President Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa and declared three days of national mourning for the ex-leader. Mkapa died at the age of 81 in a Dar es Salaam hospital.
“It is with a lot of sadness that I heard of the death of our brother, H.E Benjamin Mkapa. I started working with Mkapa in 1967 when we were university students and he was the chief editor of the Nationalist newspaper.” Museveni said
When he became President of Tanzania, they worked together to consolidate the East African Community. “It is a great loss for Africa. May his soul rest in eternal peace”
Museveni conveyed condolences and those of the People of Uganda to Anne, the children and the people of Tanzania. “The flags in Uganda will fly at half-mast for three days, starting tomorrow, Saturday, July 25th, at 0600hrs (Saa kumi nambili).” He said
Mr Mkapa led Tanzania from 1995 to 2005 before handing over to Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
The former president is known for leading several peace mediation efforts in the region, including taking part in Kenya’s post-election conciliation exercise in 2008 and Burundi.
He was part of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which ended the post-election violence after the highly disputed December 27, 2007 elections.
Mr Mkapa also mediated talks between the Burundi government and opposition in 2016 that were aimed at ending a long political crisis.