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Tanzania: When Eid ul-Fitr came with tears

What do Tanzania Swahili bloggers think about the tragedy that hit Tanzania recently? 20 people died in a stampede while celebrating Eid El Fitr at a special disco for young people in Tabora, central Tanzania. Approximately 400 young people aged between 7 – 18, twice the recommended number for the hall, gathered for the celebrations.

Newspapers have described the tragedy as “the biggest in Tanzania's history” and “the worst-ever disaster during Eid al-Fitr”.

Organisers of the young people's disco popularly known in Tanzania as ‘Toto disco’ have been arrested for investigation.

Blogger Faustine's Baraza posts photos of the disco hall and bodies in a mortuary and so does Issa Michuzi.

Some of the readers have called for better safety practices:

TUWEKE MBELE HEALTH AND SAFETY PRACTICES. TOTALLY UNNECESSARY AND AVOIDABLE DEATHS. SIJUI LINI TUTAJIFUNZA!!

LET US PRIORITISE HEALTH AND SAFETY PRACTICES. TOTALLY UNNECESSARY AND AVOIDABLE DEATHS. I DO NOT KNOW WHEN WE WILL LEARN!!

And in the same post another reader says:

Tukio kama hili linahitaji Rais Jakaya kwenda kutoa pole, hasa inapozingatiwa kwamba huwa anahudhuria ajali za watu ambao huwa wanamajina pale Muhimbili. Hili ni swala kubwa na sio kumtuma Mh. Kapuya.
Anatakiwa kuwasili katika eneo la tukio na kukagua , kutoa pole na pia kuhutubia wananchi.
Pia ni wakati wa TZ, hasa Fire marshal kuanza kuangalia uwezo wa sehemu za disco kuchukua kiasi fulani cha watu na njia za tahadhari (Exit)kama hali kama hii ikitikoea.Ikiwa ni pamoja na kuwa na Genereta, na wasaidiza wa haraka.

Such an incident requires the president, Jakaya to go and give his condolences in person, especially if we take into account that he usually visits high profile people after accidents. This is a major issue that does not deserve sending Hon. Minister Kapuya [Tanzania's Minister of Labour, Employment and Youth Development].
He has to go to the scene of the accident and inspect and address the public. Also, it is high time in Tanzania that fire marshals started inspecting Disco venue's capacity and exit points if and when incidents such as this occur. Including having generators and emergency workers.

Msimbe of Lukwangule Entertainment writes that two people have been arrested for questioning including the manager of One Ten Disco and the manager of Bubbles Night Club in addition to the two directors of the two discos who were arrested earlier.

Issa Michuzi, in one of the series of posts about the incident has a post by a special correspondent stating that the Tanzanian President has ordered a full investigation about the causes of deaths.

Local government in Tabora has already set up an investigating commission. Some readers think that the local government is one of the culprits that caused to the tragedy and place the blame on the local governments in the first place:

Maeneo ya Wazi ya wapi mjini Tabora?Je,kuna uwanja wa mabembea na michezo ya watoto japo mmoja tu katika mji mzima wa Tabora?Kosa la nani?Asitafutwe mchawi hapa au kurushiana lawama.Poor Leadership in Government Institutions is the cause of all this. Mpaka watoto zetu wafe ndipo viongozi wakurupuke na kujifanya wanahusika kwelikweli kumbe usanii tu!What a Pity?Viwanja vyao vya michezo vingekuwepo mtoto gani angefikiria aende disco aache mabembea?too much politicking!Nothing Doing,eti tuna Doctorate Degrees!Za kubandika ukutani?

Where are the open spaces in Tabora? Are there any children grounds with swings, at least one ground in Tabora? Who is guilty? Let us not start a witch hunt here or start to blame each other. Poor Leadership in Government Institutions is the cause of all this. Until when our children die then our leaders pop out and pretend that they sincerely care this is just an art! What a Pity? If children had playgrounds which child would have thought of going to a disco and leaving the swings alone? Too much politicking! Nothing Doing, We claim to have Doctorate Degrees! Just to hang them on the walls?

While sympathising with the families of the victims many of the comments have been directed at the local government and the need for better risk management:

Nawapa pole wafiwa na wanatabora wote kwa janga hili la kitaifa. Tunajifunza nini kwa hili?
1. Maafa na ajali zinazomaliza maelfu ya watanzania ni vitu vya mpito tu na serikali haitilii maanani kuyapunguza. Ripoti za chang'ombe, Kisutu, muhimbili zimefanya nini kupunguza majanga haya?
2. Tutaunda tume 100 lakini hazisaidii kumaliza majanga kwa sababu ya kutokuwa makini na kujali maisha ya watu wa kawaida.
3. Kama watoto hawatakiwi kwenda disco, je serikali mkoani tabora hawakuona hilo?
4. Kama wanaruhusiwa kwa masharti, basi NSSF (mmiliki), Mpiga Disco (mkaribishaji)na Manispaa (dhamana ya ukaguzi) wawajibishwe kikamilifu.
Watanzania mliopo nyumbani wakumbusheni viongozi majukumu yao kwa kupinga haya mambo. Wanasheria wasaidieni waathirika na hakikisheni wanapata “fair and adequate compensation” na iwe fundisho kwa wengine.

My condolences to the affected families and the people of Tabora. When will we learn?
1.Disasters and accidents kills thousands and our government does not take the issue seriously enough. What hve the chang'ombe, kisutu and Muhimbili Reports done to reduce such incidents?
2. We will set up 100 commissions but they will not help reduce deaths because we are not serious and do not care about lives of ordinary citizens.
3. If children are not allowed to go to discos, didn’t the Tabora local government see that?
4. If they are allowed under certain conditions, then NSSF (owners of the building), The disco owner (host) and the municipal council (responsible for inspections)have to take the full responsibility.
Tanzanians at home please remind our leaders about their responsibilities by protesting. Lawyers please assist the victims and make sure that they receive “fair and adequate compensation” and it should be a lesson to others.

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