Samia eulogies Mrema

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has sent her condolences following the death of National Chairman of Tanzania Labour Party (TLP), Mr Augustino Mrema, who breathed his last Sunday morning at the age of 77 at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam.

In a condolence message which was posted on her official twitter account yesterday, President Samia said Mr Mrema will be remembered for his contribution in political reforms in the country, patriotism and love for Tanzania.

“I extend my empathy to his family and TLP fraternity. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace,” Ms Samia said in the tweet message.

The Head of State was joined by President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, who remembered the late Mrema for his boldness in the fight against corruption.

“It should be remembered that Mr Mrema made a major contribution in the fight against corrupt individuals,” Dr Mwinyi said in a tweet message as he eulogised the veteran politician.

The Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, also condoled with the family, leaders and members of TLP and all those who have been touched by the passing on of Mr Mrema.

Until his death, Mr Mrema was also the Chairman of the Parole Board, having been appointed to the position for the first time in 2016 by the late President John Magufuli.

He served in various positions within the government during the single-party system before he rose to become the Minister for Home Affairs between 1990 and 1994.

Owing to his unwavering crackdown on corruption and crime, former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi ‘awarded’ him with a title of Deputy Prime Minister even though the position was not provided for in the constitution of Tanzania.

After serving in the Home Affairs docket for almost four years and following cabinet reshuffle in 1994, Mr Mrema became Minister for Labour, Development and Sports for a short period between 1994 and 1995.

To the surprise of many people, Mr Mrema relinquished his ministerial position in early 1995 and defected from the ruling CCM and joined opposition party NCCR-Mageuzi.

It was during the same year that Tanzania was set to hold its first multi-party election following re-introduction of political pluralism in 1992.

In October 1995, Mr Mrema contested in the presidential election through NCCR-Mageuzi against Mr Benjamin Mkapa of CCM, who emerged the winner and became the third president of Tanzania.

Among others, Mr Mrema is credited for spearheading establishment of community policing, known as ‘Sungusungu’ in Kiswahili, which played a critical role in containing crime at community level.

It was also during his time as Minister for Home Affairs that he oversaw creation of numerous police posts across the country, which brought services of the law enforcement agency closer to the people.

Apart from the ministerial positions which earned him a name of a nonsense leader, Mr Mrema also served as Member of Parliament for Moshi Rural through CCM, Temeke MP through NCCR-Mageuzi and also as an MP for Vunjo constituency through TLP until 2015.

Mr Mrema was born in 1944 in Kilimanjaro Region and later attended primary and secondary school in the region from 1955 to 1963, he then joined St Patrick Teachers Training College where he completed his secondary education in 1965.

The news of his passing was greeted by messages of condolences from various political parties which described him as a patriotic leader who led reforms in multi-party democracy.

A statement issued by CCM’s Secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Mr Shaka Hamdu Shaka, said the party has been saddened by the death of the veteran politician, who had national interest at heart.

The Deputy Secretary-General of Civic United Front (CUF), Ms Magdalena Sakaya, said the passing of Mr Mrema is a blow not only to politicians, but all Tanzanians since he was a great political reformist.

“Honestly speaking his death is a loss not only to his family but all Tanzanians, we shall always remember him,” she eulogised.

CHADEMA’s Director of Protocol, Communication and Foreign Affairs, Mr John Mrema, sent condolences to the family, friends, relatives and members of TLP following the death of the veteran politician.

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