TANZANIA-The former Tanzania’s President Benjamin Mkapa, who served from 1995 to 2005 has died.
President John Magufuli said in a statement, that Mkapa, who was Tanzania 3rd President led several regional peace mediation efforts while still in office and afterwards, died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.
President Magufuli has declared seven days of mourning period, during which all flags in Tanzania will be flown at half-mast.
Magufuli however called on all Tanzanians to remain calm, patient and united during this difficult time of mourning.
According to the Statement the late Mkapa was aged 81 years and before he became the Tanzanian President in 1995, he served as a Ambassador, Minister and key official of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
We at The Informer Uganda, we join our brothers and sisters in Tanzania to mourn the passing on of one of East African Statesman and we say Rest in Eternal and Everlasting Peace Baba Mkapa.
WHO IS BENJAMIN MKAPA
Benjamin Mkapa was born in 1938 in Ndanda, near Masasi in southern Tanganyika.
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.
He worked as 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.
In 1995, Mkapa was elected as President based on a popular anti-corruption campaign and the strong support of former president Julius Nyerere.
Mkapa’s anti-corruption efforts included creation of an open forum called the Presidential Commission on Corruption (Warioba Commission) and increased support for the Prevention of Corruption Bureau.
Mkapa’s second five-year term of office as President ended in December 2005. During this term in office, Mkapa privatized state-owned corporations and instituted free market policies.
His supporters argued that attracting foreign investment would promote economic growth.
His policies won the support of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and resulted in the cancellation of some of Tanzania’s foreign debts.
He has been criticized for some ineffectiveness of his anti-corruption efforts as well as for his lavish spending.
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