Mengi played key role in sports promotion- govt

08May 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Mengi played key role in sports promotion- govt

THE government has said the departed IPP Executive Chairman, Reginald Mengi, played an important role in the development and growth of sports in Tanzania.

Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu (L) greets Abdiel Miku Mengi, the late Reginald Mengi’s son, in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam last weekend. Mwalimu went to the late Mengi’s house to send condolences. Looking on is Radio One’s director Deogratius Rweyunga. PHOTO: EATV

Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, issued the statement when he paid his last respect to Mengi at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Mwakyembe described the passing of Mengi as a big loss to the country.

In his moving eulogy, Mwakyembe said the country would always cherish Mengi’s contributions to the development of sports.

He said Mengi was very passionate at seeing to it that sports, especially football, is growing in the country.

"Here is a man who was very passionate about the development of sports in the country, he did all he could to see to it that the country is doing well in sports…we will miss his contribution to sports and other sectors which he was supporting,” he said.

Mengi’s recent contribution to sports promotion at the domestic level turns out to be his willingness to be patron for national U-17 football team, which is popularly known as Serengeti Boys.

He promised good rewards to the team should they perform well at the 2019 AFCON U-17 championship that took place in Dar es Salaam last month.

Mwakyembe said after dismal performance by the team at the championship, Mengi called him to discuss the way forward for the team.

"After Serengeti Boys had performed badly at the AFCON U-17 finals, everyone was disappointed, but Mengi called me to chart the way forward for the team, it’s unfortunate that he has passed away before we had the meeting,” he said.

Many high profile dignitaries that included President John Pombe Magufuli, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, politicians, religious leaders, business people turned up at the Karimjee Hall to pay their last respects to the late Mengi.

His body will today be flown to his home village, Nkuu-Sinde Kiserani in Machame, Kilimanjaro for burial set for tomorrow.

There was a somber atmosphere at the place when the body of the pathologist, Mengi, was taken inside the hall.

Many people failed to control their emotions and were seen weep uncontrollably.

The somber mood increased when domestic musicians Ben Paul, Ruby and Joe Lwangwa performed their touching songs.

In an interview on Monday, Member of Parliament for Ilala Constituency, Mussa Azzan, alias Zungu, said he firstly knew well Mengi in late 1980s when Mengi was the chairman of a committee for rallying support for Mainland Tanzania’s soccer team, Kilimanjaro Stars, in a CECAFA tournament which was held in Kenya.

"Mengi was a man of the people, a true patriot, he did everything for his country… I first knew him well when he was the chairman of the Kilimanjaro Stars committee, he did all he could to help his country in all the sectors,” Zungu disclosed.

During his life, Mengi was also closely supporting artists from all sectors and one of his companies was also sponsoring a basketball tournament in the country.