Business community mourns Ben Mkapa

The local business community has ex- pressed profound sorrow at the passing away of former President Benjamin Mkapa last Friday. They say he was a stead-fast leader, who steered the country at the time the private sector and general economy were going through a difficult time. The private sector will remember Mkapa for his pivotal role in quelling an economic crunch that hit the nation in the 90s. “His governance was paramount in stabilising and bringing sanity in the private sector,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UN Aids.
The Governor of the Bank
of Tanzania (BoT), Professor Florens Luoga, said the Late Mkapa will be remembered with a lifelong dedication to public service, love for education as well as fostering a culture of peace and national unity.
Yahya Msigwa, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) described Mkapa’s death as a blow not only to Tanzania but also to workers in Africa.
“President Mkapa was at the forefront in championing for the rights of workers in the country. He dutifully graced the annual Labour Day celebrations and rewarded best employees,” said Msigwa.
“Our deepest condolenc- es to the family of President Benjamin Mkapa; may God give his family peace of mind during these trying times,” the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) said. “His strongest legacy is his focus on education, his ability to foster peace and unity and above all the democratic tran- sition he facilitated in 2002. He leaves huge footprints in the sands of time,” said Paul Koyi, TCCIA president. Godfrey Simbeye, Executive Director of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), termed the late former head of state as a great leader who was keen on economic growth. “President Mkapa was a very decisive and memorable leader,” added Simbeye. The East African Business Council (EABC) said President Mkapa’s vision, commitment, and dedication embedded the private sector as the engine for economic growth. Meanwhile, business
magnate Mohammed Dewji has said that Tanzania has lost a true states- man and ‘servant leader’.
“I have learnt with sadness news of the demise of Mzee MKapa. We have lost an ardent statesman and servant-leader, who shaped Tanzania’s and Africa’s political landscape. We celebrate his life and honour his legacy as we mourn alongside his family, friends and the people of Tanzania,” Dewji said.
Mkapa (81)’s economic policies focused on people at the bottom of the economic pyramid, managing inflation by putting commodity prices in check.
Although his rule had criticised in some quarters, business leaders said it limited political tension in the country, creating a conducive environment for business