The late Mungai who died at the age of 73, served as Member of Parliament for Mufindi for 35 years; Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for 9 years (2000-2005); Minister of Education Science, Technology and Vocational Training and Minister of Home Affairs from 2007-2008.
He joined politics at the age of 27 and served during first phase Mwalimu Julius Nyerere government and the second phase of Ali Hassan Mwinyi and during the third phase of Benjamin Mkapa.
Speaking at the paying last respects ceremony on behalf of the government, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African and International Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga said the nation had lost a man who worked tirelessly to serve the citizenry.
“He was given a huge responsibility of becoming Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries when the country was going through a difficult phase after the Arusha Declaration was proclaimed,” Mahiga said.
He explained that during the time of the Arusha Declaration, the country needed a minister who was capable of making difficult decisions, and able to defend them, such a person was Joseph Mungai.
Mahiga added that “The late Mungai was a talented leader who contributed ideas to various Committees he had steered during his time which also enhanced various development projects in the country,” he explained.
In his remarks the late Mungai’s son, Jimmy Mungai said the burial of his father will take place tomorrow in Mafinga District, Iringa Region.
Before his death it was reported that the late Mungai was rushed to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) after complaining of abdominal pains.
He leaves behind a wife and seven children. His brother George Mungai expressed his vote of thanks to the government for the support they had offered to the family.
“The body of the late is laid at his home, Oyster -Bay in Dar e Salaam before being transported to Mafinga today,” he said.
On his part, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, William Lukuvi who was appointed to represent the government during the burial ceremony in Iringa said the late Mungai had left a legacy in the country.