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Family of five dies in a stampede during Dodoma Magufuli memorial service

By Fred Kagonye | March 23rd 2021
Soldiers carry the coffin of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli draped in the national flag. [Reuters]

Five members of one family died on Monday in a stampede during the requiem for President John Pombe Magufuli at Tanzania’s Uhuru Stadium in the administrative capital of Dodoma.

According to media reports,  the stampede happened after mourners breached security forcing their way into the stadium that hosted tens of thousands who had come to view the body of their departed leader.

One of the country’s leading dailies, The Citizen, named the five members as Chris (11), Michael (8), Nathan (6), Natalia (5) and their mother Suzan Ndana Mtua (30). Ndana’s body was found alongside that of her four children.

The family has been left with the father and a toddler while they continue with the search for their house help who had accompanied the family and has been missing.

The  Tanzanian government said it will today issue a statement on the tragedy.

The service for the departed leader was attended by Presidents including Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi, Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi, Malawi’s Lazarus Chakwera, Comoros’ Azali Assoumani, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu and Botswana’s Mogkweetsi Masisi.

Magufuli’s body is in Zanzibar today for public viewing before being flown to his Chato home in the mineral-rich Geita town for similar purposes on Thursday before burial on Friday.

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