Dar es Salaam — It is now official. The stampede that occured on the second day when Dar es Salaam residents were paying their last respects to the body of the late President John Magufuli killed 45 people.
Thirty-seven more people were injured as a huge number of mourners sought to force their way into the stadium to pay their last respects to the fallen President on Sunday, March 21, 2021, police have confirmed.
It was on Sunday, March 21 that a stampede occurred when some Dar es Salaam residents attempted to enter the stadium via unofficial entrance points as the crowd got larger. "These people were not criminals.
They went to the stadium in order to express their love for their departed leader but because the num- ber of people was huge, some became impatient and opt- ed to using unofficial entry points and that was how the problem occurred," Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone commander, Mr Lazaro Mambosasa, told The Citi- zen's sister paper Mwananchi yesterday.
He said all the 37 people who were injured in the stampede were progressing well and had been discharged from various hospitals.
"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 said. Though Mr Mambosasa could not name the victims, what is known is that the stampede dealt a heavy loss to the family of David Mtuwa of Dar es Salaam.
On Thursday, March 25, hundreds of mourners turned up at the home of Mr David Mtuwa in Dar es Salaam to pay their last respects to five family members who lost their lives during the stampede at Uhuru Stadium on Sunday, March 21.
Christian (11), Michelle (8), Nathan (6), Natalia (5), Suzan Ndana Mtuwa (30s) and a housemaid Anita Mfik- wa (27) died as they went to pay their last respects to the body of former President John Magufuli.
The body of Anita was later transported to her home in Njombe for burial.
Another reported victim was Rose John who was also killed during the stampede and her body was transport- ed to Kagera for burial.
Dr Magufuli died at the Mzena Memorial Hospital in Dar es Salaam on March 17, and his body was laid to rest at his Chato hometown on Friday, March 26.
The burial took place after Tanzanians had paid their last respects in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Zanzibar, Mwanza - and, finally Chato.