Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The Organisation of African Unity Thursday paid tribute to Tanzanian Vice-President Ali Juma, who died in Dar-es-Salaam last night.
OAU Secretary-General, Salim Ahmed Salim, told the opening session of the 74th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers in Lusaka, that the late Juma was "a believer and advocate" for the ideals of the continent.
"It is with profound sadness that I learnt of the shocking news of the sudden and untimely passing away last night of the Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr.
Omar Ali Juma," Salim declared.
He described Juma as "a dedicated leader of Tanzania and a firm believer and advocate of the causes which our continental Organisation stands for, in particular the lofty cause of Pan-Africanism and African economic, political and social integration.
" Earlier, outgoing chairman of the Council, Ali Treki, Libya's Minister of African Union, had asked the assembly to rise and observe a minute silence as a mark of respect for the departed Tanzanian leader.
The late Juma, 60, was appointed Vice-President in 1995.
Before then he was the Chief Minister of Tanzania's federated island of Zanzibar.
Salim remembered Juma as a "personal and respected friend and colleague.
"His death is certainly a tremendous blow to his family, the President, Government and people of Tanzania as it is to all of us, who were close to him.