Dar es Salaam. A sombre mood engulfed the house of fallen politician, Mr Richard Tambwe-Hiza who passed away on Thursday, February 8, at his Mkochea Street, Mbagala Kizuiani home.
Mr Tambwe-Hiza, who was born in 1959, died as a cadre of the main opposition party, Chadema and was actively participating in the ongoing parliamentary by-election campaigns in the Kinondoni Constituency where Chadema has nominated Salum Mwalimu to vie for the vacant seat.
The outspoken politician, who never succeeded to become a lawmaker despite several attempts, was among the speakers at a Chadema rally at Tandale Kwa Tumbo.
His son, Mr Tulo Tambwe said his father went back home at night, but died early in the morning shortly before arriving at Kizuiani Health Centre, a walking distance from his home.
“Early in the morning (around 5am) he complained about breathing problems. He woke up and wanted to drive to the hospital, but he couldn’t reach far,” he said.
Mr Tulo was not at home when his father was fighting for his life, but eyewitnesses told them that his father’s health deteriorated before a school bus driver tried to save his life after he had failed to drive and blocked the road.
"It is the school bus driver who drove him to Kizuiani Health Centre. Unfortunately, he passed away before reaching the centre,” he said.
The deceased joined Chadema in 2015 to support the then presidential candidate, Mr Edward Lowassa, who had decamped to the opposition after failing to make the cut.
Mr Tambwe-Hiza is survived with three children and a wife who said his death was a loss to the family.
Party’s regional chairman Henry Kilewo said he was with Mr Tambwe-Hiza until 11pm on Wednesday and he did not seem to have any health problem.
Mr Kileo added that the party’s by-election campaigns will continue as usual pending burial arrangements.