Publishing an obituary of someone who is very much alive is the kind of nightmare editors greatly fear. I have been editing Tanzanian Affairs for 28 years and this is the only time that this has happened.
When I realised what had happened I did what governments do when they are in trouble. We launched an investigation!
Firstly, I came to the conclusion that this document must have passed through my hands at some stage – at present we are juggling with about 80 different stories for our next issue – but my memory is not what it used to be and I can’t remember. Another quite plausible possibility has been suggested. Someone might have sent us an article about your OBE award in the hope that we would publish it and the document might have got into the wrong file i.e. OBIT file instead of OBE file. But we still really don’t know how it happened.
I hope you have already received short apologies from members of our editorial team. We have removed the obituary from our online edition.
I am feeling very guilty about the distress that this has caused and must add my apologies as humbly as I can.
Am relieved to hear from you that there has also been lots of mirth
I have found your exhilarating twitter column (@afrenv – highly recommended reading) and realise how much the world would have been a poorer place if the worst had happened.
Sorry I missed you at the WTM in London and hope very much that you will make contact next time you are here. It would be great to hear more about your apparently rip-roaring life.
If you would like us to offer you a complimentary half-page advert in Tanzanian Affairs for your company please let us know.
Editor, Tanzanian Affairs