Tanzania’s national stadium in capital Dar es Salaam has been renamed after former president Benjamin Mkapa who passed away recently.
Country’s president John Pombe Magufuli confirmed the news during Mkapa’s funeral service at Uhuru stadium on Tuesday.
“Mkapa loved Sports and I know that Tanzanians will never forget him doing a great job, leading to the construction of the stadium,” Magufuli said, as quoted by Daily News.
“Many people want the stadium to be renamed after Mkapa. I know Mkapa was not interested to tag things after his name but because I have received many messages, I now declare the stadium as Mkapa stadium.”
Mkapa, born November 12, 1938, was a Politician who served as the third president of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005 and he chaired the Revolutionary party Chama Cha Mapinduzi.
He died on July 23, 2020 aged 81 at a hospital in Dar.
President Mkapa, in 2000, had promised to build a state of the art stadium before the end of his tenure in 2005.
The stadium was opened in 2007, built by Beijing Construction Engineering Group.
“We are fortunate to have such a magnificent stadium which is the best in East and Central Africa,” Magufuli added. “Most of the countries in Africa do not have such kind of the stadium but we have it courtesy of late Mzee Mkapa.”
“I believe that by the time he decided to construct the stadium, he realised that football is now a major source if revenue generation and employment to players, who are making money to support their lives through football.”
With 60,000 seats, it is the 11th largest stadium in Africa and the largest stadium in Tanzania.