Late Tanzanian Bishop Eulogized as Progressive Leader, Champion of Collaboration

Late Bishop Alfred Leonhard Maluma of Tanzania's Njombe Diocese who died on 6 April 2021 aged 65.

The leadership and people of God in Tanzania are paying glowing tribute to late Bishop Alfred Leonhard Maluma, the country’s President describing him as a progressive Church leader who championed collaboration.

Bishop Maluma who was at the helm of Tanzania’s Njombe Diocese since his episcopal ordination in September 2002 passed on Tuesday, April 6, at the age of 65.

In his April 6 statement, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Njombe made public the death of the Tanzanian Bishop stating, “Rev. Fr. Justin Sapula of the Catholic Diocese of Njombe is sad to announce the death of Rt. Rev. Bishop Alfred Leonhard Maluma of the Catholic Diocese of Njombe which occurred at 6.40 on the night of 06/04/2021 at the Muhimbili National Referral Hospital.” 

In her April 6 Tweet, Tanzania’s President Samia Saluhu Hassan says she is “saddened” by the news of the Bishop’s death whom she knew as “a good person, and a progressive leader who always championed collaboration with the government.”

In the Tweet, the Head of State who took the reins of the East African nation following the death of President John Pombe Magufuli last month expresses her condolences to “all Catholics in the Diocese of Njombe and all those affected by this tragedy.” 


The officials of Tanzania’s Mkombozi Commercial Bank remembers the late Bishop Maluma for “his immense contribution to ensuring that the Bank remains stable and for his tremendous contribution to the Church and the community.” 

In their April 6 Facebook message, the officials of the Tanzanian financial institution “join all the faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Njombe and the Catholic Church in Tanzania as a whole to mourn the death of Bishop Alfred Leonhard Maluma.”

In a Tweet, Tanzania’s new Vice President, Dr. Philip Mpango, says, “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Amen.” 

The Vice President implores in his April 6 Tweet, “May our God be a great comfort to all who have been affected by this tragedy in one way or another.”

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In a Wednesday, April 7 message posted on Facebook, the leadership of the Nairobi-based Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) Secretariat pray for the repose of the soul of the late Bishop.

“Bishop Maluma has done his part and has finished the race. Rest in Peace Bishop,” the leadership of AMECEA Secretariat says, adding in reference to the people of God in Tanzania, “May you have courage in the Lord.”

Born in December 1955 in the Diocese of Njombe, the late Bishop Maluma was ordained a Priest for the same episcopal see in November 1985. 

Pope John Paul II appointed him as the Local Ordinary of Njombe, succeeding the late Bishop Raymond Mwanyika who resigned in June 2002 at the age of 72.

Funeral and burial arrangements for late Bishop Maluma are ongoing, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Njombe says in his April 6 statement, adding that details of the programs will be communicated “in due course.”


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.