On Saturday the 16th November, Jerry Isaac Mruma was at his element as the MC of Tanzania Night at the Panafric Hotel. At around 11.40pm, he spoke to his girlfriend telling her that he was on his way to his hostel. That was the last time anyone heard from Jerry.
CCTV footage from the hotel confirmed that he left the hotel alone and on foot around 11.10pm. The following Monday, the police had received a missing person report filled by USIU and a page was created on Facebook called ‘Find Jerry Issac’.
Sources within the search party that was mobilized to look for him say he was found dead on Monday but officially identified on Thursday. The question on everyone’s mind who knew Jerry is; why would want to harm one of the kindest, ambitious and driven students within the USIU fraternity? Was it premeditated murder or an encounter with thugs?
The Tanzanian Daily News quoted Jerry’s brother saying that the cause of the death was head injury caused by a blunt object.
“The police are still investigating to trace the people or anything that could have led to the death,” said the brother.
As the questions remain as to what resulted in his death, one thing is certain, Jerry has left an indelible mark in the hearts of people who knew him well.
Three months ago, we run a story of how 23 year old Jerry was revolutionalizing farming by creating a unique financing model he called Kilimo Yetu – an Agribond investment initiative.
“Kilimo Yetu is an alternative method of financing farmers, with our focus being on increasing the farmer’s yield and consequently, their profit. We sell Agribonds which are investment contracts that pay for the total cost of farming specific crops. One Agribond can pay interests rates of 30% to 50% p.a. and can be settled within 6 months,” explained Jerry in the interview with Crystal Olisa, one of our correspondents.
Jerry and his business partner Billy Malesi attracted the attention of key influential people who got interested in their Agribond concept. At the time of the interview, Kilimo Yetu was working on an investment plan that would see investors get 25 percent return after 6 months in the financing of a wheat farm, with a minimum investment of Sh100,000 per person.
Jerry, who was a Masters student and the graduate representative at the Student Council, inspired many students and was respected in campus and beyond. Tributes and messages of condolences flowed on facebook from fellow students and people he had interacted with.
He had moved from Tanzania to study in Kenya and saw the immense opportunities available in Kenya to grow his entrepreneurial spirit. Kilimo Yetu won second place in the NEVA Business Plan competition with a number of business gurus keen on investing in his Agribond initiative.
Rest in Peace Jerry Isaac