Tragedy as MP nominee dies just days before being sworn in

The late Mwenda is expected to be buried at the Kisutu cemetery, Upanga, in Dar es Salaam today.

The special seats MP has passed away just three days before she was to have been sworn in by the Speaker in Dodoma on Tuesday next week.

She was among eight newly-appointed special seats MPs picked by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on July 27, this year, to fill the vacancies of eight MPs who were sent packing by the party’s Prof Ibrahim Lipumba faction.

Other newly appointed MPs include Shamsia Mtamba, Kiza Mayeye, Zainab Amir, Sonia Magogo, Alfredina Kahigi and Nuru Bafadhili.

CUF Acting Secretary-General Magdalena Sakaya said yesterday that the late Mwenda died last night at MNH where she had been admitted for some days.

Sakaya said a few days ago the MP arrived at her son’s residence at Kibada, in Dar es Salaam, from Tabora ready for the swearing-in process in Dodoma.

“The last time I talked to her she was doing well,” Sakaya said, adding that last January she went for medical check-up in India.

According to Sakaya, the late MP had been fighting to be an elected MP in her constituency since 2005, but had never been successful.

In July, this year, NEC announced eight replacements for expelled CUF legislators following a misunderstanding between the Maalim Seif Hamad and Prof Lipumba factions. The axpelled MPs were said to be loyal to CUF Secretary general Maalim Seif Hamad.

The genesis of the internal party conflict can be traced back to 2015 when Prof Lipumba resigned from the party’s chairmanship, saying he was not ready to support the presidential candidature of Edward Lowassa, who had a few days back decamped from the ruling CCM and was subsequently endorsed by the UKAWA coalition, which includes CUF.