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Tanzania Finance Minister Dies at Age 63 After Long Illness
Tanzanian Finance Minister William Mgimwa died yesterday at a South African hospital after a long
unspecified illness, the East African nation’s presidency said.
Mgimwa, 63, was appointed in May 2012 in a cabinet
reorganization, following a report by the national audit office
that showed the misuse of public funds, according to the Dar es
Salaam-based, state-run Daily News newspaper. Last year, Mgimwa
announced the country plans to secure an international credit
rating in the 12 months through June, ahead of a Eurobond sale.
“I do not have enough words to describe my shock and
sadness following reports of the death of Mr. Mgimwa,” said
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who visited Mgimwa twice in
the hospital, according to the statement.
Mgimwa, a member of parliament since 2010, is a former
principal at the Bank of Tanzania’s training institute and he
worked at the National Bank of Commerce from 1980 to 2000.
Deputy Finance Minister Saada Mkuya Salum said she is
acting as finance minister, a role she’s held since Mgimwa was
admitted to the Pretoria-based Kloof Mediclinic. She described
Mgimwa as a team leader and a fast learner on the job.
“The nation has lost one of its spirited servants,” Salum
said today in a phone interview.
Mgimwa saw the value in spurring investment and promoting
stability to help African nations develop, South African Finance
Minister Pravin Gordhan said today in an e-mailed statement.
Tanzania is sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-largest gold
producer, after South Africa, Ghana and Mali, and it holds the
world’s only known deposit of tanzanite. The country is a
natural gas producer and has the largest gas volumes in East
Africa after Mozambique.