzania) which was founded by Mrs Crole- Rees in 1966 and of which she was Principal Tutor as well as Manager, gave the eulogy.

A man described in The Times as one of the most eccentric and talented agricultural officers ever recruited by the Colonial Office in London has died in Mombasa at the age of 88. BRIAN HARTLEY, CMG MBE became an agricultural officer in Tanganyika in 1929. He was said to have been the first man to observe the change that came over gravid locusts when they have finished swarming before laying their eggs. On one occasion he shot two impala for the pot not realising that they were sacred to a local secret society. He believed that he had become bewitched and for 30 years afterwards was affected by sleepleaping – he would leap out of bed in the night and sometimes jump out of windows and even off a roof. Later he farmed in Arusha until his farm was confiscated in 1966 by the Nyerere government and later still, at the age of 80, he introduced camels to Tanzania by walking with a troop of them for some 300 miles from northern Kenya (Thank you Debbie Simmons for this information – Editor).

JOHN BOYD-CARPENTER (67) spent approximately 40 years in Tanganyika/Tanzania having joined Amboni Sisal as an Engineer and then later became Chief Engineer of NAFCO. He retired to Arusha in 1990 (Thank you Donald Wright for this information – Editor).

Professor ABDULRAHMAN MOHAMED BABU (72) who died at the London Chest Hospital London on August 5 was a celebrity. At one time a formidable political force who first struggled against colonialism, then introduced communism and finally became an advocate of multiparty democracy. He could be described as one of the founding fathers of Tanzania. His fiery rhetoric, incisive mind, analytical methodology and his prominence in international left wing circles made him a well-known figure on all continents. His friends included Che Guevara, Chou en Lai, Lord Brockway, Malcolm X and Pakistan’s Zulfikar Ali Butto.
He was born of mixed parents whose origin was in the Comoro’s and the Middle East. It was a distinguished religious family. He acquired a number of degrees in politics and economics and his first job was with the Zanzibar Clove Growers Association in the 1940’s. In 1957 he became Secretary General of the Zanzibar National Party (ZNP). After publishing an editorial alleging that the British had turned Zanzibar into a police state he was imprisoned for sedition. He came out a hero but in 1963 broke away from the ZNP and formed his own Marxist Umma Party which joined in seriously challenging the power of the then Sultan. After his party merged with the stronger Afro-Shirazi Party he became prominent as an organiser of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution.
There followed several high positions in the Zanzibar and Tanzania Union governments until 1971. In April 1972 Zanzibar President Abeid Karume was assassinated. Although Babu was out fishing when the deed was done, he was tried in absentia and sentenced to death. By detaining him in a mainland prison away from Zanzibar Mwalimu Nyerere saved his life. After his release in 1978 he went to the USA to teach at university and then moved to Britain as a journalist. He entered the political arena in Tanzania again in 1995 when he was chosen as Vice-Presidential candidate for the NCCR party until he was banned because of his previous conviction. He had intended to spend his final days in Tanzania. But this was not to be. At his funeral in Zanzibar – his family obtained special permission for him to be buried at his home in Stonetown – political rivalries were forgotten as President Amour joined leaders of NCCR and other opposition parties and thousands of other mourners to bid him farewell. Babu was a man of great charm and he remained youthful in spirit. His death leaves a void in both Britain and Tanzania.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.