7 August 2017

Tanzania: Residents Take to Streets As Bigshot Accused of Killing Businessman

Mbulu — Hundreds of residents of Mbulu Township in Manyara Region, staged a protect and blocked roads leading to the township this morning after a timber businessman of the Kidatoga pastoralist community, Petro Harja Gogobat, was allegedly killed by a bigwig in the area without legal steps being taken against him.

It is reported that his death occurred on August 2 following a debt of 400 pieces of timber the bigshot owned the deceased for construction of his house, after he was allegedly tortured and harassed by the big shot and two other persons.

One of the residents of the area, Alexander Justin, said the striking residents almost torched the house of the big shot after hearing that the latter had killed Gogobat, whom he accused of stealing his mother, whereas the truth was that the big shot owed the deceased 400 pieces of timber for annexing his house.

The resident asked the government to take steps on the matter, saying some members of the public were hating their government because some people were prioritizing their interests instead of being just.

"We have decided to block the roads so as to express our feelings as until now no steps have been taken. But we are waiting for the district commissioner, who, we are however told, is on an official visit to Arusha Region," said Justin.

However, the striking residents later cooled down after Mbulu District Commissioner Chelestino Mofuga, who was the chief guest at the Agricultural Show (Nanenane) for the Northern Zone in Arusha Region, returned quickly to Mbulu to stem the chaos.

Speaking yesterday to the residents, Mofuga called upon them to cool down over the matter, saying the government, through the district's defence and security committee of which he is chairman, had already taken steps.

Speaking over the death, the Manyara Regional Police Commander, Francis Massawe, said so far police were holding three people in connection with the incident, adding investigations were ongoing. He called upon the residents to cooperate with the police so that the killers could be arrested.

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