By Spy Correspondent
Dar es-Salaam: Tanzania’s former President Benjamin Mkapa, who died at the age of 81, will be buried on July 29 in his native village of Lupaso in Masasi district in Mtwara region, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced on Friday.
Majaliwa said in his statement televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation that a national funeral committee has set three consecutive days beginning Sunday for paying last respects to the former leader.
“The body of the former President Mkapa will be laid in state at the Uhuru stadium in Dar es Salaam from Sunday July 26 to Tuesday July 28 to allow people pay their last respects,” Majaliwa said in his statement.
Majaliwa said national and religious leaders will pay their last respects on Tuesday, after which the body will be flown to Masasi via Nachingwea district in Lindi region for burial on Wednesday.
President John Magufuli announced the death of former President Mkapa in the early hours of Friday and appealed to his fellow Tanzanians to be calm and patient during these trying moments.
“With great sadness I am announcing the death of former President Benjamin William Mkapa who died in a hospital in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam where he was receiving treatment,” Magufuli said in a short statement.
The development comes after President Magufuli announced a seven-day national mourning following the death of Mkapa.
“During the mourning period all flags will fly at half-mast,” he said.
Born on November 12, 1938, Mkapa was Tanzania’s third president and served two five-year terms from 1995 to 2005, after which he was succeeded by President Jakaya Kikwete.