16 August 2016

Tanzania: Jumbe Laid to Rest in Zanzibar

Photo: The Citizen
Zanzibar's Muslim community and its leaders gather today for the burial of the late former president of Zanzibar, Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi.

Zanzibar — Former Zanzibar President Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi was laid to rest here yesterday in a funeral attended by hundreds of mourners, including family members, leaders and politicians from both Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland.

The body of the late veteran leader was flown here at around 9.45am where on landing it was carried by army officers from the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF), using a military ambulance to his Migombani residence where for about two hours, people paid their last respects.

After the funeral service and prayers held at the Mushawar Mosque, the body of the second Union Vice-President and first Vice-Chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), was later laid to rest at his compound, about five to ten minutes' drive from the Zanzibar Airport in this municipality.

The 96-year-old man is remembered for his big role in bringing stability to Zanzibar shortly after the assassination of his predecessor, the late Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, on April 7, 1972. He passed away on Sunday at his Mjimwema residence in Dar es Salaam where he spent most of his life after leaving office in 1984.

After retiring from active politics in 1984, the deceased stayed with his family in his Dar es Salaam residence before later starting to show signs of ill-health due to old age. Before the funeral ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners from Zanzibar and beyond, Isles President Ali Mohamed Shein described the deceased as a generous, hardworking and honest politician who left an indelible mark in Zanzibar's political arena.

"We have lost a great man to be remembered in many things," Dr Shein said as he declared a seven-day mourning period during which flags will fly at half mast in respect of the fallen veteran.

Lawyers, politicians and human rights activists remembered the late Jumbe for his big role in writing the 1984 constitution and establishing the Zanzibar House of Representatives, which put the Isles on course to greater democracy and good governance.

During the funeral, many people spoke positively about the late Mzee Jumbe, including his literary works in which he wrote books on religion and political history, establishing several light industries and promoting women in holding positions in the government; in addition to maintaining peace, unity and stability.

Top leaders in attendance at the funeral, included Union Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, (who paid her last respects at Mzee Jumbe's residence), Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa, Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, ministers from Zanzibar and Union governments, retired leaders and religious leaders.

Others were former Union President Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi, former Union Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilali, Chief Justice Othman Chande and politicians, including CUF Secretary General, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, who worked with Mzee Jumbe. They all said that the deceased served the people with zeal and commitment.

The mass for the late Mzee Jumbe was held at 1pm while the burial took place at 2.10pm at the family cemetery at the premises of his house, about three kilometres from the Stone Town centre.

A Zanzibar Minister of State, Mr Mohamed Aboud Mohamed, read an eulogy after the burial. A son of the late Jumbe, Mr Mustapha Aboud Jumbe, thanked mourners in attendance as well as leaders from the Zanzibar and Union governments for their support - caring for his father for the past 32 years he has been out of office.

"We also thank the government for accepting the family's request not to hold a state funeral," Mr Jumbe said.

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