Revisiting the life of a great man Ibrahim Kaduma, son of Tanzania

Saturday September 7 2019


I first came into contact with Ibrahim Kaduma in the early 70s when I joined the University of Dar es Salaam for my BA General degree programme.

He was then Director of Development Studies, a course pursued by those specialising to become teachers.

Much as I was not taking his course it was public knowledge that Kaduma was a firebrand Nyerereist. Obviously this did not go well with most of the then Marxist bent and dialectical materialist students.

No wonder when Nyerere became worried about our intellectual orientation at the Hill he appointed Kaduma to be Vice Chancellor of the University.

I believe with the sole aim of bringing us, the half-baked Marxists to tow Nyerere’s philosophy.

So Kaduma passed on the other week.


And I was among the thousands of people from all walks of life and from all corners of Tanzania who flocked into the imposing Lutheran Church cathedral in Njombe to bid him farewell.

Much as Kaduma was not a church leader one would believe otherwise. The service was conducted by three, no four Bishops of the Lutheran church led by the leader of the church in Tanzania Bishop Shayo from the northern diocese.

Others were Bishop Malasusa from the Eastern Diocese, Bishop Mengele of the Southern Diocese and Bishop elect Fihavango of the Southern Diocese.

Choirs from Makongo and Azania in Dar es Salaam and from Njombe graced the occasion.

There were diplomats academicians, spiritual leaders from other churches and mosques, financial titans, politicians, businessmen and farmers as well the Njombe Regional Commissioner Ole Sendeka and CCM party Vice Chairman Phillip Mangula who paid homage to Kaduma.

So, who was Kaduma who brought together this gathering of shakers and movers of Bongoland? Born some 82 years ago in Njombe, Kaduma began work with then colonial government in 1959.

He rose through the ranks, among others becoming a director in the Ministry of Finance in 1967, Deputy Permanent Secretary and Treasury Registrar, before becoming the Minitry’s Permanent Secretary.

His academic qualifications include a degree in economics from Makerere University and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Public Finance from York University in the UK.

At one time he was PS of Ministry of Communication, Transport and Works and founding director of the Institute of Development Studies at the University.

He later became Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Trade, and Minister of Communication.

He was founding director of the Centre for Intergrated Rural Development (CIRDAFRICA), managing director of the Tanzania Sisal Authority, member of the Nyirabu Commission on EAC banking sector, first chancellor of the University of Mzumbe, chairman of the African Life Assurance and member of the Boards of Tanesco, NMB, State Mining Corporation and Kingdom Leadership Network Tanzania, among others.

He was also founding member of the National Microfinance Bank PLC (MNB Bank), Dar es Salaam Community Bank, National Investment Company among others. Above all he was a staunch believer and active member of the Lutheran Church.

Kaduma fell ill in Arusha on July 31 before being transferred to the Muhimbili National Hospital.

He was evacuated to India on August 30 only to pass on the following day. He leaves behind a widow, five children and several grandchildren.

He now lies peacefully at his Kibena Njegere leafy residence after playing an active and positive role in transforming our community. May his soul rest in peace!