Death robs Tanzania of 10 prominent persons in February

Tuesday February 23 2021

Prof Benno Ndulu, a former central bank governor, and Zanzibar politician and First Vice President Seif Hamad (right) are among prominent Tanzanians who have died in February 2021. PHOTOS | FILE


The death of former Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Governor, Prof Benno Ndulu, brings to 10 the number of prominent Tanzanians who have died in less than a month.

Ndulu died at dawn on Monday, February 22 while receiving treatment at the Hubert Kairuki Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

Details about the cause of his death were scanty but close relatives say he had been unwell for weeks before he was admitted 10 days ago.

Ndulu served as BoT Governor for 10 years from 2008.

Ndulu’s death came just two days after Tanzania lost its former Finance and Planning permanent secretary, Dr Servacius Likwelile on Saturday February 20.

At the time of his death, Likwelile was an economics lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).


The two economists died just as Tanzanians were in mourning for the country's Chief Secretary, Ambassador John Kijazi, who had died a week earlier.

Kijazi passed away in Dodoma last Wednesday evening, February 17, at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital.

Zanzibar's Seif Hamad

But the deaths intensified the grief that had engulfed the country since the start of February.

On February 17, the nation woke up to the sad news of the death of Zanzibar’s First Vice President and national chairman of the opposition party, ACT-Wazalendo, Seif Sharif Hamad, 77.

He died at the Muhimbili National Hospital where he had been admitted from February 9.

The cause of Hamad’s death was not disclosed but on January 31 he had told journalists that he had been hospitalised at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar after testing positive for Covid-19.

Two days before the death of Hamad, the country lost Dr Muhammed Seif Khatib, a politician who held several ministerial positions during the administrations of former presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete.

Khatib breathed his last on Monday, February 15 in Unguja, Zanzibar.

He had served as Minister of Home Affairs under late president Mkapa, between 2000 and 2002.

He later served as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Information, but in 2006, former president Kikwete picked Khatib to be the Minister of Information, Culture and Sports. Subsequently, he was named Minister in the Vice-President’s Office for Union Affairs on February 12, 2008.


The death of Khatib followed that of Mohambwe constituency lawmaker and former Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Mr Atashasta Nditiye.

Nditiye died on February 12 at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma.

On the same day at the Muhumbili hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania lost the man who once occupied the position of minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr Bakari Mwampachu.

He was laid to rest on February 13 at Pande Village, Tanga District.

On February 4, an erudite of Ruaha Catholic University (Ruco), Prof Gaudence Mpangala, was reported dead after a short illness. Mpangala was an analyst on various issues, especially political matters.

Earlier this month, Tanzania also lost two lecturers at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Dr Peter Mamiro and Prof Delphina Mamiro. The husband and wife died on February 9 and February 6 respectively, barely two weeks after losing two members of their family.