Who is Bernard Membe (1953-2023)

FORMER Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, 70, passed away at Kairuki Hospital in Dar es Salaam early Friday.

Early reports say the former presidential candidate under ACT-Wazalendo party rushed to the said hospital on Friday morning due to chest complications.

Who is Bernard Membe?

He was educated at Rondo-Chiponda Extended Primary School and Namupa Seminary Secondary School for his O Levels.

He later attended Itaga Seminary High School for his advanced secondary school studies. He joined University of Dar es Salaam where he studied Political Science and later, he attended Johns Hopkins University for MA to study International Relations.

Bernard Kamilius Membe was born on November 9, 1953 and began his political career in the year 2000 after being elected as Mtama Member of Parliament. He was appointed as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation where he served for eight years 2007.

He served as a National Security analyst at the President’s Office from 1978 to 1989 before joining the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. where he studied international relations from 1990 to 1992 when was assigned to serve as an Advisor of the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Ottawa, Canada, where he served until 2000.

In the year 2000, he was elected as a CCM Member of Parliament representing Mtama constituency in the general election and re-elected again in 2005 and 2010.

Political carrier

He was appointed as Deputy Minister for Home Affairs by the fourth phase President, Jakaya Kikwete after the 2005 general elections then transferred to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals; where served as the Deputy Minister.

In January 2007, he was appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation after his predecessor Dr Asha-Rose Migiro was appointed as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General by the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

He has also served as a member of the National Executive Committee of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party since 2007; having been re-elected in 2012 at the 8th CCM Congress in Dodoma.

In January 2013, Membe informed his constituents that he would not be vying for a seat in the next parliamentary elections in 2015 thus giving rise to speculation that he may be considering running for the presidency.

In February 28, 2020, the CCM’s Central Committee expelled him from the party with what is said that he violated the party’s ethics and Constitution and in July that same year he handed back his CCM membership card and joined the opposition Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo). He was endorsed by his new party as Presidential flag bearer in 2020.

In March, 2022 he returned back to his former political party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, thanks to his old party’s decision to reinstate his membership.

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