President Museveni has joined members of East African Community and the world at large to mourn Tanzanian former president of Benjamin Mkapa who passed away Friday aged 81.
In his statement Museveni said:”It is with a lot of sadness that I heard of the death of our brother, H.E Benjamin Mkapa. I started working with H.E Mkapa in 1967 when we were university students and he was the Chief Editor of the Nationalist newspaper,”
He said during the 1979 crisis, Mkapa was delegated to handle the Moshi Conference that brought together the Ugandan exile groups including FRONASA and he was Foreign Affairs Minister that time.
Museveni said when Mkapa became President, they worked together to consolidate the East African Community.
Museveni added that It is a great loss for Africa to lose such a great hero.
“I convey my 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 today Saturday, July 25th, at 06:00hrs,”he noted.
Benjamin Mkapa died in the early hours of Friday at Dar es Salaam hospital where he had been admitted for an undisclosed illness.
Mkapa became Tanzania’s third President following the country’s first multiparty election in 1995 and went on to lead the country until 2005.
He is credited for boosting tax collections, instituting austerity measures to curb wasteful expenditure and opening doors to foreign investors.
His reforms were welcomed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and partly resulted in the cancellation of Tanzania’s foreign debts.
His privatisation policy was however much criticised locally, and he later admitted that although he had good intentions the policy was not well executed.
The funeral ceremony will take place on 29 July, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaaliwa.