Monday, September 15, 2014

Bomb blast victims are up in arms over their compensation payments

The Mbagala bomb victims have raised concerns over the delays caused by the government for the payments of their compensation of the loss of properties incurred during bomb explosion saying that, this is an indication for the denial of their rights.  They opened up their grievances in a three hour meeting which was convened on Saturday last week  by the committee representing the victims at Mbagala Kuu suburb on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, the meeting was also attended by journalists. The meeting had one agenda to look way forward for their fate after having seen nothing is being done to them by the government to execute their prompt payments in order to clear their worries despite several promises that it would do. Making the revelation yesterday, Chairperson of the Bomb Blast Victims’ group, Steven Gimonge said that some of the victims affected by the bomb explosion have not been given special attention by the government since the incident occurred in April 2009 five years ago. He noted that, about 1,361 victims have lost trust with the government which promised to be working on the reviewed mode of compensating them, as nothing has yet come out to encourage them since they lodged a claim to President Jakaya Kikwete almost one and a half years ago. He claimed that, their issue seems to have been repudiated by the authorities concerned at the State House which currently is handling the matter and noted that is not given special attention at all by the authorities concerned. He further noted that, this is an aspect that most victims have started to lose hope and started pointing an accusing finger at the government for the delays experienced in compensating the victims.  He outlined some of the diseases which had infected the victims such as cancer and many others saying that, most of them have failed to meet the costs of the treatment. “Not even a single person was taken to the hospital either for check up or treatment after the explosion although the government understands well the impacts of the bomb blasts,” he said. On their dues, Giimonge substantiated the miserable payments settled by cheques that do not exceed Sh. 2,000/- which of course is not enough to cover their treatment costs. They are also suspicious for such payment cheques might have been forged. Among the victims interviewed expressed their disappointment saying that are experiencing hard time to make their life through for having nothing to sustain their life with as they are have been infected by diseases which needs money for treatment. 

Distraught people are looking at a house which had just been destroyed after a piece of a bomb hit it in Gongo La Mbotto. The incident took place in February 2011 three years after the same had happened in at a military camp in Mbagala. 

An example of the original cheque No. 452163 issued on 28th August 2012 by the Bank of Tanzania stating the sum of 1,950 paid to one victim Said Omary Mbonde, that the Guardian came across is a typical example. The owner has never gone to the bank to withdraw money for he feels shy to do so. He said during an exclusive interview that, how could he go for withdrawal and yet the money written is like his transport of going and return back to his residence. “This is a shame indeed” he asserted. Juma Seif Ngongo, an ex-employee of the former National Shipping Agency Company (NASACO) lamented to this writer and said that, he used his money paid by the company to build a four roomed house when he retired in 2000 only that had been destroyed during bomb blasts. To his great dismay, was surprised to be given a fraction of Sh. 350,000/- for repair on his damaged house. Worse still he suffered eye defects which the government has not yet considered him for any single payment. Another ex-service man of the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) Seargent Staff Salim Hassan Selemani who used his terminal benefits after having been in service for over 35 years to build a house, and when the explosions occurred was among the victims, to his dismay was paid a total of Sh. 464,300/- for damages caused by bomb in his house. Early this week, the Secretary to President Kikwete Prosper Mbena said that, the State House received the names of the victims but the same were yet to reach the President. Mbena was quoted exclusively by this paper and noted that, they were still verifying the names to satisfy themselves as to who deserves what as the names are too many.  “After the evaluation, it is when the names will be taken to the President,” he added. “The State House has received the victims’ names but they have not been forwarded to the President. We shall forward them when the procedures are completed … I have told them (victims) to be calm and wait a bit

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