Dar es Salaam. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation Dr Stergomena Tax said that the body of Nemes Tarimo (33), a Tanzanian who was killed fighting for Russia in the ongoing war in Ukraine, has left Russia in the morning hours and is expected to arrive in Tanzania any time from now.
The Minister’s statement has come a few days after The Chanzo and other media outlets in the country reported the call made by the Nemes Tarimo family that they are waiting for the Government’s statement to know exactly when they will receive the body of their loved one.
Speaking to journalists today, January 24th, 2023, Dr Tax has explained that the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has been in contact with the Government of Russia Federation for the handing over of Nemes’ body.
“The Ministry has continued to communicate with the Russian Government to ensure that the body of the deceased is returned to Tanzania, handed over to his family,” said Dr Tax.
She added “The body left Russia this morning [January 24, 2023] so we expect it to arrive any time from now.”
Sentenced to seven years in prison
According to Dr Tax, Nemes Tarimo went to Russia in 2020 to study Masters of Business Informatics at Russian Technological University (MIREA) and in March 2022, he was sentenced to seven years to prison for a crime.
While in Prison Nemes was recruited by the Wagner Group, a private army company fighting for Russia in the deadliest war in Ukraine for the promise of being pardoned after serving the war.
“Mr Tarimo was offered a chance to join a Russian military group called Wagner with the promise of money [and] the promise of being pardoned after completing his military service” said Dr Tax.
He died on October 24, 2022 fighting in Bakhmut town in Ukraine, a war zone with the deadliest fight between Russian forces and Ukraine fighters since last year.
Tarimo is the second known African to die fighting for the Russians in their ongoing war with Ukraine. The first African was the Zambian student Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda.
While Nyirenda’s body was brought to Zambia in December 2022, South African outlet The Continent, have reported that Nyirenda family is in doubt if remains brought back are really his, the DNA test was inconclusive.
Illegal for a Tanzanian to be listed in foreign armies
During the press conference, Dr Tax used the opportunity to remind all Tanzania citizens living inside and outside the country that according to the Tanzania statute, it is illegal for a Tanzanian to join a foreign army.
She has asked Tanzanians to respect the rules enshrined by the constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
“I want to remind you that according to the laws of our country, Tanzanians are not allowed to join the army of any other country. If you do that, you are breaking the laws of your country. ” warned Dr Tax.
“You are only allowed to be enrolled in our army according to the established rules in the country, the constitution is clear that a Tanzanian cannot serve in the army of another country,” explained Dr Tax.
Lukelo Francis is The Chanzo Journalist based in Dar es Salaam. He can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org .