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Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli led Tanzanians in bidding farewell to the late Benjamin Mkapa, Tanzania’s 3rd president who died on Thursday night, July 23rd.
The body of the retired head of State arrived at the Uhuru stadium from the Mary Immaculate Catholic Parish church where a requiem mass was held, with Magufuli renaming the stadium in respect to Mkapa.
His remains have been buried at his Lupaso village in Dodoma.
President John Magufuli of Tanzania, renamed the 60,000-seater Uhuru Stadium in Dodoma, after the late former president Benjamin Mkapa who spearheaded its construction during his reign.
The stadium was renamed during a burial ceremony of the late third president, who was eulogised as a leader who initiated various development projects, including the national vision to make Tanzania a middle-income economy.
A number of leaders from across Africa attended the burial ceremony of the leader who ruled Tanzania from 1995 to 2005, among them dignitaries and diplomats including Burundi’s Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni.
On Tuesday during Mkapa’s funeral service in Dar es Salaam, a plane carrying the Kenyan delegation was forced to turn back to Nairobi mid-air, according to Tanzania Foreign Affairs minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi announced.
Speaking during the mass, Father Charles Kitima, the Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, said Mkapa had instructed that his funeral service be conducted at the church where he prayed during his lifetime.
Mkapa’s remains lay in state at the Unow Benjamin William Makapa stadium since Sunday, July 26, to allow Tanzanians to pay their last respects.
His family said he had been admitted for malaria treatment at a Dar es Salaam hospital and died of cardiac arrest, dispelling rumours spreading on social media that Mkapa had contracted coronavirus disease.