Finance Minister and Kalenga legislator, Dr William Augustao Mgimwa (63), died yesterday at Kloof Medi-Clinic in Pretoria, South Africa, where he was admitted for treatment.
Chief Secretary Ambassador Ombeni Sefue said in a statement released by State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the renowned economist died at around 11.20 am at the clinic where he was admitted.
No further details were given, such as the nature of his illness. The statement only said that Dr Mgimwa had been hospitalised for some time.
Sefue said plans were underway to fly back home his body.
He said communication is being made between the government and his family and more information will be availed to the public.
President Jakaya Kikwete has already sent a condolence message to the family of the deceased, friends, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda and the entire nation.
In his statement, President Kikwete said: “I don’t have words to express the shock and sorrow following the death of Hon Mgimwa.
“Personally, I visited him twice at the hospital where he was being treated and on the second visit his health was improving.
“We spoke for about ten minutes and he expressed his intention to return home since he was recovering,” said the President in the statement.
He added: “We all know his contribution in the government. We all hoped that we will continue to work with him, but what has happened is God’s will.”
Earlier, the Deputy Minister for Finance, Saada Mkuya, confirmed the death of the minister when contacted by The Guardian, but declined to give details on the grounds that she was not the official spokesperson.“We have received information that the Minister died at around 11.00 am in a South African hospital where he was admitted. However, further information will be given by the government,” she said.
Last year Mgimwa was admitted to Millpark Hospital in South Africa after suffering a stroke.
Born on January 20, 1950 in Kalenga, Iringa region, Dr Mgimwa served in various posts after completing his studies.
Before running for parliament he was Principal of the Bank of Tanzania Training Institute in Mwanza from 2000 to 2010. He served as Director of the National Bank of Commerce from 1997 to 2000.
He was NBC bank manager from 1996 to 1997, lecturer at the National Bank of Commerce College from 1981 to 1989 and NBC accountant from 1980 to 1981.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party Chadema has said it has said it received the news about the death of Dr Mgimwa with shock and great sorrow.
Chadema has sent its condolences to President Jakaya Kikwete for losing one of his subordinates.