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East African Leaders Pay Glowing Tribute to Benjamin Mkapa

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Tribute from around the world continues to pour for William Benjamin Mkapa, a former president of Tanzania who died early today.

Benjamin Mkapa, who served from 1995 to 2005, as the third president of Tanzania, died in the early hours of Friday while receiving treatment at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, according to a televised address by President John Pombe Magufuli. He was 81 years old.

Regional leaders, politicians, technocrats are all eulogizing Mkapa as a man who helped to bring peace not only in the East African Region but Africa as a whole. Many say that Mkapa believed in the East African integration and the coming together of all Africans.

Among those eulogizing Mkapa is President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya who through the State House twitter handle, describes the late as an outstanding East African who worked tirelessly for the integration, peace and progress of the region.

Mkapa, Kofi Anan, Graca Machel, Kenneth Kaunda, the former president of Zambia, Joachim Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa among others formed the African Council of the Wise. These statesmen and women have helped broker peace around Africa, from South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Kenya or Burundi.

In his message, through twitter, Raila Odinga refers to Mkapa as a great friend of the Kenyan people, a Pan-Africanist, a true believer in South-South Cooperation and a global statesman.

Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye equally expressed his condolences to the passing of Mkapa. He described his demise as a great loss not only to the people of Tanzania but also to Africa as a whole.

Together with President Yoweri Museveni, and Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, Mkapa revived the East African Community on November 30, 1999, after signing the re-establishment treaty.

In 2009, Makerere awarded Mkapa an honorary Doctorate of Laws for his contribution not only to Tanzania but also to the world.

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