OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

Leticia Nyerere, a former MP (special seats) for Chadema, passed away in Maryland, USA, in January, where she was undergoing hospital treatment. Leticia was married to Madaraka Nyerere, the eldest son of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. She served as MP between 2010 and 2015, before defecting from Chadema to join CCM in July 2015. Former Speaker Anna Makinda said the late Leticia was an exemplary Member of Parliament. “She was a focused female MP, firm to her beliefs, honest, transparent and eager to educate herself,” she said.

Roger Gower, a British pilot engaged in anti-poaching operations in Tanzania, died aged 37 after his helicopter was shot down by poachers in Maswa Game Reserve. Having initially trained as an accountant, Mr Gower left that career to train as a helicopter pilot. His helicopter crashed after being shot by an AK47 rifle fired from the ground. Together with a safari guide, Nicky Bester, who survived the crash, Gower was searching for poachers who had killed three elephants. Three men have been arrested by Tanzanian police. Pratik Patel, a close friend working on the same anti-poaching operation for the Friedkin Conservation Fund, paid tribute to his friend: “Roger was an amazing person, an amazing character, full of joy, full of life. He loved Africa, he loved Tanzania and he loved being in the bush.”

Roger Gower

Roger Gower


Gower’s brother Max has established a registered charity, the Roger Gower Memorial Fund, and set up a fundraising page (https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/roger-gower) to raise funds for anti-poaching efforts in Tanzania.

Dr Urban Jonsson, former UNICEF country representative to Tanzania, died on March 8, aged 72. A Swedish national and resident of Tanzania, Dr Jonsson held a PhD in nutrition, but his career and interests varied widely, embracing philosophy, mathematics, human rights. From his UNICEF post in Tanzania, which he took up in 1981, he went on to hold numerous other senior positions within UNICEF globally, finishing as a specialist in human rights. He will be remembered both as the driving force behind UNICEF’s conceptual framework for nutrition causal analysis, a widely adopted tool for nutrition analysis, and for introducing the principles of claim-holders and duty-bearers in rights-based development work. Urban leaves behind his wife, Dr Olivia Yambi, two daughters and one granddaughter.

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