PRESIDENT John Magufuli, CCM and members of the legal fraternity have eulogized former Attorney General Judge Mark Bomani, who died on Thursday evening, describing him as the first indigenous AG who served the country with dignity and high level of patriotism.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to the late Bomani’s family and all who in one way or another have been touched by the demised of the retired judge,” President Magufuli said in his twitter account.
He added: “I will always remember and cherish his contribution in the government especially in legal affairs and in CCM where he served as a member to the party’s board of trustees.”
Bomani’s death sent shockwaves through the legal fraternity yesterday, with seasoned practitioners describing him as a man who immensely contributed to the development of the profession in the country after independence.
Long serving Advocate Alex Mgongolwa was the first to air his views about Mr Bomani, who studied in England as a barrister and was also a graduate of Makerere University in politics and economics.
“I know him very well because we were together at the Governing Council of the Media Council of Tanzania. He is a man of principles, guided by rules and legal procedures when performing his functions,” he said.
He said no-one could talk about developments of the legal sector in Tanzania without mentioning Judge Bomani.
He explained that the deceased was the first indigenous Attorney General (AG), but the second to hold such position in Tanzania. He was succeeded by Joseph Warioba.
Judge Bomani served as the second AG of Tanzania from 1965 to 1976. Mr Bomani was preceded by Roland Brown, an English Barrister, who was the first AG of Tanzania.
Mr Mgongolwa explained that apart from being the first Tanzanian AG, Mr Bomani served as the first local Solicitor General after independence before abolition of the post.
“As the Solicitor General, Mr Bomani also successfully defended the nation on a number of cases and other civil litigations,” he said.
On the part of the Judiciary, another seasoned lawyer who preferred anonymity explained that Mr Bomani was also a close aide to Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
The lawyers pointed out that Judge Bomani played a big role in advising the Head of the State in the appointment of the first indigenous Chief Justice Francis Nyalali and other judges of the High Court of Tanganyika, currently the High Court of Tanzania.
Judge Bomani was also running a private law firm in Dar es Salaam.
Advocate Augustine Muga described him as the most senior member of the bar on the roll of advocates and the youngest generation was looking up to him for inspiration.
“Despite being ill and frail, he kept true to his calling. Until his death, he was in active practice having renewed his licence for this year,” he said.
On his part, another seasoned advocate Michael Ngalo described the late Mzee Bomani as a true patriot and loyal citizen of this country as he agreed to quit the private practice and join government service during his youthful career as professional lawyer.
“He served our country diligently and honestly. As a lawyer, he was very ethical and righteous in his work both private and public. I will remember him for chairing the Commission that ushered in the country the legal sector reforms during the 1990’s whose fruits we are witnessing today,” Mr Ngalo said.
Captain Ibrahim Bendera, also a prominent member of the bar, has this to say, “The late Judge was a humble, highly intelligent and he portrayed the epitome of an advocates’ ethics. I consulted him several times and showed me he had excellent memory, gave me appropriate advice with maximum respect.”
As for our nation, Capt. Bendera described Mr Bomani as having been an AG at a time that several statutes were enacted with their effects making our country to be as it is now.
He pointed out that the policies, regulations and laws that were passed during his tenure included those that abolished freehold land tenure, those that abolished government powers to the tribe chiefs and the directives that mandated primary education to be in Kiswahili language.
After serving in the government, Judge Bomani became a senior legal advisory in the United Nations between 1976 and 1990, working towards Namibian independence from South Africa and working to devise an independent legal system for the country.
Mr Bomani had great international negotiation experience and was also the chief aide to both Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela on peace negotiations during the first Burundian Civil War.
He chaired a World Bank funded project on the Tanzania Legal sector reform, which resulted in a comprehensive report on the legal sector in Tanzania.
Mr Bomani was the Chief Aide to both the late Mwalimu Nyerere and former South African President Nelson Mandela on Burundi peace negotiations as well as Chairman of the former Tanzania Broadcasting Commission.