Dar es Salaam — Hundreds of mourners on Wednesday were overcame with grief as they attended the Requiem Mass for the repose of the souls of 13 Tanzanians who perished in a road accident in Masaka, Uganda.
The Mass was celebrated at the Lugalo Hospital in the city.
The mourners comforted former deputy minister for Industry and Trade and Mpwapwa MP Gregory Teu, following the loss of his relatives.
Mr Teu, who was seated with his family members, including Dr Anneth Teu, who just wed in Uganda.
The 13 people perished on Sunday as they were returning home from Dr Anneth Teu's wedding held last Saturday. Their mini-bus was involved in a head-on collision against a truck, 60 kilometres from Kampala and killed 13 people as six others sustained injuries.
Mr Teu, who lost his father, son, aunt and a sister in the road crash burst into tears, when he and his family members were directed to step forward to pay their last respects to their beloved ones.
One of the family members gave him a hand, when he had left his chair and stepped forward towards the decorated coffins.
It went from bad to worse when, Mr Teu's daughter Margaret placed her head on the coffin bearing her grandfather's body and let out a loud cry.
"I have no tears left in my eyes because I have cried so much," she told The Citizen.
"I have had the toughest time and it is a very difficult time for our family. It's a critical situation," she added.
Addressing the mourners, the Minister of State in the President's Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), Ms Angellah Kairuki thanked the Ugandan government for transporting the bodies from Uganda to Tanzania on a private jet. Ms Kairuki also received 13 death certificates for those, who died in the road accident from the Ugandan government.
"On behalf of the Tanzanian government, I thank the Ugandan government under President Yoweri Museveni for the support during this difficult time. This is the true meaning of neighbourhood," she noted.
For her part, Ugandan Bety Kamya, who represented President Museveni, stated: "We are very saddened and shocked by the deaths of our beloved ones. We will investigate the cause of the road accident," she said.
The 13 bodies were yesterday transported to Mpwapwa in Dodoma and Moshi in Kilimanjaro for funeral procedures, according to family spokesman Evarist Soka.