One of the houses which were demolished by a businessman at Tegeta Namanga, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, yesterday. The house owners alleged that the businessman failed to comply with a court order barring him from undertaking the demolition pending settlement of their differences. (Photo: Tryphone Mweji)
President Jakaya Kikwete’s motorcade was yesterday pelted with stones by angry residents of Tegeta Namanga on the northern outskirts of Dar es Salaam city while en route to Bagamoyo in Coast region.
Kinondoni Regional Police Commander (RPC) Charles Kenyela said that police have launched an investigation into the incident that occurred yesterday mourning at around 8 am.
Recounting the incident RPC Kenyela said President Kikwete’s entourage was embroiled in a scuffle pitting personnel of the NAS Security Company, Msolopa Brokers and the owner of the Gapco petrol station located at Tegeta Namanga area.
Security guards of NAS Security Company, Msolopa Brokers and the owner of the Gapco petrol station were destroying ten houses allegedly built on a plot claimed by the Gapco station owner Hemed Salum.
As the houses were being destroyed, angry residents, some being owners of the destroyed houses, engaged in physical confrontation when President Kikwete’s convoy passed by, heading to Bagamoyo.
On seeing the convoy, the angry residents started throwing stones in that direction as well, but no one was injured in the entourage and no cars were apparently hit by the pelted stones.
RPC Kenyela said the conflict of ownership of land between petrol station owner Hemed Salum (39) and the residents was a long term conflict. “Until now the police hold 44 rioters, 54 NAS security personnel of whom two were injured, and also hold the owner of the Gapco station and weapons used in the scuffle,” he said.
Police intend to take strong action against those proved to be aggressive, the RPC said, asking the public to be patient and cooperate with the police, provide information to help in investigations.
Foibe Patrick, wife of one of the owners of houses being demolished, said that she was invaded by demolishers early in the morning and asked to remove all belongings so that demolition starts.
“They beat me and stole my phones since I was refusing to follow their orders,” she said sadly, then I decided to call my husband but I couldn’t succeed and they continued with their exercise. Foibe told this reporter that it’s a sad event “and it’s because we don’t have money that is why he abused us, but in a real sense this is not his land.”
Another resident who opted not to be named said that petrol station owner Hemed Salum (or Bashuan) used force to break those houses “because it is known from the beginning that the area was not his.”
“This is a squatter area, if it was finally mapped and someone given to own it we do not have that information. This area was owned by someone else called Mzee Majuto who has already died and until now the children of the owner of this area are the ones who built all these houses,” the resident added.