Shock and grief have engulfed Barazani village in Mang’ola area, Karatu district, after seven members of a family were burnt to death in their sleep after midnight yesterday.Initial reports said apparently the grass-thatched house was “deliberately” set on fire following a family conflict.
Arusha Regional Police Commander Basilio Matei confirmed the incident, saying that it occurred at around 00:15am on September 28, this year in the said village and that the police force is holding a suspect.
“So far, we’re holding a man known as Teofil Kamili (52) in connection with the fire incident,” the RPC said, adding that among the dead was the suspect’s mother, Theresia Kamili (87).
He named the other dead family members as Samti Theophili (20), Chiku Theophili (18) and Theresia Laurenti (9), Kalmera Duwe (8), Vanesa Edward (7) and Dora Bakari (7).
All were residents of Barazani village in the leading onion producing area here.
According to Matei the suspect caused the fire following a refusal by his mother, the late Theresia, to allocate him a portion on inherited farm.
Apparently the suspect was demanding part of the farm so that he could put up his own house, the RPC said, adding that the mother’s refusal to grant him the request provoked his anger.
On the fateful day the suspect allegedly sneaked into the victims’ compound and set fire to the house, killing the seven family members who were then asleep in the house.
After the tragic incident, Matei said that the suspect tried to run away, but his mission aborted, after fellow villagers caught and began beating him, a few minutes after the incident.
He was rescued by police who were responding to the fire incident.
The suspect will appear in court soon to answer charges, the RPC said.
The seven dead were expected to be buried yesterday in the village.
In another incident, a 95-year-old man Ndaramia Tauta Mollel of Timbolo village in Arumeru district was found dead on Monday after being stabbed by unknown people.
He said that police were still investigating the incident.
From Singida, Correspondent Elisante John reports that six people died on the spot on Monday evening and eleven others were seriously injured when a minibus plying between Singida Ikungi village and Dodoma overturned.
The tragic accident occurred at Kideka village, Puma ward, in Singida district and involved a vehicle with registration number T 751 BJW.
Those who died included the minibus’s driver Nelson Joseph Kwimba (30) from Unyankindi village, in Singida, and Fedrick Digha (35), an Ikungi Secondary School headmaster.
Singida regional police commander Celina Kaluba said others who lost their lives were Gloria Elisante (13) from Kibaoni village in Singida, John Tandael(40) from Ikungi, Salumu Yahaya (36) from Ikungi and Yahaya Salumu (3), Salumu Yahaya’s son.
She mentioned those seriously injured as Stephano Samweli (22) and Margaret Willfred (28), both from Kipumbwiko village; Jumbe Jonas (35), a Ughandi Primary schoolteacher; Maria Lameck (26) from Ikungi and Godfrey Emmanuel (4).
Others are Ikungi Secondary School students Zuhura Ramadhani (27) and Sebastian Benedicto(14) and Bakari Abdi (48) from Dodoma and Boniphace Mathew (21) from Ikungi village; Peter Joachim (14) from Dar es Salaam and a Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) soldier Nathani Muro (32).
She said all the injured had been admitted to Singida regional hospital.
According to the doctor in charge of Singida regional hospital Joseph Malunde, all patients were improving, except for Geofrey Emmanuel whose condition was critical.
The commander said the cause of the accident was speeding, which caused the front tyre to burst after which the driver lost control of the vehicle.
“The car overturned thrice, causing the death of six people and injuring 11 others,” she said.
Kaluba urged drivers to follow road safety rules and regulations and called on car owners to monitor their drivers.