Tanzania: Tributes Flow for Fallen Mengi

Tanzanian billionaire, business magnet, author and philanthropist Reginald Mengi has died aged 75

Dar es Salaam — Tanzanians have paid tributes to business mogul Reginald Mengi, who died in Dubai, describing his demise as a loss to the country.

Dr Mengi, who played a big role in transforming the country's media industry, died yesterday in Dubai where he was receiving treatment.

President John Magufuli led a long list of people paying tributes, saying he was shocked by the death of his friend.

"I am shocked by the death of my friend Dr Reginald Mengi. I will remember him for his immense contribution to the development of our country and for the words he wrote in his book (titled) I Can, I Must, I Will. My condolences to members of his family, IPP workers and the entire business community," the President said via his Twitter page.

Mr Ali Mufuruki, the founding chairman of the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, said the departed business mogul personified private sector struggle in Tanzania.

"He succeeded where many failed. He led by example to the very end," said Mr Mufuruki, adding that "Mengi made history by launching the first TV station in the mainland Tanzania, making it possible for us to watch the 1994 World Cup live for the first time as it was played in some distant lands."

The chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries, Mr Subhash Patel, said Mengi's death was a loss to the nation because he was generous and hardworking.

"I knew Mengi a long time ago. We both started business with very little money. Mengi was lucky he had some more formal education than me," Mr Patel, who is also chairman of Motisun group told reporters yesterday. For his part, the chairman of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Mr Salum Shamte said the country has lost an African businessman, who always stood for the rights of the poor.

Reacting to his death, Mr Shamte said the businessman served as TPSF chairman from 2013 to 2018 and was later replaced by Esther Mkwizu, whose term has also expired.

"I knew him since the 1980s when he started IPP companies. He always encouraged me and told me the importance of trusting in ourselves. We have really lost an icon," Mr Shamte noted.

Dr Mengi was one of the very few self-made billionaires in Africa, Mr Shamte noted. "His success inspired many young entrepreneurs," Mr Shamte noted.

Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner (RC) Anna Mghwira has described the death of IPP Group chairman as a big loss, saying he was exemplary in the society.

Speaking to The Citizen, Ms Mghwira said the deceased used part of his wealth to enrich and transform lives and that he was blessed with the high creativity and innovation in business. "We usually refer to death as a loss, but this is a big loss especially when looking at the groups of people he assisted, ranging from those with disabilities to budding entrepreneurs," she said.

The director of Information Services Department and the government's spokesperson, Dr Hassan Abbas, said he received the news of Dr Mengi's demise with grief.

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