Goodbye Dr. William Ferdinand Shija (By Prosper Minja, Parliament of Tanzania)
October 4th, 2014 the international community of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) lost its great leader. The first black African, Dr. William Ferdinand Shija, a Tanzania by origin, became the CPA Secretary General in 2007, almost a century after the inception of the Association which was established in 1911. The prostate cancer took away his life. To the eyes of human being Dr. Shija is gone, but in the hearts of the committed CPA members he will never go away.
Born in 1947, Dr. Shija studied widely in Tanzania, in India, in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America and worked in various capacities. He worked as a lecturer in various institutions in Tanzania before he became a Member of Parliament. In that capacity he was appointed a minister in various ministries including the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Higher Learning to mention but a few.
Aspirations to serve his community and beyond took Dr. Shija to higher levels and contested for the CPA highest position of which he land-markedly won twice. The CPA community in the Indian region, the Africa region, the Caribbean and Pacific region, Canada and the rest of the CPA world accepted him as the leader who gave the CPA face and direction in terms of leadership, unity and financial base. The solid seven years of his service will go down to history.
Survived by a widow, Mama Getrude Shija, and five children, the remains of the humble man were brought to Tanzania on October 11. The following day the body of the late Dr. Shija received a national funeral ceremony both in Dar es Salaam and in Mwanza, Sengerema at Nyakomba village where he was laid to eternal rest on 13th of October, 2014.
Thanks to the CPA fraternity world wide for the condolences, comfort and unity shown during the sad and untimely demise of this great son of Africa.
The mourners comfort the widow, Mama Getrude Shija as the body arrived in Dar es Salaam
|People are crying|
|Sargent-at-arms carrying the coffin containing the body of the late Dr. Shija|
|Government officials receiving the body at the Julius Nyerere International Airport as it arrives from the UK|
|Mourners at the home of the late Dr. Shija, Kibamba - Dar es Salaam|
|The family of the late Dr. Shija standing in disbelief
|His daughter in great sorrow|
|The President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete comforts the widow, Mama Getrude Shija, and the family as he just paid his last respect to the body of the late Dr. Shija|
|The Speaker of the Tanzania National Assembly
and the President of CPA Africa region Rt. Hon. Anne Semamba Makinda pays last
respect to the body of the late Dr. Shija
|Dr. Thomas Kashilila, Clerk of the Tanzania National Assembly comforts the family|
|Representative from South Africa|
|Former Prime Minister Hon. Edward Ngoyae Lowassa|
|CPA Chairperson Tanzania Branch, Hon. Mussa Zungu|
|The five children of the late Dr Shija giving a testimony of their beloved daddy.|
|Opposition representative Hon. John John Mnyika|
|CPA representative (South Africa)|
|Handling of the condolence book|
|Rt. Hon Speaker Makinda|
|Journey to Sengerema, Mwanza|
|Deputy Speaker Hon. Job Ndugai receives the widow in Mwanza Airport|
|A cross-section of mourners during the holy mass|
|The arrival of the Kenyan representatives led by Senator Moses Wetangula|
|The widow's last respects|
|Senator Wetangula greets the family|
Lordship Bishop Renatus Nkwande (Roman Catholic) leads the congregation of
clergy and the faithful during holy
Mass prayer for the soul of the late Dr. Willian Shija at
Nyakomba village in Sengema.
|Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania entombs the earth as a sign of goodbye|
|Hon. Zitto Zuber Kabwe lays a wreath on the grave|