Mwanza/Dar es Salaam — Tanzania today marks the 58th Independence anniversary of Tanganyika form Britain with residents turning up in large numbers led by President John Magufuli, forcing security personnel to close gates of the CCM Kirumba.
Those who missed access to the stadium were directed to nearby Furahisha Grounds where large television sets have been installed for citizens to monitor.
However, reports from the Furahisha Grounds say the attendance had exceeded those who had managed to enter the CCM Kirumba Grounds.
"I haven't succeeded to enter the stadium despite arriving here at 6am," lamented a resident of Kilimahewa in the city, Mr Hassan Ramadhani.
Speaking on the turn up, Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Mr John Mongella said it demonstrated citizen's love for their country and strong mobilizations made through mainstream media and social media.
Gates at the CCM Kirumba were open since 4am today and the 25,000 seater stadium was fully packed at 7.30am.
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Apart from President Magufuli, the ceremony was attended by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, the President of Zanzibar Ali Mohamed Shein, cabinet ministers, heads of security organs, MPs and other government officials.
Also in attendance were retired Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Ali Hassan Mwinyi, former Prime Ministers John Malecela, Mizengo Pinda, Edward Lowasa and Fredrick Sumaye.
Also in attendance were Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe in accompany of party's Central Zone chairman Lazaro Nyalandu who came as part of their promise to attend this year's event after three years of boycott.
Security was beefed at the CCM Kirumba Stadium today comprising uniformed police and plain clothed.
Soldiers from the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) and Prisons wardens also took part in strengthening security and maintaining order.
Every person entering the stadium was properly screened regardless of political and administrative positions with the Mwanza Regional Police Commander (RPC) Jumanne Muliro saying everything was in place to ensure peace and security is maintained.
"Leaders will also be inspected at the Rock City Mall where they will then have their breakfasts before boarding special vehicles to the stadium," Mwanza Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Christopher Kadio had said earlier.
(Reported by Peter Saramba, Jesse Mikofu, Sada Amir, Johari Shani and Louis Kolumbia)