President Kenyatta, Kibaki, Raila mourn Tanzania’s Benjamin Mkapa


President Kenyatta, Kibaki, Raila mourn Tanzania's Benjamin Mkapa
FILE PHOTO: Tanzania's former President Benjamin Mkapa (R) speaks with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti during a meeting in Khartoum October 11, 2010.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has led Kenyans in expressing condolences following the death of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.

In his message, President Kenyatta described Mkapa as an outstanding East African “who worked tirelessly for the integration, peace and progress of the region.”

Retired President Mwai Kibaki said the departed Tanzania leader distinguished himself as one of the most reputable peace brokers in the region.

“A revolutionary at heart whose efforts to deregulate Tanzania’s economy marked the beginning of a new dawn in his country, the late Mkapa—a close ally of Tanzania’s founding President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere—distinguished
himself as one of the most reputable peace brokers in the region.

“In hisretirement, Benjamin Mkapa, at some point or other, mediated peace talks in South Sudan, the DRC Congo, Zimbabwe, Burundi and Kenya. He, no doubt, valued and worked towards a more tranquil Africa,” said Kibaki in his condolence message.

ODM Party leader Raila Odinga mourned Mkapa as a great friend of the Kenyan people, a pan-Africanist, a true believer in South-South Cooperation and a global statesman.

“Mkapa believed in Regional Integration and championed the revival of the East Africa Community. In his death, Africa has lost a giant,” said Odinga.

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.

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.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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