The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Njombe Rt. Rev. Alfred Maluma passed away on April 6 this year at the Muhimbili National Referral Hospital at the Orthopedic Institute MOI while undergoing treatment.
The tragedy has brought a blow to the Catholic Church in Tanzania and in particular the Catholic Diocese of Njombe who have lost the pastor.
Commenting on his death, the Secretary of the late Bishop Maluma Father Inocent Chaula stated that Bishop Maluma had an accident on March 20 this year in Dumila area in Morogoro region in the cetre zone of Tanzania.
The accident left him with injuries and he was taken to Morogoro Referral Hospital where doctors confirmed he had problems with his spinal cord. Bishop Maluma was referred to Muhimbili Referral Hospital at the Orthopedic Institute MOI where he underwent spinal surgery. He continued with treatment until his death April 6th , 2021.
Father Chaula said that the Njombe diocese is saddened by the death of Bishop Maluma as he was a pastor who loved his people.
“He is a shepherd who serves with love and humility and with great sacrifice for his sheep. He loved development and wanted his followers and all those of good will to receive appropriate and essential social services including electricity, water, infrastructure, education, health, spiritual services etc. That is the reason he started various projects in his diocese where Catholic and non-Catholic believers were enjoying his pastoral care, ”explained Father Chaula.
He had electricity project which supplied electricity in Njombe rural area for poor people. He established water project and the diocese own Kipengere water that is being supplied in several areas in Tanzania. The diocese owns several schools, hospital and health centers and many other projects.
He also mentioned the philosophy that guided Bishop Maluma to fulfill his responsibilities saying it is ‘Serving with sacrifice and love’ and he really sacrificed and served with love specially to promote faith and ensure believers and citizens in his diocese receive essential social services for a better life so that they can gain strength and a desire to grow in faith and love for God.
For his part, the Secretary General of TEC Father Dr. Charles Kitima explained to Bishop Maluma that in addition to his pastoral work he had a dream of seeing TEC and its institutions have a new investment model to enable TEC institutions to have their own resources.
He added that Bishop Maluma’s dream was to see that TEC supports its states and institutions so that they can run and run their own projects without help.
“He wanted us to make a clean investment in productive investments so that they can help run the activities of the Church as well as help the poor. That is why even if you go to his diocese he was able to start big projects such as tea plantations, sugarcane, water factory, despite the challenges he faced. My opinion is that the dream must be maintained, ”said Father Kitima.
Bishop Eusebius Nzigilwa OF Mpanda Catholic Diocese has said that the death of Bishop Alfred Maluma of Njombe Catholic Diocese on April 6, 2021 is a blow to the in Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) as he volunteered for missions in various TEC institutions and especially for be willing to give the priests of his diocese to go and do missions in those institutions.
Bishop Nzigilwa has said that he will remember Bishop Maluma for his willingness to support TEC institutions with ideas and for providing them with executives from his diocese. This leaves a gap for TEC.
“For our part, the Catholic Diocese of Mpanda has had a great friendship with the Diocese of Njombe through Bishop Maluma and through that friendship he was able to bring two priests who are doing the mission here to us. In addition, we have the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Agnes who came out of Mt. Gertrude Imiliwaha Njombe Diocese, and they are doing a mission here and the sisters serve even the Bishop’s house from Njombe,” he explained.
The President of the United Republic of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan has offered his condolences to Catholic Church in Tanzania following the death of Bishop Maluma where through his Twitter page. President Samia said that the late Bishop Maluma was a good man, a lover of development and ready to cooperate with the government. .
“I am saddened by the news of the death of the Bishop of Njombe Catholic Diocese, Rt. Rev Alfred Maluma. He was a good man, a lover of development and willing to cooperate with the Government at all times. I apologize to all Catholics in Tanzania especially in Njombe and all those affected by this death, ”said President Samia via his twitter page.
A Mass of farewell for the late Bishop Maluma will be held on April 12 at the Church of Immaculate Conception at Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Kurasini Dar es salaam, from 8:00 am. The funeral will be held on April 13, Tuesday, from 10:00 am in Njombe Cathedral .
The late Bishop Alfred Leonhard Maluma was born on December 12, 1955 in Lukani. On November 17, 1985 he was ordained a priest. On June 8, 2002, St. John Paul II appointed him Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Njombe and was finally ordained on September 1, 2002 by His Eminence Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop Emeritus of the Dar es Salaam archdiocese. As a local Bishop, he has taught, guided and sanctified God’s people for 18 years.