Mgwhira died yesterday at Mount Meru Regional Referral Hospital where she was receiving treatment. The cause of her death was not immediately released.
The president said she received the news of Mgwhira’s death with deep sadness, noting that she made immense contributions in the building of the nation, a State House statement noted.
“The president sends her heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased, friends and all Tanzanians at this difficult moment.”
The late Mghwira was born on January 23, 1959 at Mungumaji Ward in Singida town, joining Nyerere primary school from 1968 to 1974 and Ihanja secondary school from 1975 to 1978. She joined the Lutheran Seminary for advanced level secondary education from 1979 to 1981.
She pursued theology at Tumaini University, Makumira Campus and then worked for an LLB at the University of Dar es Salaam, than obtained a master’s degree in law from Essex University in England in 2000.
Mghwira has worked for international and local organisations attached to women’s empowerment, community development and assisting refugees.
Her political journey started in early youth, as a member of the party youth league, but she scaled back her participation in politics at the end of the 1970s to focus on education, eventual career and family.
She returned to politics in 2009, when she joined Chadema and in March, 2015 left Chadema for the newly formed ACT-Wazalendo, where she was later nominated the party’s national chairperson, working with the top leader of the party and its founder, Zitto Kabwe.
Upon the taking office of the fifth phase, and impressed by the work of President John Magufuli, she was one of ACT-Wazalendo cadres who publicly paid allegiance to the president, despite being in opposition.
She was appointed Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner and in December 2017 she rejoined the ruling party to streamline her work, especially as she was now the chairperson of the regional defence and security committee, a key organ in the ruling party.
Mghwira was among the few female candidates to have ever contested in presidential elections, others being Anna Claudia Senkoro (1962-2017) of PPT-Maendeleo and Queen Sendiga (ADC-Alliance for Democratic Change) later appointed Iringa Regional Commissioner by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.