Parmukh Singh Hoogan is the only Sikh Member of Parliament in Tanzania

During July and August 2009, I visited Tanzania along with my family to attend a Sikh wedding.

During July and August 2009, I visited Tanzania along with my family to attend a Sikh wedding. Where we enjoyed the beautiful weather and the hospitality of Tanzanian people, we also had the opportunity to meet our cousin Mr. Parmukh Singh Hoogan for the first time, who is the only Sikh Member of Parliament in Tanzania.

When I told him that I was a member of the local Conservative party in my own town in the UK and had contested in local elections, he took special interest in me and asked so many questions about politics in the UK and policies of various political parties.

We were very eager to know about his rise to this prestigious status because our families had no contact with each other for decades. We had some background knowledge that as early as 1935 his maternal grandfather arrived in Tanzania as a qualified architect. Then more family members followed him.

Parmukh Singh told us that all family members worked very hard and had settled well in Tanzania. He also told us that his late father Mr. Gurmukh Singh Marwaha was a police officer in Tanzania but later he moved to the UK and worked as an Immigration Adviser for an institution called UKIAS situated in Birmingham.

I asked him how he entered the Tanzanian politics?  He replied, “I was running my motor garage business. On Zanzibar Island, where I live, we are the only Sikh family, the rest of the population is mixed with majority of Muslims. The whole community approached me to represent them in the Parliament.  I agreed and wound up my business and took up politics as a full time profession. I won the first election with landslide victory. Since 2000 I have been serving my constituency of Kikwajuni representing CCM Party which is ruling the country at present, and I am planning for my third term for which the elections will be held in October 2010”.

Mr. Parmukh Singh was a member of Anti Racist Committee which represented Tanzania in South Africa on the issue of racism.

He invited us to visit the Tanzanian Parliament at Dodoma, which was a great honour for us. We accepted his invitation. On the given day he took us to visit the Parliament. We were welcomed by the Speaker and honoured by the House.

We were quite impressed when we saw the House proceedings were being conducted in the local language of Kiswahili.  Parmukh Singh told us that the House has 325 MPs and President has the power not the Prime Minister contrary to many other countries like England and India.

Mr. Parmukh Singh will visit the UK soon after the elections there in October 2010. We wish him every success and look forward to his visit to the UK.

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