OBITUARIES

Frank Humplick, the gifted singer, guitarist and composer of many melodies which are still popular with the present generation and stir memories of yesteryear, died in August 2007 in Lushoto. His death was commemorated by a 3-page article in the 7th January issue of the EAST AFRICAN MAGAZINE. His father was a Swiss civil engineer and was among the engineers who built the Tanga-Arusha railway at the turn of the 20th century. His mother was a Chagga. Although his death passed unnoticed, the article said that one had only to visit the record library of Radio Tanzania, Dar es Salaam to realise how prolific a composer Frank was. In the early TANU meetings at Mnazi Moja in Dar, before Nyerere mounted the stage Humplick’s song ‘Yes No’ would be played to attract crowds. It became a protest song for nationalists. Also in his youth he studied horticulture and wrote about many of the crops introduced by the Germans to Tanganyika.

Major General Mwita Marwa died in Pretoria in January. He was buried in Tarime. Major General Marwa led Tanzanian soldiers in the capture of Masaka and Entebbe during the 1978/79 Kagera War with Uganda. In recognition of his distinguished service the President conferred on him several military medals including the Kagera, Uhuru, Jamhuri, Muungano, 20 years of TPDF, Tanzania Long Service, and Tanzania Eminent Service medals – Guardian.

The former Tabora Regional Commissioner Ditopile Mzuzuri died in a Morogoro hotel in April while on a business trip. President Kikwete was among those who delivered condolences to the family. The had resigned as RC in 2006 following manslaughter charges he was facing in connection with the fatal shooting of a commuter bus driver in Dar es Salaam on November 4, 2006. – Guardian

TRAGEDY AT MERERANI

On 29th March there was a major tragedy at the famous Mererani Tanzanite mining site near Arusha. Some 75 miners were feared dead after rainfall triggered the collapse of some of the pits following floods caused by heavy rain. Some 166 people were said to have been working inside eight pits, some as deep as 300 metres under the ground, by the time the floods struck. 93 were pulled to safety. There have been torrential rains all over the country.

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