Edward Sokoine

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Edward Sokoine
2nd Prime Minister of Tanzania
In office
13 February 1977 – 7 November 1980
PresidentJulius Nyerere
Preceded byRashidi Kawawa
Succeeded byCleopa Msuya
In office
23 February 1983 – 12 April 1984
Preceded byCleopa Msuya
Succeeded bySalim Ahmed Salim
Personal details
Born1 August 1938[1]
Monduli, Tanganyika
Died12 April 1984(1984-04-12) (aged 45)
Political partyCCM
Other political
Tanganyika African National Union

Edward Moringe Sokoine (1 August 1938 – 12 April 1984) was a two-term Prime Minister of Tanzania serving from 13 February 1977 to 7 November 1980 and again from 24 February 1983 to 12 April 1984.

Edward Moringe Sokoine had a developmental conception of the village. Sokoine saw the village as a harbinger of self-reliant, national development and the peasant as an agency of change. He was a person of unimpeachable personal integrity.

Life and career[edit]

In 1938, Sokoine was born in Monduli, Arusha Region, Tanzania. From 1948 to 1958, he had his Primary and Secondary Education in the towns of Monduli and Umbwe. In 1961, he joined the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), after he took studies in administration in the Federal Republic of Germany (1962–1963). When he returned from Germany, he became District Executive Officer of the Masai District, then he was elected to the National Assembly for the Masai Constituency. In 1967 he became Deputy Minister of Communication, Transportation and Labour. The next step in his career was the promotion to the Minister of State in 1970. In 1972, he switched to the post of the Minister of Defence and National Service of Tanzania. In 1975, he was elected to the National Assembly again, this time for Monduli. Two years later, he became a member of the Central Committee of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). In the same year (1977) began his first term in office as Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania. This term lasted till 1981. After a year-long break, he became Prime Minister again in 1983. He stayed just one year in office, till his death in April 1984, in a car accident.

There is a university in Morogoro, Tanzania, named after him. Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) began in 1964 as an agricultural college offering diploma in agriculture. It was elevated to a faculty of agriculture in 1969 under the University of Dar es Salaam.


Sokoine died on 12 April 1984 at the age of 45 in Morogoro when his car collided with another vehicle on the road from Dodoma to Dar es Salaam. His assistant was seriously injured and his driver suffered a broken leg. Sokoine was the most likely successor to Julius Nyerere as the president of Tanzania after, Nyerere declared his intentions to retire in 1985.[2]

Sokoine's body was flown to Dar es Salaam and brought to the State House. The Nyerere family was drastically shaken by the incident and ordered to have a grand funeral. The body was on display for public viewing at Karimjee Hall for a day. This was the largest funeral Tanzania had ever hosted and the government was overwhelmed by the number of mourners present. His body was later flown to Arusha for a proper funeral.[3]

Conspiracy theories[edit]

There were many conspiracy theories that were floated with regards to the death of Sokoine. Many people were in shock by the death of the prime minister and considered his death was foul play due to the lack of investigation into his death. The timing of the death raised many eyebrows within the community as he was destined to become the next president after Nyerere's retirement just one year after his death. People believe, that corrupt officials in the government plotted his death to avoid trial once he assumed office. Often roads are cleared for high level officials on the road and many see the fact that there was an oncoming vehicle on the road as an anomaly. Though the chance of foul play was out ruled in the case, the lack of further investigation with the government authorities has just fueled further conspiracy theories.[4]




  1. ^ Edward Moringe Sokoine - B. S. Swebe - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-01-10 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Reuters (1984-04-13). "TANZANIAN PREMIER IS KILLED; WAS LEADER'S HEIR APPARENT". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  3. ^ "SPECIAL REPORT: The life and times of Edward Sokoine: man of action". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  4. ^ "Foul play tales on Sokoine's death". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Sokoine University of Agriculture". www.suanet.ac.tz. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
Preceded by
Rashidi Kawawa
Prime Minister of Tanzania
Succeeded by
Cleopa David Msuya
Preceded by
Cleopa David Msuya
Prime Minister of Tanzania
Succeeded by
Salim Ahmed Salim