Bomb explosions at a Tanzanian army base in Dar es Salaam’s Gongo la Mboto suburb killed at least 30 peoplethis Thursday. A similar accident occurred In April 2009 at Mbagala Army depot and killed at least 26 people. Tanzanian bloggers and twitterers react.
In a post titled Gongo la Mboto Blasts – A Glimpse, blogger Deogratias Simba posts photographs of fleeing masses, bomb shells and shattered buildings taken on the streets. He writes:
2. The country’s disaster preparedness programme is very weak (if not absent) … handling proved to be REACTIVE rather than PROACTIVE … the photos will tell you why.
3. It is important to ensure that there is a single commanding voice when it comes to giving instructions of what people should do and when … the media has to be used effectively to convey one central message … not contradictory ones … important for commanding authority and receive the desired outcome.
4. While this incident is being handled and everyone recovering from the shock, our attention on key national issues (Dowans, the new constitution) should be kept very much vivid.
5. TANESCO should improve their efficiency during such incidents … once it takes place … they have to undertake a close inspection of their distribution grids to ensure that they are in order … electricity should be restored the soonest … no reason for people to wait longer than five (5) hours …
6. This should never repeat … pleeease!
We are very sorry for the ones who are directly or indirectly affected by the tragedy!!
I think ministerial responsibility must take place now… we expected that, after the Mbagala bombing, the army would have taken steps forward to ensure they counter-check the rest of the camps country-wide… but the recent bombing it is evident they did not do so…!! We expect the resignation of the minister responsible!!!
Another reader remembers arms depot explosion two years ago and wonders why no lessons were learned [sw]:
Inasikitisha sana yaliotokea mbagala haikuwa fundisho, na pia hata yaliyotokea mbagala yalikuwa ni uzembe, sasa kwa haya ya Gongo la Mboto sijui hata tuseme nini, maana ni zaidi ya uzembe, kutojali maisha ya watu,kupuuzia kila kitu, ubinafsi, kutowajibika, kutoipenda nchi na pia kutojali wananchi. Maafa ni makubwa sana ingawa si rahisi kusema ukweli. Wakipoteza maisha 200 tunaambiwa 20. Uongo kila sehemu…
As explosions rocked the city, Twitter users reported about the incident using the hashtag #bombsindar:
Breaking News: Ghala la silaha Gongo la Mboto lalipuka!
Frustrated and hungry for an explanation or an official response on national television, Twitter users decided to organize relief efforts for the victims:
Mwaka 1996 wakati inatokea ajali ya MV Bukoba nakumbuka Mh. Mkapa hakuchukua muda mrefu kutoa taarifa kwa wananchi kueleza chanzo cha ajali
On TBC [Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation] now: Boda2Boda music show. I thought it is public broadcaster, and should be on the streets helping out. #bombsindar
@SubiFace is speechless:
re #bombsinDar “There is much better coverage on KTN (Kenya TV) than on TZ channels. Speechless.”
Twitter users coordinating relief efforts
We are setting up a help centre and Mzambarauni Primary school, Gongolamboto (near the sight of the bombs) for people who are looking for missing persons and for children that are lost
via @Sashaissa:,At Muhimbili, they need blood ASAP. The number to call: 0713-777595. Ask for Mrs. Maya Hilda all types required #bombsindar
Urging people in Dar to go to muhimbili to donate blood. Severe shortage #bombsindar
@iUwesu @Mbergsma #bombsindar go to national stadium, tazara or unicef offices..food,water,blankets,tents, clothes needed
Along with relief efforts, calls for resignation continued
“JK sacks Defence Minister” The head line that you won't see! ~ http://bit.ly/gbH7yj #BombsInDar
Increasing calls for the heads of CDF and MoD. Will they be held accountable? Or accountability will falter at the hands of Govt?#BombsinDar
Finally, you may be interested to read “#bombsindar: Gongo la Mboto, the media event, as told by Twitter,” a blog post written by Ben Taylor and Gongo la Mboto: reading list by Swahili Street.