Police in Tanzania have confirmed that 45 people were killed in a stampede that occurred on the second day when Dar es Salaam residents were paying their last respects to the body of the late President John Magufuli.
According to the authorities, 37 more people were injured as a huge number of mourners sought to force their way into the stadium to pay their last respects to Magufuli on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
The individuals were part of an impatient crowd that attempted to enter the stadium via unofficial entrance points.
“These people were not criminals. They went to the stadium in order to express their love for their departed leader but because the number of people was huge, some became impatient and opted to using unofficial entry points and that was how the problem occurred,” Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone commander, Lazaro Mambosasa, told members of the press yesterday.
The police boss noted that all the 37 people who sustained various injuries in the stampede were recuperating well and had been discharged from various health facilities.
“Whenever there is a national event that brings many people together, it is advised that people should obey the laid down procedures. That way, we will be able to avoid a recurrence of the loss of lives that we have just had,” he added.
The authorities did not, however, name the victims.
But Kahawa Tungu understands that one of the families that suffered a huge loss is that of David Mtuwa, a resident of Dar es Salaam.
Mtuwa lost five family members in the incident. They are Christian (11), Michelle (8), Nathan (6), Natalia (5), Suzan Ndana Mtuwa (30s) and a housemaid Anita (27).
Magufuli, according to Tanzania authorities died at the Mzena Memorial Hospital in Dar es Salaam on March 17.
He was laid to rest at his Chato hometown on Friday, March 26, after a series of funeral services in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Zanzibar and Mwanza.