Friday, February 18, 2011

MEETING HELD TO DISCUSS GONGO LA MBOTO EXPLOSION



The National Peace and Security Committee met under President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday evening to discuss and take appropriate action following bomb blasts which killed at least 20 people in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday night.

Speaking at Gongo la Mboto army camp where the explosions occurred, President Kikwete said the camp hosted the largest military ammunition depot in the country.

He said: "It is a shocking incident and a disaster in this area but people should not worry as the government is working on the matter."He urged the people to remain calm in their homes as the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) officials and the government were working on the matter.

"I would like to ask the residents to remain in their areas. I want them to understand that the dangerous moments have passed and now the situation is under control," said the head of State.


A unit of the Tanzania People's Defence Force.

On the tour of the site, President Kikwete was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Forces Gen Davis Mwamunyange, minister for Defence and National Service, Mr Husein Mwinyi and other top military and security officials.

The Security Committee, which is chaired by the President, includes the CDF, Inspector General of Police, minister for Defence and National Service, head of Intelligence Agency and minister for Home Affairs.

TPDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Shimbo, clarified that a team of experts has started to work on the matter and that soon they will start collecting remains of the bombs and rockets scattered in residential areas.

"We are asking the people not to touch those bombs, our experts will pass everywhere to collect them, the exercise will start very soon from now," he said. He said there was no need to relate the Wednesday blasts with the April 2009 explosions in Mbagala because the two incidents occurred under different circumstances.


According to Lt Gen Shimbo, the camp area will be made safe within three days and that the people should not worry of other blasts in the area.On his side, the head of the camp, Col Aloyce Mwanjilu, said all the 23 ammunitions depots at the camp have been razed.Col Mwanjilu said there would be no more blast in the area because TPDF bomb experts have already contained the problem.

According to him, TPDF had received information on the presence of bomb remnants in Pugu Kajiungeni, Tabata, Yombo and Gongo la Mboto areas."We are organising our teams to go in those areas to collect all bombs and rockets that have been seen and reported in different areas," he said.

The TPDF spokesman, Lt Col Kapambala Mgawe said 20 people were confirmed killed and more than 300 injured. However, Lt Col Mgawe said there was no any soldier or military official who lost life in the blasts. Commenting on the loss, Lt-Colonel Mgawe said at least six new military vehicles were destroyed and dozens of military uniforms burnt.

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