Archive for Obituaries


by Ben Taylor

Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi, former President of Zanzibar, died in Dar es Salaam in August, aged 96. Jumbe is remembered for his major role in bringing stability to Zanzibar after the assassination of his predecessor, the late Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, in April 1972, and for his controversial stance on the relationship between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. Zanzibaris from all sides of the political divide mourned his passing.

A graduate of Makerere University in Uganda, Jumbe joined the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government in January 1964. Prior to Karume’s assassination, he had been the minister of state responsible for Union Affairs, which brought him into close contact with the Union government. It is rumoured that Union President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, played a decisive role in Jumbe’s rise to succeed Karume.

Mzee Jumbe began to represent Mwalimu on the world stage when Mwalimu himself could not attend. He later agreed quickly to Nyerere’s proposal to merge TANU, the independence party of mainland Tanzania, with the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) that ruled Zanzibar, and became vice chair of the new party, CCM.

Jumbe saw a need for change in the politics of Zanzibar as its relations with the Union government became increasingly strained. After the war with Idi Amin, he engineered small changes towards greater democracy. Among other things, this led to a new constitution for Zanzibar and the establishment of the House of Representatives.

But growing calls for either separation from mainland Tanzania or a changed format of the Union could not be silenced forever. With the help of a Ghananian lawyer, Jumbe secretly produced a document in defence of a three-government (Zanzibar, Tanganyika and the Union) structure. But his secret document was stolen from his office and landed in the hands of president Julius Nyerere. On January 29, 1984, he lost four leadership positions: Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council, Vice Chair of CCM, Zanzibar President and Vice President of the Union government. Ali Hassan Mwinyi took over as Zanzibar leader, and Jumbe stepped back from political leadership.

President John Magufuli called Jumbe “an important person who devoted himself in the fight for freedom, unity, justice and development of Zanzibaris and Tanzanians in general at a time when the country was passing through difficult times.”

Roland Brown played a significant role in the development of Tanzania and of its international relations throughout most of the first two decades after Independence. During that long period he was one of three British expatriate advisers who worked very closely with President Nyerere and his government. (The others were Joan Wicken, Mwalimu’s personal assistant, and Professor Reginald Green who advised on financial and economic affairs).

Roland had met Nyerere in the UK when Mwalimu was studying there in the 1950s, and thereafter served as a constitutional adviser to him. At Independence, Roland became Tanzania’s first Attorney General (AG), serving between 1961 and 1965. Probably his biggest assignment as AG was to get involved in the top-level discussions following the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, when Mwalimu asked him to prepare the agreement that was to govern the union of Zanzibar and the Mainland. Reportedly, this was drafted in complete secrecy, even without the knowledge of key Zanzibaris.

After Roland was succeeded as AG by Mark Bomani in 1965, he stayed on in Tanzania as Mwalimu’s adviser on international and commercial legal affairs. Among many other things, he worked on the extensive nationalisations after the 1967 Arusha Declaration – devising, for instance, the legislative framework for the nationalisation of the private commercial banks (which he was given just three days to do).

Mwalimu also ‘loaned out’ Roland for important external assignments. Following the mass riots in the Zambian Copper Belt in the 1960s Roland was asked by Kaunda to head a Commission of Inquiry. Then, in the 1970s, as Rhodesia headed uncertainly to independence, Nyerere nominated Roland to represent Joshua Nkomo in the all-party discussions. He recalled how he sat for several days in the hot train stationed midway across the Victoria Falls Bridge that was the venue for those acrimonious talks, as Mugabe, Nkomo and other nationalist leaders argued out a possible independence scenario with Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and the South African Prime Minister Vorster.

Roland had left Tanzania in the late-1970s to become Special Adviser (Legal) at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London – in which capacity he continued to advise Tanzania, especially on energy and mineral sector matters. Working closely with Hon. Al Noor Kassum (the Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals) and Andrew Chenge (then an Attorney in the AG’s Chambers), Roland was instrumental in framing Tanzania’s Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Act 1980 – an Act that served the country well for the next 35 years.

In the mid-1980s, Roland moved to New York to become Chief Legal Counsel at the UN Centre for Transnational Corporations (UNCTC), from which position he retired in the 1990s to establish in Sussex a private consultancy, Transborder Investment Advisory Services.

At different points in his career Roland had also been a part time lecturer at Cambridge University and later a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex. He also advised the Labour Cabinet minister Peter Shore for a number of years.

Following the death of his wife, Irene, Roland left the UK more than a decade ago to live with his son in Denmark. He commenced the preparation of a light memoir about the decolonisation period in East Africa, based on his first-hand experience there with Mwalimu and his many meetings with Presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Seretse Khama and other leading politicians of the time. In preparing that memoir he was given special access to the FCO files pertaining to that momentous period. It is not known if he finished his thesis before falling ill. He died aged 92 in a Copenhagen nursing home on 14 May 2016.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Samwel Sitta, passed away in Germany in November, aged 74.

Mr Sitta entered parliament in 1975, representing Urambo constituency for CCM. He served as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the early 1990s, supervising the transition to multiparty democracy, and Minister for East African Cooperation and Minister for Transport during President Kikwete’s second term. At various times he also held posts as Director General of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and as a Regional Commissioner. Having failed to win the CCM nomination for president in 2015, he stepped down from active politics.

Sitta will be remembered most for his five-year term steering parliament as Speaker from 2005 to 2010, a period that many see as the time when parliament found its role. He earned a reputation for “speed and standards.” His leadership was instrumental in ensuing the Richmond energy scandal was debated in full in parliament, leading to the downfall of Edward Lowassa as Prime Minister. And he made no secret of his desire to weaken party control – including in his own party CCM – of MPs and parliamentary processes. This approach and his co-authorship of a book, “A parliament with teeth,” lost him support within CCM and the party ensured he did not continue as Speaker after the 2010 elections.

Mr Sitta’s time as chair of the 2014 Constituent Assembly, reviewing the draft national constitution prepared by Justice Warioba, is remembered less fondly by some. Many of his previous supporters in the opposition – who had applauded his appointment as chair of the assembly – were disappointed when Sitta appeared to play a more partisan role than he had done as Speaker.

Nevertheless, Sitta is personally credited by many for the transforming parliament into a respected national institution – and his time as Speaker will be remembered for fruitful, non-partisan debates. Some of the warmest tributes came from leaders of opposition parties. Chadema chairman, Freeman Mbowe, praised Mr Sitta “for freeing Parliament from the shackles of the executive”, and transforming it into an independent organ with powers to fearlessly scrutinise the government. “There’s no other Speaker who came after him who has managed to command the House respect as he did,” said Halima Mdee, also of Chadema.

Former Prime Minister John Malecela described him as the “unsung hero of pluralism” who engineered the transition to multiparty democracy. He ensured that country’s legal framework accommodated changes. President Magufuli praised Mr Sitta for “his hardworking attitude, nationalism and culture of defending truth at various levels of his leadership as a civil servant or politician.

Long-serving cabinet minister, Joseph Mungai, has died in Dar es Salaam after a short illness, aged 73. Mungai had served for 35 years as MP for Mufindi, and held three major ministerial roles. In 1972, under President Nyerere, he became Minister for Agriculture at the age of 28. Later presidents also put their trust in him, appointing him to sensitive dockets as Minister of Education under President Mkapa and Home Affairs under President Kikwete.

In February 2008, Mungai retired, taking the opportunity of Kikwete’s decision to dissolve cabinet following the resignation of Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. He did not leave politics entirely, however. He remained as an MP until 2010, and in 2015 he surprised many when he joined the exodus of many of Lowassa’s supporters from CCM to Chadema when the former Prime Minister became the opposition UKAWA coalition’s presidential candidate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Corporation, Augustine Mahiga, described Mr Mungai as an “icon and true leader”.

Former Mayor of Dar es Salaam, Didas Masaburi, died in October at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam, where he had been receiving treatment. He was 56 years old.

During his life, Mr Masburi served in various positions which include Dar es Salam mayor – from 2010 to 2015 – a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) as well as the Dar es Salaam Regional chairman of CCM youth wing. He had contested the seat of Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, in the 2015 parliamentary election, losing out to Saed Kubenea of Chadema.

President John Magufuli led mourners paying their last respects. He prompted chuckles at the funeral by acknowledging that Masaburi had five wives and more than 20 children, adding that it was not shameful to have many wives and children. “It is normal in African culture to have many wives and children, so I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to all the widows regardless of their legitimacy,” he said.



by Ben Taylor

Beatrice Shellukindo, former Member of Parliament and Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), passed away in Arusha on July 2, 2016.

She served in the First EALA from November 2001 to October 2005, then resigned from the Assembly after winning the Parliamentary seat in Kilindi Constituency in Tanga, representing CCM. She served as an MP for ten years, then declined to stand again in 2015, citing ill health.
“The late Hon Shelukindo was a great leader, mentor and a courageous legislator who spoke her mind in both Houses (EALA and Parliament of Tanzania). It is a big loss to the United Republic of Tanzania and the EAC region. I proffer my condolences and that of the EALA Members to the family, friends and to her Parliamentary colleagues,” said the EALA Speaker, Rt Hon Daniel Fred Kidega.

“In Parliament she will be remembered for uncovering the misuse of public funds and the way ministries were lobbying MPs to have their budgets endorsed in the House,” said Said Yakub, an officer of parlia­ment. “Such malpractice no longer exists, thanks to Beatrice.”

In a statement, President Magufuli paid tribute to Mrs Shellukindo. “The nation has lost one of its bravest leaders, who tirelessly fought for the people’s interests irrespective of the circumstances,” he said.



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 ( 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.



by Ben Taylor

The late Deo Filikunjombe MP speaking at Ludewa in Feb 2015 http://www.

The late Deo Filikunjombe MP speaking at Ludewa in Feb 2015 http://www.

Deo Filikunjombe MP, was killed in a helicopter crash in the Selous a week before election day, when he was due to seek re-election as MP for Ludewa, representing CCM. Though aged just 43 and having served only one 5-year term as an MP, his impact on Tanzanian politics was substantial.
As deputy chair of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, he formed a close friendship and highly effective partnership with the committee’s chairman, the firebrand opposition MP, Zitto Kabwe. Though a few years younger and representing a different party, Zitto became a mentor to Filikunjombe, and there were rumours earlier in 2015 that Filikunjombe might defect from CCM and run for re-election on the ticket of Zitto’s new party, ACT Wazalendo.
Together with a third young MP, from another different party – David Kafulila of NCCR Mageuzi – Filikunjombe and Kabwe were instrumental in demanding accountability from senior politicians and public servants for the Tanesco / IPTL scandal, popularly known as the “Escrow” case. (See TA110 for a full report of the case.) It was the Public Accounts Committee’s report, read in parliament jointly by the chair and deputy chair, that prompted the resignations or sackings of the Attorney General, Frederick Werema, the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Professor Muhongo and the Minister of Lands and Housing, Anna Tibaijuka, as well as several others losing senior positions within the party machinery and/or within parliament.
This was Filikunjombe’s most prominent political role to date, reading out damning details of the scandal and calling for the resignation of a Prime Minister from his own party, Mizengo Pinda, seated just a few yards away. It cemented his reputation as an anti-corruption campaigner, and as a brave and principled politician who was prepared to take on senior figures in his own party in the cause of accountability.
Following his untimely death, tributes flowed from across the political spectrum. “Apart from being the best man during my wedding and close friend, Filikunjombe was one of very few MPs from the ruling party who stood firm against corruption. He played a great role to ensure that all culprits of the escrow scandal were held accountable,” said Kafulila.
January Makamba of CCM said this was a loss not only to the ruling party but to the nation as a whole. He said Filikunjombe had always put the national interests first.
Zitto Kabwe acclaimed Filikunjombe as a fighter against corruption. “We have been robbed of a great leader,” he said. Following his own election as MP for Kigoma Urban, he added “I dedicate this to my friend Deo Haule Filikunjombe. It is his victory and I won’t celebrate this as to me the election became meaningless.”

Rev Christopher Mtikila, the pro-Tanganyika campaigner and serially litigious opposition politician, died in a car crash near Chalinze in early October, aged 65. He was travelling to Dar es Salaam from Njombe, where he had attended election campaign rallies for candidates representing the Democratic Party (DP), of which Rev Mtikila was chairman.
Coast Regional Police Commander Jaffari Mohamed said their initial investigations had found that Rev Mtikila had not fastened his seat belt when their speeding Toyota Corolla overturned after swerving off the road to avoid an oncoming lorry. Three other occupants escaped with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Rev Mtikila, a preacher of the Full Salvation Church who hailed from the Anglican mission of Milo in Ludewa district, had played a prominent role in shaping multiparty democracy in Tanzania. He had fought controversial campaigns, often through the courts, taking on the Anglican church, prominent politicians and the political establishment to argue in favour of private (independent) candidates, constitutional reform, and for a greater recognition of Tanganyika as a separate entity in the new constitution. His voice was often a lonely one, though he undoubtedly had many supporters who preferred a less public profile. His campaigns for indigenisation of the economy and for empowerment of the poorest in society won him some public popularity, but his determination to take on the government meant he remained always an outsider.
His biggest victory was the ruling of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights in 2013, that provisions of the Tanzanian constitution that required electoral candidates to be members of and sponsored by political parties – thus disallowing independent candidates – contravened various international laws. This was the culmination of a battle started by Rev Mtikila as far back as 1993, which the government of Tanzania had fought against at every turn. Unfortunately for Mtikila, the failure to conclude the constitutional review process meant that he never came to see independent candidates allowed, though it now seems probable that his victory on this issue will soon become formally respected in law.
On other issues, Mtikila was more successful at raising the public profile of the issues he championed than at winning office or changing law or policy. His campaign for constitutional reform gained momentum when first the CHADEMA leadership and then President Kikwete saw opportunities in making the issue their own. His campaign for an independent Tanganyika only gained strength when met with a similar (and much stronger) movement for independence for Zanzibar.
He will be remembered as a divisive figure. Admirers will credit his militancy for energising multi-party politics in Tanzania. Others will see him as a racist, populist loose canon, whose pronouncements and campaigns represented a very real danger to peace and stability.
His coffin was draped with the old Tanganyika flag.

The outgoing Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Abdallah Kigoda MP, has died in India where he had been receiving treatment for liver problems, at age of 62.
Having been elected to parliament on the CCM ticket in 1995, representing Handeni, Dr Kigoda served as Minister in several different ministries. Under President Mkapa, he was Minister for Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1997, Minister for Energy and Minerals from 1997 to 2000, and Minister of State in the President’s Office for Planning and Privatisation from 2000 to 2005. Throughout this time, Kigoda was seen as a key player in pushing the privatisation agenda forward across industry, mining and parastatals.
Through a combination of his ministerial roles, his significant positions within the CCM party machinery and his close friendship with President Mkapa, Dr Kigoda was seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2005. He put his name forward for nomination, but was overlooked in favour of Jakaya Kikwete.
In 2005, the newly elected President Kikwete declined to give Dr Kigoda a ministerial role in his new cabinet. It wasn’t until 2012 that he turned to Dr Kigoda and re-appointed him to his previous role as Minister of Trade and Industry, a position he held until his death.

Celina Kombani MP, the outgoing Minister of State in the President’s Office for Public Service Management, has died in India, aged 56, where she had been receiving treatment for cancer.
Ms Kombani had represented Ulanga East since 2005. Immediately she was given a ministerial role, as Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government, under Prime Minister Lowassa. Following Lowassa’s resignation in 2008, she was promoted to Minister of State in the same department.
In President Kikwete’s second term, Ms Kombani served first as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, then as Minister of State in the President’s Office for Public Service Management.
Residents in Ulanga said they would miss her greatly, as she had been known as a very good constituency MP, supporting students and entrepreneurs and catalysing development in the area – including improving local roads.

A noted Danish lichenologist, Vagn Alstrup, was shot and killed during a robbery at his home in Dar es Salaam. He was 71 years old.
Alstrup, who worked for the University of Copenhagen, lived in Tanzania and considered the country his second home. He has published a number of book on the subject of lichenology, the study of fungi.
He was a highly respected figure within his field, most particularly on the subject of lichenicolous fungi, parasitic fungi that live only on lichen as a host. He was a keen educator who arranged many field camps and courses and would always make time to patiently explain the fine differences between different lichens to anyone who was interested.

The chairman of the opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD), Dr Emmanuel Makaidi, has died in Lindi, aged 74, during the election campaign in October. He had fallen sick a few days earlier, while campaigning.
Dr Makaidi held a PhD in political science from Harvard University, though he struggled to translate this into political success on the ground. Though he ran for the Presidency in 2005 on the NLD ticket, placing seventh of ten candidates with 0.19% of the vote, he came to greater prominence in 2014, when he took his party into the opposition coalition, UKAWA, alongside three much bigger parties: CHADEMA, CUF and NCCR Mageuzi. He became the coalition’s co-chair, and was chosen as the coalition’s sole candidate for the Masasi parliamentary seat. Nevertheless, he faced a tough battle within the constituency from supporters of other UKAWA parties who felt they were better placed to take on CCM.
CHADEMA chairman, Freeman Mbowe, expressed his sadness at the loss. “Dr Makaidi was with us since the inception of UKAWA during the Constituent Assembly sitting and was an important member of the alliance whose aim is to oust CCM. … He will be sorely missed,” he said.



by Ben Taylor

Hero of southern African liberation battles, Brigadier-General Hashim Mbita, died at Lugalo Military Hospital in Dar es Salaam, in April, aged 81.
Mbita’s most prominent public role was as Executive Secretary of the Liberation Committee of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Liberation Committee executive secretary. The committee had been hosted in Tanzania, and offered support to African liberation movements in their fight for independence.

He served for 22 years from 1972, stepping down after the first democratic elections were held in South Africa in 1994. “Mission Accomplished” was the title of his statement to the meeting in Arusha that marked the closure of the Liberation Committee.

He also served in various leadership capacities, including army officer with the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), press secretary to the country’s founding president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, and a politician.

His efforts earned him the highest recognition around Southern Africa. President Robert Mugabe awarded him the Royal Order of Monomotapa, the country’s highest honour available to non-Zimbabweans, bestowed to those who excelled in the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe and other southern African countries. South Africa bestowed on him the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo, for his “exceptional and gallant support of African liberation movements and his tireless efforts in ensuring that the struggle for freedom throughout the African continent bore fruit.” He was honoured by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with the Sir Seretse Khama Medal, and by the African Union with its first “Son of Africa” award.

Nevertheless, he wore his medals lightly, never one to seek out publicity or attention.

“There are few people in this country who we can compare with Brig Gen Mbita; he was a man of his own kind who served this country for a long time and in all that period, he executed his duties ably and diligently,” said President Kikwete. “There was no freedom fighter in Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa who did not know the immense con­tribution made by Mbita.”

Tanzania’s Chief Sheikh, Mufti Issa bin Shaaban bin Simba, died in June at the TMJ Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he had been undergoing treatment for kidney and bronchial complications.
Dar es Salaam Chief Sheikh, Alhadi Mussa Salim, told reporters in Dar es Salaam that the Mufti had undergone surgery the previous day but did not recover.

The late Sheikh Simba became the Mufti of Tanzania in 2003 after acting in the post for 3 months following the death of the then Mufti of Tanzania, Sheikh Hemed Bin Jumaa in 2002. Prior to this, he had been Chief Sheikh of Shinyanga Region since 1970.

As death is inevitable for every human being, we have to accept it. It’s our responsibility to pray for Sheikh Simba so that he rests in peace,” said President Kikwete in a condolence message.

National chairman of the opposition party, Chadema, Freeman Mbowe, said “the Mufti has been heard several times saying that he is not the leader of Muslims alone but all believers. I join other Muslims in the country during this difficult moment as we mourn the death of their spiritual leader.”

Mr John Nyerere, the son of Tanzania’s founding father, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, has died in Dar es Salaam, aged 58. He had been battling with diabe­tes. The late John Nyerere is survived by nine children. He was the fourth of Mwalimu Nyerere’s seven children. He will be remembered for his contribu­tion during the Kagera War in 1978-9 when he served as a Tanzania People’s Defence Force fighter jet pilot.



by Ben Taylor

Captain John Komba, band leader of Tanzania One Theatre (TOT) and Member of Parliament for Mbinga West, died on 28 February. He was a hugely popular musician and one of the foremost cheerleaders for CCM. He was most in his element when belting out songs in praise of the country’s leaders and the party. He and his team were a crowd puller and when he stood to sing, crowds literally sung along in hysteria.

Capt Komba was born in 1954 in Ruvuma region. He studied at Lituhi Primary School and Songea Boys’ Secondary School before earning a certificate in teaching from Kleruu Teacher Training College in Iringa. He served in the Tanzania People’s Defence Force from 1978 to 1992. He had been a CCM National Executive Committee member since 1987 and entered elective politics in 2005. He had already been highly active in CCM campaigns for many years, a close ally of Presidents Mkapa and Kikwete, and most recently of presidential aspirant Edward Lowassa. Up to his death, he was CCM’s Chief Cultural ambassador.

Many Tanzanians will remember Captain Komba most for his response to the death of Mwalimu Nyerere in 1999. With tears in their eyes like most of their compatriots, Captain Komba and his troupe led the nation in grief with songs based on choral traditions. They captured in a vivid and moving manner the challenge Tanzanians faced: living without Mwalimu.“CCM will always remember Komba for his contributions to the party and to issues that were of national interest; he was a friend, father, musician, politician and all in all a leader” said CCM General Secretary, Abdurahman Kinana.

Christopher Alex Massawe, a former midfield player with Simba Sports Club and the national football team Taifa Stars, died in Dodoma after a long illness.

An uncompromising defensive midfielder, Alex’s most memorable moment was being a member of Simba team that knocked out the then CAF Champions League champions Zamalek of Egypt to book a place in the last eight. He converted the last penalty to seal the historic win. Simba had previously disposed of South African champions Santos in the first round on their way to the group stage of the premium club competition on the continent.

Alhaj Abdul Sapi Mkwawa was chief of the Hehe tribe of Iringa. He was buried within Kalenga Museum premises, in a ceremony that also included the installation of his successor, 14-year old Chief Adam II, who is his first born son.

The late chief was born in 1949. He studied at Tosamaganga in Iringa and Iyunga Secondary in Mbeya, before joining the school named in honour of his famous ancestor, Mkwawa High School.

He studied for a degree in business administration before working with Tanzania Elimu Supplies between 1977 and 1993, Tanzania Southern Highlands Tobacco Growers in 1993. Most recently, he was an employee of the Iringa-based Maji Africa spring water company.

Geoffrey Delves Wilkinson who died on 7 June 2014 aged 87, was prominent in agricultural activities in Tanzania, off and on for almost fifty years. He started his career as the District Agricultural Officer in Zanzibar and later in Pemba (where he received the Queen’s Coronation Medal). Later he set up the agricultural education department of the British Overseas Development Ministry in London, his responsibilities covering all aspects of agricultural training, especially in Tanzania. He built on his strong ties with Tanzanian institutes of agriculture, particularly Tengeru, near Arusha, by setting up a link project and exchange programme with the Hereford diocese in the UK. He was a born story teller and a passionate naturalist and relished his role in training hun­dreds, if not thousands of students in agricultural skills in 29 countries.

Prof Terence Ranger, the first editor of Tanzanian Affairs, editing issues No 1 (Dec 1975) to 6 (July 1978), died on 3 January 2015. He spent most of his career researching and publishing on the history of Zimbabwe, though he is probably better known as co-editor (with Eric Hobsbawm) of the 1983 text, The Invention of Tradition.

Born in London in 1929, he was appointed as university lecturer in the then Southern Rhodesia in 1957. Deported from Rhodesia in 1963, Ranger joined the University of Dar es Salaam, to establish its history department. He joined a group of radical scholars, and talk of a ‘Dar es Salaam school’ of African nationalist history. This was defined by a commitment to African agency in its historical analysis and to the production of ‘useable’ history for the newly independent nations of Africa.

From Tanzania, Ranger went on to professorships at UCLA, Manchester and Oxford. In retirement, he returned to bolster the history department of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, where he again found himself aligned with the victims of the state. He returned to Britain in 2001.

Mr T O (Dale) Robson, who died recently, worked in Tanganyika from 1950 to 1961. He served at various agricultural research stations as a Pasture Research Officer. He advised the Commission on the establishment of the Serengeti National Park and whether it would be necessary to exclude the Maasai. It was finally decided to improve conditions by clearing the tsetse-infested bush, improving water supplies, increasing disease control measures for the cattle and introducing regular cattle markets. (Thank you Hilary Broad for this – Editor)

Dr Alec Smith (1927 -2014) was a graduate of Birmingham University (BSc. Zoology and Comparative Physiology (1948)) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Ph.D. Tropical Medicine 1950)). He joined the Colonial Medical Research Service and worked as a medical entomologist in Tanganyika from 1950-1973, including 13 years in Arusha at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute.

In 1973 Alec joined the World Health Organisation and, after leaving Arusha, worked on malaria control projects in South Africa (1973­1976) and West Africa (1973-1980). He was then assigned to Geneva headquarters, where he remained until 1986 when he retired. In 1982, he was awarded the Ademola Medal, jointly with Dr Robert Kaiser, by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for “Outstanding Achievements in Health in the Tropics”. In 1993, Alec published his memoirs entitled “Insect man – A Fight against Malaria in Africa”.

Alec enjoyed a happy 28 years retirement in Bexhill-On-Sea, Sussex. He is greatly missed by Irene, his wife of 60 years, his daughters Linda and Diana and his grandchildren, Allison, Elizabeth and Claire. (Thanks to Dr Linda Thomas for this information – Editor).



by Ben Taylor

Former High Court Judge and first chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Judge Lewis Makame, died in Dar es Salaam on 18 August 2014. Born in Muheza District, Tanga, Judge Makame was a key figure among the country’s small group of intellectuals at independ­ence. He had a BA from the University of London, and was a Barrister in the UK. In Tanzania, he served as a High Court Judge and a Justice of Appeals, before taking up the high profile post of chairman of the National Electoral Commission in 1993, just as Tanzania made the shift to multi-party democracy.

In this role, Judge Makame had a no-nonsense approach to issues that earned the wrath of a section of the opposition, some of whom accused him of being part of a ‘’grand plot’’ to enable CCM to retain its grip on power. Nevertheless, he remained a widely respected figure, known for his composed, calm manner, commitment to duty, and fierce intellect. He stepped down as NEC chairman in 2011. President Kikwete said that Justice Makame’s leadership had contributed tremendously to strengthen peace, harmony, unity and solidarity in the country.

Major General Herman Lupogo died on 18 October 2014, aged 76, at Lugalo Military Hospital, Dar es Salaam, where he was receiving medi­cal treatment.

He served in Tanzania People’s Defence Force for 28 years, from 1965 until he retired in 1992. Following his retirement from the army, he became a highly respected administrator, serving as Regional Commissioner for Iringa, Director General of Arusha International Conference Centre, Chairman of the Tanzania Commission for HIV/AIDS (TACAIDS) and Board Chairman of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation.
Major General Lupogo will be remembered warmly by all who knew him. With a sharp wit, ability to recall decades-old anecdotes in rich detail, and love of English literature and Scottish single malt whisky, he was a truly memorable character.

Epidemiologist, researcher and expert in HIV and genitourinary medi­cine, Dr Gilly Arthur, has died aged 47 of a brain tumour. Gilly was born and brought up in Derbyshire as the youngest of six children. Her research on HIV in Zimbabwe, while studying medicine at Nottingham University, inspired a lifelong commitment to working in Africa. After spells in Nairobi and at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, she moved with her husband Stevan and their two children to Tanzania in 2007, to take up the post of science chief for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

A hugely respected doctor and researcher, Gilly provided emergency medical assistance after the US Embassy bombings in 1998 and when the MV Spice Islander sank off the Zanzibar coast in 2011. She is survived by her husband, Stevan, their children Stan and Joni, her mother and siblings.

The untimely death of model, shoe designer and leading light of Tanzanian social media, Betty Ndejembi, is a thoroughly modern tragedy. Aged just 24 at the time of her death in August 2014, Betty had made a name for herself online, primarily on Twitter, using social media to market her shoes.

But the source of her fame and her livelihood was turned against her when she became a victim of cyber-bullying, with an anonymous crowd attacking her on twitter, threatening her and accusing her of all manner of sins. In her final days, her online posting became increasingly frantic, desperate and despairing. Her unconscious body was discovered in a ditch, with reports that she had been sexually assaulted.



by Ben Taylor

Professor Nathan Shamuyarira, Zimbabwean academic and politician, died on June 4th, 2014, aged 85. From 1968 Prof. Shamuyarira taught at the University of Dar es Salaam, where he was instrumental in developing and teaching a course on “Imperialism and Liberation in Southern Africa”. At the same time, he was an influential player in the struggle for Zimbabwean independence and democracy. This later took him away from Tanzanian academia; in 1980 he became Zimbabwean Information Minister and then Foreign Minister between 1987 and 1995.

Shamuyarira was at times a controversial figure. In June 2006 he accused the International Crisis Group think tank of calling for a coup against President Robert Mugabe. Shamuyarira said the ICG had “sponsored violence” by the Movement for Democratic Change. Later that same year, he sparked outrage when he praised the Gukurahundi, a series of state-sponsored massacres in the 1980s. At his funeral, President Robert Mugabe said that Shamuyarira “died a poor man and this was Nathan, but rich of course in his views.” He was writing a biography of Mugabe at the time of his death.

Nkwabi Ng’wanakilala, media practitioner and scholar, has died in Mwanza, aged 69. Ng’wanakilala spent several years at the University of Manchester, UK, graduating first with an Advanced Diploma and then a Masters in Mass Communication, sandwiching time teaching at the University of Dar es Salaam. During his career in media practice, he served as Director of Information at the government Information Services Agency (MAELEZO), Director of Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam (RTD), and Director the Tanzanian news agency, SHIHATA. Later, he moved back into academia as Senior Lecturer at Saint Augustine’s University of Tanzania.

He authored several books on politics and the media, including “A Summary of Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa”, “Mass Communication and the Development of Socialism in Tanzania”, “Morons, Thugs and Journalism in Africa”, “The Dark Side of Power and Freedom Beyond Independence”, and “The Footsteps of Julius Nyerere”. President Kikwete sent a condolence message to the funeral: “This death has taken from our nation a very vibrant and courageous public servant. The media industry has lost a strong leader.”

Fides Chale, leading gender activist and founding chair of the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), has died aged 64 in Dar es Salaam. In a statement, TGNP described Dada Fides as “a teacher and leader who touched the lives of many people in Tanzania, a strong advocate and defender of the rights of women, girls and others on the fringes of society. She was a people person who enjoyed a joke, who lived her life with love, humanity, empathy and a smile on her face.”

William Gibbons or “Bill Gibbons” (89) and father of David Gibbons a BTS and TDT committee member, passed on peacefully in his sleep in County Cork, Ireland.

Bill’s association with Tanzania began when from Ireland, he answered the advert for Agricultural Field Officers in 1952. He found himself travelling out to Tanganyika on the MV Dunnottar Castle to help in the aftermath of the Groundnut scheme. On arriving in Tanga he was diverted to go to Lushoto to work on the Usambara Development Scheme, and so began a long association with Tanzania and her people. He married June in Lushoto in 1953.

At independence in 1961, President Nyerere requested that Bill be kept on to help the country develop and by 1964 he was a Senior Agricultural Officer responsible for all agricultural matters in Mwanza, Musoma and Shinyanga regions, and for cotton in the 7 regions of Western Tanzania. He was proud of his achievements in helping build up the cotton industry to be one of the major export crops at this time. In 1968 Bill was made Assistant Director of Agriculture, and continued in this role until 1975, when he joined Louis Berger International as advisor and manager on the Water Master Plans in the Tri region around Lake Victoria and Tabora region up to 1981.

Bill enjoyed receiving his copy of Tanzania Affairs, devouring it from cover to cover, with many added comments and advice on different matters chipped in as he read it. He was known to be a hard worker, who had high standards. He served the country of Tanzania well over many years and spanned both pre- and post-independence years. Over so many years he built up a rich store of stories of his times in Tanzania, which he enjoyed sharing with his children in later life. (Thanks to David Gibbons for this – Editor)

John Crawford “Chon” Cairns passed away in May 2014, aged 93 and surrounded by family, poetry, and song. John was born in Galt, Ontario, to a family of Scottish immigrants and worked briefly as a bank teller before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in September of 1941. He served until 1945 in India and Burma, following which he attended the University of Western Ontario where he fell in love with the artistically talented Beverley Woolmer. They were married on October 25, 1951, sailing immediately to Tanganyika, East Africa, where John worked for six years as a District Officer and Commissioner, one of the few Canadians in the British Administrative Service, while Beverley organized the export of local carvings. Those days in East Africa were among the happiest in John and Beverley’s life, and saw the birth of daughters Sandra and Lisa, postings in Kilwa, Mikindani, Morogoro and Dar Es Salaam, and long safari journeys to remote tribal villages. John’s experiences in East Africa were distilled in his book Bush and Boma: The Life of a District Officer, illustrated by Beverley and published in 1958.

Following his time in Tanzania, John had a long and distinguished career working in the education sector, including on Canadian aid programmes in Nigeria and Cameroon, and notably as Director of UNESCO’s Experimental World Literacy program. In 1972 he was appointed Secretary General for the Third International Conference on Adult Education in Tokyo, Japan. (Thanks to Beverly Cairns for this – Editor)



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.



by Ben Taylor

BI KIDUDE was Zanzibar’s leading cultural ambassador, the most celebrated singer of the taarab style. Born Fatuma binti Baraka around 1910, she was universally (and affectionately) known by her adopted name, Bi Kidude, or “little thing”. From the 1920s she was singing for a living, following the example of her idol, Siti binti Saad, whose style Bi Kidude had picked up as a young girl. Her uncle played in Saad’s band, so she hung around with the musicians, pretending to sleep while she took it all in. She continued to sing throughout her life. In 1994, seven decades after she began performing, she recorded her first solo album, Zanzibar; in 2005 she was awarded the Womex (World Music Expo) Lifetime Achievement Award.

She is revered by Tanzanian Bongo Flava hip-hop artists, alongside many of whom she performed or recorded in her final years. But Bi Kidude was not just about the music. She was a rebellious figure, chal­lenging Islamic traditions: refusing to accept the role that was expected of her as a woman, performing together with men without wearing a veil as well as drinking and smoking heavily. “I don’t think that Bi Kidude would have called herself a feminist,” wrote Elsie Eyakuze, “but she did the cause untold amounts of good. This slightly sodden, plenty frisky little old lady of Taarab … was good magic. She was a carrier of joyfulness and eccentricity. Stories abound about her exploits, the risks she took, her cheerful embrace of an unconventional lifestyle.” She died on 17 April 2013.

ALLY SYKES and his brother Abdulwahid were key figures with Julius Nyerere in the nascent Tanganyikan independence movement in the 1950s. When the Tanzanian African National Union (Tanu) was formed in 1954, Ally Sykes paid for the first 1,000 membership cards to be printed. Tanu card no. 1 went to Nyerere, while no. 2 went to Ally Sykes. Earlier, he had joined the King’s African Rifles aged 15, serving in Burma during World War 2. On his return to East Africa he headed for Nairobi, where he worked as a musician and as a highly success­ful sales promoter, marketing a wide range of products from music to Coca Cola to real estate. In 1958 Peter Colmore, a British impresario and entrepreneur based in Kenya, appointed him to be his agent in Tanganyika. Ally later operated on his own, while also taking a post in the colonial civil service. Before independence, his political activities made him unpopular with the authorities. After independence, his wealth created a problem; the 1967 Arusha declaration made it impos­sible for him to maintain his business interests and he lost a great deal of property under the 1971 Acquisition of Buildings Act. He died in Nairobi on 19 May, aged 86. President Kikwete, and former presidents Mwinyi and Mkapa, attended his funeral in Dar es Salaam.

JOHN BAPTIST DA SILVA was an artist and historian of Zanzibari culture. He moved to Zanzibar as a young boy, from Portuguese Goa, where he was born in 1937. His father was dressmaker to the Sultan of Zanzibar. His paintings, drawings and photographs of the unique architecture of Stone Town helped raise awareness of the plight of the buildings, many of which were deteriorating rapidly, and were influ­ential in the UN decision to make Stone Town a World Heritage Site in 2000. He died on 20 March, aged 76.

Sir NICHOLAS MONCK, a notable contributor to Tanzanian devel­opment in the era of Julius Nyerere died in August 2013, aged 78. As a senior economist for Derek Bryceson, the Agriculture Minister, from 1966-69 Nick helped construct a much more effective agricultural pol­icy. Also a sportsman, he played for a local Dar football team and sailed the coast. Back in the UK he had a distinguished civil service career. He became private secretary to Denis Healey as Chancellor of the Exchequer, then 2nd Permanent Secretary of the Treasury and finally Permanent Secretary of the Department of Employment. The Times (3 Sept) declared that he “was an unconventional civil servant…. one of the most civilised and approachable”. A man of strong egalitarian views, Nick had great sparkle and charm, and a wide circle of friends, who will miss him greatly (by Alastair Balls).

BARBARA ROLLINSON, former assistant secretary, Government of Nigeria, who came to Tanzania with her husband John and taught English at the DA Girls’ School and Geography at the HH Aga Khan Boys’ Secondary School, Dar es Salaam, from 1963 to 1966. She died peacefully on 15 May.

Updated 18th October 2013 to remove erroneous obituary for Richard Beatty OBE, with many apologies