Tanzania Parliament suspended as another lawmaker dies

Dodoma. The speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai yesterday suspended parliamentary sessions following the death of Sumve MP Richard Ndassa in Dodoma. Ndassa is the second legislator to have died in the past 10 days in Tanzania.

Ndassa who was aged 61, died in the early hours after a short illness, Speaker Ndugai confirmed but he did not reveal the cause of death.

President John Magufuli sent condolences to the greaving family and the speaker, describing the late Mr Ndassa as a friend and counterpart in his political career.

“I recall in 1995 when Ndassa and I became members of Parliament. He was an MP for Sumve constituency and I was the MP for Biharamulo East which is now known as Chato constituency. May his soul rest in peace,’’ said a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications, quoting President Magufuli. According to the Speaker, the Parliament was in consultation with his family and government over his burial which is expected to take place today.

He said Parliament will do all that is in its powers to make sure the legislator is buried in Sumve, a constituency that he has represented since 1995 on the CCM ticket.

Ndassa’s death comes 10 days after the ruling party CCM lost another MP, the Reverend Gertrude Rwakatare, who died in Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, the former Chief Justice Augustine Ramadhani, who died on Tuesday, is expected to be buried on Saturday in Kimara, Dar es Salaam after a national farewell on Friday at Karimjee Hall, confirmed Judge Thomas Mihayo, who heads an association of retired judges.

The country has witnessed the passing of high ranking officials in the last eight days.

They include Bernard Lowasa, the younger brother to former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, the first Judge of Zanzibar and Minister after the Union was formed Ali Haji Pandu, Retired Judge Mussa Kwikima who until his death was ACT Wazalendo board member.

Another official who died on Tuesday include a prominent lawyer Gaudiose Ishengoma and on Aprl 26 Mtwara district commissioner Evodi Mmanda died on Sunday night at the Mtwara Regional Referral hospital as well as the retired director for the Confederations of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Hussein Kamote as well as the Morogoro Deputy Mayor Isihack Sengo.

On April 25 it was reported that former Mafia MP Abdulkarim Esmail Hassan Shah had died suddenly.

While on April 20, Tanzanians had also woken up to shocking news of the death of the founder and owner of the St Mary’s Schools network in Tanzania, Gertrude Rwakatare who died after a short illness.