What you need to know:
- The Citizen witnessed different activities taking place at the departed ex-premier’s Masaki home including the installation of canvas and arrangement of chairs for mourners who kept on streaming in.
Dar es Salaam. Political stakeholders have described former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who died on Saturday, February 10, 2024, as a great leader who will be fondly remembered.
He has been eulogized for his contribution in the transformation of the country’s political landscape since his early days in leadership.
Mr Lowassa who served as the Tanzania Prime Minister between 2005 and 2008 was a member of the top echelons of ruling CCM for many years.
Also read: Richmond, Lowassa and the race to Ikulu
In the heat of 2015 General Election, he defected to the opposition Chadema in 2015 where he stood for the presidential race representing Ukawa, a coalition of political parties.
Also read: I expect JK backing, Lowassa tells rally
They included Chadema,, the leading opposition party in the country at the time, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi and the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Mr Lowassa emerged second after collecting 6,072,848 votes equivalent to 40 percent of total votes cast during the hotly contested polls.
He trailed the CCM candidate the late John Magufuli who emerged victorious, garnering 8,882,935 votes equivalent to 58.5 percent.
Speaking to The Citizen, Chadema’s Protocol, Communications and Foreign Affairs director, John Mrema said the deceased will be remembered for his role in the country’s political reforms.
He conveyed the party's condolences to the family, relatives, the community, and friends for the loss of a person who was a father and leader.
Mr Mrema said Mr Lowassa would be remembered for his contribution for initiating a number of development projects, notably construction of 'wards' secondary schools.
The fallen politician was also behind successful implementation of water supply projects in different regions in the country.
Also read: Lowassa's role in water issues recognised
He was bold in his decisions and resigned as Prime Minister in order to rescue the government from being implicated in the Richmond scandal, he said.
Shortly after his name was deleted from the list of CCM presidential aspirants, he crossed over during a meeting of Chadema politburo at midnight.
Also read: Lowassa escapes Chadema, CCM traps
"He told us how his family was threatened following his plans to defect to the opposition. However, he defected and became the party's presidential flag bearer,” Mr Mrema added.
During the 2015 General Election, Mr Mrema served as the later premier's campaign manager during which he spent 68 days campaigning.
ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe said the deceased’s contribution in strengthening the country’s democracy was enormous.
“The legacy left behind are still visible such as ward secondary schools as well as implementation of the decision to establish the University of Dodoma,” he said.
Mr Zitto suggested that the University of Dodoma’s largest lecture hall Chimwaga be named by Mr Lowassa "in order to honour his bold position in managing the university’s establishment.”
The Civic United Front (CUF’s) head of publicity and international relations, Mr Mohammed Ngulangwa said Tanzania politics would mourn his passing.
As a former premier, Mr Ngulangwa said he had a significant impact on the country and its development, noting that he would be remembered for his contribution, policies, and controversies he faced at his time in office.
“We recognize Mr Lowassa as a Prime Minister and leader who served the government. Tanzanians have learned significant lessons from him, including the importance of punctuality in the public offices,” he said.
“We also remember that he once stood for presidency under the Chadema ticket. During this period we saw how he was loved regardless of challenges that led to his resignation as the country’s Prime Minister," he added.
On his part, the deceased’s family friend, Mr Steven Ole Naiko said his family has received reports of his death with great shock and profound sadness.
“He was close to us and generally speaking a family member. He loved people and was a unique leader. The country has lost a great person,” he said.
The deceased’s Dar es Salaam home
The Citizen witnessed different activities taking place at the departed ex-premier’s Masaki home including the installation of canvas and arrangement of chairs for mourners who kept on streaming in.