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A plane carrying Kenyan envoy to the funeral service of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa was forced to return to Nairobi over undisclosed reasons.
According to the Tanzanian Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, the Tanzanian government was expecting a special envoy representing President Uhuru Kenyatta, including Senate Majority Leader, Samuel Poghisio to bid farewell to the late Mkapa, but the plane turned back over Arusha before arriving in Dar es Salaam.
“We were expecting a special envoy representing President Uhuru Kenyatta, including Senator Samuel Poghisio, the Majority Leader of the Kenyan Senate, but we have received information that their plane was forced to turn back mid air,” Prof Kabudi told mourners gathered at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam.
However, according to Kenyan officials in Dar-es-Salaam, the plane “developed mechanical challenges”, forcing it to turn back.
Kenyan High Commissioner to Tanzania Dan Kazungu attended the funeral service.
Mkapa, who ruled Tanzania from 1995 to 2005, died Thursday night aged 81 and will be buried on Wednesday at his village in Lupaso, Masasi District.