TRIBUTE BY: HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN-CHIEF- OF THE KENYA DEFENCE FORCES

DATE:  24TH JULY, 2020

My fellow Countrymen and to the People of East Africa,

Today, the People of Kenya, East Africa, Africa and the entire World share with the People of Tanzania deep sorrow following the sudden demise of His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa; the Third President of the United Republic of Tanzania, which occurred early this morning, 24th July, 2020.

On behalf of the Government and the People of the Republic of Kenya, and on my own behalf and that of my family, I convey heartfelt condolences to His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mama Anna Mkapa and the entire Mkapa Family, the friends and associates of the deceased former President, and to the great People of Tanzania. We stand with them during this difficult time of loss and mourning of a great Statesman.

The People of Tanzania have lost a brilliant public servant who dedicated his entire adult life serving his beloved nation with honour, dignity and excellence.  The People of Kenya have lost a close friend and brother, who stood with Kenya during some of our darkest hours.  East Africa has lost a founding father of the East African Community, and the Continent of Africa has lost a dedicated Pan-Africanist who shaped the destiny of the Continent as President and even after leaving Office.

Our World has lost a shining example of the best of humanity; a peacemaker, a builder of bridges between peoples, a tireless advocate for equality and justice, and a leader admired across the globe.

While we mourn his loss, the late President Benjamin William Mkapa lives on in our fond memories of him, in his works, in his achievements, and in his unrivalled regional, continental, and global legacy.

He will forever be remembered for his role as the Mediator and the Facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue (IBD), a process that was instrumental in successfully chaperoning Burundi towards its first ever peaceful and democratic Presidential Elections and the smooth transition thereafter.

In Kenya, we shall forever be grateful for the pivotal role played by the Late President Mkapa in the mediation process that ended the 2007/2008 post-election violence and political impasse that resulted thereafter. Our Nation’s peace, reconciliation and greater unity can be directly linked to the spirited actions, wisdom, mediation and sacrifice of the Late President Mkapa and his colleagues on the Panel of Eminent Persons.

Today, I join all Kenyans, Africans and the World at large in praying to the Almighty God to grant His Excellency President John Pombe Magufuli, the Mkapa Family, the People of Tanzania, and all of us who have lost a cherished friend and brother comfort and fortitude in the face of the sudden demise of the Great Mzee Benjamin Mkapa.

In recognition of this immense loss and tragedy, and as a show of our National Respect for the Fallen African Giant, I have on this Friday the 24th Day of July 2020 issued a Presidential Proclamation, announcing that the Republic of Kenya shall observe THREE DAYS of national mourning throughout the entire territory of our Country.  This takes effect from sunrise on Monday 27 July 2020 to sunset on Wednesday 29 July 2020.   During this mourning period, the Kenyan Flag and the Flag of the East African Community shall fly at half-mast.

The Great Mzee Mkapa now rests in Heaven, receiving his well-deserved reward for a life dedicated to making his Community, Country, Region, Continent, and Planet a better place. Indeed, Tanzania, Kenya, East Africa, Africa, and the World are far better today due to the works and dedication of the Great Mzee Mkapa.

Journey well, Mzee. Asante Sana, na Mwenyezi Mungu Akuweke Mahali Pema Pema Peponi.