AS country mourns the sudden demise of Benjamin Mkapa, golf fraternity has paid tribute to him saying he did a commendable job in developing the game’s status.
Chris Martin, the President of Tanzania Golf Union (TGU), the Chairman of Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF), Golf Club of Dar es Salaam, Michael Luwongo and the senior professional golfer, Salim Mwenyenza were among those who sent condolences and expressed Mkapa’s efforts in making golf and other sports attain global mileage.
Speaking to the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ from Arusha yesterday, Martin said that he was shocked with the sudden demise of Mkapa since he never heard that he was sick.
“On behalf of all golfers, I want to express, my heartfelt condolence to his family members and the nation at large, it is God willing, but we will remember him for the good governance”.
“Golf fraternity will not forget him for his efforts to end the notion that golf is the game for the rich people,” said Martin.
In his turn, Luwongo added that he will be remembered at Lugalo because he was the one who laid the club’s foundation stone.
“We are saddened with the shocking news of his death. Mkapa desired to see Tanzanians playing golf, thus he was here to lay a foundation stone. “His fantastic work led to what we have achieved at the club as now many youths are undergoing golf training lesson free every weekend, they are future stars.”
It’s already 18 years since national golf team lifted East Africa Challenge Trophy, but will not forget Mkapa as it is during his leadership Tanzania achieved the feat.
Veteran professional golfer, Mwanyenza was among men behind the national team success at the event held at Arusha Gymkhana Club (AGC) in Arusha in 2002.
He was national team coach in Arusha when the team won last Trophy in the only Region, since then they have been struggling to find the lost glory.
Mwenyenza said that golfers will not forget Mkapa for his desire to see country excel in all sector include sports.
“Our achievement in East Africa Challenge Trophy was in 2002 when Tanzania won it motivated by his good governance policy. The National Sports Council (NSC) was then working close with the associations including the golf body,” he said.
Sherida Chilipachi from Morogoro Gymkhana Club, who was the competition secretary of Tanzania Ladies Golf Union (TLGU), said she was deeply saddened as Mkapa was a good friend of the sport.
“I couldn’t believe the news I heard it, I want to offer my condolence to his family, we will always remember him.”