RE: “Media fraternity mourns veteran journalist Kayumba” (The New Times, January 16). It is sad to learn of the demise of Casmir Kayumba. I first met him at the University of Dar es Salaam when we were both students from the late 1980s. He was taking courses combining political science and, I suspect, education while I pursued natural resource management and sustainable development matters.
Although he was a student, Kayumba was busy writing for the then newly-established newspapers in Tanzania and had a stint with Business Times, the first independent English weekly established in 1988 after nearly 30 years of state-controlled media. The late Kayumba was instrumental in nurturing various publications that were being set up in Tanzania after the liberalisation of the media, political and economic sectors.
After his studies, he kept operating from Kariakoo in Dar es Salaam where some newly-formed publications were based. I last met him in early 1994. Thereafter, he was involved in a dreadful road accident and never heard of him again — only to be told later he was back in his homeland Rwanda.
He was a charming man, a brother, and always joking but with a tinge of knowledge on the geopolitics of the region, especially the Great Lakes. His articles were great and possibly lured a number of his fellow young classmates at the time to join the media – a significant number of the 1991 and 1992 graduates did.