East Africa pays tribute to Mandela

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) – As preparations for the state funeral of South Africa's liberation hero Nelson Mandela got underway on Friday, East African leaders mourned the peace icon’s passing.

“I was privileged to know him and he was a true inspiration. I will always cherish his memory. Mandela was one of the greatest leaders in the world,” twitted Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. “He changed the world. My sympathies to the family and to the world for this loss.”  

Mbabazi described Mandela as a true hero for all freedom loving people, saying “Mandela will always be remembered for what he gave the world -- human dignity.”

In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said Mandela "embodied the power of hope and believed in the power of forgiveness."

Tanzania has declared three days of mourning with President Jakaya Kikwete saying: "The world has lost one of its greatest citizens. Mandela was a voice of courage, a source of inspiration and a beloved leader to us all."

According to Uganda’s leading daily New Vision, South Africa’s first democratic president, who first visited the East African country in July 1990, five months after his release from 27 years imprisonment, remains an icon to many Ugandans from his trademark ‘Mandela shirt’ to his brand of politics.

Meanwhile,  Uganda Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said a motion to pay tribute to Mandela would be moved Tuesday in the House.

A condolence book has been opened at the parliament building for the public to sign.

“The signing in the condolence book will remain open to the public until the day of his burial,” Kadaga said.
-0- PANA AR/MA 6Dec2013

06 december 2013 12:09:20

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