Speaking to this paper in separate interviews, the clerics called upon government executives to embrace transparency and open governance styles which were championed by the departed leader.
They however urged Tanzanians to read Mkapa’s book ‘My Life; My Purpose’ to continue learning on how to properly lead the public.
Evance Chande, retired bishop of the Evangelistic Assemblies of God Tanzania (EAGT) at Ipagala mission in the capital, said Tanzanians and government officials should consider Mkapa’s death as a chance to evaluate themselves on whether they execute their responsibilities in an open, truthful and transparent manner.
“There are so many things that our leaders can learn by reading his book. He was the type of a leader who worked for all Tanzanians despite their religious differences and political affiliations,” he said.
Dodoma Regional Sheikh for BAKWATA, Mustapha Rajabu called upon Tanzanians to embrace all the good things that the late Mkapa did during his tenure as Union President.
“Some of the good things he did include proper supervision of the country’s economy as well as implementation of construction projects such as roads and the National Stadium,” the cleric affirmed.
The late Mkapa supported various religious groups as he facilitated the construction of the Gaddafi mosque in the still bourgeoning capital of Dodoma.
The third phase president will also be remembered as among African leaders who were involved in conflict resolution in several countries in the continent. He was facilitator in the Burundi crisis with support from the United Nations and the African Union, he stated.
The former president was also involved in mediation in Kenya's post-election conciliation efforts in 2008, he pointed out.
He was part of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which weighed in after post-election violence following highly disputed results of the December 27, 2007 presidential election.
Benjamin Mkapa died at a hospital in Dar es Salaam late Thursday July 24th at the age of 81.
He was president of Tanzania from November 1995 to December 2005 and was the first leader elected after the multiparty system was restored in 1992.
The body of the departed leader was being viewed at Uhuru Stadium for three days (from Sunday to today) to allow residents of Dar es Salaam and neighbouring regions to pay their last respects.
A timetable unveiled by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday said the stadium would be open from 9am to noon for public viewing.
Tomorrow, after a final requiem mass, the body will be flown to his home village of Lupaso in Masasi district, Mtwara region for the burial ceremony.