Raila shares fond memory in tribute to former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa


File image of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is among the Kenyan leaders who have conveyed their condolences to President John Pombe Magufuli and the Tanzanian people over the passing of the 3rd President of the East African nation, Benjamin Mkapa.

In a series of tweets shared on his verified handle, the special AU envoy recalled one of his fond memories of the former Tanzanian president.

"I mourn former President Benjamin Mkapa, a great friend of the Kenyan people, a pan-Africanist, a true believer in South-South Cooperation and a global statesman. In Kenya we retain fond memories of his mediation efforts alongside Dr Koffi Annan and Graca Machel that helped the country return to peace after the 2007-2008 election violence.

"Mkapa believed in Regional Integration and championed the revival of the East Africa Community. In his death, Africa has lost a giant. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, President John Pombe Magufuli and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania," Raila's message read.

President Uhuru Kenyatta also sent his Tanzanian counterpart a message of comfort remembering Mkapa as an "outstanding East African".

"In his message of comfort, the President mourned the departed Tanzanian leader as an outstanding East African who worked tirelessly for the integration, peace and progress of the region. resident Kenyatta wished the family of the Former President and all Tanzanians God's comfort and fortitude as they mourn their departed leader," a brief from State House read.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua wrote: "I am quite sad to learn of the passing of H.E. Benjamin Mkapa. He was a great man and peacemaker and was instrumental in the formation of the grand coalition. I remember his bear hugs. He once told me loudly, in front of many dignitaries, that I will one day be President of Kenya."

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho also wrote: "It's a sad day for Tanzania, East Africa and the world at large with the passing on of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. Kenyans will remember President Mkapa for the important role he played alongside other eminent African leaders in helping us find a peaceful and amicable solution back in 2007/08 after post elections turmoil. My sincere condolences go out to the family of President Mkapa and the people of Tanzania. May the Almighty God give you refuge during this difficult period."


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