Mkapa died of heart attack, family says
Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa was suffering from malaria and died of a heart attack, his family confirmed on Sunday, rubbishing rumours that he succumbed to coronavirus.
Mkapa who served as the third President of Tanzania died on Friday at the age of 81-years-old in a Dar es Salaam hospital. However, the government did not reveal the cause of the death.
“Mkapa was found with malaria and he was admitted for treatment since Wednesday,” family member William Erio said during a funeral mass broadcast on state television TBC1 on Sunday.
Erio further said the former president, who served between 1995-2005, was feeling better on Thursday and was even able to watch news bulletin that evening. He however said Mkapa suffered cardiac arrest and died.
When Mkapa’s death was announced, there was speculation that he had succumbed to Covid-19.
Tanzania ceased publishing official statistics on the virus on April 29 and has not taken any specific measures recommended by the World Health Organization to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Tanzania President John Magufuli, who broke the news of Mkapa’s death, was in attendance at the funeral mass which was held at the National Stadium.