Arusha. Erasto Msuya, a prominent gemstone dealer, was finally laid to rest yesterday at his Mererani residence.
The burial ceremony for the famous Arusha businessman, who was gunned down on August 7 by unknown assailants, was attended by hundreds of people including the deputy minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Steven Maselle, Arusha regional commissioner, Mr Magesa Mulongo and Simanjiro MP Christopher Ole Sendeka.
Paying last respects by the multitude of mourners had to be suspended to pave way for the burial ceremony to presided over by Bishop Paul Akyo of the Meru Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. Bishop Akyo was assisted by about 10 pastors from Meru and Pare dioceses.
Pall bearers lowered the casket into the grave at 4.20pm. The body had been brought from Msuya’s residence in Arusha in a convoy of about 150 expensive vehicles including 10 buses that had carried the mourners.
Deputy minister Maselle conveyed President Jakaya Kikwete’s condolences on the death of Mr Msuya, 43, saying he was saddened by the untimely death of the businessman. “President Jakaya Kikwete has pleaded for calm and promises that security organs will leave no stone unturned as they seek perpetrators of the killings,” Mr Maselle told mourners.
Mr Mulongo also echoed President Kikwete’s promise saying a week will not pass before killers are booked to justice. “Police in Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions are working around the clock to capture the killers. And I can assure you we will catch them,” Mr Mulongo remarked.
In his sermon Bishop Akyo spoke strongly against ill acquired wealth.
“Why should you kill simply because you want to become rich? Why should people offer sacrifices in superstitious beliefs to acquire wealth? Those who engage in such things never get peace,” Bishop Akyo noted in a 30-minute long sermon.
The deceased who owned businesses and property including the SG Resort Hotel in Arusha city was sprayed with 20 bullets off the Arusha-Moshi highway.
He is survived by a widow and four children -- two daughters and two sons.