Museveni Mourns Ex-Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa

His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has mourned the untimely demise of his colleague and friend Ex-Tanzania President His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa who passed on  Friday, July 24.

“It is with a lot of sadness that I heard of the death of our brother, H.E Benjamin Mkapa. I started working with H.E Mkapa in 1967 when we were university students and he was the chief editor of the Nationalist newspaper,” President Museveni wrote on His Facebook timeline.

“During the 1979 crisis, Ndugu Mkapa was delegated to handle the Moshi Conference that brought together the Ugandan exile groups including FRONASA. He was Foreign Affairs Minister that time. When he became President of Tanzania, we worked together to consolidate the East African Community. It is a great loss for Africa. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he added.

As it has always been the norm, the President ordered for all flags in Uganda to be put at half-mast for three days, with effect from Saturday, July 25.

Benjamin Mkapa was the third president of Tanzania and the leader of the country during a crucial period of democratic transition. Mkapa died on Friday at a hospital in the port city of Dar es Salaam. He was 81.

His death was announced by President John Magufuli. H.E Magufuli did not give a cause of death, but he declared seven days of mourning during which flags would fly at half-staff across the country.

“I will remember him for his great love for the nation, his piety, hard work and his efforts in building the economy,” President Magufuli said in a message posted on Twitter. “Certainly, the nation has lost a strong pillar,” he added.

H.E Mkapa was the president of Tanzania from November 1995 to December 2005 and was the first leader elected after the return of multiparty politics in 1992. During his tenure, H.E Mkapa played a central role in helping the country transition from a socialist system of development — popularly known as ujamaa — into a free market economy.

While in power, Mkapa overhauled the largely ineffective public sector, privatized state-owned corporations, widened the tax collection base, secured international debt relief and helped incentivize the growth of the private sector.

Our Reporter