Category: News

The 5th Annual Partners Meeting 2022

In a period of 16 years, The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has sustained its complementary efforts in ensuring the health and well-being of society, particularly the underserved is achieved. As burgeoning our milestone in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, The Foundation held its annual partners meeting in appreciation of the support and cooperation from the Government, Development Partners and other Stakeholders. 

This meeting was held on 1st November 2022, at BMF offices at Mlimani City Office Park, Block No.6, Sam Nujoma Road, Ubungo- Dar Es Salaam, from 0930hours – 1230hours physically but also virtually for those who joined in their comfort zone.

The most crucial agenda for the 5th Annual meeting was to exchange views with the Management, learn and receive updates on the Foundation’s noble work for various milestones. Other agenda discussed were the BMF Partnerships and Potential Sources of Funding, Grants, Finance and Audit, and areas for attention, lessons learnt and the way forward.

The Development partners and Stakeholders that attended the meeting included the representatives from Embassy of Ireland, British High Commission    FCDO, British High Commission, DFATD Canada, PEPFAR, CDC, UNICEF, UNAIDS, WHO, UNDP, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research-Tanzania (WRAIR), AVAC, JHIEPGO, NBC, NMB, AngloGold Ashanti, Good Neighbours Korea – Tanzania, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Ministry of Health – Mainland, Ministry of Health Revolutionary Government of  Zanzibar and HJFMRI – Tanzania.

“We value your partnership and your willingness to work with us. Your constructive ideas and advice have always been appreciated. We will continue working with you for the sustainable improvement of health services and systems in our country.” said Dr. Ellen.

On this ground, the Foundation will continue to honor the enormous support from the Government, Development Partners and Stakeholders, working continuously and tirelessly to sustain the legacy of our Founder and Settlor, His Excellency (Late) Benjamin William Mkapa.

Photos

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BMF Sponsors Mental Health Symposium

One out of eight people have symptoms associated with mental health. Based on these global statistics it is estimated that 7Milion people in Tanzania have been impacted by Mental Health Challenges. This was said recently by the Minister of Health Hon. Ummy Mwalimu at the first Mental Health Symposium to be held in Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. To mark World Mental Health Day.

This event was organized by the Ministry of Health and co-sponsored by different partners including Mkapa Foundation.

Speaking at the event; the Director of Strategy and Performance Management, from Mkapa Foundation, Dr. Mussa Ndile said that Mental Health services should be deliberately offered in the health facilities going down to the community levels. He added that Mkapa Foundation is committed to ensure that it includes mental Health interventions into its programmes.

WHO representative Dr. Zabulon Yoti pointed out that ‘There’s No mental without Mental Health’ and called for the prioritization of Mental health at District, Regional and National level?

Other stakeholders who participated were WHO, UNICEF, CRDB, MUHAS, Tanzania Non-Communicable Diseases.

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Makerere Celebrates 100 years – Honors Mkapa Legacy

Makerere Celebrates 100 years - Honors Mkapa Legacy

Benjamin Mkapa Foundation participated in the Makerere University celebration to mark its 100 years.  The event was co-hosted with the University of Dar es Salaam as part of the Two Institutions’ Academic Partnership in Research Programs and to Honor Mkapa’s Legacy.  H.E. late Benjamin William Mkapa an Alumni of Makerere University graduated from the University in 1956.  The event was graced by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam (Research) Dr. Benedeta Kiliian as the guest of honor.  The Makerere University team was led by the Chairperson of the Council Mrs. Lorna Magara.

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Kada Ya Afya Mwanza, Simiyu Kunufaika

Kada Ya Afya Mwanza, Simiyu Kunufaika

Na Damian Masyenene, Mwananchi                                                                                    dmasyenene@mwananchi.co.tz

Mwanza. Taasisi ya Benjamim Mkapa imepanga kutoa fursa za ajira za kujitolea kwa wataalam 151 wa sekta ya afya katika Mikoa ya Mwanza na Simiyu.

Ajira hizo ni utekelezaji wa muongozo wa Taifa wa ajira katika kada ya afya unaolenga kupunguza tatizo la upungufu wa watumishi maeneo ya pembezoni. 

Akizungumza jijini hapa jana Ofisa Mtendaji Mkuu wa taasisi hiyo, Dk Hellen Senkoro alisema kupitia muongoso huo unaowawezesha wa hitimu wa kada za afya wasio na ajira rasmi kupata ajira za muda, Mkoa wa Mwanza utapata wataalamu wakujitolea 80, huku wengine 71 wakienda mkoa wa Simiyu.

Alisema Pamoja na kulipiwa bima ya afya  kupitia mfuko wa Taifa wa Bima ya afya(NHIF) na michango kwenye mifuko ya jamii,wanufaika wa mpango huo pia watalipwa posho  inayolingana, nusu au asilimia 50 ya mishahara wanayolipwa wataalamu wenzao walioko katika ajira rasmi.

Kwa upande wa Katibu Tawala Msaidizi Mkoa wa Mwanza (Mipango na Uratibu) Joachim Otaru alisema serikali itaendelea kushirikiana na wadau wengine kuongeza ubunifu wa kuwajengea uwezo wataalamu wa afya ili kupunguza changamoto ya upungufu wa watumishi.

Naye Mganga Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Simiyu  Boniface Richard aliahidi kuwa ofisi yake itawaandalia mazingira bora ya kazi wataalamu wa kujitolea watakaopelekwa mkoani humo, na kuwaomba wadau wengine kuiga mfano wa taasisi ya Mkapa kwa kusaidia kupunguza uhaba wa wataalamu wa afya hasa maeneo ya vijijini.

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UNFPA na Taasisi ya Mkapa yakabidhi jengo hospitali ya Amana, yatoa vifaa

UNFPA na Taasisi ya Mkapa (BMF) zakabidhi jengo hospitali ya Amana, yatoa vifaa

Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa la Idadi ya Watu duniani (UNFPA) limekabidhi jengo la wodi ya mama na watoto kwa Hospitali ya Rufaa ya Mkoa ya Amana pamoja na vifaa tiba mbalimbali vitakavyotumika katika hospitali hiyo.

UNFPA kwa kushirikiana na Taasisi ya Benjamin Mkapa (BMF) walikuwa wakishirikiana katika kutekeleza mradi wa “Tokomeza Uviko-19” hasa kwa mama wajawazito kwa kuwapatia huduma bora za afya.

Akizungumzia mradi huo jana, Ofisa Miradi Mwandamizi wa Taasisi ya Benjamin Mkapa, Dk Daud Ole Mkopi alisema taasisi yake kwa kushirikiana na Ubalozi wa Finland pamoja na UNFPA wamekuwa wakitekeleza afua mbalimbali za afya ikiwemo kuongeza ajira.

Alisema katika mradi huo, wameajiri watumishi wa afya 209 ambao wametawanywa katika mikoa mbalimbali. Watumishi 77 kati ya hao, wameajiriwa kupitia ufadhili wa Ubalozi wa Finland na 45 kati yao wamepangiwa vituo vya kazi katika mkoa wa Dar es Salaam.

“Tumekarabati majengo saba katika mikoa sita tofauti kwa ufadhili wa Serikali ya Finland ikiwemo jengo la wazazi katika hospitali ya Amana ambalo limegharimu Sh120,” alisema Dk Mkopi.

Mwakilishi wa UNFPA hapa nchini, Mark Schreiner alisema wanafanya kazi kwa karibu na serikali ya Tanzania kuhakikisha kwamba wanawake wanapata huduma bora za afya na kwamba mwanamke yoyote hatakiwi kupoteza maisha wakati analeta maisha ya kiumbe mwingine.

 

“Jitihada zaidi zinahitajika ili kuhakikisha kwamba wanawake katika maeneo ya vijijini wanapata huduma bora za afya ya uzazi na kupunguza vifo vya wajawazito wakati wa kujifungua,” alisema Schreiner.

Aliwahimiza wananchi kujitokeza kwenye sense itakayofanyika nchini Agosti 23 kwa kile alichobainisha kwamba takwimu halisi itaisaidia serikali na wadau wengine katika utoaji wa huduma za kijamii kwa wananchi.

Kwa upande wake, Mganga Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Dar es Salaam, Rashid Mfaume alisema katika kukabiliana na Uviko-19, mkoa wa Dar es Salaam ulianzisha mbinu malumu ya kuhamasisha wananchi kwenda kuchanja kupitia kwa viongozi wa serikali za mitaa.

“Mkoa wa Dar es Salaa tulianza kuwahamasisha viongozi wa serikali za mitaa ili nao wakahamasishe wananchi wao. Hili limepata mafanikio makubwa ndiyo maana maeneo mengine wakaanza kutumia model yetu,” alisema.

Balozi wa Finland nchini Tanzania, Riita Swan alisema wameamua kugawa pia vizibao vya kuakisi mwanga (reflector) vyenye ujumbe wa kuhamasisha wananchi kwenda kuchanja, lengo likiwa ni kuongeza hamasa ya watu kuchanja.

Kama ilivyoandikwa na Peter Elias

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WELCOMING ADDRESS BY DR. ADELINE KIMAMBO

CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE BENJAMIN MKAPA FOUNDATION (BMF) AT THE OPENING OF THE 2ND MKAPA LEGACY HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT ON 14TH JULY, 2022, ZANZIBAR.

Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, Chair of the Revolutionary Council and Settlor of the Mkapa Foundation;

Excellencies Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar;

Your Excellency Joachim Chissano, Former President of the Republic of Mozambique;

Your Excellency Othman Masoud, First Vice President of Zanzibar;

Your Excellency Hemed Suleiman Abdulla, Second Vice President of Zanzibar;

Honorable Zuberi Maulid, Speaker of the House of the Representative; 

Honorable Mama Anne Mkapa, Former First Lady and a widow of Late President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Honorable Mariam Mwinyi, First Lady of Zanzibar;

Mama Fatma Karume and Former First Ladies;

Honorable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government Officials;

The Board of the Mkapa Foundation Board (BMF);

Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Our distinguished development partners and sponsors;

Dear guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen!

When I gave my statement last year on the commemoration of the first Mkapa Legacy, I expressed our commitment and a promise that, under our watch, the Foundation will carry on and the legacy of our beloved Founder and Settlor, Late President Benjamin William Mkapa will be sustained. I am standing here today with pride that we have made it to the second year.

          Our Board remains true to our mission and vision of transforming lives. The Foundation has continued to be trusted and supported by our partners and stakeholders who are gathered here today. Our story of success cannot be mentioned without acknowledging the support we received from both governments of Tanzania and Zanzibar.

          Your Excellencies,

          Last year, we launched the Benjamin Mkapa Endowment Fund with the aim of mobilizing funds to sustain the work of the Foundation and prepare us for being self-reliant in the future. I thank Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania for launching the Fund and promised to contribute to it. We appreciate that we received your contribution as promised. You kept your words.

Equally, we thank Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi for contributing to this Fund as promised. We thank you more for accepting to be our new Settlor. We are lucky that you know us well. You were a Founder Chairperson of the Board. There could be no other good choice to take over from the Late President Mkapa than you. We feel safe under your able pair of hands. Our fear towards the future has vanished and You brought us hope.

 Your Excellencies,

                     Apart from the Endowment Fund, we are in the right footing on our plan towards long term sustainability. Our Foundation through its special purpose business vehicle, namely Imara Horizon Company is to construct an investment building in Dar es Salaam (Mkapa Health Plaza) and if all goes well, we look forward to accomplishing the project by end of year 2023. These two, the Endowment Fund and the Investment Building are showing our serious commitment towards becoming self-reliant in line with what our Late President Mkapa was known for.

          Your Excellencies,

          Mine today are few words. I came here to thank you and our partners and supporters for your continued support. And to brief you on the progress we have made since last year with regards to the Endowment Fund and an Investment Building. I take this opportunity once again to assure you that under our watch, this Foundation will continue to live up to your expectations and its vision and mission. Now that we have you President Mwinyi as our Settlor, we face the future with a lot of confidence.

          With these few words, I thank you all for listening and welcome you again to the 2nd Mkapa Legacy Symposium in Zanzibar.

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SPEECH BY HON. OTHMAN MASOUD OTHMAN

THE FIRST VICE PRESIDENT OF ZANZIBAR, IN THE COMMEMORATION OF MKAPA LEGACY SYMPOSIUM ON 13TH JULY, 2022 AT GOLDEN TULIP HOTEL, ZANZIBAR.

● Hon. Hon. Zubeir Ali Maulid (MP), Speaker of the House of Representatives, Zanzibar.
● Hon. Ministers
● Hon. Members of Diplomatic Corps
● Permanent secretaries
● Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations
● Distinguished Guests,
● Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning to you all!

It is my pleasure and great honour to address this august gathering in marking our thoughtful gratitude to a person who transformed our country in many aspects through his leadership that embraced with economic, social and political reforms; His Excellency, Late Benjamin William Mkapa.
This day has brought us together to reflect on his efforts to improve the performance of the health sector, which is a shining light of hope to all Tanzanians especially those who live in remote and underserved areas.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we are gathered to celebrate and commemorate the Legacy of His Excellency, Late Benjamin William Mkapa for the second time since he left us. These two days will be used to honor his life and embrace his vision on improving the social economic fortunes to get millions of our women and men quality health services.

His Excellency Late Benjamin William Mkapa pursued economic recovery programs, robust macroeconomic policies coupled with structural reforms and the privatization policy initiated by his predecessor.
His administration achieved macroeconomic fundamentals, which in turn had boosted investor confidence in the country and in the government. It was due to those efforts that today we are gathering here to make these reflections and strategize on the role of private sector in bringing about socio-economic development through investments in health sector.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Late President Mkapa, played a central role in strengthening accountability institutions, transforming the public sector which consequently incentivized the growth of the private sector.
I have been informed that through this platform, participants are going to discuss and share the policy and strategic views on building resilient social economic development policies and systems, while enhancing social protection for health, through mutual strategic partnerships between our governments (both Nationally and Internationally), Development Partners, Private Sector, Non-State Actors and Communities.
We know that, two days platform is not enough for exposing all the legendry contributions by His Excellency Late Benjamin Mkapa pertaining to these aspects of socio-economic development, but do hope the quality assertive discussions will activate us courageously into following his sense of pragmatism and the sense of direction.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our two governments, [Zanzibar government and the Government of the United Republic] recognize the role of private sector to accelerate social economic development and attain Sustainable Development Goals in our Country. It is from such understanding that the two governments are redefining and institutionalizing our strategic partnership with private sectors and Non-state Actors in the implementation of strategic government priorities so as to embrace the vision of Late Mkapa in Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy.
Together, we have made a strong foundation for PPP and in consolidating the gains made in various sectors, the two governments continue to commit to support the investment of private sector in accelerating the economy by setting good policies, review our governance and leadership structures, supporting innovations and creating conducive working environment for mutual benefits of all parties. This has enormously proven to be of beneficial consequence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The governments recognize that, greater private sector and Non State Actor’s participation through Business Coalition and PPPs in providing efficient, reliable and affordable services, is fundamental for broad based growth and sustainable health services.
Despite several significant gains in our economic and social sector, our country in defining its vision on PPP by inviting more strategic investment from the financial sector to invest in health and support in other multisectoral priority areas especially the health services. This will help to address among other things, the change of health issues pattern we are all witnessing today on increased cases of Non-Communicable Disease, high death rates of women and children and weak systems in addressing epidemics and in preparedness for disaster management. Various health system challenges such as limited access to health care due to weak infrastructure capacity, human resource for health shortage, limited access to relevant health technologies, plus many others, are some of the key problems that hinder the progress to achieve Universal Health Coverage. That is where the relevance of the dialogue to be conducted through this forum lie.
I believe that through the dialogues that are going to be done today, our country will make use of the constructive recommendations to address barriers towards attainment of Universal Health Coverage and overall social economic development. It is from that background I take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation, for being a strategic partner in Health Sector. Through its initiatives and dedication, we have witnessed their significant contribution in health system performance especially in infrastructure, human resources for health development and deployment aiming at accelerating delivery of quality health services in areas with high demand of health services both in Mainland and Zanzibar.
Undoubtedly, the Foundation has so far lived by the creed, aptitude and legacy of the man who we so much revere, the man who wrote his own obituary, Benjamin William Mkapa.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Government will continue to provide an appropriate enabling environment to guide public and private sectors, donor community and other stake-holders in PPPs on health, and invest on innovative workable solutions that will transform health care systems particularly for our women and children, and reaching out the underserved population.
We highly appreciate the Late Benjamin William Mkapa for his vision that established this foundation which contributed to the legacy we are celebrating today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me conclude by words of H.E President Mkapa on his keynote speech during the SADC Public Lecture in 2019, that ‘we must resist the temptation to build walls and not bridges. The adage that “good fences make good neighbors” is antithetical to the common destiny and common route we have chosen for ourselves’.
And with these few remarks, please ALLOW ME TO OFFICIALLY OPEN OUR FIRST DAY OF MKAPA LEGACY SYMPOSIUM COMMEMORATION, and I Wish you all a pleasant moment.

I thank you very much for your kind attention!

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Hotuba ya Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan Raisi wa Tanzania.

Hotuba ya Mheshimiwa Samia Suluhu Hassan, Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania, katika kongamano la pili la kumuenzi Hayati Mheshimiwa Benjamin William Mkapa, Rais wa Tatu wa Jamhuri Yya Muungano wa Tanzania, Tarehe 14 Julai, 2022, Golden Tulip Airport Hotel, Zanzibar

  • Mheshimiwa Phillip Isdor Mpango, Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano waTanzania
  • Mheshimiwa Dkt. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Rais wa Zanzibar na Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Mapinduzi;
  • Mheshimiwa Othman Masoud, Makamu wa kwanza wa Rais, Serikali ya Mapinduzi Zanzibar.
  • Mheshimiwa Hemed Suleiman Abdallah, Makamu wa Pili wa Rais, Serikali ya Mapinduzi Zanzibar;
  • Waheshimiwa Marais Wastaafu wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania na Serikali ya Mapinduzi ya Zanzibar;
  • Waheshimiwa Marais Wastaafu (Wageni Wetu), Mzee Joachim Chissano, Rais Mstaafu wa Jamhuri ya Msumbiji na Mzee Thabo Mbeki, Rais Mstaafu wa Jamhuri ya Afrika Kusini;
  • Mheshimiwa Zuberi Maulid, Spika wa Baraza la Wawakilishi;
  • Mheshimiwa Mama Anne Mkapa, Mjane wa Mheshimiwa Rais Benjamin William Mkapa;
  • Mheshimiwa Mariam Mwinyi, Mwenza wa Mheshimiwa Rais wa Zanzibar;
  • Waheshimiwa Wake wa Viongozi wakiongozwa na Mama yetu Fatma Karume;
  • Waheshimiwa Mawaziri na Viongozi Wakuu wa Serikali;
  • Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Wadhamini na Wajumbe wa Bodi ya Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa (BMF);
  • Waheshimiwa Mabalozi, Wakuu wa Mashirika ya Kimataifa na Jumuiya ya Wanadiplomasia;
  • Dkt. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro, Afisa Mtendaji Mkuu wa Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa (BMF);
  • Ndugu Washiriki na Wageni Waalikwa;
  • Mabibi na Mabwana!
JAMHURI YA MUUNGANZO WA TANZANIA…..!

Nianze kwa kumshukuru Mwenyezi Mungu aliyetujalia kuweza kukutana hapa leo kwenye shughuli yetu hii makhsusi ya kumuenzi Hayati Rais Benjamin William Mkapa. Ninayo furaha kubwa kujumuika nanyi kwa mara nyingine tena katika Kumbukizi ya Kuenzi Mchango wa Hayati Mpendwa wetu na Rais wetu wa Awamu ya Tatu. Mwaka jana tulijumuika pamoja kwenye Kumbukizi ya kwanza iliyofanyika pale ukumbi wa Mlimani City, Dar es Salaam.
Kwa kipekee nataka niwapongeze kwa kuwatambua na kuwashukuru waliochangia kufanikisha hafla hii ya leo ambao ni Serikali ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania, Serikali ya Mapinduzi ya Zanzibar, Mashirika ya USAID, UNICEF, IPP Media, ZBC, Benki ya CRDB na wengineo.

Furaha yangu leo inachangiwa na mambo mawili makubwa. Kwanza, nimefurahishwa na Mheshimiwa Dkt. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Rais wa Zanzibar na Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Mapinduzi, kutimiza ahadi yake aliyoitoa katika Kumbukizi ya mwaka jana kuwa, Kumbukizi ya Pili itafanyika hapa Zanzibar.

Pili, nimefurahishwa kwa Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa kushirikiana na Serikali kuendeleza utamaduni huu wa kumuenzi Hayati mpendwa wetu Mzee Benjamin William Mkapa. Kufanyika kwa mara ya pili kwa Kumbukizi hii ni ushahidi kuwa tumedhamiria kuenzi mchango wake katika maendeleo aliyoyachangia katika Taifa letu, Bara la Afrika na Dunia kwa ujumla.

Mheshimiwa Rais na Msarifu (Settlor) wa Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa;

Nakupongeza wewe na Serikali ya Mapinduzi ya Zanzibar kwa maandalizi na mapokezi mazuri ya wageni wetu waliokuja kujumuika nasi. Nitumie fursa hii kukupongeza vile vile kwa kukubali kuwa Msarifu (Settlor) wa Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa. Tunaamini viatu vilivyoachwa na Hayati Msarifu wetu Mzee Mkapa, vitakufaa sawa sawa, tukizingatia kuwa, wewe ndio pia ulikuwa Mwenyekiti wa Kwanza wa Bodi ya Wadhamini wa Taasisi hii. Tunaimani unaijua Taasisi hii vyema, kwa kuwa wewe pia ni sehemu ya uasisi wake. Kwa hakika umemtendea haki Mzee Mkapa, na sina shaka huko aliko anafurahia na kujivunia kazi yako. Na sisi inatupa amani sana kuwa Taasisi hii iko kwenye mikono salama mno.

Mheshimiwa Rais,
Wageni Waalikwa;

Nimefarijika sana kuwaona Waheshimiwa Marais Wastaafu, Mzee wetu Joachim Chissano, Rais Mstaafu wa Jamhuri ya Msumbiji; na Mzee Thabo Mbeki, Rais Mstaafu wa Jamhuri ya Afrika Kusini. Wazee wetu hawa walikuwa marafiki wa karibu wa Hayati Mzee Benjamin William Mkapa. Walipatana kifikra na walikuwa na urafiki uliojikita vyema katika udugu na umoja wa nchi zetu tatu. Misimamo yao aghlabu haikuwa ikitofautiana. Akiwepo mmoja kwenye Mkutano, hata kama mwingine hayupo, hakukuwa na shaka kuwa maslahi ya Ukanda wetu yatawasilishwa ipasavyo.

Uwepo wenu na sisi hapa leo, unadhihirisha hilo. Umejidhihirisha pia katika maneno yenu mazuri mliyoyatoa hapa ya kumuelezea rafiki yenu Mzee Mkapa. Mmetufuta machozi na kutupunguzia upweke. Tukiwaona tunafarijika na kuona kuwa tupo pamoja, na kwamba hatunaye Mzee Mkapa, lakini nyinyi wazee wetu mpo. Tukiwaona nyinyi, tunamuona yeye katikati yenu. Hamjatutupa! Tunamshukuru Hayati Mzee wetu kwa kutuachia marafiki na walezi wazuri. Karibuni sana!

Mheshimiwa Rais,
Wageni Waalikwa,
Mabibi na Mabwana;

Nimevutiwa sana na kauli mbiu ya Kumbukizi ya mwaka huu inayosema, ‘Ushupavu wa Uongozi katika Kuleta Mabadiliko kwa Manufaa ya Wote’. Zaidi, ustahimilivu na ushupavu wa uongozi katika kuruhusu ushirikiano kati ya Sekta ya Umma na Sekta Binafsi, katika kufanikisha lengo letu na lengo la tatu katika Malengo ya Maendeleo Endelevu ya Dunia (SDG 3) la kuhakikisha ‘Huduma ya Afya Bora kwa Wote’ (Universal Health Care) linafikiwa.

Binafsi, nilitamani sana kuwa sehemu ya mjadala uliofanyika jana uliofunguliwa na Mheshimiwa Othman Masoud, Makamu wa Kwanza wa Rais wa Zanzibar, uliojikita kwenye kujadili nafasi ya sekta binafsi katika kuondosha changamoto za afya tulizonazo, na hatimae kuwezesha kufikia malengo tuliyojiwekea katika kulinda Afya za Watanzania. Matamanio yangu hayo yanatokana na imani kuwa ikiwa tunataka kwenda kwa kasi na kufikia lengo letu la 2030 la ‘Afya bora kwa Wote’, basi hatuna budi kubadili mtazamo wetu kuwa tunaweza kulifanya hilo peke yetu. Lazima tufanyekazi pamoja na kwa mkakati bayana na wenzetu wa sekta binafsi.

Hayati Mzee Mkapa alikuwa muumini thabiti wa ubia kati ya Serikali na sekta binafsi katika kutatua changamoto zinazotukabili. Alihubiri sana juu ya hili na pia aliutangulia wakati. Yumkini hatukumuelewa sana wakati ule. Sasa tunaendelea kumwelewa vyema. Muhimu zaidi, alikuwa na ushupavu wa uongozi katika mabadiliko hayo pamoja na kuwa yeye binafsi alikuwa muumini thabiti wa Ujamaa. Ila kwa wakati ule nchi ikiwa na Imani ya Ujamaa isiyoamini katika sekta binafsi.

Nakumbuka, katika Hotuba yake aliyoitoa katika Halmashauri Kuu ya CCM tarehe 25 Agosti, 2004 kule Dodoma, alizungumzia ushupavu wa uongozi unaohitajika katika karne ya 21. Katika Hotuba ile, pamoja na mambo mengine mengi, Mzee Mkapa alituasa kuwa (Nanukuu) ‘Uongozi shupavu hauogopi kubadili mkakati iwapo ni lazima kufanya hivyo’. Akaendelea kusisitiza kuwa, ‘Tukishaamua sera tunahitaji ujasiri wa kutenda, si wa maneno. Ukiwepo ubishi uwe wa kasi na ubora wa utendaji, si wa sera tena’.

Mheshimiwa Rais,
Wageni Waalikwa;

Nimerejea maneno hayo ya Mzee wetu Hayati Benjamin William Mkapa kuonyesha maono yake katika ushupavu na ustahimilivu katika uongozi. Hakuogopa kutuambia ukweli kuwa dunia ya sasa ni dunia ya uchumi wa soko, na kwamba ubia na sekta binafsi ni jambo lisiloepukika. Sasa, tumelitambua hilo na kuliainisha katika Mikakati ya kitaifa ya maendeleo ya nchi yetu, ikiwemo pia katika Mpango Mkakati wa Tano wa Sekta ya Afya (Health Sector Strategic Plan – HSSP5 2021-2026). Tumetamka wazi kuwa tutashirikisha na kushirikiana na sekta binafsi zikiwemo pia Asasi za Kiraia, katika kufikia malengo yetu ya maendeleo ikiwa ni Pamoja na; kuwafikishia wananchi wote huduma bora ya afya, popote walipo, na kwa gharama wanazozimudu.

Tokea tuzindue Mkakati huu tarehe 17 Juni, 2021, sasa ni mwaka mmoja. Yafaa tujiulize: je, tumepiga hatua kiasi gani katika kushirikisha na kuweka mazingira mazuri kwa sekta binafsi kushiriki katika ubia na Serikali katika utoaji wa huduma bora za afya? Je, tunashirikiana na kushirikisha Sekta Binafsi katika tija za kimkakati za maendeleo ya kuichumi yenye kuongozwa na vielelezo, na sio hoja tu zisizotusogeza mbele? Vipi kuhusu matamko ya viongozi wetu mbalimbali juu ya ukuu wa Serikali katika kutekeleza mkakati huu au utoaji wa huduma za afya? Je, maneno, matendo na maandiko yetu yanaendana na utekelezaji wa Mpango Mkakati wa Sekta ya Afya?

Sina shaka mtakubaliana nami kuwa bado tuko kule alipozungumzia Hayati Mzee Mkapa kwenye ujasiri wa maneno badala ya ujasiri wa kutenda. Bado baadhi yetu tunaopaswa kutekeleza hili tumeelemewa na kasumba ya kutoiamini Sekta Binafsi. Hatuna budi kutoka huko. Ndio sababu nimefurahishwa sana kuwa Kumbukizi hii imetukumbusha wajibu wetu na umuhimu wa ushupavu wa uongozi katika kuyafanikisha mabadiliko hayo. Kwa sasa, serikali yetu imejipambanua wazi wazi kushirikiana na Sekta binafsi kwa tija, kimkakati na kwa maslahi mapana ya Taifa letu. Huwa nayasema haya kila ninapopata fursa ya kuzungumza na wafanyabiashara na wawekezaji ndani au nje ya nchi.

Kwa ajili hiyo, nitafurahi sana kupokea majumuisho yatokanayo na mjadala mliokuwa nao jana ili kwa pamoja tuyafanyie kazi. Nina taarifa kwamba Mawaziri wa Afya, Makatibu Wakuu na wataalam mbalimbali wa pande zetu mbili za Muungano walikuwepo kwenye mjadala. Bila shaka, wameyasikia na kuyatilia maanani, na nategemea kuwaona wakiyatekeleza.

Kwa upande wa sekta binafsi, natarajia nao, wataitikia wito wetu na kutoa ushirikiano, na kwamba watazingatia kuwa afya ni stahili ya umma (public good) na si biashara. Hivyo, lazima mzingatie urari (balance) kati ya kupata faida kiasi na kuwekeza katika kutoa huduma endelevu (Sustainable Socially Responsible Investment); na kuwekeza pale kwenye mahitaji makubwa zaidi kwa maslahi ya umma. Daima tusipoteze lengo kuu ambalo ni kufikisha huduma bora ya afya, kwa wote, popote na kwa gharama inayohimilika.

Mheshimiwa Rais,
Wageni Waalikwa;
Mniruhusu sasa nijielekeze kwenye kuwapongeza Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa kwa ushirikiano wake mkubwa inaoendelea kuipatia Serikali; hususan katika uimarishaji wa mifumo ya afya (Health System Strengthening) na zaidi kwenye suala la kuongeza wataalamu na watumishi katika sekta ya afya (Human Resources for Health). Huko ndiko ambapo bado tuna changamoto ya uhaba wa watumishi kwa zaidi ya asilimia (50%) wanaohitajika.

Kupitia Taasisi hii, kwa miaka 16 sasa, watumishi wa afya wa kada mbalimbali wapatao 10,041 wakiwemo kada za madaktari, wauguzi, matabibu, wafamasia na kadhalika; pamoja na wahudumu wa Afya ngazi ya jamii (Community Health Workers), wamesambazwa kote nchini. Watumishi hawa wameongeza tija na ufanisi katika utoaji huduma bora za afya kwa wananchi.

Mheshimiwa Rais,
Wageni Waalikwa;

Ninatambua kwamba Serikali za pande zote mbili, Bara na Zanzibar zimewekeza na zinaendelea kuwekeza katika miundombinu (health infrastructure) ya sekta ya afya. Hivyo, hatuna budi kutilia mkazo kwa usawa ule ule kuwekeza katika raslimali watu kwenye hospitali au vituo vya tiba vinavyojengwa na kukarabatiwa. Katika hili, kwa mwaka wa fedha 2021/22, Serikali imeweza kutoa vibali vya ajira 9,262; na itaendelea kupunguza uhaba huo, kadri uwezo wa Serikali wa kuajiri unavyoimarika.

Hali kadhalika, maeneo mengi duniani, zikiwemo nchi za Bara la Afrika, zimewekeza pia katika mbinu zilizo nafuu (cost effective) za kutumia wahudumu wa afya ngazi ya jamii (community health workers), na wameweza kupata matokeo chanya yanayopelekea kufikia malengo ya Afya kwa Wote (Universal Health Coverage) na lengo la tatu la Malengo ya Maendeleo Endelevu ya dunia (SDG 3), ikiwemo pia kupunguza vifo vya akina mama wajawazito na watoto.

Nasi kupitia Mikakati na Miongozo ya kitaifa na kisekta, tumekwishabainisha umuhimu wa kuwekeza katika Raslimali watu wa Sekta ya afya kwenye jamii na vituoni, Wito wangu ni kwa wanaosimamia masuala ya raslimali watu katika sekta ya afya, kutoa kipaumbele zaidi katika kuharakisha utekelezaji wa mikakati ambayo tayari imeshabainishwa kutatua changamoto hii. Aidha ushirikiano wa Serikali na Asasi za kiraia zikiwemo Taasisi ya Mkapa na Sekta binafsi pamoja na Wadau wa Maendeleo, uendelee kuimarishwa katika eneo hili la raslimali watu, kwa nia ya kuweza kufikia malengo ya kitaifa na kimataifa ifikapo mwaka 2030.

Nirudie kwamba Taasisi ya Mkapa mmeendelea kuwa wabia wazuri wa Serikali na mmetuunga mkono siku zote. Hivyo nataka kuwahakikishieni kuwa tunaufurahia ushirikiano wetu huu adhimu, na tunaahidi kuuendeleza sababu una tija kwa pande zetu mbili.

Nawapongeza pia kwa hatua mnayopiga katika kupunguza utegemezi na kujitegemea siku za usoni. Mwaka jana nilizindua Mfuko wa Wakfu (Endowment Fund) wa Taasisi hii. Naendelea kufarijika kwamba mfuko huu unajikita katika kuimarisha zaidi mipango ya kimkakati ya sekta ya afya, na pia kuhakikisha kuwa mchango wa Taasisi hii katika maendeleo ya sekta ya afya unakua endelevu.

Mwaka jana niliahidi kuchangia, na tayari nimeshachangia. Nimefurahi kusikia kuwa Mfuko huu umeshafikisha takriban kiasi cha Shilingi za Kitanzania bilioni moja (1,000,000,000). Aidha, nimeambiwa kuwa jana chini ya uongozi wa Mheshimiwa Rais wa Zanzibar na Msarifu wa Mfuko huu, mliweza kuutunisha zaidi. Hongereni! Nawatia shime wengine wote kuunga mkono jitihada hizi na kuendelea kuuchangia Mfuko huu.

Sambamba na hilo, kilichonivutia zaidi pia ni mpango wenu wa kujenga jengo la Kitega Uchumi la “Mkapa Health Plaza” katika eneo la Kawe, Dar Es Salaam. Huu ni mkakati mzuri na ninawatakia kila la kheri. Hayati Mzee Mkapa aliamini sana katika kujitegemea. Nafarijika kuona kuwa imani yake hiyo mmeishika barabara.

Mheshimiwa Rais,
Waheshimiwa Viongozi, na
Wageni Waalikwa;

Kabla sijahitimisha, nimpongeze Mama Anne Mkapa. Ninafurahi kukuona ukiwa imara. Wiki mbili zilizopita Mama Mkapa alinipa heshima ya kuwa Mgeni Rasmi katika Maadhimisho ya miaka 25 ya Mfuko wa Fursa Sawa kwa Wote (Equal Opportunity for All Trust Fund-EOTF). Nilitumia fursa ile kumshukuru hadharani kwa kunihimiza kugombea nafasi ya kisiasa na ikawa ndio mwanzo wa kuingia kwenye siasa. Na nilipoingia, Mzee Mkapa naye hakunitupa. Kwa hiyo, kwa ujumla naweza kusema, familia hii imechangia sana katika malezi na ukuaji wangu kisiasa. Nikuhakikishie kuwa tutaendelea kuwatunza na kuwaenzi kwa mchango wenu mkubwa katika nchi hii.

Hayati Mzee Mkapa hayuko nasi tena kimwili lakini amebaki nasi kifikra. Tunaendelea kufaidika na mchango wake mkubwa kwa Taifa letu. Tunaendelea kuvuna hazina ya hekima na uongozi wake. Hakika, alitimiza wajibu wake hapa duniani. Tuliobaki hatuna jengine zaidi ya kumshukuru Mwenyezi Mungu kwa zawadi ya maisha ya Hayati Benjamin Mkapa kwetu. Mwenyezi Mungu aiweke roho yake mahala pema, peponi, apumzike kwa Amani !

Ahsanteni Sana kwa kunisikiliza!

JAMHURI YA MUUNGANO WA TANZANIA…!

Jiandae Kuhesabiwa siku ya Jumanne tarehe 23 Agosti, 2022

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REMEMBERING THE LATE BENJAMIN WILLIAM MKAPA: A STATEMAN WITH A SHINING LEGACY!!!

Mzee wa Atikali
Saturday, July 23, 2022

“I had an opportunity of knowing H.E Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa, the late President of Tanzania. He was an exceptional man. The History of this country cannot be written without a Golden Chapter of the late former President Mkapa….”.
President SAMIA S.H, July 14, 2021.

1. Introduction

Today, July 23, 2022, marks the second anniversary of the passing on of former President Benjamin William Mkapa who served as the Third President of the United Republic of Tanzania from November 23, 1995 to December 21, 2005. The late President Mkapa completed his earthly race on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at 2130 hours at the Emilio Mzena Memorial hospital in Dar es Salaam at the age of 81. He was an Octogenarian.

William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the Greatest Writer in the English Language, once wrote :

“The evil that men do lives after them, but the good is often interred with their bones”.

As “Mzee wa Atikali” does not want “the good” that the late President Mkapa did for our country to be ” interred with his bones”, he has crafted this Special Atikali to remember his life and legacy.

2. Birth Date and Place:

The late former President Benjamin William Mkapa came into the world on Saturday, November 12, 1938. Lupaso, a remote rural village in Masasi District, Mtwara region, was his birthplace.

Mkapa was the baby in the family of four children to his father, the late William Matwani and his mother, the late Stephania Nambanga. Two of his siblings, Mama Marcella & Mzee Blassius, passed away before him. The late Marcella (FCC DG William Erio’s mother), who was born in 1928 and passed away in 2000, was the first born while the late Blassius ( “Mzee wa Atikali” once worked with one of his daughters, Ms Blasia), who was born in 1932 and passed away in 1993, was the second born. Mzee Benard (Madame Judge Susan’s father) who was born in 1935 is the third born and the only one who is still alive todate.

Mkapa’s tribe was the Makua and his surname, Mkapa, was his mother’s clan name because of the matrilinear nature of the Makua traditional society.

3. Mkapa’s Educational Journey

3.1 Primary & Secondary education

The late Mzee Matwani enrolled Mkapa at Lupaso mission school in 1945. Mkapa was the youngest and smallest student in the entire school. In 1948, he sat for Std Four exams. He was one of only two students, out of thirty students, who were selected to join Abbey Secondary school, Ndanda in 1949. In 1951, Mkapa joined Ndanda Secondary school and in 1952 joined Kigonsera seminary in Ruvuma. In 1953, he returned to Ndanda secondary school where he completed Std Ten in 1954.

Mkapa was a Super-brilliant student who was regularly awarded for being first in his class. His favourite subjects were English and Maths. In 1954, he was Tanganyika’s brainiest student and was named “Tanganyika One” ala Hon. Edwin Mtei who was named “Tanganyika One” in 1952. Mkapa once stated, thus :-

“I passed the Territorial Standard Ten National Exams well, being First in my class at Ndanda and given a First by the Ministry of Education”.

In sync with that, the late Frank Mwanjisi, in an exclusive interview with the “Rai” Newspaper on August 5,1999, stated:

“In the final exams in 1954, there were about 600 candidates all over Tanganyika. Among them only nine candidates scored Division One. I was among them. The other ones whom I remember are Ben mkapa and Francis Nyalali”. (Translation mine).

In 1955, Mkapa joined St. Francis College, Pugu. One of the teachers at St. Francis College was Mwalimu JK Nyerere who taught him History before his resignation on March 22, 1955. Mkapa completed his studies in 1956 and scored, as expected, Division One in his final exams. Phillip Magani, Benno Nkane and John Kambona were some of his classmates and remained Mkapa’s lifelong friends.

3.2 University Education

In 1957, Mkapa enrolled in Makerere University, Uganda “The Harvard of Africa“. He studied History, Economics and English. Francis Nyalali served as the President of the Makerere Students Guild while Mkapa was the Deputy Chairman. Mkapa also mingled and locked minds with fellow future notables. Kenyan Phillip Ndegwa, who was to become Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, was his classmate as was John Nagenda who would become a presidential advisor in Uganda. In 1958, Mkapa commenced a magazine “penpoint”.

Kenyan James Ngugi, later Ngugi wa Thion’go, arrived in 1959. Ngugi’s iconic literary tour of duty began here, writing three of his outstanding novels in Makerere and became the first East African to publish a novel in English! Mkapa and Ngugi were writing and publishing literary juvenilia in college magazines “The Makererean” and “Transition”. Mkapa eventually earned a BA (English) honours degree in 1962 and then returned to Tanganyika and in those days, being an ex-Makererian gave one enormous status.

4. Mkapa’s First Port of Call

Mkapa’s career began in local administration in Dodoma as an Administrative Officer in April 1962.

5. Mkapa Leaves for the United States

In August 1962, Mkapa travelled to New York, USA where he attended Columbia University. In 1963, he was awarded a Master’s degree in International Relations & Diplomacy. He then returned to Tanganyika and became Personal Assistant to Hon. Oscar Kambona, the first Foreign Minister.

6. Mkapa Gets a Part-Time Job

Because of Mkapa’s grasp of the Queen’s idiom and his rich baritone voice, TBC gave him the opportunity to read news in English on part time basis-:

“I read the news in English as TBC had asked me to do this because of my fluency in English”.

H.E Ambassador Frednand Ruhinda narrated, thus, on August 11, 2020-:

“Ben would come to TBC to read English language bulletins, as a part-timer. I was one of those preparing those bulletins. He liked my job and we became friends”.

7. Mkapa Appointed “ME”

Late one evening, in May 1966, President Julius Nyerere appointed Mkapa Managing Editor (ME) of the TANU party newspapers namely The Nationalist and Uhuru at the tender age of just 28 after he had summoned him. A panicky Mkapa shortly presented himself before the Head of State only to be informed that he had been appointed ME-:

“Ben, I think you can help us. I want you to be the editor of the Nationalist”. I think you can do it…….”.

Mkapa expressed his willingness and yet feared that he was too green for the job. President Nyerere, thus, sent him to UK for a six month training after which he was somehow ready for the monumental task.

Thereafter, Mkapa’s stewardship saw the levels of journalism of these newspapers increase, his tender age and inexperience notwithstanding.

8. Mkapa Ties the Knot

On Saturday, August 27, 1966, Mkapa and Ms Anna Joseph Maro were united in marriage. They exchanged wedding vows at the Christ the King Cathedral, Catholic Diocese of Moshi, Kilimanjaro. Mr. Anthony Nyaki, who was to become ambassador under Mwalimu Nyerere’s presidency, and Hon. Lucy Lameck (then Junior Minister) were the Best Man and Matron of Honour, respectively-:

“I met my wife, Anna, at work. She was Secretary to the Minister of Home Affairs, I was Personal Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and our offices were in the same building. I dated her for two and half years before I married her”.

9. Mkapa Appointed Inaugural “ME”

In April 1972, Mkapa was appointed by President Nyerere the first Managing Editor (ME) of the government English newspapers namely The Daily News and Sunday News.

10. Mkapa Appointed PS

In 1974, President Nyerere appointed Mkapa his Press Secretary (PS).

11. Mkapa Appointed Founding MD

In 1976, Mkapa was appointed by President Nyerere the founding Managing Director of the Tanzania News Agency, SHIHATA (Shirika la Habari Tanzania).

12. Mkapa Appointed HC

In the same year, 1976, President Nyerere appointed Mkapa High Commissioner to Nigeria, a key posting at the time, coming six years after that country’s civil war. It was a delicate moment as relations between Tanzania and Nigeria were frosty because Tanzania had recognised the secessionist Biafra and it was now time to mend fences. President Nyerere told Mkapa:

“I need someone there who can speak English well, who knows diplomacy, who is well educated and who can compete with those fellows. I have decided you should go”

13. Mkapa Appointed Minister

Mkapa continued to edge his way into a special place in President Nyerere’s political heart. In 1977, President Nyerere appointed Mkapa Minister for Foreign Affairs after he had been appointed and sworn-in as a nominated Member of Parliament.

Ironically, after the said appointment, Mkapa became the Foreign Minister while H.E Ambassador Anthony Nyaki, who was the Best Man at his wedding in 1966, became his Principal Secretary!.

14. Mkapa Transferred to MIC

In 1980, President Nyerere transferred Mkapa to the Ministry of Information and Culture.

15. Mkapa Appointed HC

In 1982, Mkapa was appointed by President Nyerere Tanzania High Commissioner to Canada. Some foreigners were surprised as they considered this a demotion. However, Mkapa’s response was-:

“My friends, you must get to know Mwalimu better. There are some key bilateral issues with Canada that need to be addressed and Mwalimu thinks I am the best person for it. We do not stand on rank and titles in our place”.

16. Mkapa Appointed Ambassador

In 1983, President Nyerere appointed Mkapa Tanzania Ambassador to the United States.

17. Mkapa Appointed Foreign Minister

In 1984, President Nyerere appointed Mkapa Minister for Foreign Affairs.

18. Mkapa Elected MP

In 1985, Mkapa ran for a parliamentary seat in Nanyumbu, Mtwara and won.

19. Mkapa Re-Appointed Foreign Minister

In November 1985, H.E Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who served as the second President of Tanzania from 1985 to 1995, re-appointed Mkapa Minister for Foreign Affairs.

20. Mkapa Transferred to MoI

In 1990, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi transferred Mkapa to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting after he was re-elected as an MP for Nanyumbu Constituency.

21. Mkapa Transferred to MoS

In 1992, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi transferred Mkapa to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education as founding Minister.

22. Mkapa Contests the Presidency

On Sunday, May 7, 1995, Mkapa announced at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education building that he would contest the presidency. While making the announcement, he was escorted by Hon. Joseph Warioba, Hon. Jenerali Ulimwengu and Ambassador Frednand Ruhinda. Mkapa ultimately threw his hat in the presidential ring and was one of 17 CCM stalwarts who picked nomination forms. On Saturday, July 22, 1995, the CCM’s Congress picked him as the party’s flag bearer. Thereafter, Mkapa was elected and sworn-in as the third President of the United Republic of Tanzania on November 23, 1995. As Mwalimu Nyerere had endorsed him and singlehandedly campaigned for him throughout the country, his detractors dubbed him Mwalimu Nyerere’s “errand boy” and considered him incompetent and a total waste of space!.

Mkapa immediately embarked on a new economic journey as the country was wobbling in severe economic doldrums.

23. Mkapa Retires Gracefully

Mkapa retired gracefully at the end of his second term, on December 21, 2005, as has become the custom amongst presidents in Tanzania. Mkapa’s detractors who had, in1995, considered him unfit for presidency, were all very impressed by his achievements. No wonder Mkapa said that he was leaving office a happy man. Betterstill, Mkapa won kudos nationally and Internationally for rejecting calls to extend his rule beyond the constitutional limit of two, five years terms.

24. Mkapa’s Post Presidency Life

After retirement in 2005, Mkapa did not want to sit idle and do nothing. So, he occupied himself with various political & development issues. Mkapa stated -:

We may have retired but we are not tired. What we have retired from is active politics but we have not said we are not going to put in our shares of energies solving our country’s problems“.

25. Mkapa’s Grand Attributes

25.1 Mkapa was an excellent debater

Being a good debater requires a mastery of facts, issues and a good command of languages. Mkapa was an excellent debater who fitted perfectly Mwalimu Nyerere’s axiom “Dont shout, argue “. During the 1995 General elections, a Presidential debate was organised and conducted involving four leading presidential candidates at the then Kilimanjaro hotel. In that hotel, Mkapa’s formidable debating skills were in full display. In a booming, clear and confident voice, he delivered a masterful performance and stole the show surprising many including NCCR’s formidable and widely popular candidate, Hon. Augustine Mrema, who had dubbed Mkapa “Bubu” prior to the debate. On that day, Mkapa magnificently set the stage for him to become the third President of Tanzania. No wonder, Hon. Patrick Rutabanzibwa, wrote on August 11, 2020-:

“Mkapa’s extraordinary intellectual ability had been well known since his days as a newspaper editor. However, many Tanzanians did not actually witness it until 1995, during the first and only televised presidential debate in Tanzania. Mkapa’s seriousness, eloquence and ability to effortlessly assemble facts to make his point, impressed many”.

25.2 Mkapa was a Devout Catholic

Mkapa was a devout Catholic faithfully attending Sunday Mass wherever he was. “Mzee wa Atikali” had the privilege of attending Sunday Mass with him for many years at St. Immaculate Conception church in Upanga. Mkapa was always punctually present at the second Mass which was said in English at 8.30 Am. Mind you, this was an intellectual who was rubbing shoulders with different presidents and prominent people in the world but every Sunday morning made a commitment to spending time with God!. When Mkapa assumed the presidency, he changed and started attending the Seven O’clock Swahili Sunday Mass. Mkapa was a well known figure in the church and even on days when he did not attend Mass, out of respect, loyal fellow worshippers, would leave his seat open. No wonder, the Archbishop of Dsm, Yuda Thaddeus Ruwa’ichi, said in a video message on Julai 24, 2020-:

Mkapa was a Parishioner of the St. Immaculate Conception Church, Upanga and I dare say he was a good Parishioner…….”.

In the same vein, Mkapa’s nephew, Mr. William Erio, Director General of FCC, informed “Mzee wa Atikali” that:

My uncle was, indeed, a devout Catholic. Even when Covid-19 was at its peak with many people having opted to stay home, he never skipped Sunday Mass“.

Betterstill, Mkapa also respected other people’s faiths. Mkapa was a Catholic who married a Lutheran and he maintained that cordial and peaceful coexistence with his wife. As the Head of State, you would expect him to pressurise his wife to convert to Catholicism but he never did that and Mama Anna is still a Lutheran.

Mkapa gave government buildings to religious institutions to establish universities eg he handed over Mazengo sec school buildings to the Anglican church to establish St. John’s University. He gave the Tanesco buildings in Morogoro to Bakwata to establish the Islamic University, he handed the Iringa bank college buildings to the Catholic Church to establish the Ruaha University and he handed over the Magamba sec school buildings to the Evangelical Lutheran Church to start their Moses Kolowa Memorial University.

25.3 Mkapa was a Staunch “YANGA” Fan

It is well documented that Mkapa was a staunch Yanga Fan. In sync with that, the late President Joseph Magufuli said on July 28, 2020 at the “Uhuru” stadium:

I have heard that the late Mkapa was an ardent Yanga fan” (Translation mine).

25.4 Mkapa was a Workaholic President

Mkapa always lived the code of life of his Benedictine missionary teachers- “Ora et labora” ie Pray & Work. He valued work and gave it the best he had with amazing discipline. He wrote-:

“My sons, Stephan and Nicholaus, ask me- “When are you going to settle down and rest? This country will always be there”.

25.5 Mkapa was a Peacemaker

Mkapa was an indefatigable peacemaker at the forefront in brokering peace deals during conflicts in Africa. Hon. Job Masima, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Israel, gave one example on July 25, 2020 to buttress this view:

“In 1997, Kenneth Kaunda, the first President of Zambia, was arrested and imprisoned at Mkubeko in Kabwe, Zambia. Mwalimu Nyerere was the one who went and enabled him to get out of prison after discussions with the then President of Zambia, Chiluba. The man behind all this was Ben Mkapa. He was the one who had tirelessly discussed with Chiluba and then asked Nyerere to intervene. Ben was the one who facilitated the whole issue and Nyerere finalized it “.

Furthermore, in DRC, Mkapa served as co-mediator along with former President of Nigeria, H.E O. Obasanjo; and in Kenya where he was a member of a panel comprising Eminent African personalities namely Dr. Koffi Annan and Graça Machel helping the country to return to peace after the 2007-08 election violence.

No wonder, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, on July 24, 2020, hailed Mkapa for being “a close friend and brother, who stood with Kenya during some of our darkest hours”.

In the same vein, UN Secretary General, Hon. Antonio Guterres said on July 24, 2020-:

“Former President Mkapa was an experienced diplomat and a respected regional peacemaker”.

25.6 Mkapa was Philanthropic

Mkapa was a generous human being who inspired, guided and helped many people before, during and after his presidency. Mr. Jenerali Ulimwengu pays witness to this fact. He wrote, on August 5, 2020-:

I first met Mkapa when I was a first year Law student at Udsm and had gone to Addis Ababa to attend a Conference in 1970. Mkapa was then the Managing editor of the TANU newspapers ie The Nationalist and Uhuru. He was a jovial man and quite helpful. He helped me out with the airport fee that one had to pay before flying”.

In the same vein, one Ms Benigna Joseph, stated on July 29, 2020-:

“I am one of the beneficiaries of Mkapa’s generosity. In 2002, he paid school fees and other costs for 17 students from Masasi who had passed their exams but their parents couldn’t afford to pay the costs. I was one of them. He paid for all four years of secondary education”.

Along the same lines, former DSM RC, Hon. Paul Makonda, on his part, narrated on February 17, 2020-:

In 2012, I was among contestants in CCM elections scheduled to be held in Dodoma. So, I went to visit Hon. Mkapa at his residence for guidance and financial assistance as I was struggling financially. He listened to me patiently, guided me and assisted me financially. That was the beginning of my political journey“( Translation mine).

Mkapa also once wrote-:

When I was appointed Managing Editor in 1966, my personal car was the office car, with the journalists often joining me at home for dinner and Anna was very supportive”.

These four examples, out of many, suffice to show that Mkapa was, indeed, a Model Philanthropic Politician.

25.7 Mkapa was a Bookworm

Mkapa was a voracious and an avid reader of books. He had an insatiable appetite for books-:

My favourite hobby is reading. I read alot especially biographies as other people’s lives fascinate me. When I travelled abroad, I always wanted to spend a little time in a bookshop. Sadly, so few people read nowadays”.

This was echoed by his former Personal Assistant, H.E Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, who stated on July 14, 2021-:

“Ben liked to read- newspapers, journals and books. He read alot. I often helped him identify and acquire new books and journals., he would strive to find time to visit bookshops to browse and buy. If he didnt have the time, I will do this for him. He preferred reading books to idle chatter or self- serving flattery”.

Likewise, Ms Rose Magnus Mkapa (95), Mkapa’s maternal aunty, narrated more or less the same on July 31, 2020-:

“Benjamin was a boy you could never meet in the village wandering aimlessly. It was him and his books. He was doing extremely well in school” (Translation mine).

25.8 Mkapa was a Humble Gentleman

For some who did not know Mkapa well, he wrongly seemed arrogant. This was because he possessed this aura of being confident and authoritative. No wonder Mwalimu Nyerere once said-:

“You know, Ben is an intellectual. He is intellectually arrogant. He doesn’t entertain stupidity and when some people want to chat, Ben doesn’t have time for that “.

Mkapa always hated the cult of personality. Immediately after being sworn-in as President in 1995, he refused to be called “Mtukufu” and also refused to have his picture on national currency-:

“I dislike glorification. I was the first Tanzanian president not to have my face portrayed on our currency. I also insisted I shouldn’t be addressed by the usual honorific title of “Mtukufu”.

Ambassador Ruhinda summed it up nicely on August 11, 2020-:

“Ben was almost a complete human being. All the good qualities of a good human being, Ben had. True, he was also a severe and no-nonsense person. But all these are good human qualities”.

25.9 Mkapa was a selfless President

Unlike some past & present African presidents eg Mobutu Sese Seko of DRC, Mkapa was not the type of person to favour his native home village, Lupaso ala Mobutu’s Gbadollite. Mkapa always looked at the country as home not just where he was born. In fact, even the tarmac on the road to Lupaso was poured in under Dr. Magufuli’s presidency. Dr. Magufuli stated, on April 4, 2019, when launching Mbonde Heath Center in Masasi-:

“Is it wrong to construct a road going to Mkapa’s village? Yes am building for him so that when the time comes for his burial, the body would pass on a paved road”(Translation mine).

25.10 Mkapa was a Patriot Par Excellency

Mkapa was a true patriot and a brilliant public servant who dedicated his entire life serving his nation with honour, dignity and excellence. H.E Dr. Jakaya Kikwete said thus, on July 24, 2020-:

“Mzee Mkapa lived a remarkable life of service, civility and patriotism. Today, we grieve the loss of a lifelong public servant “.

Mkapa was not a populist who sought to just please people but was prepared to annoy them or lose friends if that was the price to pay for the interest of his country.

25.11 Mkapa was an Even-Handed Person

Mkapa was an even- handed person who always stood for justice. He hated injustice. This is evidenced by the following unique example.

On May 6, 2012, Mkapa, in an unprecedented move, made history by becoming the first retired Head of State in Tanzania to appear in person and testify before the court. He appeared before the Kisutu RM Court as a defence witness in a 2.5B theft case against Prof. Costa Mahalu, former Tanzanian Ambassador to Italy, regarding purchase of the Embassy building in Italy. This is because Mkapa had been shocked to find Prof. Mahalu charged while he was the one who had authorized the said purchase as President.

Eventually, Prof. Mahalu was acquitted.

25.12 Mkapa was a Stickler for Punctuality

Mkapa’s former bodyguard, who went on to become Regional Commissioner for Arusha, Hon. Idd Hassan Kimanta , narrated on July 26, 2020-:

“Mkapa’s time-
consciousness was out of this world”.

In the same vein, former CS, Ambassador Matern Lumbanga who served alongside Mkapa, stated, on July 25, 2020-:

“Mkapa was a very smart President. He was very conscious with time. If the meeting was set to begin at 10.00 Am, he would step in the boardroom at 9.55 sharp”.

25.13 Mkapa was an Economic Reformist

When President Nyerere retired on November 5, 1985 , the economy was in shambles. Consequently, H.E Ali H. Mwinyi narrated after the death of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe that he had to send Mkapa to Zimbabwe & India to ask them to rescue us. Likewise, when H.E Ali H. Mwinyi retired on November 22, 1995, the economy was also a shambles !. Ultimately, it was Mkapa who brought the country back from the brink of bankruptcy in 1995. Mkapa stated thus -:

“I was sworn in on 23rd November 1995, and in the following morning my Chief Secretary Matern Lumbanga held a frank meeting with me which really shocked me- the economy was a shambles!”.

Mkapa was the first Tanzanian President in history to leave the country economically stable at the end of his presidency in 2005. Consequently, H.E Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, who served as the fourth President of Tanzania, thus, inherited a solid economy.

Furthermore, Hon. Anthony Mtaka, Regional Commissioner for Dodoma, wrote on July 28, 2020-:

“The late Mkapa had an impressive record in building state institutions (TRA, Tanroads, TACAIDS, NHIF, TNBC, PCCB, NEEC and TASAF)” .(Translation mine).

No wonder thus, the late President Magufuli admitted at the “Uhuru” stadium, on July 28, 2020-:

“Many of the successful projects that we see today were initiated by Mzee Mkapa…. Even the National vision to make our country a middle- income economy was established by him…”.(Translation mine).

26. Mkapa Goes to Meet his Maker

Mkapa bid adieu to the world on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at the Emilio Mzena Memorial hospital, Dar es Salaam at 9.30 PM. Mkapa’s sudden demise, which shocked the entire nation, was announced by the then President, the late Dr. John Magufuli.

Mr. Erio divulged the following info on Sunday, July 26, 2020-:

“Mkapa was admitted for malaria treatment on Wednesday. He had shown signs of recovering on Thursday and I was with him until 8.00 Pm. After watching the evening news bulletin, he died of cardiac arrest”.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Mkapa was laid to rest close to his father and mother in the clan’s graveyard in his natal village of Lupaso, Masasi, Mtwara. Mkapa was survived by his wife, Mama Anna, his two children Mr. Stephan Mkapa & Mr. Nicholaus Mkapa and his wife, Mrs Foster Mbuna Mkapa, as well as his two grandchildren namely Nigel Benedict Alexander Mkapa & Nathaniel Joseph Mkapa.

27. Concluding Remarks

“Mzee wa Atikali” concurs entirely with Her Excellency, President Samia, that the History of this country cannot be written without a Golden Chapter of the late President Mkapa who has left behind a shining legacy.

“Mzee wa Atikali” calls on everyone to tap into Mkapa’s legacy and ensure that everything he stood for lives on.

“The late President Mkapa did so much to his country while in office and after his term in office. He dedicated his life to the poor and underserved. We feel strongly that we have a duty to honour his life and celebrate his legacy. We are determined to carry over from where he ended and do our level best to keep his ideas and conviction immortal and impactful. It is why we commemorate this day, from now onwards”.
Dr. ELLEN MKONDYA SENKORO- CEO of Mkapa Foundation, July 14, 2021.

“By Mzee wa Atikali”
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