Tanzania’s former President Benjamin William Mkapa has died. He was 81.
Mkapa’s death was announced by President John Magufuli on Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) on July 24. He said:
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I call on all Tanzanians to receive the news of his death and to pray for Mzee Mkapa. More information will be released but Mzee Mkapa is no more.
Mkapa died at Dar es Salaam Hospital where he was admitted.
He led Tanzania from 1995 to 2005 before handing over to Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Magufuli’s predecessor.
Meanwhile, Magufuli has declared a seven-day mourning period. During this time, all flags in the country will be flown at half-mast.
Tanzania has had five presidents since independence from Britain in 1964. These are Julius Nyerere (1964-1985), Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1985-1995), Benjamin Mkapa (1995 to 2005), Jakaya Kikwete (2005 to 2015), and the incumbent John Pombe Magufuli who came to power in 2015.
Tanzania is a multi-party democracy but has been ruled by Chama Cha Mapinduzi since independence.