Tanzania’s former president Benjamin Mkapa dies at 81
Tanzania’s former President Benjamin William Mkapa, aged 81, has died, President John Magufuli has announced.
Tanzania’s president John Pombe Magufuli through a national broadcast confirmed Thursday July 24 that Mkapa died at a Dar Es Salaam hospital where he was admitted.
The president further declared a seven-day national mourning period during which the national flag will be flown half-mast.
“I call on all Tanzanians to receive the news of his death and to pray for Mzee Mkapa. More information will be released but Mzee Mkapa is no more,” he said in brief television statement.
Mkapa led Tanzania from 1995 to 2005 before handing over to Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
He was born on November 12, 1938.
Mkapa is the third president of the East African nation and who led several regional peace mediation efforts in office and afterwards.
He is well remembered to be part of the team lead by the then UN secretary Koffi Annan which ended the Kenya’s post-election violence after the highly disputed December 27, 2007 elections.
The former leader also mediated talks between the Burundi government and opposition in 2016 that were aimed at ending a long political crisis.