A PICTURE is tentatively emerging on the explosion which erupted in Monduli, in Arusha Region over the weekend, in which three young Maasai cattle grazers, and pupils at Nafco Primary School, perished.
"The incident indeed occurred but I will issue an official statement on Monday (today)," said the Arusha Regional Police Commander, Mr Charles Mkumbo, when contacted for details related to the horrid incident.
Initial reports indicate that while Landisi Saitabau aged 12, Seuri Loshila (9) and six-year-old Samueli Ole Nyangusi were grazing cattle in Lolkisale, they came across an object that prompted their attention.
In the course of examining the metallic object that is thought to be a hand grenade, it exploded, killing the trio on the spot. Their mates who had been grazing cattle nearby and witnessed the incident, rushed home to report it.
The Monduli District Commissioner, Mr Iddy Hassan Kimanta, remarked: "Five boys were grazing cattle in the area, but when the object exploded, two had already left the scene, and so, the presumed grenade killed three of them."
The DC explained that Lolkisale, which was near the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) base at Monduli, was risky, as it most probably hosted unexploded devices.
He stressed that grazers should heed warnings against straying into the restricted area. The Chairman of Lolkisale Village, Mr Julius Mhale, also outlined what happened: "While the children were throwing the metallic object to the ground as well as throwing it to one another like a ball, it exploded," adding, however, that, they were from the neighbouring Nafko village.
The Lolkisale Ward Councillor, Mr Solomon Kishoke, said some children who were grazing cattle near the scene saw a thick cloud of dust accompanied by a deafening explosion in the wake of which the three children died.
A mortuary attendant at the Regional Mount Meru Hospital, Mr Frances Coaster, said that, until midday yesterday, bodies of the deceased had not been delivered to the facility.
He speculated that they may have been preserved at the district Hospital.