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Tanzania: Is Osama Bin Laden Really Dead?

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

The Tanzanian blogosphere has taken the news of death of the al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden with a pinch of salt. While few voices welcomed the news, a number of blog readers expressed doubts and came up with a number conspiracy theories.

Maggid Mjengwa lauded Obama’s timing, reflecting that Osama's death will boost President Obama domestically. He wrote [sw]:

… huu ni ushindi mkubwa kwa Barack Obama na bila shaka, akiutumia vema, utamwongezea uhakika wa kushinda Urais kwenye Uchaguzi ujao na kuacha historia nyuma yake. Maana, Barack Obama alipoingia madarakani, aliweka bayana, kumtafuta na kumkmaata au kumwua Osama Bin Laden ni ajenda nambari moja katika mapambano dhidi ya ugaidi wa kimataifa. Obama, chini ya uongozi wake, amefanikisha kile ambacho kilidhaniwa hakiwezekani.

… this victory for Barack Obama and without a doubt, if he capitalize on this, it will boost his chances of winning the presidency in the next election and leave a legacy behind. The reason is that when Barack Obama took over, he made it clear that to find and capture or to kill Osama Bin laden was the number one agenda in the fight against international terrorism. Obama, under his leadership, has succeeded in what was thought to be impossible.

In the same post, an anonymous reader supported Maggid’s assertion:

Majid, There was always political capital to be gained from the announcement, but you have to remember it is the intelligence service and the military that have been doing this for years regardless of the who is in the white house supported by the congress approving their actions. Obama has continued to support the effort after Bush but then any President would have done the same.

It's a bit cheesy Obama taking so much credit but I don't doubt a Republican in the White House would have been doing the same. With Obama's latest polls little wonder he is enjoying the moment. Bottom line is Bin Laden is toast, so I am glad the people who lost their loved ones to his actions can get some relief for the revenge but as many pundits have already said it will not stop the Jihad … and another leader will take his place.

Another reader believes that Osama died long ago:

Probably Osama Bin laden died sometime ago.They knew this but they wanted to accomplish some dirty jobs before they announce this.FAKE news my Friends!

Another one says:

10 years, 2 wars, 919,967 deaths, and $1,188,263,000,000 later; America has killed one man. lol

Predicting that many will doubt the news of his death, Simon Kitururu left a message in Malkiory Matiya’s blog [sw]:

Huyu jamaa kwa watu wengine wengi tu hawawezi kukubali kuwa kafa! Na siku hizi na tekinolojia hizi zifanyavyo kazi-hata uweke video ya anavyouawa kuna watakao dai ni mambo ya holiwudi hayo.

Nasubiri tu kwa kuwa nahisi si muda mrefu unaweza kusikia Osama katoa tena video au tu sauti kudai kitu na wafuasi wake wakaamini ni kweli yuko hai!

Many people will not believe that this bloke is dead! The technology works these days – even if you show a video of how he was killed there are people who will claim that it is just some kind of Hollywood stuff.I am just waiting because I feel before too long you may hear that Osama has released a video or audio to say something and his followers will believe that he is still alive!

Again over at Maggid Mjengwa’s blog a reader expressed skepticism [sw] over the “unanswered questions” about the killing, including the site of his burial:

Uzoefu wangu unaniambia kwamba chochote kinachosemwa na wamarekani na wachumba zake ukiangalie na kukitafakari sana kabla ya kukiamini.
1. Obama anasema kwamba askari wa marekani waliukamata mwili wa Osama, na mwili umezikwa baharini. Mh!…
Sasa masaa machache baada ya Osama kuuliwa, huo mwili wake wamekabidhiwa ndugu zake? rafiki zake? au umezikwa baharini na wamarekani?

Nina mashaka na hili. Ninahisi kwamba Osama amekufa kifo cha kawaida, na wamarekani wameshahakikisha kwamba amekufa sasa wanataka kujichotea misifa kwamba wamemuua.
[…]

My experience tells me before believing whatever Americans and their lovers say you have to scrutinize and analyze carefully.
1. Obama says that American soldiers seized Osama’s body, and the body is buried at sea. Mh!..
And now a few hours after Osama was killed, was the body presented to his relatives? His friends? Or was buried at sea by Americans?I have doubts about this. I think that Osama died a natural death, and Americans have confirmed that he is dead and now they want all the praise that they have killed him.
[…]

Amid deniers, a reader in Michuzi Jr's blog wrote [sw]:

Nyie alkaida mmechanganyikiwa kweli mnakataa na kubisha kila jambo hata kama linawachoma machoni Kwa jinsi hii mtajikuta mmetumbukia kuzimu – motoni, Sijui na hapo mtabisha kuwa hmko kuzimu?

You are confused, you al Qaidas you deny everything even if it burns your eyes, this way you will find yourselves in hell fire – Will you continue then to deny that you are in hell?

Osama Bin Laden's deadliest strike in Africa was the 1998 bombing of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that together killed 224 people.

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

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