Iconic diplomat Membe laid to rest in Lindi

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa led hundreds of mourners in laying to rest the body of former Foreign Affairs Minister, Bernard Membe at his home village in Chiponda, Rondo Ward of Lindi Region

Membe died last Friday morning aged 69 at Hubert Kairuki Hospital in Dar es Salaam, where he was being treated for chest pains but lost battle to acute respiratory failure caused by pulmonary embolism.

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot gets stuck in an artery in the lung, blocking blood flow to part of the lung.

Addressing the mourners yesterday during the funeral services, Mr Majaliwa, who represented President Samia Suluhu Hassan, said the late Membe will be remembered by Tanzanians and the international community for his distinguished service in various positions he served during his lifetime.

“Membe will be remembered for his patriotism, attentiveness, gentleness and professionalism in performing his duties and was a person who stood for what he believed… he will remain as a good role model,” he said.

On behalf of President Samia, Mr Majaliwa implored Tanzanians to pray for the late Membe and honour all good things he did during his lifetime.

Mr Majaliwa asked the people of Rondo to honour Membe by taking care of all the things that he initiated in that area.

Delivering her condolences, at Karimjee grounds in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, Dr Samia said the death of the seasoned diplomat has touched and saddened many people both within and outside Tanzania.

“I pray to God to bestow faith and hope to the deceased’s family during this sad moment…we have all been touched by the sudden death,” said President Samia.

Recalling how she met with the late Membe, the President said they have known each other on various encounters as cabinet ministers during the fourth phase administration and as members of the ruling party CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) and Central Committee (CC).

According to him, the late Membe was a brother who liked to instill knowledge and his skills to others, noting that he loved to see the development of Tanzania and other nations.

“The death of the renowned diplomat has left an indelible mark not only to his family members but Tanzanians and people of other nationalities’ where he had served during his lifetime,” noted Dr Samia, praying to God to grant him peace and rest his soul in heaven.

On his part, Former President Jakaya Kikwete who also traveled to Rondo for the burial of a dear friend yesterday, said the late Membe was an experienced diplomat, a careful strategist and a good economist.

Mr Kikwete eulogised Membe, describing him as a special friend who helped him in both his career and political life. Dr Kikwete noted that during his nine years as Minister of Foreign Affairs, the late Membe did a great job to develop the country’s interests in regional and international spheres.

“I knew Membe many years ago, I have gone a long way with him, we helped each other on issues related to our families and lives. In general, Membe was of great help to me in my career and political life,” Kikwete said.

Member of Parliament for Mtama constituency and the Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye said that the late Membe was a teacher for many, a patriot, brave and with a great love for the country.

Adding: “We as his students will protect, maintain and develop everything he put in and invested in us “.

According to Prof Harun Nyagori, Consultant Cardiologist at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) and Membe’s family physician, the late Membe began coughing and experiencing chest pain last Thursday and by early Friday morning, he was unable to breath. He was taken to the hospital.

Membe was born in Rondo, Lindi Region on November 9, 1953. He served as Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2015.

He also represented Mtama constituency in the Parliament between 2000 and 2015.

He began his career as a security analyst at the office of the President between 1978 and 1989 before proceeding to study International Relations at the John Hopkins University, Washington DC, from 1990 to 1992.

On July 15, 2020, Membe joined the opposition ACT- Wazalendo party, which ultimately fielded him as its presidential candidate in the October election.

He came third in the final results, losing to CCM’s John Magufuli.

But on May 30, 2022, Membe rejoined CCM after four years after writing a letter asking for readmission…………


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