VICE President Kembo Mohadi left the country early morning yesterday to attend the burial of former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa as the country joined the continent in bidding farewell to one of Africa’s finest sons.
Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet who is also Presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba confirmed VP Mohadi’s one-day visit to Tanzania.
“As you are aware that the late former Tanzanian president Mr Mkapa was the Foreign Affairs Minister during the critical stage of the struggle of Zimbabwe. He played a major role in supporting the Zimbabwean Government during the land reform exercise.
“Apart from being an elder statesman, he had that very distinguished revolutionary career, which made him virtually a citizen of SADC not of Tanzania.
“All the liberation movements came under his purview when he was Foreign Affairs Minister under the leadership of the founding President of Tanzania Julius Nyerere. Really we couldn’t imagine any other level of representation in short of a Vice President.
“So VP Mohadi went to Tanzania early morning yesterday to be in time for the commencement of the funeral proceedings which started around 10am Tanzanian time,” said Mr Charamba.
Vice President Mohadi returned home yesterday after President Mkapa’s burial.
Meanwhile, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga was sent by President Mnangagwa to sign a condolence book at the Tanzanian Embassy in Harare yesterday.
In a letter to his Tanzanian counterpart President John Magufuli, the President saluted the late president for his peace-building efforts not only in the East African region, but across the continent.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Zimbabwe, and indeed on my own behalf, I convey our deepest condolences to you, and through you, to the family and to the people of the United Republic of Tanzania, on the death of the former president of United Republic of Tanzania, Mzee Benjamin William Mkapa, on 23 July 2020,” read the letter in part.
Born on November 12, 1938, Mr Mkapa became Tanzania’s president in 1995 and served until 2005 before handing over to President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
Upon his retirement, he was part of various peace missions across the continent, including the mediation team that helped resolve Kenya’s post-election conflict in 2008.
The third President of independent Tanzania played a crucial role in leading peace initiatives in the Great Lakes region.