Popular Tanzanian Reverend Dies in Car Crash

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One of Tanzania’s most popular opposition members, Reverend Christopher Mtikila, has died in a car crash.

The outspoken politician had a reputation for voicing his opinions and using the courts to tackle various constitutional issues over the years. Rev Mtikila died early Sunday morning, while travelling to Dar es Salaam from Njombe. Three other people were injured in the crash.

 

Reckless driving

Fellow reverend, Rev Mgaya, told reporters the accident was caused by the driver’s excessive speed – despite warnings from Mtikila to drive more carefully. Police also confirmed speeding was the cause of the accident and an investigation is underway.

Rev Mgaya and two others were also injured in the accident, who have been receiving treatment in Tumbi Hopsital. The body of Rev Mtikila is also being preserved at the hospital, pending burial agreements by the reverend’s family.

 

Popular figure

Public reaction has been strong following the news of Mtikila’s death. The 65-year-old was branded controversial by some, but his supporters viewed him as a political icon. In 2013, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled in favour of Mtikila, against the United Republic of Tanzania, in a landmark decision that will allow private candidates in the country’s electoral process.

The politician was famed for his courtroom antics and became known by many as an outspoken voice of democracy in Tanzania.

“Mtikila will be missed by democracy lovers in Tanzania and beyond our borders because of his charisma and unswerving commitment to the relentless fight for the welfare of all our people,” opposition CCK chairman Constantine Akitanda said.

The death of Mtikila has left numerous political figures and the general public mourning the loss of a politician who often divided opinion, but left nobody doubting his devotion to democracy and development in Tanzania.

 

Featured image:

Dar es Salaam Tanzania Samora Avenue around Daily News office” by I, Tnaleo. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.