Dar es Salaam — Members of diplomatic corps paid glowing tribute to the fallen billionaire Mr Ali Mufuruki who died in South Africa on Sunday, describing his demise a great lose not only to his family but to Tanzania, Africa but the world at large.
Members of the diplomatic corps, who were given a chance to speak during a ceremony to pay last respect to Mr Mufuruki's remains in Dar es Salaam described Mr Mufuruki as a patriotic citizen who feared not to speak the truth and who put Africa's interests first.
United States Ambassador Dr Inmi Patterson could not hold back tears when she eulogised the late Mufuruki. In apparent deep sorrow, the US envoy described the late businessman and philanthropist as a true patriot who was always worried about the future of Tanzania's economy.
"Ali was source of wisdom and counsel for me as I sought to understand and work in Tanzania's rapidly changing political environment," said Ms Patterson as she delivered her condolence message.
"He was hardworking, disciplined and a true patriot who always worried about the future of Tanzania's economy," she explained.
"During our first meeting, he gave me a copy of his book, it contains all his hopes for Tanzania and Tanzanians; I will always miss him but Tanzanians will miss him," said Dr Peterson.
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Mufuruki was a co-author of the book: Tanzania's Industrialization Journey, 2016-2056, which was written with the purpose of giving Tanzanians confidence that they can take control of their destinies and make their nation a better place, socially as well as economically.
To Ms Patterson, getting a copy of the book from Mr Mufuruki, was a sign of kindheartedness. "That shows how kind-hearted, he was. He was also something else, something that we Americans we really respect. He was a self-made man. He was born poor. His parents were not well educated. But he applied himself to his studies, overcame adversity and succeeded," she said.
British High Commissioner to Tanzania Ms Sarah Cooke said Tanzania has lost a great man and a leaders of great qualities. Ms Cooke sad Mr Mufuruki's insights, wisdom his legacy will continue to live.
She said the late Mufuruki who was buried at Kisutu cemetery yesterday "wasn't shy to challenge anybody and that is something I liked about him."
France ambassador to Tanzania Mr Frédéric Clavier said Mr Mufuruki was among very few businessman who was able to exchange ideas and strategies with head of states. "What is so unique with Mr Mufuruki is that he was ready to open and share business strategies with others," he said.
Being a philanthropist who came from a poor background he never forgot his roots. He invested in empowering the youth, according to Mr Clavier.
"We had two big losses this year of Ali and Reginald Mengi who believed in investing in the younger generation. However their legacy of passing their skills to the young business leaders will remain not only in our hearts in our spirits," said Mr Clavier.
Italy ambassador Roberto Mengoni said: "It is cruel fate that Ali left us so young, he had just celebrated his 61 birthday, so he was in prime age. He was an intelligent, humble, gentle a willingness person."
He added, "The first time I met him I felt deeply connected to him; he was a global leader, African leader and Tanzanian leader. He was a man who could talk to anybody with a mixture of wisdom, intelligence, caring and human touch," said Mr Mengoni.