Dar es Salaam. The body of Nemes Tarimo, the Tanzanian national who died in Ukraine fighting for the Russians, was on Saturday buried in his home village of Kisyeto, in Mbeya, a region located in the South West of Tanzania.
Tarimo’s body which was buried in a closed casket ceremony arrived in Tanzania on January 26, 2023, where it was received by his relatives before being sent to the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) to be preserved.
Tarimo’s body arrived two days after the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation Dr Stergomena Tax said in a press conference on January 23, 2023, that the body had already left Russia and is expected to arrive in the country at any time.
“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. “The body left Russia this morning [January 24, 2023,] so we expect it to arrive any time from now.”
The function to pay last respect to Tarimo’s body took place at his home in Mbezi kwa Mzungu, Dar es Salaam before it was transported to Mbeya for burial.
Nemes Tarimo, 33, was reportedly killed on October 24, 2022, in Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine where fighting has intensified since last year between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian Armed Forces.
According to reports, Tarimo was recruited in the war by the Wagner Group, a Russian private mercenary organization that is heavily involved in the war in Ukraine.
Reports indicate that the Wagner Group recruited Tarimo from prison.
Tarimo was in Russia studying at the MIREA — Russian Technological University, an opportunity he received under an exchange program after finishing college in 2016 in Tanzania.
Reports further indicate that apart from studying, Nemes was also working part-time in the packaging industry in Russia to cushion himself against the high cost of living in the largest country in the world.
The circumstances that led to the death of the Tanzanian national shocked a number of people, with the chairperson of opposition party Civic United Front (CUF) Prof Ibrahim Lipumba demanding Russia to stop using Africans in its war with Ukraine.
“Our government must investigate if there are other Tanzanian nationals being used by Russia in its ongoing war with Ukraine,” Prof Lipumba told a press conference in Dar es Salaam on January 26, 2023. “Our government must warn Russia against using our people in its war.”
The Russian Embassy in Dar es Salaam is yet to comment on the matter.
Tarimo becomes the second known African person to die fighting for the Russians in their ongoing war with Ukraine.
In September 2022, reports emerged that a Zambian national, Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, 23, had died in Ukraine amidst fighting.