A member of Parliament for Arumeru East, Jeremiah Sumari, died yesterday at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) where he was undergoing treatment, a close family member informed.
According to the son of the late MP, Sioi Sumari, the body of the deceased will be transported to Arumeru district in Arusha region for burial which will be held on Sunday. “We are waiting for the Parliament Office to issue the schedule for the funeral,” he said.
National Assembly depute speaker Job Ndugai told journalists the parliamentary steering committee would meet today to make the funeral arrangements. He said the last respects for the MP would be held at the Karimjee Hall on Saturday.
“The Parliament has lost two Members of Parliament within a short time …this is a great loss to us and the nation as well,” Ndugai said, referring to last week’s death of another lawmaker, Regia Mtema.
The Clerk of the National Assembly Thomas Kashilila said that parliamentary activities would continue today, but would be postponed tomorrow to allow MPs to pay their last respects to the body of the late Sumari.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania bishop Dr Alex Malasusa said the late Sumari was a good worshiper despite his intellectual status and that he executed his duties effectively.
“As human beings, we have been shocked by his death…he was honest and intelligent. He always loved to be humble before God …so what matters is the environment of death and not death itself, as for him he loved to serve God,” he added. Sumari has left a widow, four children and seven grand children.
Meanwhile, President Jakaya Kikwete has sent a condolence message to Speaker of the National Assembly Anne Makinda following the death of Sumari.
“I have been shocked and saddened by the death of Sumari because he was a leader who worked for his electorate and the nation as well,” said President Kikwete in a statement.
President Kikwete also sent condolences to the family of the late Sumari for losing a leader and an important pillar of the family.
Sumari was a Deputy Minister for Labour, Employment and Youth Development (2006-2008) and served in the same position in the Ministry of Planning and Finance in 2008.
His death comes just hours after President Kikwete led hundreds of mourners at the burial of special seats MP Regia Mtema, who died in a road accident last Saturday. Her body was buried at Ifakara’s Mkuliya graveyard in Kilombero district, Morogoro region on Wednesday.