The Government of Rwanda has extended its condolences to Tanzania following the death of the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dr Augustine Mahiga, who passed on Friday morning at the age of 74.
A message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MINAFFET) said Rwanda is saddened by the passing of the seasoned diplomat and legislator who was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania from 2015 to 2019.
“It is with deep sadness that the Government of the Republic of #Rwanda learned of the passing of Ambassador Dr. Augustine Philip MAHIGA, Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs of the United Republic of #Tanzania,”
“The Government of Rwanda extends its heartfelt condolences & sympathy to the family of the late Ambassador Augustine Mahiga as well as to the Government& people of the United Republic of Tanzania during this moment of grief. Our thoughts &prayers are with you all during these difficult times,” a message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.
President John Pombe Magufuli announced Dr Mahiga’s death, paying a tribute to him as one of Tanzania’s most hardworking diplomat who represented the country well at the international stage during his time in office.
The cause of death has not been mentioned but the government said that he fell sick at his home in the Administrative Capital of Dodoma and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in the capital following the short illness.
Dr. Mahiga’s death has been overshadowed by claims of the East African country covering up New Coronavirus death while underreporting the infections.
Dr Mahiga had served in different capacities including as the country’s permanent representative at the United Nations before occupying the two ministerial dockets. He previously served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia.
In 2015, he contested against Dr. Magufuli to be the presidential nominee for the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), a contest he lost to the incumbent.
Among those who mourned Dr Mahiga is the Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo, who described him as a “former colleague and a friend, a great son of Tanzania, Minister Augustine Mahiga has passed on; I call God’s peaceful rest on his soul, and wish serenity on his loved ones!”
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat said: “It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Tanzania’s Minister of Justice &Constitutional Affairs, Hon Augustine Mahiga. Africa has lost an accomplished diplomat + a stalwart of continental cooperation. My sincere condolences to his family, the people + Gov’t of Tanzania,” he tweeted.