DAR ES SALAAM —Tanzania
By Victor Were Maumo
Tanzania’s former President Benjamin Mkapa, who served from 1995 to 2005, died in the early hours of Friday, President John Magufuli said in a statement.He passed away at Muhimbili National Hospital
Mkapa, the East African nation’s third president who led several regional peace mediation efforts in office and afterwards, died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Magufuli said, without giving more details.
He declared a seven day mourning period, during which all flags will be flown at half-mast.
“Magufuli asks all Tanzanians to remain calm, patient and united during this difficult time,” a statement from his office said.
Mkapa, 81, also served as an ambassador, minister and key official of the ruling CCM party, Magufuli said.
Born on 12 November 1938, Mkapa has left wife Mama Anna Mkapa and 3 children.He graduated from Makerere University in Uganda in 1962 with a degree in English. He also attended Columbia University in 1963 and was awarded a master’s degree in international affairs. Previous posts include being an administrative officer in Dodoma and the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. He also had the chance to lead the Tanzanian mission to Canada in the year 1982 and to the United States Of America from 1983 to 1984. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1990.
He served as a Trustee of the Aga Khan University from November 2007 until 2012 and also got an Honorary degree from Kenyatta University.
He was part of the mediation team in 2008 that helped Kenya secure a power-sharing agreement between President Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.
Violence erupted after the December 27, 2007 elections where the incumbent, Mr Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU), was declared winner of the presidential vote, results disputed by Mr Odinga and many other observers.
- Benjamini Mkapa hall in Mbeya city located in Sokomatola street.
- Benjamini Mkapa road in Zanzibar, connecting Mtoni kidatu area to Abeid Aman Karume Airport via Daraja Bovu
- Mkapa Bridge, the longest bridge in the country (970 metres)
- Benjamin William Mkapa Pension Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the country
- Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone
- Mererani B W Mkapa Secondary School in Manyara Region
- Benjamin William Mkapa High School (kariakoo) in Dar es Salaam
- Benjamin Mkapa Hospital located at Dodoma, is the referral or VIP hospital