Dar es Salaam — The family of the late Retired President Benjamin William Mkapa said on Sunday, July 26, 2020, that the former Head of State died of cardiac arrest.
Family spokesperson William Erio said during a funeral mass at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam that Mkapa suffered cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment in hospital in Dar es Salaam.
He told thousands of mourners that Mkapa, who led Tanzania for ten years from 1995 to 2005, felt unwell on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, and was taken to hospital where he tested positive for malaria.
"He was admitted on the same day, and put on treatment. He showed signs of recovering for the better part of Thursday," said Mr Erio, who is also director general of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
He added that he visited Mr Mkapa in hospital on Thursday, and left in the company of other family members at around 8pm.
"I was with him on Thursday, and he gave me a message to deliver to Bishop (Alfred) Nzigilwa to the effect that was unable to attend his (Bishop Nzigilwa's) farewell ceremony on Wednesday as earlier promised," Mr Erio added.
Bishop Nzigilwa was appointed the new Bishop of Mpanda Diocese in May, and Mkapa was initially expected to attend a ceremony to bid him farewell as the outgoing auxiliary Bishop of Dar es Salaam.
According to Mr Erio, after they had left, Mr Mkapa started watching a news bulletin on television.
"I left so that I could deliver his message to Bishop Nzigilwa. We were later informed that after watching the news, he attempted to stand up and go outside, but collapsed in his bed, and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. It was later established that he suffered cardiac arrest."