The 24th of July, 2020 shall forever be ingrained in our memory as a fateful day that came with the shocking news of the sudden demise of our University Chancellor H.E. Benjamin Mkapa. He has served as Chancellor at Cavendish University Uganda with meticulous focus, diligence and guidance since its 3rd Graduation in 2014.
H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, has been a distinguished former President of the United Republic of Tanzania who served from 1995-2005, an accomplished education advocate and a compassionate leader. He will always be remembered for his Pan African ideals, great zeal and commitment in championing the education of global citizens, particularly in Africa.
The Vice Chancellor of Cavendish University Uganda, Prof John F. Mugisha has recognised his immense contribution to the growth of the University and acknowledged that; "Throughout his tenure as the Chancellor at Cavendish University Uganda from 2014-2020, he has played a significant role in the development and strengthening of CUU’s Academic model, teaching and learning philosophy. His passing will be mourned by the entire Cavendish University fraternity; we have lost not only a leader but a close friend."
His Excellency Mkapa was born on 12th November, 1938. He served as the 3rd President of the United Republic of Tanzania for a decade from 1995 to 2005. He was also Chairman of the Revolutionary State Political Party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, CCM). H.E Mkapa graduated from Makerere University in Uganda in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to study at Columbia University, where he earned a Master's Degree in International Affairs.
He was elected as President based on a popular anti-corruption campaign and the strong support of former president Julius Nyerere. His anti-corruption efforts included the creation of an open forum called the Presidential Commission on Corruption (Warioba Commission) and increased support for the Prevention of Corruption Bureau. During his term in office, Mkapa privatized state-owned corporations and instituted free market policies. His policies won the support of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and resulted in the cancellation of some of Tanzania's foreign debts. Prior to his Presidency, Mkapa served as the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education and also the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1990. He led the Tanzanian mission to Canada in the year 1982 and the United States of America from 1983 to 1984.
H. E. Benjamin Mkapa died on 24th July 2020 after a short illness at a hospital in Dar-es-Salaam where he was receiving treatment at the age of 81 years. The memory of his passion and achievements will remain an inspiration to all who continue in the struggle to achieve a better life through education.
During these difficult and challenging times, deepest condolences and sympathies go to his wife Mrs. Anna Mkapa, his family, the Cavendish fraternity and the citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania.
May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.