Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Inheritance among the Zanaki

Traditionally, it was the nephew who inherited the property of a deceased uncle.

The rationale, a cynical one, was that an individual is certain that, with his nephew, there is certain consanguinity, a fact that is not always certain with the children born of his wife or wives. One assumes that it was taken for granted that the deceased's sister was actually his sister otherwise the inheritance would actually end up with an individual or individuals who were not related to the deceased.

It is a tradition that is dying.

When Chief Nyerere Burito died on 30th March 1942, all his property was inherited with some exceptions. In those days, wives were also inherited. His 22 wives were inherited except for the fifth, Mgaya wa Nyang'ombe, the mother of Tanzania's founding president, Julius Kambarage Nyerere. Mwalimu Nyerere refused that her mother should be inherited and she went to live with her relatives at Muryaza, a village near Butiama.

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