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Punitive measures await arsonists - PM

THE government has warned that stringent measures will be instituted against people who will be proven to have been involved in recent fire incidents in several Islamic schools in the country.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said in Dar es Salaam that the government, in collaboration with Muslim leaders had formed a probe team to investigate the cause of fire incidents in the schools.

Mr Majaliwa gave the assurance yesterday during the Eid Baraza held in Dar es Salam as part of the celebration of Eid - Al Hajj.

"The probe team is finalizing its work before presenting its report to the government and thereafter it will be communicated to the Chief Mufti Abubakar Zubeir Bin Ali," the PM said.

He said the government will not hesitate to take stringent measures against anyone who will be found to have been involved in these incidents which have caused huge losses to the institutions.

The government remarks follow an appeal by Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) to help establish causes of fire incidents which had occurred recently in several Muslim schools in Dar es Salaam and other regions.

According to Bakwata, the incidents had caused deaths and huge loss of properties worth billion of shillings.

According to Bakwata, the fire that broke out at Ilala Islamic School in Dar es Salaam on July 4 this year caused the death of three students.

The council said that on July 17, fire broke out at Kinondoni Muslim School destroying all the properties, including school infrastructure worth 1.4bn/-, affecting more than 600 students who could not continue with studies.

On the following day, Mivumoni Islamic school was also torched, causing huge loss of properties.

"We expect that the ongoing investigation will establish the cause of fire incidents in our schools," said Mufti Zubeir.

Mr Majaliwa, however, directed schools in the country to fix firefighting equipment in their buildings that could help to minimize the damage which may occur.

The fire that broke out at the Ilala Islamic Secondary School involved the second floor dormitory of the school located near the junctions of Kasulu and Arusha streets in Ilala District, Dar es Salaam Region.

"Nothing could be salvaged from the dormitory, not even a single mattress or students’ belongings. The fire broke out suddenly,” said the school headmaster Buhero Issa.

The headmaster said further that students have returned home and the management will issue guidelines on when the students would be able to return to resume studies.

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Author: LYDIA SHEKIGHENDA

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