Family loses five members at Magufuli’s farewell at Uhuru Stadium

Monday March 22 2021
Family pic
By Alfred Zacharia

Dar es Salaam. A family in Dar es Salaam is mourning the death of its five members who were killed in a stampede that erupted at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam during the paying of last respects to President John Magufuli.

Several people collapsed, with reports showing that several others died in the chaos that erupted as some mourners braved security advice and forced their way into the stadium to pay their last respects.

It was in that process that the Mtuwa’s family from Kimara Mwisho in Dar es Salaam ended up registering its biggest loss when five of its members got killed in the process.

The five are Chris (11), Michael (8), Nathan (6), Natalia (5) and Suzan Ndana Mtua in her 30s.

Mtuwa’s eldest son, Gerald Mtuwa said Suzan was his sister-in-law who left one kid and a husband, Denis Mtuwa.

“Suzan and my younger brother Denis have three kids, but two of them (Nathan and Natalia) died during yesterday’s chaos,” he told The Citizen at the family’s home in Dar es Salaam.

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Apart from the father, the family is now survived with a two-year child whose name and sex he did not mention.

The other two who died in the chaos (Michael and Chris) are the children of Gerald Mtuwa’s young brothers who live together in same the compound.

“Our father (Mtuwa) bought a large land where we (his family) have built our houses and live in the same compound as a family,” he said.

He said the housemaid who accompanied the five to the Uhuru Stadium had gone missing since yesterday.

“We have not seen her since yesterday despite searching  for her throughout Temeke Hospital so we are not sure whether she has died or fled to an unknown location,” he said.

Suzan, the housemaid and the four children left their home in a family vehicle for Uhuru Stadium at 5:45am so they could pay their last respects to the body of the departed leader.

Michael’s mother, Huruma Mpiluko, said the night before the tragic day, her daughter with other kids in the family compound persistently asked to go to Uhuru Stadium so they could bid farewell to the body of Dr Magufuli.

Suzan decided to take them there.

“They arrived at Uhuru Stadium early in the morning and they sent us pictures which they had taken from the stadium. At around noon, my brother-in-law (Suzan’s husband) called Suzan but she didn’t pick up the phone,” she said.

According to him, his brother kept calling when later, someone picked the phone and informed him that the owner [of the phone] had fainted.

He directed the family to go to go to the office of the Temeke District Commissioner (DC) to collect Suzan’s belongings.

Henry Mtuwa, a family member, said they arrived at the Temeke DC’s office where they were told to go to Temeke Referral Hospital to see Suzan.

“We went to the hospital and searched all patients’ wards but we couldn’t find Suzan and the five children. Later, the doctors told us to go and look for them in the mortuary where we found the dead bodies of the five,” he said.

Funeral arrangements were being held at the family home at Kimara Mwisho.