Five members of a single family died in a stampede, as thousands of people paid their respects to Tanzania’s late President John Magufuli at Uhuru stadium in the main city Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

Dennis Mtuwa lost his wife, two children, a nephew and a niece. A house help who was with the family is still missing.

Mr Mtuwa received a call from a stranger who had picked up his wife’s purse at the stadium and he went to a police station and later to a mortuary where he found the bodies.

“These last 24 hours have been really difficult for me. I feel relieved when I’m surrounded by people, but when I’m alone the amount of grief becomes overwhelming,” said Mr Mtuwa.

Some reports suggest that at least 40 people lost their lives, but this has not been confirmed. Dar es Salaam Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa told the BBC that he will address the issue today.

Tens of thousands of peopel flooded the streets of Dar es Salaam on Sunday to wave as Mr Magufuli’s casket was driven around, and many more flocked to the stadium where his body lay in state for public viewing.

The body was later flown to the capital, Dodoma, where Mr Magufuli’s official funeral was attended by thousands of people on Monday.

He died last week aged 61. The government says he suffered from heart failure, but the opposition says he had Covid-19.

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