Rodia Sambulika (L) and Rehema Kigobe, Nemes Tarimo’s relatives, wait for word that his body has returned.
Nemes Tarimo, 33, had a strong reason for joining the Russian troops in Ukraine, despite the advice of his family in Tanzania.
It had been three weeks since his family members receive the information that verified their darkest suspicions. He had lost the battle.
As they wait for word on when his remains might return, everyone at the family’s Dar es Salaam house appears worn out.
The delay is wearing on us.
There are roughly 15 individuals living in the compound, and family members constantly go in and out to inquire about any changes.
One claims that they last heard from him in October when he claimed to have decided to join the Wagner Russian mercenary outfit.
The family member, who wished to remain unnamed, told the BBC, “Nemes informed several other family members and me about joining Wagner, and we persuaded him not to.
But there was an offer that was difficult for the young guy to refuse. Relatives characterized him as being courteous, fearful of God, and supportive.
According to the family, Tarimo had attended the Russian Technological University in Moscow to pursue an ICT master’s degree. Tarimo had aspirations to join the opposition Chadema party as an MP. He was eventually sent behind bars sometime after January 2021 for drug-related offenses.
Tarimo was offer a choice between signing up, receiving a pardon, and remaining in prison last year.
“He indicated he would join to free himself,” the relative claims.
This incident is similar to Lemekhani Nyirenda, a 23-year-old student from Zambia who died last year after a struggle with Wagner and had also been imprisoned in Russia.
Zambia’s Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo notified the legislature that he had learned about the possibility of pardoning inmates in exchange for their consent to engage in combat.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, was shown in a leak video from last September describing the fighting’s rules, which include no deserting or having sex with Ukrainian women and giving the inmates five minutes to decide whether they want to sign up.
The family of Tarimo has learned that he passed away at the end of October while Wagner and he was on a combat operation in Ukraine.
“We last communicate with him on October 17, when he was already a member of Wagner.
“We then received information about his death in December from his pals,” which was cause by Ukrainian artillery fire, per media reports.
A video said to be of Tarimo’s memorial service held in a chapel in the town of Goryachiy Klyuch was uploade by the Federal News Agency, a Russian broadcaster Mr. Prigozhin employed to enhance the reputation of his company. It stated that he had passed away on October 24 close to Bakhmut, the scene of fierce combat recently.
Russian state-owned news outlet Ria Novosti spoke with a man who claimed to have battled alongside Tarimo. According to him, the Tanzanian perished while attempting to save a wounded soldier.
According to the Federal News Agency, the Wagner Group presented Tarimo with a posthumous medal “for courage.”
Family members have contacted the Tanzanian embassy in Moscow, but the Tanzanian government, which has refrained from openly commenting on the war in Ukraine, has not yet responded.
The family wishes to bury Tarimo in their Southern Highlands community, but for the time being, they must wait.
We don’t want to assume that he is dead before we see the body, a relative says.
Rodia Sambulika, his aunt, continues: “We mourn the death of our son. Although we still don’t know when the corpse will appear, we have been prepare to accept it and bury him for a week.”