OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Dr William Mgimwa
Member of Parliament for Kalenga constituency in Iringa, Dr William Mgimwa died in Pretoria, South Africa on 1 January 2014, of kidney failure.

Born on 20 January 1950, Dr Mgimwa began his career in finance as an accountant at the National Bank of Commerce (NBC), and his career in politics as a ward guardian. He became a lecturer at the NBC banking college in Iringa, bank manager and then director. He served as Principal of NBC College from 1997 to 2000, then as Principal of the Bank of Tanzania Training Institute in Mwanza for ten years, leaving when he was elected an MP. He was appointed Minister of Finance in 2012.

President Kikwete led a large crowd of mourners at the funeral, which was attended by an estimated 10,000 people in the village of Magunga, in Iringa. The President said his contribution to national development had left an indelible mark. Dr Mgimwa is succeeded as Minister of Finance by Saada Mkuya Salum, and as MP for Kalenga by his son, Godfrey Mgimwa.

Muhidin Maalim Gurumo
Veteran musician and founder of the Msondo Ngoma Band, Muhidim Maalim Gurumo, died on 13 April at Muhimbili National Hospital, after receiving treatment for heart problems.

Born in Kisarawe District in 1940, Gurumo’s musical career began in earnest in 1964, when he joined Nuta Jazz. He later played with DDC Mlimani Park, Orchestra Safari Sound, Kilwa Jazz and more. Gurumo’s trademark was infusing traditional beats like Ndekule (from his coastal Zaramo tribe) into his compositions, giving his songs a unique flavour.

Famously hot-tempered, Gurumo once interrupted a performance to accost a lady and confiscate her shoes. It transpired that she was mistress of a band member to whom he had lent some money and who was dilly-dallying in repaying the debt. In later years, he bemoaned the poverty that many musicians of his generation lived with, in sharp contrast to the wealth of today’s Bongo Flava stars.

Ambassador Fulgenze Kazaura
The Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Ambassador Fulgenze Kazaura, has died in February in India, where he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Prior to his appointment as Chancellor in 2005, Ambassador Kazaura had a long and distinguished career as a senior civil servant and diplomat and as chairman of the UDSM Council for over a decade. On graduating in Economics from the University of Cambridge in 1965, he joined the National Development Corporation. Later he served as Tanzania’s Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels.

His friend and fellow diplomat, Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, said Kazaura was “a superbly intelligent person. He had a strong grasp of facts about the Tanzanian economy, to the point of often being, deservedly, quite arrogant about it.”

Patrick Qorro
Former Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives and Member of Parliament for Karatu, Patrick Qorro, died on 8 February at the Muhimbili Othopaedic Institute in Dar es Salaam, where he had been undergoing treatment. He was 72.

Mr Qorro served as Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives in the 1970s during the presidency of Julius Nyerere. Appointed first when he was aged just 28, he was then the youngest minister in the Cabinet. He quit active politics in 2000 after losing the Karatu seat to Chadema secretary general Dr Willibrod Slaa.

Judge George Liundi
The first Registrar of Political Parties and a draftsman of the current Tanzanian Constitution (1977), Judge (rtd) George Liundi, died on 12 January after suffering from malaria and blood pressure. He served as Registrar of Political Parties for nine years from 1993-2012, overseeing the early years of multiparty politics in Tanzania.

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