Africa-Press – Tanzania. SOMBRE mood engulfed at St Peter’s Church in Dar es Salaam as President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday led mourners to pay their last respects to a veteran politician, Dr Chrisant Mzindakaya who died on Monday this week.
Hundreds of mourners turned up at the St Peter’s Church in Dar es Salaam to pay their last respects to a man who spent decades of his life in the country’s politics.
Mourners in black attires, wearing sad faces, filled the church to its capacity.
Among the mourners were several prominent figures, including former President Jakaya Kikwete, former Prime ministers Joseph Warioba and Frederick Sumaye.
President Samia was the first to pay last respect to the departed senior politician followed by former President Kikwete.
Earlier, the President wrote on her Twitter account of having received with profound sadness the news of the passing on of Dr Mzindakaya.
“I will remember him for his great contribution to the leadership of our country, his patriotism and hard work,” she wrote
Dr Mzindakaya, 80 died on Monday at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) while receiving treatment and he will be laid to rest tomorrow at his home ‘Mlimani area’ in the outskirt of Sumbawanga Town, Rukwa region.
The family spokesperson, Major (rtd) Christopher Mzindakaya told the ‘Daily News’ in a phone interview that the late AND former Member of Parliament said the departed leader succumbed to heart complications. He was first admitted to the Aga Khan Hospital in the city and then transferred to MNH.
“Burial arrangements are taking place at his residence at Kilimani on the outskirts of Sumbawanga town,” he said.
He said his departed brother was the family leader whose counsel was respected “given his wealth of education, wisdom and leadership positions he held.”
Dr Mzindakaya was one of the most outspoken lawmakers in the 1990s and upon retirement from active politics, again he occasionally grabbed the headlines after venturing into farming, earning a name as one of the best farmers not only in his native Sumbawanga district and Rukwa Region but in Tanzania as a whole.
He would be remembered for investing in the region by establishing modern meat processing factory known as Sumbawanga Agriculture and Animal Food Industry (SAAFI) Dr Mzindakaya served as a Member of Parliament for Ufipa South, Sumbawanga and Kwela Constituencies from 1965 to 1980 and then from 1981 to 1995.
He was MP for Kwela constituency for five years from 1995 to 2000. He quitted active politics in 2010. Dr Mzindakaya served as Regional Commissioner for thirteen years in Mbeya, Morogoro, Kigoma and Rukwa. He also served as RC for Rukwa Region from 1993 to 1995.
In his early days, he went to Uganda for secondary education at Bugerere where he completed in 1961, coming back home to enrol at the Tengeru Institute of Community Development, studying there; in 1963 and 1964, graduating with a certificate.
He returned home and was employed as Assistant Community Development Officer in Sumbawanga District and this laid the basis for his familiarity with administrative functions at various levels
He became MP and served as deputy minister for Industries while chairing the Board of Internal Trade (BIT) from 1973 to 1975, and from 1975 to 1987 he chaired the board of the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).
Similarly, from 1969 to 1975 he was national chairman of the TANU Youth League and in later years, regional commissioner and thus CCM regional secretary for Rukwa from 1990 to 1992.
In 1992, he went to a college in the Irish capital of Dublin to brush his administration and planning skills, before being elected member of the CCM national executive committee and continuing as Kwela MP for years.