Team to probe Mbagala bomb blasts announced
By Guardian Team
The government has formed a nine-man probe committee to investigate the cause and impact of last Wednesday`s bomb blasts at the Tanzania People`s Defence Forces (TPDF) Mbagala armoury in Dar es Salaam.
As the government named the probe team, reports reaching The Guardian yesterday said the death toll from the bomb blasts had risen to 24 from 22 on Sunday.
Defence and National Service minister, Dr Hussein Mwinyi told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the team led by Major General Sylvester Chacha, includes bomb experts, chemists, police officers, fire experts as well as property valuers.
The team which has already started work, would investigate the source of the bomb blasts, its impact and recommend practical measures to be taken to ensure the problem will not happen in other ammunition camps, Dr. Mwinyi said.
The minister however called on the public to take extra care if they see strange objects lying about.
``People should not pick anything related to ammunition, which are believed to have been scattered in the affected area (Mbagala),`` he said, stressing that it`s unlawful for anybody to hide bullets.
Dr. Mwinyi also assured Mbagala residents that the situation has normalized and that they should resume their daily activities.
``The area is safe as soldiers collect some of the blasts` remains in the area,`` he stressed.
Meanwhile, the minister named the six solders who died in the bomb blasts, as Major AM Muhidin, Amelye Mbeyale, Corporal Phinias Mwambashi, Corporal Mohamed Seif, Corporal Benard Mbilo and Timothy Mtweve.
Meanwhile, the Police Commander for the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Suleiman Kova clarified yesterday that last Wednesday`s blasts had by Sunday claimed 21 lives, not 22 as reported in the media on Sunday and Monday.
Of the two latest deaths, Kova named the first one as Ashura Khamis, a resident of Mbagala, who passed away yesterday at the Muhimbili National Hospital.
The other is a six-year child, whose body was pulled out of River Kizinga yesterday morning, according to the chairman of the funeral committee formed to bury those who died in the bomb blasts.
The chairman, Jerome Bwanausi, named the child as Ramadhani Salum, a pupil of Mbagala`s Maarifa Nursery School in Dar es Salaam.
Meanwhile, the number of patients admitted to the Muhimbili National Hospital, Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) and Temeke district hospital has increased to 27 patients.
At Temeke hospital the number of patients rose to 12 after nine people were admitted yesterday morning. At Muhimbili, there are 10 patients while at MOI, there are five patients. One of the patients at MOI is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner William Lukuvi said the main challenges they are facing are shortage of valuers and surveyors to speed up the exercise of evaluation of the destroyed houses and properties.
He said that they have requested for more valuers and architectural surveyors from Coast Region, Morogoro, Tanga and graduates from Ardhi University.
The RC also said they are in need of 500 tents to accommodate all the victims.
He said they have requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide them with more tents.
Lukuvi said the number of houses destroyed is 4,636 and 3,750 households. Out of them 275 houses were completely burnt down, 135 were partially destroyed while 2187 others were unroofed. The other 3,058 houses have cracks.