Saturday, March 30, 2013
As the death toll from the 16 -storey building that collapsed in Dar es Salaam rose to 20 people by yesterday afternoon, fresh scare from the twin building opposite to the ill-fated structure prevented President Jakaya Kikwete from approaching the rescue site. President Kikwete, who was supposed to visit the tragic site for the second time yesterday, failed to arrive at the area after rumors spread, stating that the first building owned by the same person and constructed by the same contactor could also pose the same danger. President Kikwete was scheduled to arrive at the site at around midday but ended up reaching about 60 metres away from the rescue area, vividly after being warned by security and secret service personnel about the impending danger. The visit by the head of State at the site was preceded by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda’s tour who visited the area at around 09:30 in the morning and he hailed rescuers for devoting their life in search for the trapped victims. However, he encouraged them to continue with the operational exercises while the government was doing everything possible to ensure that, the law takes its course to those who would be found guilty for causing such fatal incident. Kikwete’s visit at the area had a different perception for when he had approached the area, he stopped and was briefed of what was going on by the Director of the disasters from the Headquarter of the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) Lieutenant General Sylvester Ryoba. Another briefing he received from the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander SACP Suleiman Kova who told him the entire situation as was normal as rescuers were intact carrying on their duties. President Kikwete in turn thanked the TPDF soldiers and other rescuing organizations for their devotion they had shown as they carried out the rescue work overnight. As the operations is going on, the government has ordered people who are living close to the remaining 16th building owned by the same owner of the ill-fated structure to vacate their premises for their safety following reports that, the twin building is likely to cause a danger in future. However, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadiq issued the order yesterday which up to now almost many people who had hired the residential apartments close to the feared building have vacated. One of the residents in the area, Amir Khan of the Asian origin told The Guardian yesterday at the are that, he is appealing to the government to do quick investigations on the building and if possible it should be destroyed for the safety of the people around. Meanwhile, before we go to press, the SACP Suleiman Kova held a press conference at the site later in the evening at around 14:30 hours and said that, so far six people are being held by the police for interrogation in connection with the matter. He said two more people yesterday surrendered themselves to the police upon hearing their search through media organs. He named them as the owner of the Lucky Construction company Mohammed Kisoke aged 59 years whom he said is the councilor of the Kinondoni Municipal Council for Goba in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam region. He also named another one as Zonazea Anange Bushudada aged 53 who is the consulting engineer of the SOU Consulting firm based in Dar es Salaam that was involved in all details about the structural designs of the building.
However, he further noted that, the police is interrogating one person an officer from the National Housing Corporation (NHC) whom he didn’t mention and noted that, the police is need of his explanations to help investigate the matter as he was involved in the signing of the contracts as the national firm had a stake of 25 percent on the building. In addition to the already apprehended culprits, Commander Kova has issued an order for the architect of the NHA Limited, the firm which he said did the drawings as well as all those who in one way or another were involved in the construction to surrender immediately. According to him, the construction of the collapsed building which stood on plot number 1662/75 had been given a permit for construction when it was agreed that, it was supposed to have 10 storey on its completion. But to the great dismay, other 6 storey had been added by whose authority, he queried. In view of this, his police force would ensure that, thorough investigations are carried by help of other national boards for contractors and engineers to get the matter confirmed with authentic details. Commander Kova is on the view of the fact that, the two National Boards would help to carry a soil test for the debris which he s aid has already been taken for hammer test to a disclosed scientist who he couldn’t mention as it is too earlier and moreover for security purposes. He said owners of the constructing company is held also for other reasons which he said that, he had failed to report the incident since its occurrence as per the law that required him to do so. He also said that, about 20 bodies have been retrieved from the scene since the rescue operation started that morning on Friday, and out of these 8 bodies have been identified. He added that, the government would finance the purchase of shrouds and coffins for the dead ones. However, he further noted that, 17 people who sustained injuries are still in hospital receiving medical treatment. Meanwhile, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadiq has cautioned Dar es Salaam residents and Tanzanians as a whole to be patient as the government is closely working to find out the right cause of the accident and will be getting updating information in connection with the issue. “This is a national disaster and I am appealing to all people not to take any loophole and disengage in any matters that would disrupt investigations which the government has started to collect in order to get the truth of the matter” he said and insisted people to be calm as this is being worked out. The Friday’s accident could be the worst tragedy involving four series of the collapse of high-rise buildings in the country since independence time. On August, 1987 a four-storey building under construction collapsed along Msimbazi Street, killing seven people. In 2006, a three-storey building in Chang’ombe area collapsed, injuring several people. Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa formed a team to investigate the incident but its findings and recommendations are yet to be made public to date. In 2008, a ten-storey building along Mtendeni Street in Kisutu area also collapsed, injuring some individuals.
AT least four people were reported dead on Friday evening and dozens more trapped into a 14-storey building that collapsed yesterday at the junction of Indira Gandhi and Asia streets in one of Dar es Salaam’s busiest business centres. Briefing journalists at the scene, Dar es Salaam Regional Special Police Zone Commander Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police ( (SACP) Suleiman Kova said some 17 other people most of whom workers at the construction site, were rescued and rushed to the Muhimbili National Hospital ( MNH), Amana and Aga Khan hospitals for treatment. Kova said police are holding three engineers for interrogation in connection with the incident. He named them as the Ilala Municipal engineer Ogare Salu, a building engineer Godluck Mbaga and the building supervisor engineer Wilbroad Mulyaguso. However, he said that police had since mounted a manhunt for the owner of the building whom he couldn’t immediately identify and, according to him, he is said to have disappeared. He said police were searching for him so that he could help in their investigations. Sources at the site of the accident named the owner of ill-fated building as Alizara Dewji, who is also said to own a 16-storey building located just the opposite side of the collapsed building.
However, information that reached this newspaper late in the evening stated that the owner of the building was arrested in the afternoon. Witnesses said dozens of construction workers and food vendors, popularly known as Mama Lishe, were in the building that morning when it collapsed at around 08:00, and that scores of children were playing soccer in a nearby playground adjacent to the collapsed structure. A spot check at the scene witnessed bulldozers removing heaps of debris in attempts to reach trapped survivors. Other heavy construction equipment like cranes were later brought to the site to assist in lifting heavy concrete slabs to no avail – even as some people blamed the government for lack of modern rescue equipment.
There are widespread fears that dozens of People could have died in the accident, especially construction labourers at work at the material moment. It is estimated that around 200 people were involved in the construction work, including engineers and laborers. The collapsed building was being constructed by Lucky Construction Limited; Sou Consult Limited were as the structural engineers while NHA Limited were cited as the architects.
The building permit for the collapsed structure No.0398 was issued by Ilala Municipal Council -- for commercial and residential purposes. The president of the Institute of Engineers (Tanzania), Malima Bundara said a weak foundation and use of substandard building material could be the major causes of the accident. However, Kova said police in collaboration with the Contractors Registration Board ( CRB) and Engineers Registration Board( CRB) would team up to investigate the accident. The Friday’s accident could be the worst tragedy involving the collapse of high-rise buildings in the country. On August, 1987 a four-storey building under construction collapsed along Msimbazi Street, killing seven people. In 2006, a three-storey building in Chang’ombe area collapsed, injuring several people. Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa formed a team to investigate the incident but its findings and recommendations are yet to be made public to date. In 2008, a ten-storey building along Mtendeni Street in Kisutu area also collapsed, injuring some individuals. Dar es Salaam regional Commissioner Said Meck Saidiq issued a stop order for the construction of another 16-storey building owned by the same individual and constructed by the same contractors. The building which is adjacent to the collapsed building is in final stages of completion. President Jakaya Kikwete and his wife Mama Salma Kikwete visited the site but fell short of words. Other politicians who visited the site were nominated Member of Parliament of James Mbatia and CUF Deputy Secretary General Julius Mtatiro. They both blamed the government for its slow response to the incident.
Tanzania People’s Defense Force (TPDF) soldiers led by Major Stanslaus Mishako and anti-riot police took control of the area. Major Mishako said in an interview that he had 200 soldiers, 105 of them from the National Service Headquarter and 95 came from KJ 831 -- Mgulani camp.
Even then, trapped victims are said to have been making phone calls to friends and relatives.
Friday, March 22, 2013
ATTORNEYS TO Chadema’s Defense and Security Director Wilfred Lwakatare yesterday filed an application in High Court in Dar es Salaam seeking for the court’s intervention to investigate the conduct of the Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPPs) whom they accuse to have not done the rightful decision against their client. The defense council is of the opinion of the fact that the decision by the DPPs to enter nolle prosecui for the case No. 37/2013 and tactfully turned around and reopen the case No. 6/2013 with similar charges against their client before the presiding Resident Magistrate to rule it out, is an open interference of the judicial administration of justice. They have claimed that, the decision by DPPs has denied the magistrate who was hearing the case an opportunity to rule on a debate that had just started on the bail of the accused. In view of this, the opposition lawyers have filed a case under a certificate of urgency seeking the annulment of fresh charges against their client Speaking in an exclusive interview at the High Court’s premises, Lwakatare’s defense advocate Tundu Lissu said that, they have opened a file application alongside with the certificate of urgency so that the High Court should hasten the judicial process as quickly as possible. “We have opened an application file requesting the High Court to intervene and see if the government through the DPPs has done the rightful decision against our client” he said adding that, they want the High Court to go over the first and the second file to verify if the procedure used followed protocol in accordance to the law.
Chadema’s Defense and Security Director Wilfred Lwakatare is being escorted by the police to enter into a court chamber at Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday this week. This was after he was re-arrested after being acquited with the first count and charged with terrorism
However, he said and outlined some of the few points which they also wanted to know as reasons for their main claims which included the circumstances that led to the suspension of the earlier case was done under what circumstances. He added that, the decision by DPPs over the matter is an abuse of judicial process. According to Lissu, if the High Court agrees to the request, then the prosecution will be forced to withdraw the second charge sheet that was filed on Wednesday this week and proceeded with the first one. Lissu asserted that, though the DPP has mandate to drop and reopen a case as he may deem necessary, but in this case he regarded the action as the misuse of office power as the decision is not for the national interest or the interest for justice that decides there are no allegations. The advocate Lissu who is amongst a most professional lawyers in the country and an MP for Singida East constituency under Chadema ticket noted that, had the DPPs really wanted to reopen the case, then they would have entered new charges and not the same ones they had just withdrawn by entering nolle prosecui. Lwakatare was arraigned for terrorism on Monday this week and on the following day was released following the DPPs decision not to proceed with the case by entering the nolle prosecui but in a dramatic turn of events, the DPPs filed new charges that the defense is now disputing. The new charges however, led to the re-arrest of the Chadema director who now remains in remand custody until the next court session which comes up for mention in 3rd April 2013. Lwakatare and his co-accused were arrested on four counts including conspiracy to kidnap the Mwananchi Chief Editor Dennis Msacky. Their arrest followed the posting of a video clip on social media that allegedly linked the two with kidnap and torture conspiracy. They were remanded despite of the fact that the court was on Thursday had earlier expected to set the date for a bail hearing.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
THE Regional Police Commander for Kinondoni special police zone in Dar es Salaam region ACP, Charles Kenyela on Saturday last week managed to stop a planned peaceful demonstration which was earlier organized by members of the opposition Chadema party in Dar es Salaam city. The demonstrations were coordinated by the party’s publicity secretary and the current Member of Parliament for Ubungo constituency John Mnyika, were scheduled to start from Manzese Darajani area all the way along Morogoro Road up to the headquarter premises of the ministry of Water located at Ubungo near daladala bust stand in a distance that covers 1 and a half kilometers. The legislator earlier planned to stage a peaceful demonstration with a view to send the message to the Minister for Water Prof. Jumanne Maghembe to react in relation to the long unsolved perennial water problem which currently has seriously affected most suburbs in the city of Dar es Salaam. ACP Kenyela managed to suppress the opposition supporters’ movements who later on had refrained from participating in the demonstration which had had hitherto no police permit by uttering threatening statements as precaution in the morning when they were preparing to start in groups. ACP Kenyela had precautioned the expected demonstrators not to participate and should immediately stop their movements and noted that incase such a demonstration occurs, the police would use force against the demonstrators. Prior to that, he had issued a verbal statement in an interview which was echoed through Wapo Radio station operating in the city and warned the stubborn supports there is a likelihood of the emergence of chaos and misunderstandings among themselves if their demands would not be met. He also told them that, the Minister’s office was not aware of their demonstration an aspect that, demonstrators might use the opportunity to cause some losses to the ministry’s properties if dared to enter into their compound premises without their consent or awareness. The third point he highlighted is the fact that, the road through which the demonstrators would use is narrow as it is still under construction, and added that, their abrupt presence along would prevent the construction activities as there would be no police around to take care. However, he said such interference is likely to cause losses to a contractor and the government as well. Speaking on behalf of the legislator Mnyika, the coordinator of the planned demonstration from the MP’s office Gaston Garubindi, said that, he was disappointed by the statements earlier issued by the ACP Kenyela in a radio broadcast.
Chadema party’s publicity secretary and the current Member of Parliament for Ubungo constituency Hon. John Mnyika.
He said that, Kenyela had deceived the public with his statements when he said the Minister was not aware of their planed mission and yet their party had had already wrote a letter to the Minister with ref. No: OMU/MJ/001/2013 dated two weeks ago informing him about their intention, and a copy of which was sent to other ministerial leaders of the same ministry. Elaborating on the issue of chaos which is likely to occur, he refuted such allegations and noted that, it’s the police who would institute such chaos due to their persistent threats that deaths might occur which they have been issuing now and then, he affirmed. “Deaths won’t occur just because of the peaceful demonstration, always it’s the police who are causing deaths during public demonstrations for they use firearms, but for us we have clarified it’s a peaceful demonstration, but the police take the matter as a political agenda” he said. He also noted that, their planned peaceful demonstration would not cause losses or inferences to social and economic activities as demanded by the police as they all know what they are doing. However, he added that, their aim is to get to know the clear answers of the questions their legislator (Mnyika) had recently presented as a private agenda for discussion in the recent Parliamentary debate when he addressed the acute shortage of water in the city of Dar es Salaam as a representative of the people of the Ubungo constituency. Meanwhile, the Ubungo legislator managed to hold a meeting with small group of people in his constituency yesterday at Manzese kwa Bhakresa, a venue which was earlier planned to start the demonstration. During his meeting, he talked with his people issues related with the water, land ownership and the problems of the decoders. The latter issue had a great impact to Television viewers as most of them were unable to afford their prices. In view of this, the legislator Mnyika has promised them to wind up a parliamentary debate pressing for the government to revert their decision so as to make the people of Dar es Salaam city to revert into former analogue system as most of them were not yet ready to buy the decoders which are affordable at a high price rate. He has also pledged to send an appeal to the police force that had refused to grant him permission of staging a peaceful demonstration and noted that, their mission is still there and will see it’s implemented. After having been denied a permit to stage a legal demonstration, The survey by this blog carried between Manzese and Ubungo yesterday in the morning and found a massive of anti-police riot (FFU) who were deployed at various strategic points in readiness to curb with whatever could happen if the police orders could be defied by Chadema supporters. A spot check at the Ministry of Water witnessed three FFU anti riot police soldiers standing at the gate with their tear guts holding over their shoulders probably waiting for the order to disperse the demonstrators who would defy their orders, but had surrendered and dared not to demonstrate.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
RELIGIOUS leaders of the Christian community residing in Zanzibar will continue facing harassments and other malpractices and even deaths if Tanzania government will not make clear the issue of union in the current constitutional review process, a human right activist has observed. Sylvester Omoche said in an exclusive interview early this week in Dar es Salaam that, the government should allow public discussion of the union matters which seemingly has a hidden agenda that makes some people within the Revolutionary government of Zanzibar not to be happy with certain aspects. However, he said that, the hidden agendas about the union is the reason behind which makes the people of Zanzibar to be furious and resort to react against fellow Christians negatively as a pretext to find the way how to start in order to get their voices heard for they are afraid of proclaiming their demands in public. In view of this, he has however suggested that, both governments should sit in a table of discussion to find out a solution that would restore peace and harmony in order to avert any further possible threats in the Isles. Omoche has linked the last week’s killing of a Roman Catholic priest in Zanzibar Father Evarist Mushi and a subsequent torching of a church that followed two days later in Zanzibar as behind the political agenda and an indication which shows that, there is a heated controversy on the issue of union between the two countries. Omoche who is also a lawyer in a private company based in Arusha has predicted that, if the government will not be open with the issue of the union, there are so many acts of malpractices and even violence which will continue to happen against Christians that would lead into more bloodshed. The call by an activist has come when peace loving Tanzanians are shocked by the Zanzibar killing while the police has sent a team of expert to investigate and search for the people suspected to have involved in last week’s tragic incident and that of another Padre Ambrose Mkenda who was shot and narrowly escaped death on Christmas day last year in Zanzibar. With the two incidences the police have failed to arrest the culprits. He said that, the secret behind the series of religious skirmishes which have been taking place in the Isles is entirely connected with the issue of the union which is being perpetrated by some few individuals within the Revolutionary government who wants it to be separated and each state should have its own autonomy.
Former Zanzibar President Aman Abeid Karume greets the first Vice-President of Zanzibar Maalim Seif Sharif.
Coupled by the activist’s call, before the killing of a priest in Zanzibar last week, the head of Catholic Church in Tanzania Cardinal Polycarp Pengo received a letter from unknown people which he believed might have been sent by a renowned Zanzibar Islamic revival group which had a message in it that read as follows. “Through our efforts we have managed to torch their churches and our great efforts was seen when we managed to stop catholic during their overnight prayers although we narrowly missed Padre Ambrose Mkenda of Mpendae Church”. The message further continued, “This is not the end of our struggle we shall make sure that, every church leader here in Zanzibar fails to conduct their religious mission in the Island”. It said and added that, “Our beloved Muslims are behind the bars (in prisons) although are doing well one day they will be out and join us through the power of Allah. The message which seemed to be long further stated that, “Our most loving thing is that our friends in government and outside have assured us that, this is the end to attend the union calibrations and our youths who are in Somalia undergoing training have assured us that before the celebrations to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), there will emerge another celebration” said part of the message. With this message, Cardinal Pengo was quoted by the media early this week as saying that, the government does not take any seriousness with the matter even after when he reported it to the security organs. He said that, due to lack of seriousness emanating from the security department in Zanzibar, that is why such a letter had been distributed smoothly and passed through and wondered how a copy of it had reached him as a top leader of the catholic church in the country, he said if quick actions could be taken on time, there would have not been any bloodshed. The slain catholic priest was laid to rest on Wednesday this week with religious leaders dismissing a statement by the government that the priest’s death was as a result of the God’s will. Speaking on behalf of the government, shortly after the priest was buried at Matope area on the outskirts of Zanzibar municipality, the Minister for State in the Second Vice-President’s Office, Mohammed Aboud said, what happened was God’s will which no one can ever question. At this point, hundreds of distraught mourners booed, an indication that they disagreed with the Minister’s sentiments. Religious leaders who attended the burial ceremony had to calm down the multitude of mourners who shouted, “ Is it God’s will that assigned the killer to gun down the priest? Bishop Augustino Mushi of the Catholic diocese Zanzibar who was seated beside Zanzibar’s President Mohammed Shein stood up in anger and grabbed the microphone and said, “let me say this, the statement that the death of the priest is God’s will can’t to true” he added that it was an outright murder and we cannot entertain such criminality. The burial of a slain Priest Evarist Mushi was attended by a number of religious government and political leaders including Home Affairs Minister Dr. Emmanuel Nchimbi, others were Chadema Secretary General Dr. Wilbroad Slaa and NCCR-Mageuzi Chairman James Mbatia both of whom asked the government to take serious measures to forestall sectarian violence.
SHOPPING is a daily activity for most people in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. In some contexts it may be considered a leisure activity as well as an economic one. For beginners shopping helps them to know the names of the various items they want to buy for their consumption. A retail shop is a business entity that presents a selection of goods or services which could offer to customers the necessary products in need of them. The shopping experience in these shops can range from delightful to terrible, based on a variety of factors including how the customer is treated and this can also be influenced by other shoppers in their shopping activities. Just imagine that it’s your first time to have visited Kariakoo trading hub of the central wholesale and retail market complex for all things in downtown Dar es Salaam, and you tend to walk around for window-shopping along thousand frames selling different types of products mostly electrical goods. The activity of window shopping involves browsing with no intent to purchase, either as a recreational activity or to plan a later purchase. Consumer goods are final goods that are brought from retail stores to satisfy the needs and wants of human being. The consumer goods come in wide variety of product range which includes, household Items, personal care products, consumer electronics, utensils, technology devices, foods, clothing products, stationary and gift articles. All these types can be found in shops located along Msimbazi street at Kariakoo main business centre. Msimbazi is a famous street with shops selling together with other things different types of communication devices including cell phones one can choose from one of the scattered shops around though some shops sell secondhand goods. Shops located along Msimbazi street are mostly selling electronic and communication ICT tools such as handset cell phones, television sets, radio systems, and many other modern DVD compacts that plays music and videos. As you walk along the street, you will encounter lots of disturbing things. Apart from the vibrations caused by passing vehicles around, one could hear sounds of music opened in large volumes coming out of the shops constructed as though they all belong to one landlord. Apart from such disturbing noise which by all circumstances is unavoidable, one may hear someone touting in a unique voice as though attracting the attention of the prospective buyers to attend a shop selling cheap products nearby. These voices are a common style all over the place alerting shoppers of the cheap selling products, it is purposely for a road side promotion for any product being touted by one who at the end of the day, earns his living on a commission basis. It is sometimes very funny indeed as one can hear the message piercing the air in loud external speakers strategically located at the entrance of a large shop displayed with modern varieties of ICT products. In a great astonishment, you might become so excited and rather confused when you happen to walk along the street, you might get some difficulties while trying to force your movement through if in a hurry as the area is overcrowded with people all the time throughout the day. Their presence and the petty traders around along the street with some who does their businesses in pavements has become a menace and always inconveniencing passersby most of whom workers who tend to be in a hurry rushing to attend important appointments somewhere in the city. Despite of the story being told now and then about these streets, the truth is that, “It is too disturbing to see that people who walk along the street are not happy as they encounter with scores of petty traders some holding their merchandise in hands, while the majority spreads them down on the ground in an unhealthy condition mostly along the pavements full of filthy”. Because of the persisting situation, it sometimes makes it difficult for shoppers along to make their good choice for the products they want to buy. But everyone seems to be busy and never cares about the situation seen around while walking along especially at this time of the year when people are busy doing their shopping for Christmas and New Year occasions, the biggest ever celebrated at the end of the year. The presence of petty traders along the streets is a common phenomenon which gives an indication of failure of city askaris in their efforts to remove them from trading in such restricted areas. But because of their increase in number, the city askaris seems most likely to have been overpowered by them. A spot check as viewed in most wholesale and retail shops selling imported electrical goods around Kariakoo business complex and linen clothes along another famous street known as Kongo, has discovered that there is an extensive bulk of these products put on display and the price rates is not fixed for each one of them. This is confusing in regard to the normal saying among the people who attributes the fact that, a product which is sold in lower price rate is low in terms of quality, compared to those sold at a higher price rate which buyers assumes to be of good quality.