Tanzania’s former President Benjamin William Mkapa, 81, has died, President John Magufuli has announced.
President Magufuli said Mkapa died at Dar es Salaam Hospital where he was admitted, Magufuli said.
“I call on all Tanzanians to receive the news of his death and to pray for Mzee Mkapa. More information will be released but Mzee Mkapa is no more,” he said in brief television statement.
He also declared a seven-day mourning period. During this time, all flags in the country will be flown at half-mast.
Mkapa led Tanzania from 1995 to 2005 before handing over to Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
He was born on November 12, 1938.
The former president is known for leading several peace mediation efforts in the region, including taking part in Kenya’s post-election conciliation exercise in 2008.
He was part of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which ended the post-election violence after the highly disputed December 27, 2007 elections.
Mkapa later penned a book where he revealed that locking out William Ruto (now Deputy President) and Martha Karua from the post-elections violence mediation team in 2008 helped secure a power-sharing agreement between former President Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.
Mkapa also mediated talks between the Burundi government and opposition in 2016 that were aimed at ending a long political crisis.