Gone With The Wind

February 18, 2012 by staff 

Gone With The Wind, Dar es Salaam. The family of the late Special Seats MP (Chadema), Regia Mtema, will hold an important meeting in the next few days to respond to questions that have emerged since her untimely death in January. The youthful legislator apparently had secret plans that the family knew little about. They now want to find out what they were and possibly bring some of them to fruition.

Ms Mtema died on January 14 in a freak accident in Ruvu, along the Dar es Salaam-Chalinze highway, and was buried four days later. She was 32. The family is preparing to hold special prayers for her at their Kilombero home in early March. Her father, Mr Estelatus Mtema, told The Citizen on Saturday that a clan meeting is also on the cards. The agenda will be to try to check out her plans and dreams and see whether they could take them up.
Top of the list is likely to be the fate of scores of orphans and other disadvantaged children she had taken under her wings soon after her 2010 appointment as special seats MP through the opposition Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema).

Of particular interest will be four youngsters, two boys and two girls, who were living with her at her newly-built home in the Mbezi-Makabe area of Dar es Salaam.Three of them, including one who has a baby, continue to live in the house. The other is still in hospital nursing serious injuries suffered in the accident.

In a recent interview with The Citizen on Saturday, they spoke of the pain of losing their “mother and keeper”. On the day the MP died, they had been eagerly awaiting her return because she had promised to reveal her plans for them. As it turned out, she carried those secret plans to the grave.

The children are now living in fear of what the future holds without Ms Mtema, whose love and passion for the underprivileged held out the hope that they could turn their lives around.According to Mr Mtema, the family has since heard from more dependants in other parts of the country. He describes his daughter as a reserved and kind person.

Fondly referred to as Dotto, she had established Kilombero 4 Change (K4C) to help people living in difficult circumstances. “We were not aware of all these,” he told The Citizen on Saturday at his residence in Tabata Chang’ombe. “It came to light during her funeral in Ifakara.”

The family learnt that Regia was also taking care of 80 children in Kilombero. There were several other beneficiaries of her generosity in Bukoba. “As I told you, our late daughter was reserved and kept many things to herself,” Mr Mtema said. “But I’m sure we will pick up from where she left off.”

During the March meeting, the clan will deliberate on the legacies and missions of the late MP.
At the Mbezi-Makabe home, three of the “orphans”-Rogers Abdallah, 23, Augenia Kaboko, 22, and Francis Kihaule, 25-detailed how they met Ms Mtema, who took them in as complete strangers. They also recalled the memorable times spent with their benefactor and her plans for them.

When Abdallah expressed his wish to go back to school, he recalls, the MP replied that she would reveal her own plans for each of them the following day. “But it would not be, because she died a few hours later.”

The young man, who met Regia in Morogoro when he volunteered as an agent during her election campaigns in 2010, says he was struck by her compassion and love for the less unfortunate. “Had I possessed the powers of nature,” Abdallah says, tears welling in his eyes, “I would have prevented the MP from travelling on the fateful day. I have no one to turn to now.”

Abadallah had just completed his Form Four studies when they met and was waiting for his national examination results. He did not pass but, as luck would have it, he bumped into the MP during New Year festivities. “She asked me if I wanted to go and stay with her she said she did not mind.”

The night before her death, they played cards and everyone in the house was in high spirits. “If I could only turn back the hands of time,” he adds, “I would have stopped her from leaving the house that morning.”
He was in the accident too but escaped with minor injuries.

Rogers adds that Regia’s death was a big blow not only to her family, but to the people she came into contact with. All that her beneficiaries do now is keep their fingers crossed, hoping that life will continue to be kind to them.
Abandoned by her husband, 22-year-old Kaboko had nothing other than her two-year-old son and had to resort to roaming the streets in Tabata Chang’ombe begging for alms.

Ms Kaboko met Ms Mtema when the MP was visiting her parents in Tabata. “A first glance spoke volumes of the compassion she was bestowed with,” she says.

After she told her of her ordeal, the MP became sympathetic and took Ms Kaboko in. “Even when she hosted me, Regia promised to do all it would take to help me stand on my own feet,” says Ms Kaboko.
She had lived with the MP since November last year and says she felt special sharing the same table with the legislator, whose demise was just too shocking to her. “Regia was a kind hearted woman,” she recalls. “She was never too busy to attend to our needs and she would always sit down with us and share life lessons.”

According to Ms Kaboko, the late Regia left a big vacuum in her life. “Her death has robbed us of the promise she held out to us and we will surely miss a special person that had breathed a new lease of life into us.”

For Kihaule, his dream of becoming a musician may have now died with the MP. He says the MP was always ready to sacrifice her comfort for the sake of the needy. He was abandoned by relatives when his mother passed away and said he was shocked when Regia asked him to join her at Mbezi-Makabe. “She was not just like any other person and there was no politics in Regia’s character,” he recalls.

He met her in Kilombero and told her of his predicament and Regia agreed to support him on her return from the fateful Morogoro trip. “All our dreams have gone with the wind, we are only now counting on her family’s decision I hope they will live up to Regia’s legacy.”

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